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Sample records for molecular mechanics approach

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Computing pKa Values with a Mixing Hamiltonian Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Approach.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yang; Fan, Xiaoli; Jin, Yingdi; Hu, Xiangqian; Hu, Hao

    2013-09-10

    Accurate computation of the pKa value of a compound in solution is important but challenging. Here, a new mixing quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) Hamiltonian method is developed to simulate the free-energy change associated with the protonation/deprotonation processes in solution. The mixing Hamiltonian method is designed for efficient quantum mechanical free-energy simulations by alchemically varying the nuclear potential, i.e., the nuclear charge of the transforming nucleus. In pKa calculation, the charge on the proton is varied in fraction between 0 and 1, corresponding to the fully deprotonated and protonated states, respectively. Inspired by the mixing potential QM/MM free energy simulation method developed previously [H. Hu and W. T. Yang, J. Chem. Phys. 2005, 123, 041102], this method succeeds many advantages of a large class of λ-coupled free-energy simulation methods and the linear combination of atomic potential approach. Theory and technique details of this method, along with the calculation results of the pKa of methanol and methanethiol molecules in aqueous solution, are reported. The results show satisfactory agreement with the experimental data.

  5. A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical approach to the investigation of particle-molecule interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sloth, Marianne; Bilde, Merete; Mikkelsen, Kurt V.

    2003-06-01

    A quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical aerosol model is developed to describe the interaction between gas phase molecules and atmospheric particles. The model enables the calculation of interaction energies and time-dependent properties. We use the model to investigate how a succinic acid molecule interacts with an aqueous particle. We show how the interaction energies and linear response properties (excitation energies, transition moments, and polarizabilities) depend on the distance between aerosol particle and molecule and on their relative orientation. The results are compared with those obtained previously using a dielectric continuum model [Sloth et al., J. Phys. Chem. (submitted)].

  6. [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.

  7. 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.

  8. Cellular and molecular mechanisms triggered by Deep Brain Stimulation in depression: A preclinical and clinical approach.

    PubMed

    Torres-Sanchez, S; Perez-Caballero, L; Berrocoso, E

    2017-02-06

    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) was originally developed as a therapeutic approach to manage movement disorders, in particular Parkinson's Disease. However, DBS also seems to be an effective treatment against refractory depression when patients fail to respond satisfactorily to conventional therapies. Thus, DBS targeting specific brain areas can produce an antidepressant response that improves depressive symptomatology, these areas including the subcallosal cingulate region, nucleus accumbens, ventral capsule/ventral striatum, medial forebrain bundle, the inferior thalamic peduncle and lateral habenula. Although the efficacy and safety of this therapy has been demonstrated in some clinical trials and preclinical studies, the intrinsic mechanisms underlying its antidepressant effect remain poorly understood. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of DBS, focusing on the molecular and cellular changes reported after its use that could shed light on the mechanisms underpinning its antidepressant effect. Several potential mechanisms of action of DBS are considered, including monoaminergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission, neurotrophic and neuroinflammatory mechanisms, as well as potential effects on certain intracellular signaling pathways. Although future studies will be necessary to determine the key molecular events underlying the antidepressant effect of DBS, the findings presented provide an insight into some of its possible modes of action.

  9. Aeromonas proteolytica aminopeptidase: an investigation of the mode of action using a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical approach.

    PubMed

    Schürer, Gudrun; Lanig, Harald; Clark, Timothy

    2004-05-11

    The aminopeptidase of Aeromonas proteolytica (AAP) belongs to the group of metallo-hydrolases that require two divalent cations for full activity. Such binuclear metal centers are found in several aminopeptidases, raising the question whether a common mechanism, at least partly, is likely. We have used a quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) approach to investigate the reaction mechanism of AAP. Among several possibilities, one reaction path was found to be clearly the most favorable. Beside the chemical transformation steps, effects of the enzyme environment and the influence of the solvent on the catalytic reaction were included in the study. The results are in good agreement with experimental studies and correspond to a high degree to our previous QM/MM calculations on the reaction mechanism of the related binuclear bovine lens leucine aminopeptidase (blLAP), which, although related to the AAP, has different Zn(2+)-coordination spheres and a different catalytic residue. The mechanisms of the two enzymes as suggested in the literature differ on the mode of coordination of the nucleophile and the identity of the general base. However, the results of this and our previous work on blLAP allow us to identify a common mechanism for the two enzymes. This mechanism is probably quite general for binuclear zinc enzymes.

  10. Acceleration of Semiempirical Quantum Mechanical Calculations by Extended Lagrangian Molecular Dynamics Approach.

    PubMed

    Nam, Kwangho

    2013-08-13

    The implementation and performance of the atom-centered density matrix propagation (ADMP) [J. Chem. Phys. 2001, 114, 9758] and the curvy-steps (CURV) methods [J. Chem. Phys. 2004, 121, 1152] are described. These methods solve the electronic Schrödinger equation approximately by propagating the electronic degrees of freedom using the extended Lagrangian molecular dynamics (ELMD) simulation approach. The ADMP and CURV methods are implemented and parallelized to accelerate semiempirical quantum mechanical (QM) methods (such as the MNDO, AM1, PM3, MNDO/d, and AM1/d methods). Test calculations show that both the ADMP and the CURV methods are 2∼4 times faster than the Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics (BOMD) method and conserve the total energy well. The accuracy of the ADMP and CURV simulations is comparable to the BOMD simulations. The parallel implementation accelerates the MD simulation by up to 28 fold for the ADMP method and 25 fold for the CURV method, respectively, relative to the speed of the single core BOMD. In addition, a multiple time scale (MTS) approach is introduced to further speed up the semiempirical QM and QM/MM ELMD simulations. Since a larger integration time step is used for the propagation of the nuclear coordinates than that for the electronic degrees of freedom, the MTS approach allows the ELMD simulation to be carried out with a time step that is larger than the time step accessible by the original ADMP and CURV methods. It renders MD simulation to be carried out about 20 times faster than the BOMD simulation, and yields results that are comparable to the single time scale simulation results. The use of the methods introduced in the present work provides an efficient way to extend the length of the QM and QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations beyond the length accessible by BOMD simulation.

  11. 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.

  12. Modelling the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity using systems biology approaches.

    PubMed

    Kotaleski, Jeanette Hellgren; Blackwell, Kim T

    2010-04-01

    Synaptic plasticity is thought to underlie learning and memory, but the complexity of the interactions between the ion channels, enzymes and genes that are involved in synaptic plasticity impedes a deep understanding of this phenomenon. Computer modelling has been used to investigate the information processing that is performed by the signalling pathways involved in synaptic plasticity in principal neurons of the hippocampus, striatum and cerebellum. In the past few years, new software developments that combine computational neuroscience techniques with systems biology techniques have allowed large-scale, kinetic models of the molecular mechanisms underlying long-term potentiation and long-term depression. We highlight important advancements produced by these quantitative modelling efforts and introduce promising approaches that use advancements in live-cell imaging.

  13. Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: New Insights into Molecular Mechanisms and Cellular Therapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Lombard, Thomas; Neirinckx, Virginie; Gilon, Yves

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ) became an arising disease due to the important antiresorptive drug prescriptions to treat oncologic and osteoporotic patients, as well as the use of new antiangiogenic drugs such as VEGF antagonist. So far, MRONJ physiopathogenesis still remains unclear. Aiming to better understand MRONJ physiopathology, the first objective of this review would be to highlight major molecular mechanisms that are known to be involved in bone formation and remodeling. Recent development in MRONJ pharmacological treatments showed good results; however, those treatments are not curative and could have major side effects. In parallel to pharmacological treatments, MSC grafts appeared to be beneficial in the treatment of MRONJ, in multiple aspects: (1) recruitment and stimulation of local or regional endogenous cells to differentiate into osteoblasts and thus bone formation, (2) beneficial impact on bone remodeling, and (3) immune-modulatory properties that decrease inflammation. In this context, the second objective of this manuscript would be to summarize the molecular regulatory events controlling osteogenic differentiation, bone remodeling, and osteoimmunology and potential beneficial effects of MSC related to those aspects, in order to apprehend MRONJ and to develop new therapeutic approaches. PMID:27721837

  14. Hybrid Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics/Coarse Grained Modeling: A Triple-Resolution Approach for Biomolecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Sokkar, Pandian; Boulanger, Eliot; Thiel, Walter; Sanchez-Garcia, Elsa

    2015-04-14

    We present a hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics/coarse-grained (QM/MM/CG) multiresolution approach for solvated biomolecular systems. The chemically important active-site region is treated at the QM level. The biomolecular environment is described by an atomistic MM force field, and the solvent is modeled with the CG Martini force field using standard or polarizable (pol-CG) water. Interactions within the QM, MM, and CG regions, and between the QM and MM regions, are treated in the usual manner, whereas the CG-MM and CG-QM interactions are evaluated using the virtual sites approach. The accuracy and efficiency of our implementation is tested for two enzymes, chorismate mutase (CM) and p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase (PHBH). In CM, the QM/MM/CG potential energy scans along the reaction coordinate yield reaction energies that are too large, both for the standard and polarizable Martini CG water models, which can be attributed to adverse effects of using large CG water beads. The inclusion of an atomistic MM water layer (10 Å for uncharged CG water and 5 Å for polarizable CG water) around the QM region improves the energy profiles compared to the reference QM/MM calculations. In analogous QM/MM/CG calculations on PHBH, the use of the pol-CG description for the outer water does not affect the stabilization of the highly charged FADHOOH-pOHB transition state compared to the fully atomistic QM/MM calculations. Detailed performance analysis in a glycine-water model system indicates that computation times for QM energy and gradient evaluations at the density functional level are typically reduced by 40-70% for QM/MM/CG relative to fully atomistic QM/MM calculations.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of tungstate-induced pancreatic plasticity: a transcriptomics approach

    PubMed Central

    Altirriba, Jordi; Barbera, Albert; Del Zotto, Héctor; Nadal, Belen; Piquer, Sandra; Sánchez-Pla, Alex; Gagliardino, Juan J; Gomis, Ramon

    2009-01-01

    Background Sodium tungstate is known to be an effective anti-diabetic agent, able to increase beta cell mass in animal models of diabetes, although the molecular mechanisms of this treatment and the genes that control pancreas plasticity are yet to be identified. Using a transcriptomics approach, the aim of the study is to unravel the molecular mechanisms which participate in the recovery of exocrine and endocrine function of streptozotocin (STZ) diabetic rats treated with tungstate, determining the hyperglycemia contribution and the direct effect of tungstate. Results Streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats were treated orally with tungstate for five weeks. Treated (STZ)-diabetic rats showed a partial recovery of exocrine and endocrine function, with lower glycemia, increased insulinemia and amylasemia, and increased beta cell mass achieved by reducing beta cell apoptosis and raising beta cell proliferation. The microarray analysis of the pancreases led to the identification of three groups of differentially expressed genes: genes altered due to diabetes, genes restored by the treatment, and genes specifically induced by tungstate in the diabetic animals. The results were corroborated by quantitative PCR. A detailed description of the pathways involved in the pancreatic effects of tungstate is provided in this paper. Hyperglycemia contribution was studied in STZ-diabetic rats treated with phloridzin, and the direct effect of tungstate was determined in INS-1E cells treated with tungstate or serum from untreated or treated STZ-rats, observing that tungstate action in the pancreas takes places via hyperglycemia-independent pathways and via a combination of tungstate direct and indirect (through the serum profile modification) effects. Finally, the MAPK pathway was evaluated, observing that it has a key role in the tungstate-induced increase of beta cell proliferation as tungstate activates the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway directly by increasing p42/p44

  16. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular response to biophysical cues using synthetic biology approaches.

    PubMed

    Denning, Denise; Roos, Wouter H

    2016-09-02

    The use of synthetic surfaces and materials to influence and study cell behavior has vastly progressed our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in cellular response to physicochemical and biophysical cues. Reconstituting cytoskeletal proteins and interfacing them with a defined microenvironment has also garnered deep insight into the engineering mechanisms existing within the cell. This review presents recent experimental findings on the influence of several parameters of the extracellular environment on cell behavior and fate, such as substrate topography, stiffness, chemistry and charge. In addition, the use of synthetic environments to measure physical properties of the reconstituted cytoskeleton and their interaction with intracellular proteins such as molecular motors is discussed, which is relevant for understanding cell migration, division and structural integrity, as well as intracellular transport. Insight is provided regarding the next steps to be taken in this interdisciplinary field, in order to achieve the global aim of artificially directing cellular response.

  17. Solvatochromic shift of phenol blue in water from a combined Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics hybrid quantum mechanics-molecular mechanics and ZINDO approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murugan, N. Arul; Jha, Prakash Chandra; Rinkevicius, Z.; Ruud, Kenneth; Ågren, Hans

    2010-06-01

    The present work addresses the solvatochromic shift of phenol blue (PB) dye. For this purpose the results of Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics (CPMD) simulations for PB in gas phase are compared with results obtained for PB in water from CPMD hybrid quantum mechanics-molecular mechanics (CPMD-QM/MM) calculations. The absorption spectra were obtained using the intermediate neglect of differential overlap/spectroscopic-configuration interaction (INDO/CIS) method and were calculated for a multitude of configurations of the trajectory. The calculated λmax for PB in gas phase was found to be about 535 nm, which is considerably lower than the λmax reported for PB in nonpolar solvents. Different solvation shells for PB in water have been defined based on the solute-all-atoms and solvent center of mass radial distribution function (g(rX-O)). The electronic excitation energies for PB computed in the presence of solvent molecules in an increasing number of solvation shells were calculated in a systematic way to evaluate their contributions to the solvatochrmic shift. The inclusion of solvent molecules in the hydration shell yields a λmax of 640 nm, which contributes to almost 78% of the solvatochromic shift. The inclusion of solvent molecules up to 10 Å in the g(rX-O) rdf yields a λmax of 670 nm which is in good agreement with the experimentally reported value of 654-684 nm. Overall, the present study suggests that the combined CPMD-QM/MM and INDO-CIS approach can be used successfully to model solvatochromic shifts of organic dye molecules.

  18. Solvatochromic shift of phenol blue in water from a combined Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics hybrid quantum mechanics-molecular mechanics and ZINDO approach.

    PubMed

    Murugan, N Arul; Jha, Prakash Chandra; Rinkevicius, Z; Ruud, Kenneth; Agren, Hans

    2010-06-21

    The present work addresses the solvatochromic shift of phenol blue (PB) dye. For this purpose the results of Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics (CPMD) simulations for PB in gas phase are compared with results obtained for PB in water from CPMD hybrid quantum mechanics-molecular mechanics (CPMD-QM/MM) calculations. The absorption spectra were obtained using the intermediate neglect of differential overlap/spectroscopic-configuration interaction (INDO/CIS) method and were calculated for a multitude of configurations of the trajectory. The calculated lambda(max) for PB in gas phase was found to be about 535 nm, which is considerably lower than the lambda(max) reported for PB in nonpolar solvents. Different solvation shells for PB in water have been defined based on the solute-all-atoms and solvent center of mass radial distribution function (g(r(X-O))). The electronic excitation energies for PB computed in the presence of solvent molecules in an increasing number of solvation shells were calculated in a systematic way to evaluate their contributions to the solvatochrmic shift. The inclusion of solvent molecules in the hydration shell yields a lambda(max) of 640 nm, which contributes to almost 78% of the solvatochromic shift. The inclusion of solvent molecules up to 10 A in the g(r(X-O)) rdf yields a lambda(max) of 670 nm which is in good agreement with the experimentally reported value of 654-684 nm. Overall, the present study suggests that the combined CPMD-QM/MM and INDO-CIS approach can be used successfully to model solvatochromic shifts of organic dye molecules.

  19. Molecular mechanisms of ionic liquid cytotoxicity probed by an integrated experimental and computational approach

    SciTech Connect

    Yoo, Brian; Jing, Benxin; Jones, Stuart E.; Lamberti, Gary A.; Zhu, Yingxi; Shah, Jindal K.; Maginn, Edward J.

    2016-02-02

    Ionic liquids (ILs) are salts that remain liquid down to low temperatures, and sometimes well below room temperature. ILs have been called “green solvents” because of their extraordinarily low vapor pressure and excellent solvation power, but ecotoxicology studies have shown that some ILs exhibit greater toxicity than traditional solvents. A fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for IL toxicity remains elusive. Here we show that one mode of IL toxicity on unicellular organisms is driven by swelling of the cell membrane. Cytotoxicity assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and molecular simulations reveal that IL cations nucleate morphological defects in the microbial cell membrane at concentrations near the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) of several microorganisms. Lastly, cytotoxicity increases with increasing alkyl chain length of the cation due to the ability of the longer alkyl chain to more easily embed in, and ultimately disrupt, the cell membrane.

  20. Molecular mechanisms of ionic liquid cytotoxicity probed by an integrated experimental and computational approach

    DOE PAGES

    Yoo, Brian; Jing, Benxin; Jones, Stuart E.; ...

    2016-02-02

    Ionic liquids (ILs) are salts that remain liquid down to low temperatures, and sometimes well below room temperature. ILs have been called “green solvents” because of their extraordinarily low vapor pressure and excellent solvation power, but ecotoxicology studies have shown that some ILs exhibit greater toxicity than traditional solvents. A fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for IL toxicity remains elusive. Here we show that one mode of IL toxicity on unicellular organisms is driven by swelling of the cell membrane. Cytotoxicity assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and molecular simulations reveal that IL cations nucleate morphological defects in themore » microbial cell membrane at concentrations near the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) of several microorganisms. Lastly, cytotoxicity increases with increasing alkyl chain length of the cation due to the ability of the longer alkyl chain to more easily embed in, and ultimately disrupt, the cell membrane.« less

  1. Molecular mechanisms of ionic liquid cytotoxicity probed by an integrated experimental and computational approach

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Brian; Jing, Benxin; Jones, Stuart E.; Lamberti, Gary A.; Zhu, Yingxi; Shah, Jindal K.; Maginn, Edward J.

    2016-01-01

    Ionic liquids (ILs) are salts that remain liquid down to low temperatures, and sometimes well below room temperature. ILs have been called “green solvents” because of their extraordinarily low vapor pressure and excellent solvation power, but ecotoxicology studies have shown that some ILs exhibit greater toxicity than traditional solvents. A fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for IL toxicity remains elusive. Here we show that one mode of IL toxicity on unicellular organisms is driven by swelling of the cell membrane. Cytotoxicity assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and molecular simulations reveal that IL cations nucleate morphological defects in the microbial cell membrane at concentrations near the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) of several microorganisms. Cytotoxicity increases with increasing alkyl chain length of the cation due to the ability of the longer alkyl chain to more easily embed in, and ultimately disrupt, the cell membrane. PMID:26831599

  2. Molecular mechanisms of ionic liquid cytotoxicity probed by an integrated experimental and computational approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, Brian; Jing, Benxin; Jones, Stuart E.; Lamberti, Gary A.; Zhu, Yingxi; Shah, Jindal K.; Maginn, Edward J.

    2016-02-01

    Ionic liquids (ILs) are salts that remain liquid down to low temperatures, and sometimes well below room temperature. ILs have been called “green solvents” because of their extraordinarily low vapor pressure and excellent solvation power, but ecotoxicology studies have shown that some ILs exhibit greater toxicity than traditional solvents. A fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for IL toxicity remains elusive. Here we show that one mode of IL toxicity on unicellular organisms is driven by swelling of the cell membrane. Cytotoxicity assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and molecular simulations reveal that IL cations nucleate morphological defects in the microbial cell membrane at concentrations near the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) of several microorganisms. Cytotoxicity increases with increasing alkyl chain length of the cation due to the ability of the longer alkyl chain to more easily embed in, and ultimately disrupt, the cell membrane.

  3. An Estimation of Hybrid Quantum Mechanical Molecular Mechanical Polarization Energies for Small Molecules Using Polarizable Force-Field Approaches

    DOE PAGES

    Huang, Jing; Mei, Ye; König, Gerhard; ...

    2017-01-24

    Here in this work, we report two polarizable molecular mechanics (polMM) force field models for estimating the polarization energy in hybrid quantum mechanical molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations. These two models, named the potential of atomic charges (PAC) and potential of atomic dipoles (PAD), are formulated from the ab initio quantum mechanical (QM) response kernels for the prediction of the QM density response to an external molecular mechanical (MM) environment (as described by external point charges). The PAC model is similar to fluctuating charge (FQ) models because the energy depends on external electrostatic potential values at QM atomic sites; the PADmore » energy depends on external electrostatic field values at QM atomic sites, resembling induced dipole (ID) models. To demonstrate their uses, we apply the PAC and PAD models to 12 small molecules, which are solvated by TIP3P water. The PAC model reproduces the QM/MM polarization energy with a R2 value of 0.71 for aniline (in 10,000 TIP3P water configurations) and 0.87 or higher for other eleven solute molecules, while the PAD model has a much better performance with R2 values of 0.98 or higher. The PAC model reproduces reference QM/MM hydration free energies for 12 solute molecules with a RMSD of 0.59 kcal/mol. The PAD model is even more accurate, with a much smaller RMSD of 0.12 kcal/mol, with respect to the reference. Lastly, this suggests that polarization effects, including both local charge distortion and intramolecular charge transfer, can be well captured by induced dipole type models with proper parametrization.« less

  4. An Estimation of Hybrid Quantum Mechanical Molecular Mechanical Polarization Energies for Small Molecules Using Polarizable Force-Field Approaches.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jing; Mei, Ye; König, Gerhard; Simmonett, Andrew C; Pickard, Frank C; Wu, Qin; Wang, Lee-Ping; MacKerell, Alexander D; Brooks, Bernard R; Shao, Yihan

    2017-02-14

    In this work, we report two polarizable molecular mechanics (polMM) force field models for estimating the polarization energy in hybrid quantum mechanical molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations. These two models, named the potential of atomic charges (PAC) and potential of atomic dipoles (PAD), are formulated from the ab initio quantum mechanical (QM) response kernels for the prediction of the QM density response to an external molecular mechanical (MM) environment (as described by external point charges). The PAC model is similar to fluctuating charge (FQ) models because the energy depends on external electrostatic potential values at QM atomic sites; the PAD energy depends on external electrostatic field values at QM atomic sites, resembling induced dipole (ID) models. To demonstrate their uses, we apply the PAC and PAD models to 12 small molecules, which are solvated by TIP3P water. The PAC model reproduces the QM/MM polarization energy with a R(2) value of 0.71 for aniline (in 10,000 TIP3P water configurations) and 0.87 or higher for other 11 solute molecules, while the PAD model has a much better performance with R(2) values of 0.98 or higher. The PAC model reproduces reference QM/MM hydration free energies for 12 solute molecules with a RMSD of 0.59 kcal/mol. The PAD model is even more accurate, with a much smaller RMSD of 0.12 kcal/mol, with respect to the reference. This suggests that polarization effects, including both local charge distortion and intramolecular charge transfer, can be well captured by induced dipole type models with proper parametrization.

  5. Epigenetics, copy number variation, and other molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disabilities: new insights and diagnostic approaches.

    PubMed

    Gropman, Andrea L; Batshaw, Mark L

    2010-09-01

    The diagnostic evaluation of children with intellectual disability (ID) and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD) has become increasingly complex in recent years owing to a number of newly recognized genetic mechanisms and sophisticated methods to diagnose them. Previous studies have attempted to address the diagnostic yield of finding a genetic cause in ID. The results have varied widely from 10% to 81%, with the highest percentage being found in studies using new array comparative genomic hybridization methodology especially in autism. Although many cases of ID/NDD result from chromosomal aneuploidy or structural rearrangements, single gene disorders and new categories of genome modification, including epigenetics and copy number variation play an increasingly important role in diagnosis and testing. Epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and modifications to histone proteins, regulate high-order DNA structure and gene expression. Aberrant epigenetic and copy number variation mechanisms are involved in several neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders including Rett syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and microdeletion syndromes. This review will describe a number of the molecular genetic mechanisms that play a role in disorders leading to ID/NDD and will discuss the categories and technologies for diagnostic testing of these conditions.

  6. Mechanical Properties of Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced Polymer Composites-Molecular Dynamics Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Sumit; Chandra, Rakesh; Kumar, Pramod; Kumar, Navin

    2016-06-01

    Molecular dynamics simulation has been used to study the effect of carbon nanofiber (CNF) volume fraction ( V f) and aspect ratio ( l/d) on mechanical properties of CNF-reinforced polypropylene (PP) composites. Materials Studio 5.5 has been used as a tool for finding the modulus and damping in composites. CNF composition in PP was varied by volume from 0% to 16%. The aspect ratio of CNF was varied from l/d = 5 to l/d = 100. Results show that, with only 2% addition by volume of CNF in PP, E 11 increases 748%. Increase in E 22 is much less in comparison to the increase in E 11. With the increase in the CNF aspect ratio ( l/d) up to l/d = 60, the longitudinal loss factor ( η 11) decreases rapidly. The results of this study have been compared with those available in the literature.

  7. Molecular mechanics approach for design and conformational studies of macrocyclic ligands

    SciTech Connect

    Rohini,; Akbar, Rifat; Kanungo, B. K.

    2015-08-28

    Computational Chemistry has revolutionized way of viewing molecules at the quantum mechanical scale by allowing simulating various chemical scenarios that are not possible to study in a laboratory. The remarkable applications of computational chemistry have promoted to design and test of the effectiveness of various methods for searching the conformational space of highly flexible molecules. In this context, we conducted a series of optimization and conformational searches on macrocyclic based ligands, 9N3Me5Ox, (1,4,7-tris(5-methyl-8-hydroxyquinoline)-1,4,7-triazacyclononane) and 12N3Me5Ox, (1,5,9-tris(5-methyl-8-hydroxyquinoline)-1,5,9-triazacyclododecane) and studied their selectivity and coordination behavior with some lanthanide metal ions in molecular mechanics and semiempirical methods. The methods include both systematic and random conformational searches for dihedral angles, torsion angles and Cartesian coordinates. Structural studies were carried out by using geometry optimization, coordination scans and electronic properties were evaluated. The results clearly show that chair-boat conformational isomer of 9N3Me5Ox ligand is more stable due to lower eclipsing ethane interaction and form stronger adduct complexes with lanthanide metal ion. This is because of the fact that, in a central unit of 9N3 of the ligand form six endo type bonds out of nine. The rest of bonds have trans conformation. In contrast, for the adduct of 12N3Me5Ox, two C-C bonds have on eclipsed conformation, and others have synclinal and antiperiplanar confirmations. The distortion of the two eclipsed conformations may affect the yields and the stability of the complexes.

  8. Molecular mechanics approach for design and conformational studies of macrocyclic ligands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohini, Akbar, Rifat; Kanungo, B. K.

    2015-08-01

    Computational Chemistry has revolutionized way of viewing molecules at the quantum mechanical scale by allowing simulating various chemical scenarios that are not possible to study in a laboratory. The remarkable applications of computational chemistry have promoted to design and test of the effectiveness of various methods for searching the conformational space of highly flexible molecules. In this context, we conducted a series of optimization and conformational searches on macrocyclic based ligands, 9N3Me5Ox, (1,4,7-tris(5-methyl-8-hydroxyquinoline)-1,4,7-triazacyclononane) and 12N3Me5Ox, (1,5,9-tris(5-methyl-8-hydroxyquinoline)-1,5,9-triazacyclododecane) and studied their selectivity and coordination behavior with some lanthanide metal ions in molecular mechanics and semiempirical methods. The methods include both systematic and random conformational searches for dihedral angles, torsion angles and Cartesian coordinates. Structural studies were carried out by using geometry optimization, coordination scans and electronic properties were evaluated. The results clearly show that chair-boat conformational isomer of 9N3Me5Ox ligand is more stable due to lower eclipsing ethane interaction and form stronger adduct complexes with lanthanide metal ion. This is because of the fact that, in a central unit of 9N3 of the ligand form six endo type bonds out of nine. The rest of bonds have trans conformation. In contrast, for the adduct of 12N3Me5Ox, two C-C bonds have on eclipsed conformation, and others have synclinal and antiperiplanar confirmations. The distortion of the two eclipsed conformations may affect the yields and the stability of the complexes.

  9. Waterlogging Tolerance of Crops: Breeding, Mechanism of Tolerance, Molecular Approaches, and Future Prospects

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, F.; Rafii, M. Y.; Ismail, M. R.; Juraimi, A. S.; Rahim, H. A.; Asfaliza, R.; Latif, M. A.

    2013-01-01

    Submergence or flood is one of the major harmful abiotic stresses in the low-lying countries and crop losses due to waterlogging are considerably high. Plant breeding techniques, conventional or genetic engineering, might be an effective and economic way of developing crops to grow successfully in waterlogged condition. Marker assisted selection (MAS) is a new and more effective approach which can identify genomic regions of crops under stress, which could not be done previously. The discovery of comprehensive molecular linkage maps enables us to do the pyramiding of desirable traits to improve in submergence tolerance through MAS. However, because of genetic and environmental interaction, too many genes encoding a trait, and using undesirable populations the mapping of QTL was hampered to ensure proper growth and yield under waterlogged conditions Steady advances in the field of genomics and proteomics over the years will be helpful to increase the breeding programs which will help to accomplish a significant progress in the field crop variety development and also improvement in near future. Waterlogging response of soybean and major cereal crops, as rice, wheat, barley, and maize and discovery of QTL related with tolerance of waterlogging, development of resistant variety, and, in addition, future prospects have also been discussed. PMID:23484164

  10. Niemann-Pick type C disease: molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutic approaches

    PubMed Central

    Rosenbaum, Anton I.; Maxfield, Frederick R.

    2010-01-01

    Cholesterol is an important lipid of mammalian cells. Its unique physicochemical properties modulate membrane behavior and it serves as the precursor for steroid hormones, oxysterols and vitamin D. Cholesterol is effluxed from the late endosomes/lysosomes via the concerted action of at least two distinct proteins: Niemann-Pick C1 and Niemann-Pick C2. Mutations in these two proteins manifest as Niemann-Pick type C disease – a very rare, usually fatal, autosomal, recessive, neurovisceral, lysosomal storage disorder. In this review we discuss the possible mechanisms of action for NPC1 and NPC2 in mediating cholesterol efflux, as well as the different therapeutic approaches being pursued for the treatment of this lipid storage disorder. PMID:20807315

  11. Multi-omics approach identifies molecular mechanisms of plant-fungus mycorrhizal interaction

    SciTech Connect

    Larsen, Peter E.; Sreedasyam, Avinash; Trivedi, Geetika; Desai, Shalaka D.; Dai, Yang; Cseke, Leland; Collart, Frank R.

    2016-01-19

    In mycorrhizal symbiosis, plant roots form close, mutually beneficial interactions with soil fungi. Before this mycorrhizal interaction can be established however, plant roots must be capable of detecting potential beneficial fungal partners and initiating the gene expression patterns necessary to begin symbiosis. To predict a plant root – mycorrhizal fungi sensor systems, we analyzed in vitro experiments of Populus tremuloides (aspen tree) and Laccaria bicolor (mycorrhizal fungi) interaction and leveraged over 200 previously published transcriptomic experimental data sets, 159 experimentally validated plant transcription factor binding motifs, and more than 120-thousand experimentally validated protein-protein interactions to generate models of pre-mycorrhizal sensor systems in aspen root. These sensor mechanisms link extracellular signaling molecules with gene regulation through a network comprised of membrane receptors, signal cascade proteins, transcription factors, and transcription factor biding DNA motifs. Modeling predicted four pre-mycorrhizal sensor complexes in aspen that interact with fifteen transcription factors to regulate the expression of 1184 genes in response to extracellular signals synthesized by Laccaria. Predicted extracellular signaling molecules include common signaling molecules such as phenylpropanoids, salicylate, and, jasmonic acid. Lastly, this multi-omic computational modeling approach for predicting the complex sensory networks yielded specific, testable biological hypotheses for mycorrhizal interaction signaling compounds, sensor complexes, and mechanisms of gene regulation.

  12. Multi-omics approach identifies molecular mechanisms of plant-fungus mycorrhizal interaction

    DOE PAGES

    Larsen, Peter E.; Sreedasyam, Avinash; Trivedi, Geetika; ...

    2016-01-19

    In mycorrhizal symbiosis, plant roots form close, mutually beneficial interactions with soil fungi. Before this mycorrhizal interaction can be established however, plant roots must be capable of detecting potential beneficial fungal partners and initiating the gene expression patterns necessary to begin symbiosis. To predict a plant root – mycorrhizal fungi sensor systems, we analyzed in vitro experiments of Populus tremuloides (aspen tree) and Laccaria bicolor (mycorrhizal fungi) interaction and leveraged over 200 previously published transcriptomic experimental data sets, 159 experimentally validated plant transcription factor binding motifs, and more than 120-thousand experimentally validated protein-protein interactions to generate models of pre-mycorrhizal sensormore » systems in aspen root. These sensor mechanisms link extracellular signaling molecules with gene regulation through a network comprised of membrane receptors, signal cascade proteins, transcription factors, and transcription factor biding DNA motifs. Modeling predicted four pre-mycorrhizal sensor complexes in aspen that interact with fifteen transcription factors to regulate the expression of 1184 genes in response to extracellular signals synthesized by Laccaria. Predicted extracellular signaling molecules include common signaling molecules such as phenylpropanoids, salicylate, and, jasmonic acid. Lastly, this multi-omic computational modeling approach for predicting the complex sensory networks yielded specific, testable biological hypotheses for mycorrhizal interaction signaling compounds, sensor complexes, and mechanisms of gene regulation.« less

  13. Multi-Omics Approach Identifies Molecular Mechanisms of Plant-Fungus Mycorrhizal Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Peter E.; Sreedasyam, Avinash; Trivedi, Geetika; Desai, Shalaka; Dai, Yang; Cseke, Leland J.; Collart, Frank R.

    2016-01-01

    In mycorrhizal symbiosis, plant roots form close, mutually beneficial interactions with soil fungi. Before this mycorrhizal interaction can be established however, plant roots must be capable of detecting potential beneficial fungal partners and initiating the gene expression patterns necessary to begin symbiosis. To predict a plant root—mycorrhizal fungi sensor systems, we analyzed in vitro experiments of Populus tremuloides (aspen tree) and Laccaria bicolor (mycorrhizal fungi) interaction and leveraged over 200 previously published transcriptomic experimental data sets, 159 experimentally validated plant transcription factor binding motifs, and more than 120-thousand experimentally validated protein-protein interactions to generate models of pre-mycorrhizal sensor systems in aspen root. These sensor mechanisms link extracellular signaling molecules with gene regulation through a network comprised of membrane receptors, signal cascade proteins, transcription factors, and transcription factor biding DNA motifs. Modeling predicted four pre-mycorrhizal sensor complexes in aspen that interact with 15 transcription factors to regulate the expression of 1184 genes in response to extracellular signals synthesized by Laccaria. Predicted extracellular signaling molecules include common signaling molecules such as phenylpropanoids, salicylate, and jasmonic acid. This multi-omic computational modeling approach for predicting the complex sensory networks yielded specific, testable biological hypotheses for mycorrhizal interaction signaling compounds, sensor complexes, and mechanisms of gene regulation. PMID:26834754

  14. A hierarchical approach to accurate predictions of macroscopic thermodynamic behavior from quantum mechanics and molecular simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrison, Stephen L.

    2005-07-01

    The combination of molecular simulations and potentials obtained from quantum chemistry is shown to be able to provide reasonably accurate thermodynamic property predictions. Gibbs ensemble Monte Carlo simulations are used to understand the effects of small perturbations to various regions of the model Lennard-Jones 12-6 potential. However, when the phase behavior and second virial coefficient are scaled by the critical properties calculated for each potential, the results obey a corresponding states relation suggesting a non-uniqueness problem for interaction potentials fit to experimental phase behavior. Several variations of a procedure collectively referred to as quantum mechanical Hybrid Methods for Interaction Energies (HM-IE) are developed and used to accurately estimate interaction energies from CCSD(T) calculations with a large basis set in a computationally efficient manner for the neon-neon, acetylene-acetylene, and nitrogen-benzene systems. Using these results and methods, an ab initio, pairwise-additive, site-site potential for acetylene is determined and then improved using results from molecular simulations using this initial potential. The initial simulation results also indicate that a limited range of energies important for accurate phase behavior predictions. Second virial coefficients calculated from the improved potential indicate that one set of experimental data in the literature is likely erroneous. This prescription is then applied to methanethiol. Difficulties in modeling the effects of the lone pair electrons suggest that charges on the lone pair sites negatively impact the ability of the intermolecular potential to describe certain orientations, but that the lone pair sites may be necessary to reasonably duplicate the interaction energies for several orientations. Two possible methods for incorporating the effects of three-body interactions into simulations within the pairwise-additivity formulation are also developed. A low density

  15. Holistic systems biology approaches to molecular mechanisms of human helper T cell differentiation to functionally distinct subsets.

    PubMed

    Chen, Z; Lönnberg, T; Lahesmaa, R

    2013-08-01

    Current knowledge of helper T cell differentiation largely relies on data generated from mouse studies. To develop therapeutical strategies combating human diseases, understanding the molecular mechanisms how human naïve T cells differentiate to functionally distinct T helper (Th) subsets as well as studies on human differentiated Th cell subsets is particularly valuable. Systems biology approaches provide a holistic view of the processes of T helper differentiation, enable discovery of new factors and pathways involved and generation of new hypotheses to be tested to improve our understanding of human Th cell differentiation and immune-mediated diseases. Here, we summarize studies where high-throughput systems biology approaches have been exploited to human primary T cells. These studies reveal new factors and signalling pathways influencing T cell differentiation towards distinct subsets, important for immune regulation. Such information provides new insights into T cell biology and into targeting immune system for therapeutic interventions.

  16. Quantum Mechanical Molecular Interactions for Calculating the Excitation Energy in Molecular Environments: A First-Order Interacting Space Approach

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, Jun-ya; Yanai, Kazuma; Ishimura, Kazuya

    2015-01-01

    Intermolecular interactions regulate the molecular properties in proteins and solutions such as solvatochromic systems. Some of the interactions have to be described at an electronic-structure level. In this study, a commutator for calculating the excitation energy is used for deriving a first-order interacting space (FOIS) to describe the environmental response to solute excitation. The FOIS wave function for a solute-in-solvent cluster is solved by second-order perturbation theory. The contributions to the excitation energy are decomposed into each interaction and for each solvent. PMID:25393373

  17. Diabetic retinopathy: Proteomic approaches to help the differential diagnosis and to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Csősz, Éva; Deák, Eszter; Kalló, Gergő; Csutak, Adrienne; Tőzsér, József

    2017-01-06

    Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness among patients with diabetes. The appearance and the severity of the symptoms correlate with the duration of diabetes and poor blood glucose level management. Diabetic retinopathy is also categorized as a chronic low-level inflammatory disease; the high blood glucose level promotes the accumulation of the advanced glycation end products and leads to the stimulation of monocytes and macrophages. Examination of protein level alterations in tears using state-of the art proteomics techniques have identified several proteins as possible biomarkers for the different stages of the diabetic retinopathy. Some of the differentially expressed tear proteins have a role in the barrier function of tears linking the diabetic retinopathy with another eye complication of diabetes, namely the diabetic keratopathy resulting in impaired wound healing. Understanding the molecular events leading to the eye complications caused by hyperglycemia may help the identification of novel biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets in order to improve quality of life of diabetic patients.

  18. Resistance mechanism of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 protease to inhibitors: A molecular dynamic approach

    PubMed Central

    Dayer, Mohammad Reza; Dayer, Mohammad Saaid

    2014-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease inhibitors comprise an important class of drugs used in HIV treatments. However, mutations of protease genes accelerated by low fidelity of reverse transcriptase yield drug resistant mutants of reduced affinities for the inhibitors. This problem is considered to be a serious barrier against HIV treatment for the foreseeable future. In this study, molecular dynamic simulation method was used to examine the combinational and additive effects of all known mutations involved in drug resistance against FDA approved inhibitors. Results showed that drug resistant mutations are not randomly distributed along the protease sequence; instead, they are localized on flexible or hot points of the protein chain. Substitution of more hydrophobic residues in flexible points of protease chains tends to increase the folding, lower the flexibility and decrease the active site area of the protease. The reduced affinities of HIV-1 protease for inhibitors seemed to be due to substantial decrease in the size of the active site and flap mobility. A correlation was found between the binding energy of inhibitors and their affinities for each mutant suggesting the distortion of the active site geometry in drug resistance by preventing effective fitting of inhibitors into the enzymes' active site. To overcome the problem of drug resistance of HIV-1 protease, designing inhibitors of variable functional groups and configurations is proposed. PMID:27843989

  19. Combining classical and molecular approaches elaborates on the complexity of mechanisms underpinning anterior regeneration.

    PubMed

    Evans, Deborah J; Owlarn, Suthira; Tejada Romero, Belen; Chen, Chen; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2011-01-01

    The current model of planarian anterior regeneration evokes the establishment of low levels of Wnt signalling at anterior wounds, promoting anterior polarity and subsequent elaboration of anterior fate through the action of the TALE class homeodomain PREP. The classical observation that decapitations positioned anteriorly will regenerate heads more rapidly than posteriorly positioned decapitations was among the first to lead to the proposal of gradients along an anteroposterior (AP) axis in a developmental context. An explicit understanding of this phenomenon is not included in the current model of anterior regeneration. This raises the question what the underlying molecular and cellular basis of this temporal gradient is, whether it can be explained by current models and whether understanding the gradient will shed light on regenerative events. Differences in anterior regeneration rate are established very early after amputation and this gradient is dependent on the activity of Hedgehog (Hh) signalling. Animals induced to produce two tails by either Smed-APC-1(RNAi) or Smed-ptc(RNAi) lose anterior fate but form previously described ectopic anterior brain structures. Later these animals form peri-pharyngeal brain structures, which in Smed-ptc(RNAi) grow out of the body establishing a new A/P axis. Combining double amputation and hydroxyurea treatment with RNAi experiments indicates that early ectopic brain structures are formed by uncommitted stem cells that have progressed through S-phase of the cell cycle at the time of amputation. Our results elaborate on the current simplistic model of both AP axis and brain regeneration. We find evidence of a gradient of hedgehog signalling that promotes posterior fate and temporarily inhibits anterior regeneration. Our data supports a model for anterior brain regeneration with distinct early and later phases of regeneration. Together these insights start to delineate the interplay between discrete existing, new, and then

  20. Molecular mechanism aspect of ER stress in Alzheimer's disease: current approaches and future strategies.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Niloufar; Khodagholi, Fariba

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by progressive loss of memory and cognitive impairment. Aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides is the crucial factor in the onset of AD. The toxic Aβ peptides Aβ40 and Aβ42 are produced from the Aβ precursor protein (APP), a transmembrane protein which is folded and modified in endoplasmic reticulum (ER). ER is the main organelle for the synthesis and processing of nearly all proteins as well as the main cellular source of Ca2+. Under stress conditions, three main ER pathways including inositol-requiring enzyme 1, protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase, and activating transcription factor 6 become activated causing the accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins within ER lumen. These pathways manage the stress by regulating the expression of chaperones and enzymes involved in protein folding. Several studies have reported the dysfunction of these stress-sensing pathways in pathological conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases. Recent studies have proposed that neuronal death in AD arises from dysfunction of the ER. Here, we will review recent research findings on the interaction between ER and mitochondria, and its effect on apoptotic pathways. We further provide insights into studies which suggest the role of ER in animal and/or cellular models of AD. Therapeutic strategies that modulate ER could represent a promising approach for prevention or treatment of AD.

  1. Ecotoxicogenomic approaches for understanding molecular mechanisms of environmental chemical toxicity using aquatic invertebrate, Daphnia model organism.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyo Jeong; Koedrith, Preeyaporn; Seo, Young Rok

    2015-05-29

    Due to the rapid advent in genomics technologies and attention to ecological risk assessment, the term "ecotoxicogenomics" has recently emerged to describe integration of omics studies (i.e., transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and epigenomics) into ecotoxicological fields. Ecotoxicogenomics is defined as study of an entire set of genes or proteins expression in ecological organisms to provide insight on environmental toxicity, offering benefit in ecological risk assessment. Indeed, Daphnia is a model species to study aquatic environmental toxicity designated in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's toxicity test guideline and to investigate expression patterns using ecotoxicology-oriented genomics tools. Our main purpose is to demonstrate the potential utility of gene expression profiling in ecotoxicology by identifying novel biomarkers and relevant modes of toxicity in Daphnia magna. These approaches enable us to address adverse phenotypic outcomes linked to particular gene function(s) and mechanistic understanding of aquatic ecotoxicology as well as exploration of useful biomarkers. Furthermore, key challenges that currently face aquatic ecotoxicology (e.g., predicting toxicant responses among a broad spectrum of phytogenetic groups, predicting impact of temporal exposure on toxicant responses) necessitate the parallel use of other model organisms, both aquatic and terrestrial. By investigating gene expression profiling in an environmentally important organism, this provides viable support for the utility of ecotoxicogenomics.

  2. Ecotoxicogenomic Approaches for Understanding Molecular Mechanisms of Environmental Chemical Toxicity Using Aquatic Invertebrate, Daphnia Model Organism

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyo Jeong; Koedrith, Preeyaporn; Seo, Young Rok

    2015-01-01

    Due to the rapid advent in genomics technologies and attention to ecological risk assessment, the term “ecotoxicogenomics” has recently emerged to describe integration of omics studies (i.e., transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and epigenomics) into ecotoxicological fields. Ecotoxicogenomics is defined as study of an entire set of genes or proteins expression in ecological organisms to provide insight on environmental toxicity, offering benefit in ecological risk assessment. Indeed, Daphnia is a model species to study aquatic environmental toxicity designated in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s toxicity test guideline and to investigate expression patterns using ecotoxicology-oriented genomics tools. Our main purpose is to demonstrate the potential utility of gene expression profiling in ecotoxicology by identifying novel biomarkers and relevant modes of toxicity in Daphnia magna. These approaches enable us to address adverse phenotypic outcomes linked to particular gene function(s) and mechanistic understanding of aquatic ecotoxicology as well as exploration of useful biomarkers. Furthermore, key challenges that currently face aquatic ecotoxicology (e.g., predicting toxicant responses among a broad spectrum of phytogenetic groups, predicting impact of temporal exposure on toxicant responses) necessitate the parallel use of other model organisms, both aquatic and terrestrial. By investigating gene expression profiling in an environmentally important organism, this provides viable support for the utility of ecotoxicogenomics. PMID:26035755

  3. Dynamical density functional theory for molecular and colloidal fluids: a microscopic approach to fluid mechanics.

    PubMed

    Archer, A J

    2009-01-07

    In recent years, a number of dynamical density functional theories (DDFTs) have been developed for describing the dynamics of the one-body density of both colloidal and atomic fluids. In the colloidal case, the particles are assumed to have stochastic equations of motion and theories exist for both the case when the particle motion is overdamped and also in the regime where inertial effects are relevant. In this paper, we extend the theory and explore the connections between the microscopic DDFT and the equations of motion from continuum fluid mechanics. In particular, starting from the Kramers equation, which governs the dynamics of the phase space probability distribution function for the system, we show that one may obtain an approximate DDFT that is a generalization of the Euler equation. This DDFT is capable of describing the dynamics of the fluid density profile down to the scale of the individual particles. As with previous DDFTs, the dynamical equations require as input the Helmholtz free energy functional from equilibrium density functional theory (DFT). For an equilibrium system, the theory predicts the same fluid one-body density profile as one would obtain from DFT. Making further approximations, we show that the theory may be used to obtain the mode coupling theory that is widely used for describing the transition from a liquid to a glassy state.

  4. 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.

  5. Molecular mechanisms in gliomagenesis.

    PubMed

    Hulleman, Esther; Helin, Kristian

    2005-01-01

    Glioma, and in particular high-grade astrocytoma termed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is the most common primary tumor of the brain. Primarily because of its diffuse nature, there is no effective treatment for GBM, and relatively little is known about the processes by which it develops. Therefore, in order to design novel therapies and treatments for GBM, research has recently intensified to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to GBM formation. Modeling of astrocytomas by genetic manipulation of mice suggests that deregulation of the pathways that control gliogenesis during normal brain development, such as the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) into astrocytes, might contribute to GBM formation. These pathways include growth factor-induced signal transduction routes and processes that control cell cycle progression, such as the p16-CDK4-RB and the ARF-MDM2-p53 pathways. The expression of several of the components of these signaling cascades has been found altered in GBM, and recent data indicate that combinations of mutations in these pathways may contribute to GBM formation, although the exact mechanisms are still to be uncovered. Use of novel techniques including large-scale genomics and proteomics in combination with relevant mouse models will most likely provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying glioma formation and will hopefully lead to development of treatment modalities for GBM.

  6. Molecular mechanisms of etoposide

    PubMed Central

    Montecucco, Alessandra; Zanetta, Francesca; Biamonti, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Etoposide derives from podophyllotoxin, a toxin found in the American Mayapple. It was first synthesized in 1966 and approved for cancer therapy in 1983 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Hande, 1998[25]). Starting from 1980s several studies demonstrated that etoposide targets DNA topoisomerase II activities thus leading to the production of DNA breaks and eliciting a response that affects several aspects of cell metabolisms. In this review we will focus on molecular mechanisms that account for the biological effect of etoposide. PMID:26600742

  7. Understanding molecular structure from molecular mechanics.

    PubMed

    Allinger, Norman L

    2011-04-01

    Molecular mechanics gives us a well known model of molecular structure. It is less widely recognized that valence bond theory gives us structures which offer a direct interpretation of molecular mechanics formulations and parameters. The electronic effects well-known in physical organic chemistry can be directly interpreted in terms of valence bond structures, and hence quantitatively calculated and understood. The basic theory is outlined in this paper, and examples of the effects, and their interpretation in illustrative examples is presented.

  8. Simple and exact approach to the electronic polarization effect on the solvation free energy: formulation for quantum-mechanical/molecular-mechanical system and its applications to aqueous solutions.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Hideaki; Omi, Atsushi; Morita, Akihiro; Matubayasi, Nobuyuki

    2012-06-07

    We present a simple and exact numerical approach to compute the free energy contribution δμ in solvation due to the electron density polarization and fluctuation of a quantum-mechanical solute in the quantum-mechanical/molecular-mechanical (QM/MM) simulation combined with the theory of the energy representation (QM/MM-ER). Since the electron density fluctuation is responsible for the many-body QM-MM interactions, the standard version of the energy representation method cannot be applied directly. Instead of decomposing the QM-MM polarization energy into the pairwise additive and non-additive contributions, we take sum of the polarization energies in the QM-MM interaction and adopt it as a new energy coordinate for the method of energy representation. Then, it is demonstrated that the free energy δμ can be exactly formulated in terms of the energy distribution functions for the solution and reference systems with respect to this energy coordinate. The benchmark tests were performed to examine the numerical efficiency of the method with respect to the changes in the individual properties of the solvent and the solute. Explicitly, we computed the solvation free energy of a QM water molecule in ambient and supercritical water, and also the free-energy change associated with the isomerization reaction of glycine from neutral to zwitterionic structure in aqueous solution. In all the systems examined, it was demonstrated that the computed free energy δμ agrees with the experimental value, irrespective of the choice of the reference electron density of the QM solute. The present method was also applied to a prototype reaction of adenosine 5'-triphosphate hydrolysis where the effect of the electron density fluctuation is substantial due to the excess charge. It was demonstrated that the experimental free energy of the reaction has been accurately reproduced with the present approach.

  9. Insights into the molecular mechanisms of Polygonum multiflorum Thunb-induced liver injury: a computational systems toxicology approach.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yin-Yin; Li, Jie; Wu, Zeng-Rui; Zhang, Bo; Yang, Hong-Bin; Wang, Qin; Cai, Ying-Chun; Liu, Gui-Xia; Li, Wei-Hua; Tang, Yun

    2017-02-27

    An increasing number of cases of herb-induced liver injury (HILI) have been reported, presenting new clinical challenges. In this study, taking Polygonum multiflorum Thunb (PmT) as an example, we proposed a computational systems toxicology approach to explore the molecular mechanisms of HILI. First, the chemical components of PmT were extracted from 3 main TCM databases as well as the literature related to natural products. Then, the known targets were collected through data integration, and the potential compound-target interactions (CTIs) were predicted using our substructure-drug-target network-based inference (SDTNBI) method. After screening for hepatotoxicity-related genes by assessing the symptoms of HILI, a compound-target interaction network was constructed. A scoring function, namely, Ascore, was developed to estimate the toxicity of chemicals in the liver. We conducted network analysis to determine the possible mechanisms of the biphasic effects using the analysis tools, including BiNGO, pathway enrichment, organ distribution analysis and predictions of interactions with CYP450 enzymes. Among the chemical components of PmT, 54 components with good intestinal absorption were used for analysis, and 2939 CTIs were obtained. After analyzing the mRNA expression data in the BioGPS database, 1599 CTIs and 125 targets related to liver diseases were identified. In the top 15 compounds, seven with Ascore values >3000 (emodin, quercetin, apigenin, resveratrol, gallic acid, kaempferol and luteolin) were obviously associated with hepatotoxicity. The results from the pathway enrichment analysis suggest that multiple interactions between apoptosis and metabolism may underlie PmT-induced liver injury. Many of the pathways have been verified in specific compounds, such as glutathione metabolism, cytochrome P450 metabolism, and the p53 pathway, among others. Hepatitis symptoms, the perturbation of nine bile acids and yellow or tawny urine also had corresponding pathways

  10. Cisplatin nephrotoxicity: molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Hanigan, Marie H.; Devarajan, Prasad

    2007-01-01

    Summary Cisplatin is one of the most widely used chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of several human malignancies. The efficacy of cisplatin is dose dependent, but the significant risk of nephrotoxicity frequently hinders the use of higher doses to maximize its antineoplastic effects. Several advances in our understanding of the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin nephrotoxicity have recently emerged, and are reviewed in this article. Evidence is presented for distinct mechanisms of cisplatin toxicity in actively dividing tumor cells versus the normally quiescent renal proximal tubular epithelial cells. The unexpected role of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase in cisplatin nephrotoxicity is elucidated. Recent studies demonstrating the ability of proximal tubular cells to metabolize cisplatin to a nephrotoxin are reviewed. The evidence for apoptosis as a major mechanism underlying cisplatin-induced renal cell injury is presented, along with the data exploring the role of specific intracellular pathways that may mediate the programmed cell death. The information gleaned from this review may provide critical clues to novel therapeutic interventions aimed at minimizing cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity while enhancing its antineoplastic efficacy. PMID:18185852

  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. Polarization effects in molecular mechanical force fields

    PubMed Central

    Cieplak, Piotr; Dupradeau, François-Yves; Duan, Yong; Wang, Junmei

    2014-01-01

    The focus here is on incorporating electronic polarization into classical molecular mechanical force fields used for macromolecular simulations. First, we briefly examine currently used molecular mechanical force fields and the current status of intermolecular forces as viewed by quantum mechanical approaches. Next, we demonstrate how some components of quantum mechanical energy are effectively incorporated into classical molecular mechanical force fields. Finally, we assess the modeling methods of one such energy component—polarization energy—and present an overview of polarizable force fields and their current applications. Incorporating polarization effects into current force fields paves the way to developing potentially more accurate, though more complex, parameterizations that can be used for more realistic molecular simulations. PMID:21828594

  13. A Novel Perspective and Approach to Intestinal Octreotide Absorption: Sinomenine-Mediated Reversible Tight Junction Opening and Its Molecular Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yuling; Duan, Zhijun; Tian, Yan; Liu, Zhen; Wang, Qiuming

    2013-01-01

    In this work, we assessed the effects of sinomenine (SN) on intestinal octreotide (OCT) absorption both in Caco-2 cell monolayers and in rats. We also investigated the molecular mechanisms of tight junction (TJ) disruption and recovery by SN-mediated changes in the claudin-1 and protein kinase C (PKC) signaling pathway. The data showed that exposure to SN resulted in a significant decrease in the expression of claudin-1, which represented TJ weakening and paracellular permeability enhancement. Then, the recovery of TJ after SN removal required an increase in claudin-1, which demonstrated the transient and reversible opening for TJ. Meanwhile, the SN-mediated translocation of PKC-α from the cytosol to the membrane was found to prove PKC activation. Finally, SN significantly improved the absolute OCT bioavailability in rats and the transport rate in Caco-2 cell monolayers. We conclude that SN has the ability to enhance intestinal OCT absorption and that these mechanisms are related at least in part to the important role of claudin-1 in SN-mediated, reversible TJ opening via PKC activation. PMID:23787475

  14. A combined cryo-EM and molecular dynamics approach reveals the mechanism of ErmBL-mediated translation arrest

    PubMed Central

    Arenz, Stefan; Bock, Lars V.; Graf, Michael; Innis, C. Axel; Beckmann, Roland; Grubmüller, Helmut; Vaiana, Andrea C.; Wilson, Daniel N.

    2016-01-01

    Nascent polypeptides can induce ribosome stalling, regulating downstream genes. Stalling of ErmBL peptide translation in the presence of the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin leads to resistance in Streptococcus sanguis. To reveal this stalling mechanism we obtained 3.6-Å-resolution cryo-EM structures of ErmBL-stalled ribosomes with erythromycin. The nascent peptide adopts an unusual conformation with the C-terminal Asp10 side chain in a previously unseen rotated position. Together with molecular dynamics simulations, the structures indicate that peptide-bond formation is inhibited by displacement of the peptidyl-tRNA A76 ribose from its canonical position, and by non-productive interactions of the A-tRNA Lys11 side chain with the A-site crevice. These two effects combine to perturb peptide-bond formation by increasing the distance between the attacking Lys11 amine and the Asp10 carbonyl carbon. The interplay between drug, peptide and ribosome uncovered here also provides insight into the fundamental mechanism of peptide-bond formation. PMID:27380950

  15. A combined cryo-EM and molecular dynamics approach reveals the mechanism of ErmBL-mediated translation arrest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arenz, Stefan; Bock, Lars V.; Graf, Michael; Innis, C. Axel; Beckmann, Roland; Grubmüller, Helmut; Vaiana, Andrea C.; Wilson, Daniel N.

    2016-07-01

    Nascent polypeptides can induce ribosome stalling, regulating downstream genes. Stalling of ErmBL peptide translation in the presence of the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin leads to resistance in Streptococcus sanguis. To reveal this stalling mechanism we obtained 3.6-Å-resolution cryo-EM structures of ErmBL-stalled ribosomes with erythromycin. The nascent peptide adopts an unusual conformation with the C-terminal Asp10 side chain in a previously unseen rotated position. Together with molecular dynamics simulations, the structures indicate that peptide-bond formation is inhibited by displacement of the peptidyl-tRNA A76 ribose from its canonical position, and by non-productive interactions of the A-tRNA Lys11 side chain with the A-site crevice. These two effects combine to perturb peptide-bond formation by increasing the distance between the attacking Lys11 amine and the Asp10 carbonyl carbon. The interplay between drug, peptide and ribosome uncovered here also provides insight into the fundamental mechanism of peptide-bond formation.

  16. 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

  17. Classical Electrodynamics Coupled to Quantum Mechanics for Calculation of Molecular Optical Properties: a RT-TDDFT/FDTD Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Hanning; McMahon, J. M.; Ratner, Mark A.; Schatz, George C.

    2010-09-02

    A new multiscale computational methodology was developed to effectively incorporate the scattered electric field of a plasmonic nanoparticle into a quantum mechanical (QM) optical property calculation for a nearby dye molecule. For a given location of the dye molecule with respect to the nanoparticle, a frequency-dependent scattering response function was first determined by the classical electrodynamics (ED) finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) approach. Subsequently, the time-dependent scattered electric field at the dye molecule was calculated using the FDTD scattering response function through a multidimensional Fourier transform to reflect the effect of polarization of the nanoparticle on the local field at the molecule. Finally, a real-time time-dependent density function theory (RT-TDDFT) approach was employed to obtain a desired optical property (such as absorption cross section) of the dye molecule in the presence of the nanoparticle’s scattered electric field. Our hybrid QM/ED methodology was demonstrated by investigating the absorption spectrum of the N3 dye molecule and the Raman spectrum of pyridine, both of which were shown to be significantly enhanced by a 20 nm diameter silver sphere. In contrast to traditional quantum mechanical optical calculations in which the field at the molecule is entirely determined by intensity and polarization direction of the incident light, in this work we show that the light propagation direction as well as polarization and intensity are important to nanoparticle-bound dye molecule response. At no additional computation cost compared to conventional ED and QM calculations, this method provides a reliable way to couple the response of the dye molecule’s individual electrons to the collective dielectric response of the nanoparticle.

  18. Molecular quantum mechanical gradients within the polarizable embedding approach--application to the internal vibrational Stark shift of acetophenone.

    PubMed

    List, Nanna Holmgaard; Beerepoot, Maarten T P; Olsen, Jógvan Magnus Haugaard; Gao, Bin; Ruud, Kenneth; Jensen, Hans Jørgen Aagaard; Kongsted, Jacob

    2015-01-21

    We present an implementation of analytical quantum mechanical molecular gradients within the polarizable embedding (PE) model to allow for efficient geometry optimizations and vibrational analysis of molecules embedded in large, geometrically frozen environments. We consider a variational ansatz for the quantum region, covering (multiconfigurational) self-consistent-field and Kohn-Sham density functional theory. As the first application of the implementation, we consider the internal vibrational Stark effect of the C=O group of acetophenone in different solvents and derive its vibrational linear Stark tuning rate using harmonic frequencies calculated from analytical gradients and computed local electric fields. Comparisons to PE calculations employing an enlarged quantum region as well as to a non-polarizable embedding scheme show that the inclusion of mutual polarization between acetophenone and water is essential in order to capture the structural modifications and the associated frequency shifts observed in water. For more apolar solvents, a proper description of dispersion and exchange-repulsion becomes increasingly important, and the quality of the optimized structures relies to a larger extent on the quality of the Lennard-Jones parameters.

  19. Molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, E.J.

    1997-03-01

    The possibility that chromosomal changes are responsible for neoplasia was proposed in the early years of this century. A combination of improved cytogenetics and the advent of recombinant technology has settled the issue. As recently as 20 years ago, however, the genetic and molecular basis of familiar predisposition to cancer were a mystery, and it is only in the last few years that light has been shed on a few specific types of malignancies. As the genetic basis of human cancer had been documented, a number of genes have been identified as functioning either as oncogenes which act in a dominant fashion to promote tumor growth when mutated, or as tumor suppressor genes which act in a recessive fashion.

  20. Potential Molecular Mechanism of Retrograde Aortic Arch Stenosis in the Hybrid Approach to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Hibino, Narutoshi; Cismowski, Mary J.; Lilly, Brenda J.; McConnell, Patrick I.; Shinoka, Toshiharu; Cheatham, John P.; Lucchesi, Pamela A.; Galantowicz, Mark E.; Trask, Aaron J.

    2015-01-01

    Background The hybrid palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) has emerged as an alternative approach to the Norwood procedure. The development of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in-stent stenosis can cause retrograde aortic arch stenosis (RAAS), leading to significant morbidity. This study aimed to identify potential mechanisms of PDA in-stent stenosis contributing to RAAS. METHODS Tissues from stented PDA were collected from 17 patients undergoing comprehensive stage 2 repair between 2009 and 2014. Patients requiring RAAS intervention based on cardiology–surgery consensus were defined as RAAS (+) (n=10), whereas patients without any RAAS intervention were defined as RAAS (−) (n=7). Tissues were examined by qPCR analysis for vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) differentiation and proliferation markers. RESULTS Patient characteristics were: HLHS with aortic atresia: 6; HLHS with aortic stenosis: 3; unbalanced AVC: 3; DILV/TGA: 3; DORV: 2. VSMC differentiation markers (β–actin, SM22, and calponin) and signaling pathways for VSMC modulation (TGFβ1, Notch, and PDGF-BB) were significantly higher in the RAAS (+) than in RAAS (−). The proliferation marker Ki67 was increased in RAAS (+). Cell cycle markers were comparable in both groups. CONCLUSION Increased VSMC differentiation and proliferation markers suggest a mechanism for inward neointima formation of the PDA in RAAS. The apparent lack of change in cell cycle markers is contrary to coronary artery in-stent stenosis, suggesting further targets should be examined. Combined primary in vitro PDA cell culture and proteomics can be strong tools to elucidate targets to reduce PDA in-stent stenosis for RAAS in the future. PMID:26163359

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Parturition

    PubMed Central

    1997-01-01

    The initial signal for triggering human parturition might be fetal but of trophoblastic origin. Concomitantly, this placental signal would have as its target not only the uterus but also the fetus by activating its hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. The latter would represent a second fetal signal which, at the fetomaternal interface, would amplify and define in time the mechanisms responsible for the onset of labor, implying changes in the myometrial and cervical extracellular matrix associated with the accession of the contractile phenotype for myometrial cells. At each phase of these processes in the utero-feto-placental system, the nature of these signals remains to be identified. Is there a single substance, or rather, and more likely, a combination of several? We appear to be in the presence of dynamic systems of a neuro-immuno-hormonal type which are difficult to describe. Nevertheless, steroid hormones appear to coordinate their successive equilibriums until they become irreversible. Such irreversibility constitutes the essential sign of parturition. PMID:18476161

  2. Molecular Mechanism of Water Evaporation.

    PubMed

    Nagata, Yuki; Usui, Kota; Bonn, Mischa

    2015-12-04

    Evaporation is the process by which water changes from a liquid to a gas or vapor, and is a key step in Earth's water cycle. At the molecular level, evaporation requires breaking at least one very strong intermolecular bond between two water molecules at the interface. Despite the importance of this process the molecular mechanism by which an evaporating water molecule gains sufficient energy to escape from the surface has remained elusive. Here, we show, using molecular dynamics simulations at the water-air interface with polarizable classical force field models, that the high kinetic energy of the evaporated water molecule is enabled by a well-timed making and breaking of hydrogen bonds involving at least three water molecules at the interface, the recoil of which allows one of the molecules to escape. The evaporation of water is thus enabled by concerted, ultrafast hydrogen-bond dynamics of interfacial water, and follows one specific molecular pathway.

  3. An investigation of the molecular mechanisms engaged before and after the development of Alzheimer disease neuropathology in Down syndrome: a proteomics approach.

    PubMed

    Cenini, Giovanna; Fiorini, Ada; Sultana, Rukhsana; Perluigi, Marzia; Cai, Jian; Klein, Jon B; Head, Elizabeth; Butterfield, D Allan

    2014-11-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is one of the most common causes of intellectual disability, owing to trisomy of all or part of chromosome 21. DS is also associated with the development of Alzheimer disease (AD) neuropathology after the age of 40 years. To better clarify the cellular and metabolic pathways that could contribute to the differences in DS brain, in particular those involved in the onset of neurodegeneration, we analyzed the frontal cortex of DS subjects with or without significant AD pathology in comparison with age-matched controls, using a proteomics approach. Proteomics represents an advantageous tool to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease. From these analyses, we investigated the effects that age, DS, and AD neuropathology could have on protein expression levels. Our results show overlapping and independent molecular pathways (including energy metabolism, oxidative damage, protein synthesis, and autophagy) contributing to DS, to aging, and to the presence of AD pathology in DS. Investigation of pathomechanisms involved in DS with AD may provide putative targets for therapeutic approaches to slow the development of AD.

  4. Molecular mechanisms of neurite extension.

    PubMed Central

    Valtorta, F; Leoni, C

    1999-01-01

    The extension of neurites is a major task of developing neurons, requiring a significant metabolic effort to sustain the increase in molecular synthesis necessary for plasma membrane expansion. In addition, neurite extension involves changes in the subsets of expressed proteins and reorganization of the cytomatrix. These phenomena are driven by environmental cues which activate signal transduction processes as well as by the intrinsic genetic program of the cell. The present review summarizes some of the most recent progress made in the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes. PMID:10212488

  5. In silico approach to explore the disruption in the molecular mechanism of human hyaluronidase 1 by mutant E268K that directs Natowicz syndrome.

    PubMed

    Meshach Paul, D; Rajasekaran, R

    2017-03-01

    Natowicz syndrome (mucopolysaccharidoses type 9) is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficient or defective human hyaluronidase 1. The disorder is not well studied at the molecular level. Therefore, a new in silico approach was proposed to study the molecular basis on which one clinically observed mutation, Glu268Lys, results in a defective enzyme. The native and mutant structures were subjected to comparative analyses using a conformational sampling approach for geometrical variables viz, RMSF, RMSD, and Ramachandran plot. In addition, the strength of a Cys207-Cys221 disulfide bond and electrostatic interaction between Arg265 and Asp206 were studied, as they are known to be involved in the catalytic activity of the enzyme. Native and mutant E268K showed statistically significant variations with p < 0.05 in RMSD, Ramachandran plot, strengths of disulfide bond, and electrostatic interactions. Further, single model analysis showed variations between native and mutant structures in terms of intra-protein interactions, hydrogen bond dilution, secondary structure, and dihedral angles. Docking analysis predicted the mutant to have a less favorable substrate binding energy compared to the native protein. Additionally, steered MD analysis indicated that the substrate should have more affinity to the native than mutant enzymes. The observed changes theoretically explain the less favorable binding energy of substrate towards mutant E268K, thereby providing a structural basis for its reduced catalytic activity. Hence, our study provides a basis for understanding the disruption in the molecular mechanism of human hyaluronidase 1 by mutation E268K, which may prove useful for the development of synthetic chaperones as a treatment option for Natowicz syndrome.

  6. Anticancer compound plumbagin and its molecular targets: a structural insight into the inhibitory mechanisms using computational approaches.

    PubMed

    Jamal, Mohammad S; Parveen, Shadma; Beg, Mohd A; Suhail, Mohd; Chaudhary, Adeel G A; Damanhouri, Ghazi A; Abuzenadah, Adel M; Rehan, Mohd

    2014-01-01

    Plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone) is a naphthoquinone derivative from the roots of plant Plumbago zeylanica and belongs to one of the largest and diverse groups of plant metabolites. The anticancer and antiproliferative activities of plumbagin have been observed in animal models as well as in cell cultures. Plumbagin exerts inhibitory effects on multiple cancer-signaling proteins, however, the binding mode and the molecular interactions have not yet been elucidated for most of these protein targets. The present study is the first attempt to provide structural insights into the binding mode of plumbagin to five cancer signaling proteins viz. PI3Kγ, AKT1/PKBα, Bcl-2, NF-κB, and Stat3 using molecular docking and (un)binding simulation analysis. We validated plumbagin docking to these targets with previously known important residues. The study also identified and characterized various novel interacting residues of these targets which mediate the binding of plumbagin. Moreover, the exact modes of inhibition when multiple mode of inhibition existed was also shown. Results indicated that the engaging of these important interacting residues in plumbagin binding leads to inhibition of these cancer-signaling proteins which are key players in the pathogenesis of cancer and thereby ceases the progression of the disease.

  7. A Systems Biological Approach Reveals Multiple Crosstalk Mechanism between Gram-Positive and Negative Bacterial Infections: An Insight into Core Mechanism and Unique Molecular Signatures

    PubMed Central

    Thangam, Berla; Ahmed, Shiek S. S. J.

    2014-01-01

    Background Bacterial infections remain a major threat and a leading cause of death worldwide. Most of the bacterial infections are caused by gram-positive and negative bacteria, which are recognized by Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and 4, respectively. Activation of these TLRs initiates multiple pathways that subsequently lead to effective immune response. Although, both the TLRs share common signaling mechanism yet they may exhibit specificity as well, resulting in the release of diverse range of inflammatory mediators which could be used as candidate biomolecules for bacterial infections. Results We adopted systems biological approach to identify signaling pathways mediated by TLRs to determine candidate molecules associated with bacterial infections. We used bioinformatics concepts, including literature mining to construct protein-protein interaction network, prioritization of TLRs specific nodes using microarray data and pathway analysis. Our constructed PPI network for TLR 2 (nodes: 4091 and edges: 66068) and TLR 4 (node: 4076 and edges: 67898) showed 3207 common nodes, indicating that both the TLRs might share similar signaling events that are attributed to cell migration, MAPK pathway and several inflammatory cascades. Our results propose the potential collaboration between the shared signaling pathways of both the receptors may enhance the immune response against invading pathogens. Further, to identify candidate molecules, the TLRs specific nodes were prioritized using microarray differential expressed genes. Of the top prioritized TLR 2 molecules, 70% were co-expressed. A similar trend was also observed within TLR 4 nodes. Further, most of these molecules were preferentially found in blood plasma for feasible diagnosis. Conclusions The analysis reveals the common and unique mechanism regulated by both the TLRs that provide a broad perspective of signaling events in bacterial infections. Further, the identified candidate biomolecules could potentially aid

  8. Molecular mechanisms of dendrite morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Arikkath, Jyothi

    2012-01-01

    Dendrites are key integrators of synaptic information in neurons and play vital roles in neuronal plasticity. Hence, it is necessary that dendrite arborization is precisely controlled and coordinated with synaptic activity to ensure appropriate functional neural network integrity. In the past several years, it has become increasingly clear that several cell intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms contribute to dendritic arborization. In this review, we will discuss some of the molecular mechanisms that regulate dendrite morphogenesis, particularly in cortical and hippocampal pyramidal neurons and some of the implications of aberrant dendritic morphology for human disease. Finally, we will discuss the current challenges and future directions in the field. PMID:23293584

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Nickel Allergy

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Masako; Arakaki, Rieko; Yamada, Akiko; Tsunematsu, Takaaki; Kudo, Yasusei; Ishimaru, Naozumi

    2016-01-01

    Allergic contact hypersensitivity to metals is a delayed-type allergy. Although various metals are known to produce an allergic reaction, nickel is the most frequent cause of metal allergy. Researchers have attempted to elucidate the mechanisms of metal allergy using animal models and human patients. Here, the immunological and molecular mechanisms of metal allergy are described based on the findings of previous studies, including those that were recently published. In addition, the adsorption and excretion of various metals, in particular nickel, is discussed to further understand the pathogenesis of metal allergy. PMID:26848658

  10. Solvation Dynamics of CO₂(g) by Monoethanolamine at the Gas-Liquid Interface: A Molecular Mechanics Approach.

    PubMed

    Huang, I-Shou; Li, Jia-Jen; Tsai, Ming-Kang

    2016-12-23

    A classical force field approach was used to characterize the solvation dynamics of high-density CO₂(g) by monoethanolamine (MEA) at the air-liquid interface. Intra- and intermolecular CO₂ and MEA potentials were parameterized according to the energetics calculated at the MP2 and BLYP-D2 levels of theory. The thermodynamic properties of CO₂ and MEA, such as heat capacity and melting point, were consistently predicted using this classical potential. An approximate interfacial simulation for CO₂(g)/MEA(l) was performed to monitor the depletion of the CO₂(g) phase, which was influenced by amino and hydroxyl groups of MEA. There are more intramolecular hydrogen bond interactions notably identified in the interfacial simulation than the case of bulk MEA(l) simulation. The hydroxyl group of MEA was found to more actively approach CO₂ and overpower the amino group to interact with CO₂ at the air-liquid interface. With artificially reducing the dipole moment of the hydroxyl group, CO₂-amino group interaction was enhanced and suppressed CO₂(g) depletion. The hydroxyl group of MEA was concluded to play dual but contradictory roles for CO₂ capture.

  11. An integrated approach of bioassay and molecular docking to study the dihydroxylation mechanism of pyrene by naphthalene dioxygenase in Rhodococcus sp. ustb-1.

    PubMed

    Jin, Jing-Nan; Yao, Jun; Zhang, Qing-Ye; Yu, Chan; Chen, Peng; Liu, Wen-Juan; Peng, Dan-Ning; Choi, Martin M F

    2015-06-01

    Naphthalene dioxygenase (NDO) is the initial enzyme catalyzing the biodegradation of aromatic compounds, and it plays a key role in microbial remediation of polluting sites. In this study, Rhodococcus sp. ustb-1 derived from crude oil was selected to investigate the biodegradation characters and dihydroxylation mechanism of pyrene by an integrated approach of bioassay and molecular docking. The biodegradation experiment proved that the strain ustb-1 shows high effective biodegradability to pyrene with a 70.8% degradation on the 28th day and the metabolite pyrene cis-4,5-dihydrodiol was found. The results of molecular docking indicated that the regions surrounding pyrene are defined by hydrophobic amino acids which are favorable for the binding of dioxygen molecule at C4 and C5 positions of pyrene in a side-on mode. The binding positions of dioxygen are in agreement with the mass spectral analysis of the metabolite pyrene cis-4,5-dihydrodiol. In summary, this study provides a promising explanation for the possible binding behavior between pyrene and active site of NDO.

  12. Network Based Approach in the Establishment of the Relationship between Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Its Complications at the Molecular Level Coupled with Molecular Docking Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Rampogu Lemuel, Mary

    2016-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the major metabolic disorders that is currently threatening the world. DM is seen associated with obesity and diabetic retinopathy (DR). In the present paper we tried to evaluate the relationship between the three aliments at the gene level and further performed the molecular docking to identify the common drug for all the three diseases. We have adopted several software programs such as Phenopedia, VennViewer, and CDOCKER to accomplish the objective. Our results revealed six genes that commonly associated and are involved in the signalling pathway. Furthermore, evaluation of common gene association from the selected set of genes projected the presence of SIRT1 in all the three aliments. Therefore, we targeted protein 4KXQ which was produced from the gene SIRT1 and challenged it with eight phytochemicals, adopting the CDOCKER. C1 compound has displayed highest -CDOCKER energy and -CDOCKER interaction energy of 43.6905 and 43.3953, respectively. Therefore, this compound is regarded as the most potential lead molecule. PMID:27699170

  13. Molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.

    PubMed

    Wright, Gerard D

    2011-04-14

    Over the past decade, resistance to antibiotics has emerged as a crisis of global proportion. Microbes resistant to many and even all clinically approved antibiotics are increasingly common and easily spread across continents. At the same time there are fewer new antibiotic drugs coming to market. We are reaching a point where we are no longer able to confidently treat a growing number of bacterial infections. The molecular mechanisms of drug resistance provide the essential knowledge on new drug development and clinical use. These mechanisms include enzyme catalyzed antibiotic modifications, bypass of antibiotic targets and active efflux of drugs from the cell. Understanding the chemical rationale and underpinnings of resistance is an essential component of our response to this clinical challenge.

  14. Anticancer Molecular Mechanisms of Resveratrol

    PubMed Central

    Varoni, Elena M.; Lo Faro, Alfredo Fabrizio; Sharifi-Rad, Javad; Iriti, Marcello

    2016-01-01

    Resveratrol is a pleiotropic phytochemical belonging to the stilbene family. Though it is only significantly present in grape products, a huge amount of preclinical studies investigated its anticancer properties in a plethora of cellular and animal models. Molecular mechanisms of resveratrol involved signaling pathways related to extracellular growth factors and receptor tyrosine kinases; formation of multiprotein complexes and cell metabolism; cell proliferation and genome instability; cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase signaling (cytokine, integrin, and developmental pathways); signal transduction by the transforming growth factor-β super-family; apoptosis and inflammation; and immune surveillance and hormone signaling. Resveratrol also showed a promising role to counteract multidrug resistance: in adjuvant therapy, associated with 5-fluoruracyl and cisplatin, resveratrol had additive and/or synergistic effects increasing the chemosensitization of cancer cells. Resveratrol, by acting on diverse mechanisms simultaneously, has been emphasized as a promising, multi-target, anticancer agent, relevant in both cancer prevention and treatment. PMID:27148534

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Margeta, Milica A.; Shen, Kang

    2011-01-01

    Synapses are specialized junctions that mediate information flow between neurons and their targets. A striking feature of the nervous system is the specificity of its synaptic connections: an individual neuron will form synapses only with a small subset of available presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. Synaptic specificity has been classically thought to arise from homophilic or heterophilic interactions between adhesive molecules acting across the synaptic cleft. Over the past decade, many new mechanisms giving rise to synaptic specificity have been identified. Synapses can be specified by secreted molecules that promote or inhibit synaptogenesis, and their source can be a neighboring guidepost cell, not just presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Furthermore, lineage, fate, and timing of development can also play critical roles in shaping neural circuits. Future work utilizing large-scale screens will aim to elucidate the full scope of cellular mechanisms and molecular players that can give rise to synaptic specificity. PMID:19969086

  16. Molecular mechanisms of temperature adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Bagriantsev, Sviatoslav N; Gracheva, Elena O

    2015-01-01

    Thermal perception is a fundamental physiological process pertaining to the vast majority of organisms. In vertebrates, environmental temperature is detected by the primary afferents of the somatosensory neurons in the skin, which express a ‘choir’ of ion channels tuned to detect particular temperatures. Nearly two decades of research have revealed a number of receptor ion channels that mediate the perception of several temperature ranges, but most still remain molecularly orphaned. Yet even within this well-researched realm, most of our knowledge largely pertains to two closely related species of rodents, mice and rats. While these are standard biomedical research models, mice and rats provide a limited perspective to elucidate the general principles that drive somatosensory evolution. In recent years, significant advances have been made in understanding the molecular mechanism of temperature adaptation in evolutionarily distant vertebrates and in organisms with acute thermal sensitivity. These studies have revealed the remarkable versatility of the somatosensory system and highlighted adaptations at the molecular level, which often include changes in biophysical properties of ion channels from the transient receptor potential family. Exploiting non-standard animal models has the potential to provide unexpected insights into general principles of thermosensation and thermoregulation, unachievable using the rodent model alone. PMID:25433072

  17. A Systems Biology Approach to the Coordination of Defensive and Offensive Molecular Mechanisms in the Innate and Adaptive Host-Pathogen Interaction Networks.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chia-Chou; Chen, Bor-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Infected zebrafish coordinates defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms in response to Candida albicans infections, and invasive C. albicans coordinates corresponding molecular mechanisms to interact with the host. However, knowledge of the ensuing infection-activated signaling networks in both host and pathogen and their interspecific crosstalk during the innate and adaptive phases of the infection processes remains incomplete. In the present study, dynamic network modeling, protein interaction databases, and dual transcriptome data from zebrafish and C. albicans during infection were used to infer infection-activated host-pathogen dynamic interaction networks. The consideration of host-pathogen dynamic interaction systems as innate and adaptive loops and subsequent comparisons of inferred innate and adaptive networks indicated previously unrecognized crosstalk between known pathways and suggested roles of immunological memory in the coordination of host defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms to achieve specific and powerful defense against pathogens. Moreover, pathogens enhance intraspecific crosstalk and abrogate host apoptosis to accommodate enhanced host defense mechanisms during the adaptive phase. Accordingly, links between physiological phenomena and changes in the coordination of defensive and offensive molecular mechanisms highlight the importance of host-pathogen molecular interaction networks, and consequent inferences of the host-pathogen relationship could be translated into biomedical applications.

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Anthracycline Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beretta, Giovanni Luca; Zunino, Franco

    On the basis of evidence that anthracyclines are DNA intercalating agents and DNA is the primary target, a large number of analogs and related intercalators have been developed. However, doxorubicin and closely related anthracyclines still remain among the most effective antitumor agents. Multiple mechanisms have been proposed to explain their efficacy. They include inhibition of DNA-dependent functions, free radical formation, and membrane interactions. The primary mechanism of action is now ascribed to drug interference with the function of DNA topoisomerase II. The stabilization of the topoisomerase-mediated cleavable complex results in a specific type of DNA damage (i.e., double-strand protein-associated DNA breaks). The drug-stabilized cleavable complex is a potentially reversible molecular event and its persistence, as a consequence of strong DNA binding, may be recognized as an apoptotic stimulus. Indirect evidence supports the notion that the bioreductive processes of the quinone moiety generating the semiquinone radical with concomitant production of reactive oxygen species may contribute to the drug effects. The cellular defense mechanisms and response to genotoxic/cytotoxic stress appear to be critical determinants of the tumor sensitivity to anthracyclines.

  19. Molecular mechanisms of cryptococcal meningitis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tong-Bao; Perlin, David S; Xue, Chaoyang

    2012-01-01

    Fungal meningitis is a serious disease caused by a fungal infection of the central nervous system (CNS) mostly in individuals with immune system deficiencies. Fungal meningitis is often fatal without proper treatment, and the mortality rate remains unacceptably high even with antifungal drug interventions. Currently, cryptococcal meningitis is the most common fungal meningitis in HIV-1/AIDS, and its disease mechanism has been extensively studied. The key steps for fungi to infect brain and cause meningitis after establishment of local infection are the dissemination of fungal cells to the bloodstream and invasion through the blood brain barrier to reach the CNS. In this review, we use cryptococcal CNS infection as an example to describe the current molecular understanding of fungal meningitis, including the establishment of the infection, dissemination, and brain invasion. Host and microbial factors that contribute to these infection steps are also discussed.

  20. Molecular mechanisms of RNA interference.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Ross C; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2013-01-01

    Small RNA molecules regulate eukaryotic gene expression during development and in response to stresses including viral infection. Specialized ribonucleases and RNA-binding proteins govern the production and action of small regulatory RNAs. After initial processing in the nucleus by Drosha, precursor microRNAs (pre-miRNAs) are transported to the cytoplasm, where Dicer cleavage generates mature microRNAs (miRNAs) and short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). These double-stranded products assemble with Argonaute proteins such that one strand is preferentially selected and used to guide sequence-specific silencing of complementary target mRNAs by endonucleolytic cleavage or translational repression. Molecular structures of Dicer and Argonaute proteins, and of RNA-bound complexes, have offered exciting insights into the mechanisms operating at the heart of RNA-silencing pathways.

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchs, Thilo Martin

    Cautious optimism has arisen over recent decades with respect to the long struggle against bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This has been offset, however, by a fatal complacency stemming from previous successes such as the development of antimicrobial drugs, the eradication of smallpox, and global immunization programs. Infectious diseases nevertheless remain the world's leading cause of death, killing at least 17 million persons annually [61]. Diarrheal diseases caused by Vibrio cholerae or Shigella dysenteriae kill about 3 million persons every year, most of them young children: Another 4 million die of tuberculosis or tetanus. Outbreaks of diphtheria in Eastern Europe threatens the population with a disease that had previously seemed to be overcome. Efforts to control infectious diseases more comprehensively are undermined not only by socioeconomic conditions but also by the nature of the pathogenic organisms itself; some isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterobacter have become so resistant to drugs by horizontal gene transfer that they are almost untreatable. In addition, the mechanism of genetic variability helps pathogens to evade the human immune system, thus compromising the development of powerful vaccines. Therefore detailed knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity is absolutely necessary to develop new strategies against infectious diseases and thus to lower their impact on human health and social development.

  2. Autophagy: cellular and molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Glick, Danielle; Barth, Sandra; Macleod, Kay F

    2010-05-01

    Autophagy is a self-degradative process that is important for balancing sources of energy at critical times in development and in response to nutrient stress. Autophagy also plays a housekeeping role in removing misfolded or aggregated proteins, clearing damaged organelles, such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and peroxisomes, as well as eliminating intracellular pathogens. Thus, autophagy is generally thought of as a survival mechanism, although its deregulation has been linked to non-apoptotic cell death. Autophagy can be either non-selective or selective in the removal of specific organelles, ribosomes and protein aggregates, although the mechanisms regulating aspects of selective autophagy are not fully worked out. In addition to elimination of intracellular aggregates and damaged organelles, autophagy promotes cellular senescence and cell surface antigen presentation, protects against genome instability and prevents necrosis, giving it a key role in preventing diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiomyopathy, diabetes, liver disease, autoimmune diseases and infections. This review summarizes the most up-to-date findings on how autophagy is executed and regulated at the molecular level and how its disruption can lead to disease.

  3. Identification of disease comorbidity through hidden molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Younhee; Cho, Minah; Lee, Jin-Sung; Kim, Jaebum

    2016-01-01

    Despite multiple diseases co-occur, their underlying common molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Identification of comorbid diseases by considering the interactions between molecular components is a key to understand the underlying disease mechanisms. Here, we developed a novel approach utilizing both common disease-causing genes and underlying molecular pathways to identify comorbid diseases. Our approach enables the analysis of common pathologies shared by comorbid diseases through molecular interaction networks. We found that the integration of direct genetic sharing and indirect high-level molecular associations revealed significantly strong consistency with known comorbid diseases. In addition, neoplasm-related diseases showed high comorbidity patterns within themselves as well as with other diseases, indicating severe complications. This study demonstrated that molecular pathway information could be used to discover disease comorbidity and hidden biological mechanism to understand pathogenesis and provide new insight on disease pathology. PMID:27991583

  4. 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.

  5. Molecular toxicity mechanism of nanosilver.

    PubMed

    McShan, Danielle; Ray, Paresh C; Yu, Hongtao

    2014-03-01

    Silver is an ancient antibiotic that has found many new uses due to its unique properties on the nanoscale. Due to its presence in many consumer products, the toxicity of nanosilver has become a hot topic. This review summarizes recent advances, particularly the molecular mechanism of nanosilver toxicity. The surface of nanosilver can easily be oxidized by O(2) and other molecules in the environmental and biological systems leading to the release of Ag(+), a known toxic ion. Therefore, nanosilver toxicity is closely related to the release of Ag(+). In fact, it is difficult to determine what portion of the toxicity is from the nano-form and what is from the ionic form. The surface oxidation rate is closely related to the nanosilver surface coating, coexisting molecules, especially thiol-containing compounds, lighting conditions, and the interaction of nanosilver with nucleic acids, lipid molecules, and proteins in a biological system. Nanosilver has been shown to penetrate the cell and become internalized. Thus, nanosilver often acts as a source of Ag(+) inside the cell. One of the main mechanisms of toxicity is that it causes oxidative stress through the generation of reactive oxygen species and causes damage to cellular components including DNA damage, activation of antioxidant enzymes, depletion of antioxidant molecules (e.g., glutathione), binding and disabling of proteins, and damage to the cell membrane. Several major questions remain to be answered: (1) the toxic contribution from the ionic form versus the nano-form; (2) key enzymes and signaling pathways responsible for the toxicity; and (3) effect of coexisting molecules on the toxicity and its relationship to surface coating.

  6. Molecular mechanisms of statin intolerance

    PubMed Central

    Franczyk, Beata; Toth, Peter P.; Rysz, Jacek; Banach, Maciej

    2016-01-01

    Statins reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in primary and secondary prevention. Despite their efficacy, many persons are unable to tolerate statins due to adverse events such as hepatotoxicity and myalgia/myopathy. In the case of most patients, it seems that mild-to-moderate abnormalities in liver and muscle enzymes are not serious adverse effects and do not outweigh the benefits of coronary heart disease risk reduction. The risk for mortality or permanent organ damage ascribed to statin use is very small and limited to cases of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. Statin-induced muscle-related adverse events comprise a highly heterogeneous clinical disorder with numerous, complex etiologies and a variety of genetic backgrounds. Every patient who presents with statin-related side effects cannot undergo the type of exhaustive molecular characterization that would include all of these mechanisms. Frequently the only solution is to either discontinue statin therapy/reduce the dose or attempt intermittent dosing strategies at a low dose. PMID:27279860

  7. Molecular mechanisms of drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Nestler, Eric J

    2004-01-01

    Regulation of gene expression is one mechanism by which drugs of abuse can induce relatively long-lasting changes in the brain to cause a state of addiction. Here, we focus on two transcription factors, CREB (cAMP response element binding protein) and DeltaFosB, which contribute to drug-induced changes in gene expression. Both are activated in the nucleus accumbens, a major brain reward region, but mediate different aspects of the addicted state. CREB mediates a form of tolerance and dependence, which dampens an individual's sensitivity to subsequent drug exposure and contributes to a negative emotional state during early phases of withdrawal. In contrast, DeltaFosB mediates a state of relatively prolonged sensitization to drug exposure and may contribute to the increased drive and motivation for drug, which is a core symptom of addictive disorders. A major goal of current research is to identify the many target genes through which CREB and DeltaFosB mediate these behavioral states. In addition, future work needs to understand how CREB and DeltaFosB, acting in concert with numerous other drug-induced molecular changes in nucleus accumbens and many other brain regions, interact with one another to produce the complex behavioral phenotype that defines addiction.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and memory.

    PubMed

    Elgersma, Y; Silva, A J

    1999-04-01

    To unravel the molecular and cellular bases of learning and memory is one of the most ambitious goals of modern science. The progress of recent years has not only brought us closer to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying stable, long-lasting changes in synaptic strength, but it has also provided further evidence that these mechanisms are required for memory formation.

  9. Molecular mechanics of silk nanostructures under varied mechanical loading.

    PubMed

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a self-assembling tunable protein composite fiber that rivals many engineering fibers in tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness, making it one of the most versatile biocompatible materials and most inviting for synthetic mimicry. While experimental studies have shown that the peptide sequence and molecular structure of silk have a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness, and failure strength of silk, few molecular-level analyses of the nanostructure of silk assemblies, in particular, under variations of genetic sequences have been reported. In this study, atomistic-level structures of wildtype as well as modified MaSp1 protein from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequences, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics and explicit water molecular dynamics, are subjected to simulated nanomechanical testing using different force-control loading conditions including stretch, pull-out, and peel. The authors have explored the effects of the poly-alanine length of the N. clavipes MaSp1 peptide sequence and identify differences in nanomechanical loading conditions on the behavior of a unit cell of 15 strands with 840-990 total residues used to represent a cross-linking β-sheet crystal node in the network within a fibril of the dragline silk thread. The specific loading condition used, representing concepts derived from the protein network connectivity at larger scales, have a significant effect on the mechanical behavior. Our analysis incorporates stretching, pull-out, and peel testing to connect biochemical features to mechanical behavior. The method used in this study could find broad applications in de novo design of silk-like tunable materials for an array of applications.

  10. Multiscale Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Simulations with Neural Networks.

    PubMed

    Shen, Lin; Wu, Jingheng; Yang, Weitao

    2016-10-11

    Molecular dynamics simulation with multiscale quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods is a very powerful tool for understanding the mechanism of chemical and biological processes in solution or enzymes. However, its computational cost can be too high for many biochemical systems because of the large number of ab initio QM calculations. Semiempirical QM/MM simulations have much higher efficiency. Its accuracy can be improved with a correction to reach the ab initio QM/MM level. The computational cost on the ab initio calculation for the correction determines the efficiency. In this paper we developed a neural network method for QM/MM calculation as an extension of the neural-network representation reported by Behler and Parrinello. With this approach, the potential energy of any configuration along the reaction path for a given QM/MM system can be predicted at the ab initio QM/MM level based on the semiempirical QM/MM simulations. We further applied this method to three reactions in water to calculate the free energy changes. The free-energy profile obtained from the semiempirical QM/MM simulation is corrected to the ab initio QM/MM level with the potential energies predicted with the constructed neural network. The results are in excellent accordance with the reference data that are obtained from the ab initio QM/MM molecular dynamics simulation or corrected with direct ab initio QM/MM potential energies. Compared with the correction using direct ab initio QM/MM potential energies, our method shows a speed-up of 1 or 2 orders of magnitude. It demonstrates that the neural network method combined with the semiempirical QM/MM calculation can be an efficient and reliable strategy for chemical reaction simulations.

  11. Phenotypic plasticity: molecular mechanisms and adaptive significance.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Scott A; Panhuis, Tami M; Stoehr, Andrew M

    2012-04-01

    Phenotypic plasticity can be broadly defined as the ability of one genotype to produce more than one phenotype when exposed to different environments, as the modification of developmental events by the environment, or as the ability of an individual organism to alter its phenotype in response to changes in environmental conditions. Not surprisingly, the study of phenotypic plasticity is innately interdisciplinary and encompasses aspects of behavior, development, ecology, evolution, genetics, genomics, and multiple physiological systems at various levels of biological organization. From an ecological and evolutionary perspective, phenotypic plasticity may be a powerful means of adaptation and dramatic examples of phenotypic plasticity include predator avoidance, insect wing polymorphisms, the timing of metamorphosis in amphibians, osmoregulation in fishes, and alternative reproductive tactics in male vertebrates. From a human health perspective, documented examples of plasticity most commonly include the results of exercise, training, and/or dieting on human morphology and physiology. Regardless of the discipline, phenotypic plasticity has increasingly become the target of a plethora of investigations with the methodological approaches utilized ranging from the molecular to whole organsimal. In this article, we provide a brief historical outlook on phenotypic plasticity; examine its potential adaptive significance; emphasize recent molecular approaches that provide novel insight into underlying mechanisms, and highlight examples in fishes and insects. Finally, we highlight examples of phenotypic plasticity from a human health perspective and underscore the use of mouse models as a powerful tool in understanding the genetic architecture of phenotypic plasticity.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of phase change in locusts.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianhui; Kang, Le

    2014-01-01

    Phase change in locusts is an ideal model for studying the genetic architectures and regulatory mechanisms associated with phenotypic plasticity. The recent development of genomic and metabolomic tools and resources has furthered our understanding of the molecular basis of phase change in locusts. Thousands of phase-related genes and metabolites have been highlighted using large-scale expressed sequence tags, microarrays, high-throughput transcriptomic sequences, or metabolomic approaches. However, only several key factors, including genes, metabolites, and pathways, have a critical role in phase transition in locusts. For example, CSP (chemosensory protein) and takeout genes, the dopamine pathway, protein kinase A, and carnitines were found to be involved in the regulation of behavioral phase change and gram-negative bacteria-binding proteins in prophylaxical disease resistance of gregarious locusts. Epigenetic mechanisms including small noncoding RNAs and DNA methylation have been implicated. We review these new advances in the molecular basis of phase change in locusts and present some challenges that need to be addressed.

  13. Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics dual Hamiltonian free energy perturbation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polyak, Iakov; Benighaus, Tobias; Boulanger, Eliot; Thiel, Walter

    2013-08-01

    The dual Hamiltonian free energy perturbation (DH-FEP) method is designed for accurate and efficient evaluation of the free energy profile of chemical reactions in quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations. In contrast to existing QM/MM FEP variants, the QM region is not kept frozen during sampling, but all degrees of freedom except for the reaction coordinate are sampled. In the DH-FEP scheme, the sampling is done by semiempirical QM/MM molecular dynamics (MD), while the perturbation energy differences are evaluated from high-level QM/MM single-point calculations at regular intervals, skipping a pre-defined number of MD sampling steps. After validating our method using an analytic model potential with an exactly known solution, we report a QM/MM DH-FEP study of the enzymatic reaction catalyzed by chorismate mutase. We suggest guidelines for QM/MM DH-FEP calculations and default values for the required computational parameters. In the case of chorismate mutase, we apply the DH-FEP approach in combination with a single one-dimensional reaction coordinate and with a two-dimensional collective coordinate (two individual distances), with superior results for the latter choice.

  14. Molecular mechanics of tropocollagen-hydroxyapatite biomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubey, Devendra Kumar

    Hard biomaterials such as bone, dentin, and nacre show remarkable mechanical performance and serve as inspiration for development of next generation of composite materials with high strength and toughness. Such materials have primarily an organic phase (e.g. tropocollagen (TC) or chitin) and a mineral phase (e.g. hydroxyapatite (HAP) or aragonite) arranged in a staggered arrangement at nanoscopic length scales. Interfacial interactions between the organic phases and the mineral phases and structural effects arising due to the staggered and hierarchical arrangements are identified to be the two most important determinants for high mechanical performance of such biomaterials. Effects of these determinants in such biomaterials are further intertwined with factors such as loading configuration, chemical environment, mineral crystal shape, and residue sequences in polymer chains. Atomistic modeling is a desired approach to investigate such sub nanoscale issues as experimental techniques for investigations at such small scale are still in nascent stage. For this purpose, explicit three dimensional (3D) molecular dynamics (MD) and ab initio MD simulations of quasi-static mechanical deformations of idealized Tropocollagen-Hydroxyapatite (TC-HAP) biomaterials with distinct interfacial arrangements and different loading configurations are performed. Focus is on developing insights into the molecular level mechanics of TC-HAP biomaterials at fundamental lengthscale with emphasis on interface phenomenon. Idealized TC-HAP atomistic models are analyzed for their mechanical strength and fracture failure behavior from the viewpoint of interfacial interactions between TC and HAP and associated molecular mechanisms. In particular, study focuses on developing an understanding of factors such as role of interfacial structural arrangement, hierarchical structure design, influence of water, effect of changes in HAP crystal shape, and mutations in TC molecule on the mechanical strength

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Nitroarene Degradation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-09-17

    nitrobenzene with the concomitant formation of catechol . The analogous enzyme system in Pseudomonas JS42 oxidizes 2-nitrotoluene to 3-methylcatechol and...2NTDO) system from Pseudomonas JS42. The enzymes catalyzing the initial oxidations of nitrobenzene and 2-nitrotoluene belong to a family of...color and the native molecular weight (35,000) showed that the active enzyme was a monomer. The N-terminal sequence of the recombinant reductase was

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A molecular mechanism for the origin of a key evolutionary innovation, the bird beak and palate, revealed by an integrative approach to major transitions in vertebrate history.

    PubMed

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Morris, Zachary S; Sefton, Elizabeth M; Tok, Atalay; Tokita, Masayoshi; Namkoong, Bumjin; Camacho, Jasmin; Burnham, David A; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2015-07-01

    The avian beak is a key evolutionary innovation whose flexibility has permitted birds to diversify into a range of disparate ecological niches. We approached the problem of the mechanism behind this innovation using an approach bridging paleontology, comparative anatomy, and experimental developmental biology. First, we used fossil and extant data to show the beak is distinctive in consisting of fused premaxillae that are geometrically distinct from those of ancestral archosaurs. To elucidate underlying developmental mechanisms, we examined candidate gene expression domains in the embryonic face: the earlier frontonasal ectodermal zone (FEZ) and the later midfacial WNT-responsive region, in birds and several reptiles. This permitted the identification of an autapomorphic median gene expression region in Aves. To test the mechanism, we used inhibitors of both pathways to replicate in chicken the ancestral amniote expression. Altering the FEZ altered later WNT responsiveness to the ancestral pattern. Skeletal phenotypes from both types of experiments had premaxillae that clustered geometrically with ancestral fossil forms instead of beaked birds. The palatal region was also altered to a more ancestral phenotype. This is consistent with the fossil record and with the tight functional association of avian premaxillae and palate in forming a kinetic beak.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms and Apoptosis in Pdt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krammer, Barbara; Verwanger, Thomas

    2010-04-01

    Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a successful new therapy for malignant and non-malignant diseases. It is based on the activation of a photosensitizing dye by visible light in the target tissue, followed by production of cytotoxic substances. The article gives a short overview on the field of PDT with main focus on molecular mechanisms and apoptosis. It includes photodynamic principles, clinical application and procedures, biological effects, molecular mechanisms of damage processing and apoptosis.

  20. Molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.

    PubMed

    Blair, Jessica M A; Webber, Mark A; Baylay, Alison J; Ogbolu, David O; Piddock, Laura J V

    2015-01-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are difficult or impossible to treat are becoming increasingly common and are causing a global health crisis. Antibiotic resistance is encoded by several genes, many of which can transfer between bacteria. New resistance mechanisms are constantly being described, and new genes and vectors of transmission are identified on a regular basis. This article reviews recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms by which bacteria are either intrinsically resistant or acquire resistance to antibiotics, including the prevention of access to drug targets, changes in the structure and protection of antibiotic targets and the direct modification or inactivation of antibiotics.

  1. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Pituitary Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sapochnik, Melanie; Nieto, Leandro Eduardo; Fuertes, Mariana; Arzt, Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    During the last years, progress has been made on the identification of mechanisms involved in anterior pituitary cell transformation and tumorigenesis. Oncogene activation, tumor suppressor gene inactivation, epigenetic changes, and microRNAs deregulation contribute to the initiation of pituitary tumors. Despite the high prevalence of pituitary adenomas, they are mostly benign, indicating that intrinsic mechanisms may regulate pituitary cell expansion. Senescence is characterized by an irreversible cell cycle arrest and represents an important protective mechanism against malignancy. Pituitary tumor transforming gene (PTTG) is an oncogene involved in early stages of pituitary tumor development, and also triggers a senescence response by activating DNA-damage signaling pathway. Cytokines, as well as many other factors, play an important role in pituitary physiology, affecting not only cell proliferation but also hormone secretion. Special interest is focused on interleukin-6 (IL-6) because its dual function of stimulating pituitary tumor cell growth but inhibiting normal pituitary cells proliferation. It has been demonstrated that IL-6 has a key role in promoting and maintenance of the senescence program in tumors. Senescence, triggered by PTTG activation and mediated by IL-6, may be a mechanism for explaining the benign nature of pituitary tumors.

  2. A Hierarchical Approach to Fracture Mechanics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saether, Erik; Taasan, Shlomo

    2004-01-01

    Recent research conducted under NASA LaRC's Creativity and Innovation Program has led to the development of an initial approach for a hierarchical fracture mechanics. This methodology unites failure mechanisms occurring at different length scales and provides a framework for a physics-based theory of fracture. At the nanoscale, parametric molecular dynamic simulations are used to compute the energy associated with atomic level failure mechanisms. This information is used in a mesoscale percolation model of defect coalescence to obtain statistics of fracture paths and energies through Monte Carlo simulations. The mathematical structure of predicted crack paths is described using concepts of fractal geometry. The non-integer fractal dimension relates geometric and energy measures between meso- and macroscales. For illustration, a fractal-based continuum strain energy release rate is derived for inter- and transgranular fracture in polycrystalline metals.

  3. Cellular and molecular mechanisms in kidney fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Duffield, Jeremy S.

    2014-01-01

    Fibrosis is a characteristic feature of all forms of chronic kidney disease. Deposition of pathological matrix in the interstitial space and within the walls of glomerular capillaries as well as the cellular processes resulting in this deposition are increasingly recognized as important factors amplifying kidney injury and accelerating nephron demise. Recent insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of fibrogenesis herald the promise of new therapies to slow kidney disease progression. This review focuses on new findings that enhance understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms of fibrosis, the characteristics of myofibroblasts, their progenitors, and molecular pathways regulating both fibrogenesis and its resolution. PMID:24892703

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of Bone Metastasis.

    PubMed

    Weidle, Ulrich H; Birzele, Fabian; Kollmorgen, Gwendlyn; Rüger, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Metastasis of breast and prostate cancer as well as multiple myeloma to the bones represents a significant medical problem. We herein discuss the molecular basis of the creation of pre-metastatic niches, the process of bone metastasis and the phenomenon of tumor dormancy in the bone marrow as well as its regulation. We describe the identification and validation of genes mediating bone metastasis by use of pre-clinical models of bone metastasis. Additionally, we discuss the role of small integrin binding N-linked glycoproteins (SIBLINGS), the chemokine/chemokine receptor CXCL12/CXCR4 pathway and the role of micro RNAs (miRNAs) as mediators of bone metastasis. Finally, we summarize clinical achievements for the treatment of bone metastases.

  5. 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.

  6. Modelling approaches for evaluating multiscale tendon mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Fei; Lake, Spencer P.

    2016-01-01

    Tendon exhibits anisotropic, inhomogeneous and viscoelastic mechanical properties that are determined by its complicated hierarchical structure and varying amounts/organization of different tissue constituents. Although extensive research has been conducted to use modelling approaches to interpret tendon structure–function relationships in combination with experimental data, many issues remain unclear (i.e. the role of minor components such as decorin, aggrecan and elastin), and the integration of mechanical analysis across different length scales has not been well applied to explore stress or strain transfer from macro- to microscale. This review outlines mathematical and computational models that have been used to understand tendon mechanics at different scales of the hierarchical organization. Model representations at the molecular, fibril and tissue levels are discussed, including formulations that follow phenomenological and microstructural approaches (which include evaluations of crimp, helical structure and the interaction between collagen fibrils and proteoglycans). Multiscale modelling approaches incorporating tendon features are suggested to be an advantageous methodology to understand further the physiological mechanical response of tendon and corresponding adaptation of properties owing to unique in vivo loading environments. PMID:26855747

  7. Molecular mechanisms in neurologic disorders.

    PubMed

    Cunniff, C

    2001-09-01

    Although many pediatric neurologic disorders, such as epilepsy and mental retardation, are the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors, many others are the result of mutations of single genes. Most of these single gene traits are inherited in autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, or X-linked fashion. The diversity of mutations that are responsible for these diseases produces variability in phenotypic expression. However, there are other important features of many neurologic disorders that cannot be explained by standard models of mendelian inheritance. This review focuses on recently described mechanisms, such as genomic imprinting, germline mosaicism, mitochondrial inheritance, and triplet repeat expansion. The diagnostic evaluation, prognostic significance, and recurrence risk for specific neurogenetic disorders is correlated with these underlying disease mechanisms.

  8. Molecular Approach to Hypothalamic Rhythms

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-06-24

    expressed predominanyly by cortical and hippocampal interneurons that affects the onset of slow-wave sleep. To learn about the cellular mechanisms of...partially overlap with those expressing somatostatin. A significant percentage of cortistatin-positive neurons is also positive for parvalbumin . In...the rat, mouse preprocortistatin mRNA is present in GABAergic interneurons in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. The preprocortistatin gene

  9. Quantitative analysis of surface tension of liquid nano-film with thickness: Two stage stability mechanism, molecular dynamics and thermodynamics approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Tiefeng; Li, Qibin; Chen, Jie; Gao, Xuechao

    2016-11-01

    The effects of thickness on surface tension of aqueous nano-films under the same lateral size were studied by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The surface tension was found to decrease with decreasing thickness when film thickness is below 1.5 nm. Between 4 and 1.5 nm, the trend is for the surface tension to decrease but this is not as significant as between 1.5 and 1.2 nm. For the surface tension of salt nano-films, with low temperatures resulting in monotonous decreasing with thickness, while high temperature (e.g. 479 K) exhibited a first increase then decrease for surface tension with thickness. Filippini et al. (2014) suggested that surface tension is constant with the thickness as long as the sheet remains in one piece, also the decrease observed and as proposed by Werth et al. (2013) is not due to a confinement effect on Lennard-Jones systems. However, in this study for aqueous nano-films, a two stage mechanism was proposed to interpret this effect, for which the stability was classified according to thickness range and validated by disjoining pressure. The results are important in describing the role of surface tension in determining the behaviour of disjoining pressure.

  10. Multiresolution molecular mechanics: Implementation and efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biyikli, Emre; To, Albert C.

    2017-01-01

    Atomistic/continuum coupling methods combine accurate atomistic methods and efficient continuum methods to simulate the behavior of highly ordered crystalline systems. Coupled methods utilize the advantages of both approaches to simulate systems at a lower computational cost, while retaining the accuracy associated with atomistic methods. Many concurrent atomistic/continuum coupling methods have been proposed in the past; however, their true computational efficiency has not been demonstrated. The present work presents an efficient implementation of a concurrent coupling method called the Multiresolution Molecular Mechanics (MMM) for serial, parallel, and adaptive analysis. First, we present the features of the software implemented along with the associated technologies. The scalability of the software implementation is demonstrated, and the competing effects of multiscale modeling and parallelization are discussed. Then, the algorithms contributing to the efficiency of the software are presented. These include algorithms for eliminating latent ghost atoms from calculations and measurement-based dynamic balancing of parallel workload. The efficiency improvements made by these algorithms are demonstrated by benchmark tests. The efficiency of the software is found to be on par with LAMMPS, a state-of-the-art Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation code, when performing full atomistic simulations. Speed-up of the MMM method is shown to be directly proportional to the reduction of the number of the atoms visited in force computation. Finally, an adaptive MMM analysis on a nanoindentation problem, containing over a million atoms, is performed, yielding an improvement of 6.3-8.5 times in efficiency, over the full atomistic MD method. For the first time, the efficiency of a concurrent atomistic/continuum coupling method is comprehensively investigated and demonstrated.

  11. Molecular mechanisms and regulation of iron transport.

    PubMed

    Chung, Jayong; Wessling-Resnick, Marianne

    2003-04-01

    Iron homeostasis is primarily maintained through regulation of its transport. This review summarizes recent discoveries in the field of iron transport that have shed light on the molecular mechanisms of dietary iron uptake, pathways for iron efflux to and between peripheral tissues, proteins implicated in organellar transport of iron (particularly the mitochondrion), and novel regulators that have been proposed to control iron assimilation. The transport of both transferrin-bound and nontransferrin-bound iron to peripheral tissues is discussed. Finally, the regulation of iron transport is also considered at the molecular level, with posttranscriptional, transcriptional, and posttranslational control mechanisms being reviewed.

  12. Modelling the molecular mechanisms of aging.

    PubMed

    Mc Auley, Mark T; Guimera, Alvaro Martinez; Hodgson, David; Mcdonald, Neil; Mooney, Kathleen M; Morgan, Amy E; Proctor, Carole J

    2017-02-28

    The aging process is driven at the cellular level by random molecular damage that slowly accumulates with age. Although cells possess mechanisms to repair or remove damage, they are not 100% efficient and their efficiency declines with age. There are many molecular mechanisms involved and exogenous factors such as stress also contribute to the aging process. The complexity of the aging process has stimulated the use of computational modelling in order to increase our understanding of the system, test hypotheses and make testable predictions. As many different mechanisms are involved, a wide range of models have been developed. This paper gives an overview of the types of models that have been developed, the range of tools used, modelling standards and discusses many specific examples of models that have been grouped according to the main mechanisms that they address. We conclude by discussing the opportunities and challenges for future modelling in this field.

  13. Pathogenesis and Molecular Mechanisms of Zika Virus.

    PubMed

    Nayak, Shriddha; Lei, Jun; Pekosz, Andrew; Klein, Sabra; Burd, Irina

    2016-09-01

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is one of the most important emerging viruses of 2016. A developing outbreak in the Americas has demonstrated an association between the virus and serious clinical manifestations, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults and congenital malformations in infants born to infected mothers. Pathogenesis and mechanisms of neurologic or immune disease by ZIKV have not been clearly delineated. However, several pathways have been described to explain viral involvement in brain and immune system as well as other organ systems such as eye, skin, and male and female reproductive tracts. ZIKV activates toll-like receptor 3 and several pathways have been described to explain the mechanisms at a molecular level. The mechanism of microcephaly has been more difficult to demonstrate experimentally, likely due to the multifactorial and complex nature of the phenotype. This article provides an overview of existing literature on ZIKV pathogenicity and possible molecular mechanisms of disease as outlined to date.

  14. Modelling the molecular mechanisms of aging

    PubMed Central

    Mc Auley, Mark T.; Guimera, Alvaro Martinez; Hodgson, David; Mcdonald, Neil; Mooney, Kathleen M.; Morgan, Amy E.

    2017-01-01

    The aging process is driven at the cellular level by random molecular damage that slowly accumulates with age. Although cells possess mechanisms to repair or remove damage, they are not 100% efficient and their efficiency declines with age. There are many molecular mechanisms involved and exogenous factors such as stress also contribute to the aging process. The complexity of the aging process has stimulated the use of computational modelling in order to increase our understanding of the system, test hypotheses and make testable predictions. As many different mechanisms are involved, a wide range of models have been developed. This paper gives an overview of the types of models that have been developed, the range of tools used, modelling standards and discusses many specific examples of models that have been grouped according to the main mechanisms that they address. We conclude by discussing the opportunities and challenges for future modelling in this field. PMID:28096317

  15. General Anesthetics and Molecular Mechanisms of Unconsciousness

    PubMed Central

    Forman, Stuart A.; Chin, Victor A.

    2013-01-01

    General anesthetic agents are unique in clinical medicine, because they are the only drugs used to produce unconsciousness as a therapeutic goal. In contrast to older hypotheses that assumed all general anesthetics produce their central nervous system effects through a common mechanism, we outline evidence that general anesthesia represents a number of distinct pharmacological effects that are likely mediated by different neural circuits, and perhaps via different molecular targets. Within the context of this neurobiological framework, we review recent molecular pharmacological and transgenic animal studies. These studies reveal that different groups of general anesthetics, which can be discerned based on their clinical features, produce unconsciousness via distinct molecular targets and therefore via distinct mechanisms. We further postulate that different types of general anesthetics selectively disrupt different critical steps (perhaps in different neuronal circuits) in the processing of sensory information and memory that results in consciousness. PMID:18617817

  16. Mechanisms and economy of molecular machines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klumpp, Stefan

    2012-11-01

    Cells contain millions of biomolecules that function as molecular machines. This paper reviews aspects of the mechanisms of these machines (alternative pathways and cooperativity) as well as the economic principles of their use in cells. The focus is on the machines that process the genetic information, in particular RNA polymerases.

  17. Disease resistance: Molecular mechanisms and biotechnological applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This special issue “Disease resistance: molecular mechanisms and biotechnological applications” contains 11 review articles and four original research papers. Research in the area of engineering for disease resistance continues to progress although only 10% of the transgenic plants registered for ...

  18. Mechanical transduction mechanisms of RecA-like molecular motors.

    PubMed

    Liao, Jung-Chi

    2011-12-01

    A majority of ATP-dependent molecular motors are RecA-like proteins, performing diverse functions in biology. These RecA-like molecular motors consist of a highly conserved core containing the ATP-binding site. Here I examined how ATP binding within this core is coupled to the conformational changes of different RecA-like molecular motors. Conserved hydrogen bond networks and conformational changes revealed two major mechanical transduction mechanisms: (1) intra-domain conformational changes and (2) inter-domain conformational changes. The intra-domain mechanism has a significant hydrogen bond rearrangement within the domain containing the P-loop, causing relative motion between two parts of the protein. The inter-domain mechanism exhibits little conformational change in the P-loop domain. Instead, the major conformational change is observed between the P-loop domain and an adjacent domain or subunit containing the arginine finger. These differences in the mechanical transduction mechanisms may link to the underlying energy surface governing a Brownian ratchet or a power stroke.

  19. 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.

  20. [Cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory].

    PubMed

    Laroche, Serge

    2010-01-01

    A defining characteristic of the brain is its remarkable capacity to undergo activity-dependent functional and morphological remodelling via mechanisms of plasticity that form the basis of our capacity to encode and retain memories. Today, it is generally accepted that one key neurobiological mechanism underlying the formation of memories reside in activity-driven modifications of synaptic strength and structural remodelling of neural networks activated during learning. The discovery and detailed report of the phenomenon generally known as long-term potentiation, a long-lasting activity-dependent form of synaptic strengthening, opened a new chapter in the study of the neurobiological substrate of memory 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, the key events in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and memory formation are starting to be identified. They require the activation of specific receptors and of several molecular cascades to convert extracellular signals into persistent functional changes in neuronal connectivity. Accumulating evidence suggests that the rapid activation of neuronal gene programs is a key mechanism underlying the enduring modification of neural networks required for the laying down of memory. The recent developments in the search for the cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory storage are reviewed.

  1. Teratogenic effects of thalidomide: molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Ito, Takumi; Ando, Hideki; Handa, Hiroshi

    2011-05-01

    Fifty years ago, prescription of the sedative thalidomide caused a worldwide epidemic of multiple birth defects. The drug is now used in the treatment of leprosy and multiple myeloma. However, its use is limited due to its potent teratogenic activity. The mechanism by which thalidomide causes limb malformations and other developmental defects is a long-standing question. Multiple hypotheses exist to explain the molecular mechanism of thalidomide action. Among them, theories involving oxidative stress and anti-angiogenesis have been widely supported. Nevertheless, until recently, the direct target of thalidomide remained elusive. We identified a thalidomide-binding protein, cereblon (CRBN), as a primary target for thalidomide teratogenicity. Our data suggest that thalidomide initiates its teratogenic effects by binding to CRBN and inhibiting its ubiquitin ligase activity. In this review, we summarize the biology of thalidomide, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of its teratogenic effects. In addition, we discuss the questions still to be addressed.

  2. Ocular diseases: immunological and molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jing; Huang, Yi-Fei; Zhang, Wen-Jing; Chen, Xiao-Fei; Guo, Yu-Mian

    2016-01-01

    Many factors, such as environmental, microbial and endogenous stress, antigen localization, can trigger the immunological events that affect the ending of the diverse spectrum of ocular disorders. Significant advances in understanding of immunological and molecular mechanisms have been researched to improve the diagnosis and therapy for patients with ocular inflammatory diseases. Some kinds of ocular diseases are inadequately responsive to current medications; therefore, immunotherapy may be a potential choice as an alternative or adjunctive treatment, even in the prophylactic setting. This article first provides an overview of the immunological and molecular mechanisms concerning several typical and common ocular diseases; second, the functions of immunological roles in some of systemic autoimmunity will be discussed; third, we will provide a summary of the mechanisms that dictate immune cell trafficking to ocular local microenvironment in response to inflammation. PMID:27275439

  3. [Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and molecular mechanisms of jaundice].

    PubMed

    Jirsa, M; Sticová, E

    2013-07-01

    The introductory summarises the classical path of heme degradation and classification of jaundice. Subsequently, a description of neonatal types of jaundice is given, known as Crigler Najjar, Gilberts, DubinJohnson and Rotor syndromes, emphasising the explanation of the molecular mechanisms of these metabolic disorders. Special attention is given to a recently discovered molecular mechanism of the Rotor syndrome. The mechanism is based on the inability of the liver to retrospectively uptake the conjugated bilirubin fraction primarily excreted into the blood, not bile. A reduced ability of the liver to uptake the conjugated bilirubin contributes to the development of hyperbilirubinemia in common disorders of the liver and bile ducts and to the toxicity of xenobiotics and drugs using transport proteins for conjugated bilirubin.

  4. 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.

  5. Sampling Molecular Conformers in Solution with Quantum Mechanical Accuracy at a Nearly Molecular-Mechanics Cost.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Marta; Micciarelli, Marco; Laio, Alessandro; Baroni, Stefano

    2016-09-13

    We introduce a method to evaluate the relative populations of different conformers of molecular species in solution, aiming at quantum mechanical accuracy, while keeping the computational cost at a nearly molecular-mechanics level. This goal is achieved by combining long classical molecular-dynamics simulations to sample the free-energy landscape of the system, advanced clustering techniques to identify the most relevant conformers, and thermodynamic perturbation theory to correct the resulting populations, using quantum-mechanical energies from density functional theory. A quantitative criterion for assessing the accuracy thus achieved is proposed. The resulting methodology is demonstrated in the specific case of cyanin (cyanidin-3-glucoside) in water solution.

  6. Geochemical Reaction Mechanism Discovery from Molecular Simulation

    DOE PAGES

    Stack, Andrew G.; Kent, Paul R. C.

    2014-11-10

    Methods to explore reactions using computer simulation are becoming increasingly quantitative, versatile, and robust. In this review, a rationale for how molecular simulation can help build better geochemical kinetics models is first given. We summarize some common methods that geochemists use to simulate reaction mechanisms, specifically classical molecular dynamics and quantum chemical methods and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Useful tools such as umbrella sampling and metadynamics that enable one to explore reactions are discussed. Several case studies wherein geochemists have used these tools to understand reaction mechanisms are presented, including water exchange and sorption on aqueous species and mineralmore » surfaces, surface charging, crystal growth and dissolution, and electron transfer. The impact that molecular simulation has had on our understanding of geochemical reactivity are highlighted in each case. In the future, it is anticipated that molecular simulation of geochemical reaction mechanisms will become more commonplace as a tool to validate and interpret experimental data, and provide a check on the plausibility of geochemical kinetic models.« less

  7. Geochemical Reaction Mechanism Discovery from Molecular Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Stack, Andrew G.; Kent, Paul R. C.

    2014-11-10

    Methods to explore reactions using computer simulation are becoming increasingly quantitative, versatile, and robust. In this review, a rationale for how molecular simulation can help build better geochemical kinetics models is first given. We summarize some common methods that geochemists use to simulate reaction mechanisms, specifically classical molecular dynamics and quantum chemical methods and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Useful tools such as umbrella sampling and metadynamics that enable one to explore reactions are discussed. Several case studies wherein geochemists have used these tools to understand reaction mechanisms are presented, including water exchange and sorption on aqueous species and mineral surfaces, surface charging, crystal growth and dissolution, and electron transfer. The impact that molecular simulation has had on our understanding of geochemical reactivity are highlighted in each case. In the future, it is anticipated that molecular simulation of geochemical reaction mechanisms will become more commonplace as a tool to validate and interpret experimental data, and provide a check on the plausibility of geochemical kinetic models.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Inherited Demyelinating Neuropathies

    PubMed Central

    SCHERER, STEVEN S.; WRABETZ, LAWRENCE

    2008-01-01

    The past 15 years have witnessed the identification of more than 25 genes responsible for inherited neuropathies in humans, many associated with primary alterations of the myelin sheath. A remarkable body of work in patients, as well as animal and cellular models, has defined the clinical and molecular genetics of these illnesses and shed light on how mutations in associated genes produce the heterogeneity of dysmyelinating and demyelinating phenotypes. Here, we review selected recent developments from work on the molecular mechanisms of these disorders and their implications for treatment strategies. PMID:18803325

  9. Molecular mechanisms for proton transport in membranes.

    PubMed Central

    Nagle, J F; Morowitz, H J

    1978-01-01

    Likely mechanisms for proton transport through biomembranes are explored. The fundamental structural element is assumed to be continuous chains of hydrogen bonds formed from the protein side groups, and a molecular example is presented. From studies in ice, such chains are predicted to have low impedance and can function as proton wires. In addition, conformational changes in the protein may be linked to the proton conduction. If this possibility is allowed, a simple proton pump can be described that can be reversed into a molecular motor driven by an electrochemical potential across the membrane. PMID:272644

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Microbially Facilitated Corrosion

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-10-23

    AD-A173 862 MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF MICR38IRLLY FACILITATED 1/2 CORROSION(U) TENNESSEE UNIV K~NOXVILLE INST FOR APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY D C WHITE 23 OCT...of Tennessee 10515 Research Drive, Building # 1, Suite 300 Knoxville, Tennessee 37932-2567 N 615-675-9520 October 23, 1986 00 Dr. Eli D . Schmell ELECTE...V) Program Manager, Molecular Biology NOV 4 NO8 Code 041M - Office of Naval Research 800 North Quincy Street D Arlington, VA 22217-5000. Dear Eli

  11. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The muscular dystrophies are a group of heterogeneous genetic diseases characterized by progressive degeneration and weakness of skeletal muscle. Since the discovery of the first muscular dystrophy gene encoding dystrophin, a large number of genes have been identified that are involved in various muscle-wasting and neuromuscular disorders. Human genetic studies complemented by animal model systems have substantially contributed to our understanding of the molecular pathomechanisms underlying muscle degeneration. Moreover, these studies have revealed distinct molecular and cellular mechanisms that link genetic mutations to diverse muscle wasting phenotypes. PMID:23671309

  12. Molecular Mechanisms of Neuroplasticity: An Expanding Universe.

    PubMed

    Gulyaeva, N V

    2017-03-01

    Biochemical processes in synapses and other neuronal compartments underlie neuroplasticity (functional and structural alterations in the brain enabling adaptation to the environment, learning, memory, as well as rehabilitation after brain injury). This basic molecular level of brain plasticity covers numerous specific proteins (enzymes, receptors, structural proteins, etc.) participating in many coordinated and interacting signal and metabolic processes, their modulation forming a molecular basis for brain plasticity. The articles in this issue are focused on different "hot points" in the research area of biochemical mechanisms supporting neuroplasticity.

  13. Regulation of renal potassium secretion: molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Welling, Paul A

    2013-05-01

    A new understanding of renal potassium balance has emerged as the molecular underpinnings of potassium secretion have become illuminated, highlighting the key roles of apical potassium channels, renal outer medullary potassium channel (ROMK) and Big Potassium (BK), in the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron and collecting duct. These channels act as the final-regulated components of the renal potassium secretory machinery. Their activity, number, and driving forces are precisely modulated to ensure potassium excretion matches dietary potassium intake. Recent identification of the underlying regulatory mechanisms at the molecular level provides a new appreciation of the physiology and reveals a molecular insight to explain the paradoxic actions of aldosterone on potassium secretion. Here, we review the current state of knowledge in the field.

  14. Molecular mechanisms of UV-induced apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Kulms, D; Schwarz, T

    2000-10-01

    Sunburn cells, single standing cells with typical morphologic features occurring in UV-exposed skin, have been recognized as keratinocytes undergoing apoptosis following UV irradiation. Induction of apoptosis following UV exposure appears to be a protective mechanism, getting rid off severely damaged cells that bear the risk of malignant transformation. UV-mediated apoptosis is a highly complex process in which different molecular pathways are involved. These include DNA damage, activation of the tumor suppressor gene p53, triggering of cell death receptors either directly by UV or by autocrine release of death ligands, mitochondrial damage and cytochrome C release. Detailed knowledge about the interplay between these pathways will increase our understanding of photocarcinogenesis. This review briefly discusses recent findings concerning the molecular mechanisms underlying UV-induced apoptosis.

  15. Nonlinear vibrational excitations in molecular crystals molecular mechanics calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pumilia, P.; Abbate, S.; Baldini, G.; Ferro, D. R.; Tubino, R.

    1992-03-01

    The coupling constant for vibrational solitons χ has been examined in a molecular mechanics model for acetanilide (ACN) molecular crystal. According to A.C. Scott, solitons can form and propagate in solid acetanilide over a threshold energy value. This can be regarded as a structural model for the spines of hydrogen bond chains stabilizing the α helical structure of proteins. A one dimensional hydrogen bond chain of ACN has been built, for which we have found that, even though experimental parameters are correctly predicted, the excessive rigidity of the isolated chain prevents the formation of a localized distortion around the excitation. Yet, C=O coupling value with softer lattice modes could be rather high, allowing self-trapping to take place.

  16. Molecular mechanisms of membrane interaction at implantation.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Lien M; Coward, Kevin

    2016-03-01

    Successful pregnancy is dependent upon the implantation of a competent embryo into a receptive endometrium. Despite major advancement in our understanding of reproductive medicine over the last few decades, implantation failure still occurs in both normal pregnancies and those created artificially by assisted reproductive technology (ART). Consequently, there is significant interest in elucidating the etiology of implantation failure. The complex multistep process of implantation begins when the developing embryo first makes contact with the plasma membrane of epithelial cells within the uterine environment. However, although this biological interaction marks the beginning of a fundamental developmental process, our knowledge of the intricate physiological and molecular processes involved remains sparse. In this synopsis, we aim to provide an overview of our current understanding of the morphological changes which occur to the plasma membrane of the uterine endothelium, and the molecular mechanisms that control communication between the early embryo and the endometrium during implantation. A multitude of molecular factors have been implicated in this complex process, including endometrial integrins, extracellular matrix molecules, adhesion molecules, growth factors, and ion channels. We also explore the development of in vitro models for embryo implantation to help researchers investigate mechanisms which may underlie implantation failure. Understanding the precise molecular pathways associated with implantation failure could help us to generate new prognostic/diagnostic biomarkers, and may identify novel therapeutic targets.

  17. Molecular and structural determinants of adamantyl susceptibility to HLA-DRs allelic variants: an in silico approach to understand the mechanism of MLEs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaheer-ul-Haq; Khan, Waqasuddin

    2011-01-01

    Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC II) molecules as expressed by antigen-presenting cells are heterodimeric cell-surface glycoprotein receptors that are fundamental in initiating and propagating an immune response by presenting tumor-associated antigenic peptides to CD4+/TH cells. The loading efficiency of such peptides can be improved by small organic compounds (MHC Loading Enhancers—MLEs), that convert the non-receptive peptide conformation of MHC II to a peptide-receptive conformation. In a reversible reaction, these compounds open up the binding site of MHC II molecules by specific interactions with a yet undefined pocket. Here, we performed molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation studies of adamantyl compounds on the predicted cavity around the P1 pocket of 2 allelic variants of HLA-DRs. The purpose was to investigate the suitability of adamantyl compounds as MLEs at the dimorphic β86 position. Docking studies revealed that besides numerous molecular interactions formed by the adamantyl compounds, Asnβ82, Tyrβ83, and Thrβ90 are the crucial amino acid residues that are characterized as the "sensors" of peptide loading. Molecular dynamics simulation studies exposed the dynamical structural changes that HLA-DRs adopted as a response to binding of 3-(1-adamantyl)-5-hydrazidocarbonyl-1H-pyrazole (AdCaPy). The conformations of AdCaPy complexed with the Glyβ86 HLA-DR allelic variant are well correlated with the stabilized form of peptide-loaded HLA-DRs, further confirming the role of AdCaPy as a MLE. Hydrogen bonding interaction analysis clearly demonstrated that after making suitable contacts with AdCaPy, HLA-DR changes its local conformation. However, AdCaPy complexed with HLA-DR having Valβ86 at the dimorphic position did not accommodate AdCaPy as MLE due to steric hindrance caused by the valine.

  18. Molecular Mechanism of Biological Proton Transport

    SciTech Connect

    Pomes, R.

    1998-09-01

    Proton transport across lipid membranes is a fundamental aspect of biological energy transduction (metabolism). This function is mediated by a Grotthuss mechanism involving proton hopping along hydrogen-bonded networks embedded in membrane-spanning proteins. Using molecular simulations, the authors have explored the structural, dynamic, and thermodynamic properties giving rise to long-range proton translocation in hydrogen-bonded networks involving water molecules, or water wires, which are emerging as ubiquitous H{sup +}-transport devices in biological systems.

  19. Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Pain

    PubMed Central

    Basbaum, Allan I.; Bautista, Diana M.; Scherrer, Grégory; Julius, David

    2009-01-01

    The nervous system detects and interprets a wide range of thermal and mechanical stimuli as well as environmental and endogenous chemical irritants. When intense, these stimuli generate acute pain, and in the setting of persistent injury, both peripheral and central nervous system components of the pain transmission pathway exhibit tremendous plasticity, enhancing pain signals and producing hypersensitivity. When plasticity facilitates protective reflexes, it can be beneficial, but when the changes persist, a chronic pain condition may result. Genetic, electrophysiological, and pharmacological studies are elucidating the molecular mechanisms that underlie detection, coding, and modulation of noxious stimuli that generate pain. PMID:19837031

  20. [Cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory].

    PubMed

    Laroche, S

    2001-01-01

    There has been nearly a century of interest in the idea that information is encoded in the brain as specific spatio-temporal patterns of activity in distributed networks and stored 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, the key events in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are starting to be identified. They require the activation of specific receptors and of several molecular cascades to convert extracellular signals into persistent functional changes in neuronal connectivity. 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. The recent developments in the search for the cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory storage are reviewed.

  1. Molecular Mechanisms of Right Ventricular Failure

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, Sushma; Bernstein, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    An abundance of data has provided insight into the mechanisms underlying the development of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and its progression to LV failure. In contrast, there is minimal data on the adaptation of the right ventricle (RV) to pressure and volume overload and the transition to RV failure. This is a critical clinical question, as the RV is uniquely at risk in many patients with repaired or palliated congenital heart disease and in those with pulmonary hypertension. Standard heart failure therapies have failed to improve function or survival in these patients, suggesting a divergence in the molecular mechanisms of RV vs. LV failure. Although, on the cellular level, the remodeling responses of the RV and LV to pressure overload are largely similar, there are several key differences: the stressed RV is more susceptible to oxidative stress, has a reduced angiogenic response, and is more likely to activate cell death pathways than the stressed LV. Together, these differences could explain the more rapid progression of the RV to failure vs. the LV. This review will highlight known molecular differences between the RV and LV responses to hemodynamic stress, the unique stressors on the RV associated with congenital heart disease, and the need to better understand these molecular mechanisms if we are to develop RV-specific heart failure therapeutics. PMID:26527692

  2. Molecular mechanisms of optic axon guidance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inatani, Masaru

    2005-12-01

    Axon guidance is one of the critical processes during vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) development. The optic nerve, which contains the axons of retinal ganglion cells, has been used as a powerful model to elucidate some of the mechanisms underlying axon guidance because it is easily manipulated experimentally, and its function is well understood. Recent molecular biology studies have revealed that numerous guidance molecules control the development of the visual pathway. This review introduces the molecular mechanisms involved in each critical step during optic axon guidance. Axonal projections to the optic disc are thought to depend on adhesion molecules and inhibitory extracellular matrices such as chondroitin sulfate. The formation of the head of the optic nerve and the optic chiasm require ligand-receptor interactions between netrin-1 and the deleted in colorectal cancer receptor, and Slit proteins and Robo receptors, respectively. The gradient distributions of ephrin ligands and Eph receptors are essential for correct ipsilateral projections at the optic chiasm and the topographic mapping of axons in the superior colliculus/optic tectum. The precise gradient is regulated by transcription factors determining the retinal dorso-ventral and nasal-temporal polarities. Moreover, the axon guidance activities by Slit and semaphorin 5A require the existence of heparan sulfate, which binds to numerous guidance molecules. Recent discoveries about the molecular mechanisms underlying optic nerve guidance will facilitate progress in CNS developmental biology and axon-regeneration therapy.

  3. Molecular mechanics methods for individual carbon nanotubes and nanotube assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eberhardt, Oliver; Wallmersperger, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Since many years, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been considered for a wide range of applications due to their outstanding mechanical properties. CNTs are tubular structures, showing a graphene like hexagonal lattice. Our interest in the calculation of the mechanical properties is motivated by several applications which demand the knowledge of the material behavior. One application in which the knowledge of the material behavior is vital is the CNT based fiber. Due to the excellent stiffness and strength of the individual CNTs, these fibers are expected to be a promising successor for state of the art carbon fibers. However, the mechanical properties of the fibers fall back behind the properties of individual CNTs. It is assumed that this gap in the properties is a result of the van-der-Waals interactions of the individual CNTs within the fiber. In order to understand the mechanical behavior of the fibers we apply a molecular mechanics approach. The mechanical properties of the individual CNTs are investigated by using a modified structural molecular mechanics approach. This is done by calculating the properties of a truss-beam element framework representing the CNT with the help of a chemical force field. Furthermore, we also investigate the interactions of CNTs arranged in basic CNT assemblies, mimicking the ones in a simple CNT fiber. We consider the van-der-Waals interactions in the structure and calculate the potential surface of the CNT assemblies.

  4. A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study on the hydrolysis mechanism of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Kongkai; Lu, Junyan; Liang, Zhongjie; Kong, Xiangqian; Ye, Fei; Jin, Lu; Geng, Heji; Chen, Yong; Zheng, Mingyue; Jiang, Hualiang; Li, Jun-Qian; Luo, Cheng

    2013-03-01

    New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) has emerged as a major global threat to human health for its rapid rate of dissemination and ability to make pathogenic microbes resistant to almost all known β-lactam antibiotics. In addition, effective NDM-1 inhibitors have not been identified to date. In spite of the plethora of structural and kinetic data available, the accurate molecular characteristics of and details on the enzymatic reaction of NDM-1 hydrolyzing β-lactam antibiotics remain incompletely understood. In this study, a combined computational approach including molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations was performed to characterize the catalytic mechanism of meropenem catalyzed by NDM-1. The quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics results indicate that the ionized D124 is beneficial to the cleavage of the C-N bond within the β-lactam ring. Meanwhile, it is energetically favorable to form an intermediate if no water molecule coordinates to Zn2. Moreover, according to the molecular dynamics results, the conserved residue K211 plays a pivotal role in substrate binding and catalysis, which is quite consistent with previous mutagenesis data. Our study provides detailed insights into the catalytic mechanism of NDM-1 hydrolyzing meropenem β-lactam antibiotics and offers clues for the discovery of new antibiotics against NDM-1 positive strains in clinical studies.

  5. A quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics study on the hydrolysis mechanism of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Kongkai; Lu, Junyan; Liang, Zhongjie; Kong, Xiangqian; Ye, Fei; Jin, Lu; Geng, Heji; Chen, Yong; Zheng, Mingyue; Jiang, Hualiang; Li, Jun-Qian; Luo, Cheng

    2013-03-01

    New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) has emerged as a major global threat to human health for its rapid rate of dissemination and ability to make pathogenic microbes resistant to almost all known β-lactam antibiotics. In addition, effective NDM-1 inhibitors have not been identified to date. In spite of the plethora of structural and kinetic data available, the accurate molecular characteristics of and details on the enzymatic reaction of NDM-1 hydrolyzing β-lactam antibiotics remain incompletely understood. In this study, a combined computational approach including molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations was performed to characterize the catalytic mechanism of meropenem catalyzed by NDM-1. The quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics results indicate that the ionized D124 is beneficial to the cleavage of the C-N bond within the β-lactam ring. Meanwhile, it is energetically favorable to form an intermediate if no water molecule coordinates to Zn2. Moreover, according to the molecular dynamics results, the conserved residue K211 plays a pivotal role in substrate binding and catalysis, which is quite consistent with previous mutagenesis data. Our study provides detailed insights into the catalytic mechanism of NDM-1 hydrolyzing meropenem β-lactam antibiotics and offers clues for the discovery of new antibiotics against NDM-1 positive strains in clinical studies.

  6. Molecular mechanics of mussel adhesion proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Zhao; Buehler, Markus J.

    2014-01-01

    Mussel foot protein (mfp), a natural glue produced by marine mussel, is an intriguing material because of its superior ability for adhesion in various environments. For example, a very small amount of this material is sufficient to affix a mussel to a substrate in water, providing structural support under extreme forces caused by the dynamic effects of waves. Towards a more complete understanding of its strength and underwater workability, it is necessary to understand the microscropic mechanisms by which the protein structure interacts with various substrates. However, none of the mussel proteins' structure is known, preventing us from directly using atomistic modeling to probe their structural and mechanical properties. Here we use an advanced molecular sampling technique to identify the molecular structures of two mussel foot proteins (mfp-3 and mfp-5) and use those structures to study their mechanics of adhesion, which is then incorporated into a continuum model. We calculate the adhesion energy of the mussel foot protein on a silica substrate, compute the adhesion strength based on results obtained from molecular modeling, and compare with experimental data. Our results show good agreement with experimental measurements, which validates the multiscale model. We find that the molecular structure of the folded mussel foot protein (ultimately defined by its genetic sequence) favors strong adhesion to substrates, where L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (or DOPA) protein subunits work in a cooperative manner to enhance adhesion. Our experimental data suggests a peak attachment force of 0.4±0.1 N, which compares favorably with the prediction from the multiscale model of Fc=0.21-0.33 N. The principles learnt from those results could guide the fabrication of new interfacial materials (e.g. composites) to integrate organic with inorganic surfaces in an effective manner.

  7. 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.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance in gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Wen-Jia; Gao, Jin-Bo

    2016-01-01

    Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Chemotherapy is one of the major treatments for gastric cancer, but drug resistance limits the effectiveness of chemotherapy, which results in treatment failure. Resistance to chemotherapy can be present intrinsically before the administration of chemotherapy or it can develop during chemotherapy. The mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance in gastric cancer are complex and multifactorial. A variety of factors have been demonstrated to be involved in chemoresistance, including the reduced intracellular concentrations of drugs, alterations in drug targets, the dysregulation of cell survival and death signaling pathways, and interactions between cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance in gastric cancer and on recent studies that have sought to overcome the underlying mechanisms of chemoresistance. PMID:27672425

  9. Molecular mechanisms for protein-encoded inheritance

    SciTech Connect

    Wiltzius, Jed J.W.; Landau, Meytal; Nelson, Rebecca; Sawaya, Michael R.; Apostol, Marcin I.; Goldschmidt, Lukasz; Soriaga, Angela B.; Cascio, Duilio; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Eisenberg, David

    2009-12-01

    In prion inheritance and transmission, strains are phenotypic variants encoded by protein 'conformations'. However, it is unclear how a protein conformation can be stable enough to endure transmission between cells or organisms. Here we describe new polymorphic crystal structures of segments of prion and other amyloid proteins, which offer two structural mechanisms for the encoding of prion strains. In packing polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by alternative packing arrangements (polymorphs) of {beta}-sheets formed by the same segment of a protein; in segmental polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by distinct {beta}-sheets built from different segments of a protein. Both forms of polymorphism can produce enduring conformations capable of encoding strains. These molecular mechanisms for transfer of protein-encoded information into prion strains share features with the familiar mechanism for transfer of nucleic acid-encoded information into microbial strains, including sequence specificity and recognition by noncovalent bonds.

  10. Molecular model with quantum mechanical bonding information.

    PubMed

    Bohórquez, Hugo J; Boyd, Russell J; Matta, Chérif F

    2011-11-17

    The molecular structure can be defined quantum mechanically thanks to the theory of atoms in molecules. Here, we report a new molecular model that reflects quantum mechanical properties of the chemical bonds. This graphical representation of molecules is based on the topology of the electron density at the critical points. The eigenvalues of the Hessian are used for depicting the critical points three-dimensionally. The bond path linking two atoms has a thickness that is proportional to the electron density at the bond critical point. The nuclei are represented according to the experimentally determined atomic radii. The resulting molecular structures are similar to the traditional ball and stick ones, with the difference that in this model each object included in the plot provides topological information about the atoms and bonding interactions. As a result, the character and intensity of any given interatomic interaction can be identified by visual inspection, including the noncovalent ones. Because similar bonding interactions have similar plots, this tool permits the visualization of chemical bond transferability, revealing the presence of functional groups in large molecules.

  11. Molecular mechanics conformational analysis of tylosin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, Petko M.

    1998-01-01

    The conformations of the 16-membered macrolide antibiotic tylosin were studied with molecular mechanics (AMBER∗ force field) including modelling of the effect of the solvent on the conformational preferences (GB/SA). A Monte Carlo conformational search procedure was used for finding the most probable low-energy conformations. The present study provides complementary data to recently reported analysis of the conformations of tylosin based on NMR techniques. A search for the low-energy conformations of protynolide, a 16-membered lactone containing the same aglycone as tylosin, was also carried out, and the results were compared with the observed conformation in the crystal as well as with the most probable conformations of the macrocyclic ring of tylosin. The dependence of the results on force field was also studied by utilizing the MM3 force field. Some particular conformations were computed with the semiempirical molecular orbital methods AM1 and PM3.

  12. Molecular Mechanics of Tip-Link Cadherins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotomayor, Marcos; Weihofen, Wilhelm A.; Gaudet, Rachelle; Corey, David P.

    2011-11-01

    The hair-cell tip link, a fine filament directly conveying force to mechanosensitive transduction channels, is likely composed of two proteins, protocadherin-15 and cadherin-23, whose mutation causes deafness. However, their complete molecular structure, elasticity, and deafness-related structural defects remain largely unknown. We present crystal structures of extracellular (EC) tip-link cadherin repeats involved in hereditary deafness and tip link formation. In addition, we show that the deafness mutation D101G, in the linker region between the repeats EC1 and EC2 of cadherin-23, causes a slight bend between repeats and decreases Ca2+ affinity. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest that tip-link cadherin repeats are stiff and that either removing Ca2+ or mutating Ca2+-binding residues reduces rigidity and unfolding strength. The structures and simulations also suggest mechanisms underlying inherited deafness and how cadherin-23 may bind with protocadherin-15 to form the tip link.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Schwann Cell Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Boerboom, Angélique; Dion, Valérie; Chariot, Alain; Franzen, Rachelle

    2017-01-01

    Schwann cell incredible plasticity is a hallmark of the utmost importance following nerve damage or in demyelinating neuropathies. After injury, Schwann cells undergo dedifferentiation before redifferentiating to promote nerve regeneration and complete functional recovery. This review updates and discusses the molecular mechanisms involved in the negative regulation of myelination as well as in the reprogramming of Schwann cells taking place early following nerve lesion to support repair. Significant advance has been made on signaling pathways and molecular components that regulate SC regenerative properties. These include for instance transcriptional regulators such as c-Jun or Notch, the MAPK and the Nrg1/ErbB2/3 pathways. This comprehensive overview ends with some therapeutical applications targeting factors that control Schwann cell plasticity and highlights the need to carefully modulate and balance this capacity to drive nerve repair. PMID:28261057

  14. Molecular mechanism of Endosulfan action in mammals.

    PubMed

    Sebastian, Robin; Raghavan, Sathees C

    2017-03-01

    Endosulfan is a broad-spectrum organochlorine pesticide, speculated to be detrimental to human health in areas of active exposure. However, the molecular insights to its mechanism of action remain poorly understood. In two recent studies, our group investigated the physiological and molecular aspects of endosulfan action using in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo analyses. The results showed that apart from reducing fertility levels in male animals, Endosulfan induced DNA damage that triggers compromised DNA damage response leading to undesirable processing of broken DNA ends. In this review, pesticide use especially of Endosulfan in the Indian scenario is summarized and the importance of our findings, especially the rationalized use of pesticides in the future, is emphasized.

  15. Modeling molecular mechanisms in the axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Rooij, R.; Miller, K. E.; Kuhl, E.

    2016-12-01

    Axons are living systems that display highly dynamic changes in stiffness, viscosity, and internal stress. However, the mechanistic origin of these phenomenological properties remains elusive. Here we establish a computational mechanics model that interprets cellular-level characteristics as emergent properties from molecular-level events. We create an axon model of discrete microtubules, which are connected to neighboring microtubules via discrete crosslinking mechanisms that obey a set of simple rules. We explore two types of mechanisms: passive and active crosslinking. Our passive and active simulations suggest that the stiffness and viscosity of the axon increase linearly with the crosslink density, and that both are highly sensitive to the crosslink detachment and reattachment times. Our model explains how active crosslinking with dynein motors generates internal stresses and actively drives axon elongation. We anticipate that our model will allow us to probe a wide variety of molecular phenomena—both in isolation and in interaction—to explore emergent cellular-level features under physiological and pathological conditions.

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Sex Determination in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Rhen, T.; Schroeder, A.

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques. PMID:20145384

  17. Molecular mechanisms of sex determination in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rhen, T; Schroeder, A

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques.

  18. Modeling molecular mechanisms in the axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Rooij, R.; Miller, K. E.; Kuhl, E.

    2017-03-01

    Axons are living systems that display highly dynamic changes in stiffness, viscosity, and internal stress. However, the mechanistic origin of these phenomenological properties remains elusive. Here we establish a computational mechanics model that interprets cellular-level characteristics as emergent properties from molecular-level events. We create an axon model of discrete microtubules, which are connected to neighboring microtubules via discrete crosslinking mechanisms that obey a set of simple rules. We explore two types of mechanisms: passive and active crosslinking. Our passive and active simulations suggest that the stiffness and viscosity of the axon increase linearly with the crosslink density, and that both are highly sensitive to the crosslink detachment and reattachment times. Our model explains how active crosslinking with dynein motors generates internal stresses and actively drives axon elongation. We anticipate that our model will allow us to probe a wide variety of molecular phenomena—both in isolation and in interaction—to explore emergent cellular-level features under physiological and pathological conditions.

  19. Quantum molecular dynamics approach to heavy ion collisions: Description of the model, comparison with fragmentation data, and the mechanism of fragment formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aichelin, J.; Peilert, G.; Bohnet, A.; Rosenhauer, A.; Stöcker, H.; Greiner, W.

    1988-06-01

    We present a detailed microscopic quantum molecular dynamic analysis of fragment formation in the reaction Ne(1.05 GeV/nucleon) + Au. The theoretical predictions of the total mass yield, the multiplicity distribution of clusters, their average momentum, and their angular distribution agree well with the available data. We find a rather localized hot participant zone, which predominantly emits protons and neutrons. The multiplicity of light clusters depends strongly on the impact parameter whereas the heavier fragments A>=40 result from the decay of spectator residues. Their yield can provide a good measure for the impact parameter. The hypothesis of a compound system of AP and AT nucleons which is globally heated and equilibrated is not supported by our results. Light and massive fragments occupy different regions in phase space. Semiperipheral reactions do not lead to a stopping of the projectile. We observe a power law behavior of the inclusive mass yield distribution. Its form, however, is caused by averaging over different impact parameters. This rules out inclusive mass yield distributions as candidates for revealing a possible liquid gas phase transition. Light and intermediate mass fragments are formed during the early compressional stage of the reaction. We find that the projectile causes a high density wave to travel through the target. It causes the target to fragment and transfers transverse momentum to the intermediate mass fragments. Lighter fragments receive additional momentum transfer due to n-n collisions.

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Inner Ear Development

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Doris K.; Kelley, Matthew W.

    2012-01-01

    The inner ear is a structurally complex vertebrate organ built to encode sound, motion, and orientation in space. Given its complexity, it is not surprising that inner ear dysfunction is a relatively common consequence of human genetic mutation. Studies in model organisms suggest that many genes currently known to be associated with human hearing impairment are active during embryogenesis. Hence, the study of inner ear development provides a rich context for understanding the functions of genes implicated in hearing loss. This chapter focuses on molecular mechanisms of inner ear development derived from studies of model organisms. PMID:22855724

  1. Quantum Mechanical Studies of Molecular Hyperpolarizabilities.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-04-30

    exponent , reflects the screening of an electron in a given orbital by the interior electrons in the atom or molecule. In practice, when studying...Basis sets have evolved over the years in molecular quantum mechanics until sets of orbital exponents for the different atoms composing the molecule have...and R. P. Hurst , J. Chem. Phys. 46, 2356 (1967); S. P. LickmannI and J. W. Moskowitz, J. Chem. Phys. 54, 3622 7T971). 26. T. H. Dunning, J. Chem. Phys

  2. Mechanical approach to chemical transport

    PubMed Central

    Kocherginsky, Nikolai; Gruebele, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Nonequilibrium thermodynamics describes the rates of transport phenomena with the aid of various thermodynamic forces, but often the phenomenological transport coefficients are not known, and the description is not easily connected with equilibrium relations. We present a simple and intuitive model to address these issues. Our model is based on Lagrangian dynamics for chemical systems with dissipation, so one may think of the model as physicochemical mechanics. Using one main equation, the model allows a systematic derivation of all transport and equilibrium equations, subject to the limitation that heat generated or absorbed in the system must be small for the model to be valid. A table with all major examples of transport and equilibrium processes described using physicochemical mechanics is given. In equilibrium, physicochemical mechanics reduces to standard thermodynamics and the Gibbs–Duhem relation, and we show that the First and Second Laws of thermodynamics are satisfied for our system plus bath model. Out of equilibrium, our model provides relationships between transport coefficients and describes system evolution in the presence of several simultaneous external fields. The model also leads to an extension of the Onsager–Casimir reciprocal relations for properties simultaneously transported by many components. PMID:27647899

  3. Molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid receptor signaling.

    PubMed

    Labeur, Marta; Holsboer, Florian

    2010-01-01

    This review highlights the most recent findings on the molecular mechanisms of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Most effects of glucocorticoids are mediated by the intracellular GR which is present in almost every tissue and controls transcriptional activation via direct and indirect mechanisms. Nevertheless the glu-cocorticoid responses are tissue -and gene- specific. GR associates selectively with corticosteroid ligands produced in the adrenal gland in response to changes of humoral homeostasis. Ligand interaction with GR promotes either GR binding to genomic glucocorticoid response elements, in turn modulating gene transcription, or interaction of GR monomers with other transcription factors activated by other signalling pathways leading to transrepression. The GR regulates a broad spectrum of physiological functions, including cell differentiation, metabolism and inflammatory responses. Thus, disruption or dysregulation of GR function will result in severe impairments in the maintenance of homeostasis and the control of adaptation to stress.

  4. Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia – The Molecular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Nessa, Azizun; Rahman, Sofia A.; Hussain, Khalid

    2016-01-01

    Under normal physiological conditions, pancreatic β-cells secrete insulin to maintain fasting blood glucose levels in the range 3.5–5.5 mmol/L. In hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (HH), this precise regulation of insulin secretion is perturbed so that insulin continues to be secreted in the presence of hypoglycemia. HH may be due to genetic causes (congenital) or secondary to certain risk factors. The molecular mechanisms leading to HH involve defects in the key genes regulating insulin secretion from the β-cells. At this moment, in time genetic abnormalities in nine genes (ABCC8, KCNJ11, GCK, SCHAD, GLUD1, SLC16A1, HNF1A, HNF4A, and UCP2) have been described that lead to the congenital forms of HH. Perinatal stress, intrauterine growth retardation, maternal diabetes mellitus, and a large number of developmental syndromes are also associated with HH in the neonatal period. In older children and adult’s insulinoma, non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemia syndrome and post bariatric surgery are recognized causes of HH. This review article will focus mainly on describing the molecular mechanisms that lead to unregulated insulin secretion. PMID:27065949

  5. Molecular inhibitory mechanism of tricin on tyrosinase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mu, Yan; Li, Lin; Hu, Song-Qing

    2013-04-01

    Tricin was evaluated as a type of tyrosinase inhibitor with good efficacy compared to arbutin. Tricin functioned as a non-competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase, with an equilibrium constant of 2.30 mmol/L. The molecular mechanisms underlying the inhibition of tyrosinase by tricin were investigated by means of circular dichroism spectra, fluorescence quenching and molecular docking. These assays demonstrated that the interactions between tricin and tyrosinase did not change the secondary structure. The interaction of tricin with residues in the hydrophobic pocket of tyrosinase was revealed by fluorescence quenching; the complex was stabilized by hydrophobic associations and hydrogen bonding (with residues Asn80 and Arg267). Docking results implied that the possible inhibitory mechanisms may be attributed to the stereospecific blockade effects of tricin on substrates or products and flexible conformation alterations in the tyrosinase active center caused by weak interactions between tyrosinase and tricin. The application of this type of flavonoid as a tyrosinase inhibitor will lead to significant advances in the field of depigmentation.

  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. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of dental nociception.

    PubMed

    Chung, G; Jung, S J; Oh, S B

    2013-11-01

    Due, in part, to the unique structure of the tooth, dental pain is initiated via distinct mechanisms. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of inflammatory tooth pain and discuss 3 hypotheses proposed to explain dentinal hypersensitivity: The first hypothesis, supported by functional expression of temperature-sensitive transient receptor potential channels, emphasizes the direct transduction of noxious temperatures by dental primary afferent neurons. The second hypothesis, known as hydrodynamic theory, attributes dental pain to fluid movement within dentinal tubules, and we discuss several candidate cellular mechanical transducers for the detection of fluid movement. The third hypothesis focuses on the potential sensory function of odontoblasts in the detection of thermal or mechanical stimuli, and we discuss the accumulating evidence that supports their excitability. We also briefly update on a novel strategy for local nociceptive anesthesia via nociceptive transducer molecules in dental primary afferents with the potential to specifically silence pain fibers during dental treatment. Further understanding of the molecular mechanisms of dental pain would greatly enhance the development of therapeutics that target dental pain.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Macrophage Response to Hypoxia

    PubMed Central

    Rahat, Michal A.; Bitterman, Haim; Lahat, Nitza

    2011-01-01

    Monocytes and Macrophages (Mo/Mɸ) exhibit great plasticity, as they can shift between different modes of activation and, driven by their immediate microenvironment, perform divergent functions. These include, among others, patrolling their surroundings and maintaining homeostasis (resident Mo/Mɸ), combating invading pathogens and tumor cells (classically activated or M1 Mo/Mɸ), orchestrating wound healing (alternatively activated or M2 Mo/Mɸ), and restoring homeostasis after an inflammatory response (resolution Mɸ). Hypoxia is an important factor in the Mɸ microenvironment, is prevalent in many physiological and pathological conditions, and is interdependent with the inflammatory response. Although Mo/Mɸ have been studied in hypoxia, the mechanisms by which hypoxia influences the different modes of their activation, and how it regulates the shift between them, remain unclear. Here we review the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms that mediate this hypoxic regulation of Mɸ activation. Much is known about the hypoxic transcriptional regulatory network, which includes the master regulators hypoxia-induced factor-1 and NF-κB, as well as other transcription factors (e.g., AP-1, Erg-1), but we also highlight the role of post-transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms. These mechanisms mediate hypoxic induction of Mɸ pro-angiogenic mediators, suppress M1 Mɸ by post-transcriptionally inhibiting pro-inflammatory mediators, and help shift the classically activated Mɸ into an activation state which approximate the alternatively activated or resolution Mɸ. PMID:22566835

  9. 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

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Placebo Responses In Humans

    PubMed Central

    Peciña, Marta; Zubieta, Jon-Kar

    2014-01-01

    Endogenous opioid and non-opioid mechanisms [e.g. dopamine (DA), endocannabinoids (eCB)] have been implicated in the formation of placebo analgesic effects, with initial reports dating back three-decades. Besides the perspective that placebo effects confound randomized clinical trials (RCTs), the information so far acquired points to neurobiological systems that when activated by positive expectations and maintained through conditioning and reward learning are capable of inducing physiological changes that lead to the experience of analgesia and improvements in emotional state. Molecular neuroimaging techniques with positron emission tomography (PET) and the selective μ-opioid and D2/3 radiotracers [11C]carfentanil and [11C]raclopride have significantly contributed to our understanding of the neurobiological systems involved in the formation of placebo effects. This line of research has described neural and neurotransmitter networks implicated in placebo responses and provided the technical tools to examine inter-individual differences in the function of placebo responsive mechanisms, and potential surrogates (biomarkers). As a consequence, the formation of biological placebo effects is now being linked to the concept of resiliency mechanisms, partially determined by genetic factors, and uncovered by the cognitive emotional integration of the expectations created by the therapeutic environment and its maintenance through learning mechanisms. Further work needs to extend this research into clinical conditions where the rates of placebo responses are high and its neurobiological mechanisms have been largely unexplored (e.g. mood and anxiety disorders, persistent pain syndromes, or even Parkinson Disease and multiple sclerosis). The delineation of these processes within and across diseases would point to biological targets that have not been contemplated in traditional drug development. PMID:25510510

  11. 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.

  12. Molecular Mechanisms of DNA Replication Checkpoint Activation

    PubMed Central

    Recolin, Bénédicte; van der Laan, Siem; Tsanov, Nikolay; Maiorano, Domenico

    2014-01-01

    The major challenge of the cell cycle is to deliver an intact, and fully duplicated, genetic material to the daughter cells. To this end, progression of DNA synthesis is monitored by a feedback mechanism known as replication checkpoint that is untimely linked to DNA replication. This signaling pathway ensures coordination of DNA synthesis with cell cycle progression. Failure to activate this checkpoint in response to perturbation of DNA synthesis (replication stress) results in forced cell division leading to chromosome fragmentation, aneuploidy, and genomic instability. In this review, we will describe current knowledge of the molecular determinants of the DNA replication checkpoint in eukaryotic cells and discuss a model of activation of this signaling pathway crucial for maintenance of genomic stability. PMID:24705291

  13. Sarcopenia: monitoring, molecular mechanisms, and physical intervention.

    PubMed

    Zembroń-Łacny, A; Dziubek, W; Rogowski, Ł; Skorupka, E; Dąbrowska, G

    2014-01-01

    According to European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) sarcopenia includes both a loss of muscle strength and a decline in functional quality in addition to the loss of muscle protein mass. In order to develop strategies to prevent and treat sarcopenia, the risk factors and causes of sarcopenia must be identified. Age-related muscle loss is characterized by the contribution of multiple factors, and there is growing evidence for a prominent role of low-grade chronic inflammation in sarcopenia. The elderly who are less physically active are more likely to have lower skeletal muscle mass and strength and are at increased risk of developing sarcopenia. Resistance training added to aerobic exercise or high-intensity interval training promote numerous changes in skeletal muscle, many of which may help to prevent or reverse sarcopenia. In this review, we provided current information on definition and monitoring, molecular mechanisms, and physical intervention to counteract sarcopenia.

  14. Molecular mechanics calculations on muscarinic agonists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooijman, Huub; Kanters, Jan A.; Kroon, Jan

    1990-10-01

    Molecular mechanics calculations have been performed on the conformation freedom with respect to the torsion angles OCCN and COCC of acetylcholine, α( R-methylacetylcholine,β( S)-methylacetylcholine, α( R),β( S)-diemthylacetylcholine and muscarine, in order to obtain information about the active conformation and its interaction with the muscarinic cholinergic receptor. Muscarine has a rather flexible ring system, which makes modelling of the receptor site on the active conformation of this particular ligand a difficult problem. A common minimum for these compounds was found at {+ gauche,anti}), which is identified with the active conformation. However, OCCN angles of up to 120° can be accommodated in the receptor site. The reduced cholinergic activity of the α-methyl derivatives is probably caused by unfavourable interactions between the α-methyl group and the receptor site. The apparent contradictory high activity of the 2-acetyloxycyclopropylammonium ion can be explained by the distorted geometry of α substitution.

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Midfacial Developmental Defects

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Akiko; Sangani, Dhruvee R.; Ansari, Afreen; Iwata, Junichi

    2015-01-01

    The morphogenesis of midfacial processes requires the coordination of a variety of cellular functions of both mesenchymal and epithelial cells to develop complex structures. Any failure or delay in midfacial development as well as any abnormal fusion of the medial and lateral nasal and maxillary prominences will result in developmental defects in the midface with a varying degree of severity, including cleft, hypoplasia, and midline expansion. In spite of the advances in human genome sequencing technology, the causes of nearly 70 percent of all birth defects, which include midfacial development defects, remain unknown. Recent studies in animal models have highlighted the importance of specific signaling cascades and genetic-environmental interactions in the development of the midfacial region. This review will summarize the current understanding of the morphogenetic processes and molecular mechanisms underlying midfacial birth defects based on mouse models with midfacial developmental abnormalities. PMID:26562615

  16. Molecular mechanisms for enhanced DNA vaccine immunogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Lei; Petrovsky, Nikolai

    2016-01-01

    Summary In the two decades since their initial discovery, DNA vaccines technologies have come a long way. Unfortunately, when applied to human subjects inadequate immunogenicity is still the biggest challenge for practical DNA vaccine use. Many different strategies have been tested in preclinical models to address this problem, including novel plasmid vectors and codon optimization to enhance antigen expression, new gene transfection systems or electroporation to increase delivery efficiency, protein or live virus vector boosting regimens to maximise immune stimulation, and formulation of DNA vaccines with traditional or molecular adjuvants. Better understanding of the mechanisms of action of DNA vaccines has also enabled better use of the intrinsic host response to DNA to improve vaccine immunogenicity. This review summarizes recent advances in DNA vaccine technologies and related intracellular events and how these might impact on future directions of DNA vaccine development. PMID:26707950

  17. Molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance in diabetes.

    PubMed

    Soumaya, Kouidhi

    2012-01-01

    Molecular components of impaired insulin signaling pathway have emerged with growing interest to understand how the environment and genetic susceptibility combine to cause defects in this fundamental pathway that lead to insulin resistance. When insulin resistance is combined with beta-cell defects in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, impaired glucose tolerance, hyperglycemia, or Type 2 diabetes can result. The most common underlying cause is obesity, although primary insulin resistance in normal-weight individuals is also possible. The adipose tissue releases free fatty acids that contribute to insulin resistance and also acts as a relevant endocrine organ producing mediators (adipokines) that can modulate insulin signalling. This chapter deals with the core elements promoting, insulin resistance, associated with impaired insulin signalling pathway and adipocyte dysfunction. A detailed understanding of these basic pathophysiological mechanisms is critical for the development of novel therapeutic strategies to treat diabetes.

  18. Molecular mechanisms for enhanced DNA vaccine immunogenicity.

    PubMed

    Li, Lei; Petrovsky, Nikolai

    2016-01-01

    In the two decades since their initial discovery, DNA vaccines technologies have come a long way. Unfortunately, when applied to human subjects inadequate immunogenicity is still the biggest challenge for practical DNA vaccine use. Many different strategies have been tested in preclinical models to address this problem, including novel plasmid vectors and codon optimization to enhance antigen expression, new gene transfection systems or electroporation to increase delivery efficiency, protein or live virus vector boosting regimens to maximise immune stimulation, and formulation of DNA vaccines with traditional or molecular adjuvants. Better understanding of the mechanisms of action of DNA vaccines has also enabled better use of the intrinsic host response to DNA to improve vaccine immunogenicity. This review summarizes recent advances in DNA vaccine technologies and related intracellular events and how these might impact on future directions of DNA vaccine development.

  19. Molecular mechanisms of pancreatitis: current opinion.

    PubMed

    Vonlaufen, Alain; Wilson, Jeremy S; Apte, Minoti V

    2008-09-01

    Pancreatitis (necroinflammation of the pancreas) has both acute and chronic manifestations. Gallstones are the major cause of acute pancreatitis, whereas alcohol is associated with acute as well as chronic forms of the disease. Cases of true idiopathic pancreatitis are steadily diminishing as more genetic causes of the disease are discovered. The pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis has been extensively investigated over the past four decades; the general current consensus is that the injury is initiated within pancreatic acinar cells subsequent to premature intracellular activation of digestive enzymes. Repeated attacks of acute pancreatitis have the potential to evolve into chronic disease characterized by fibrosis and loss of pancreatic function. Our knowledge of the process of scarring has advanced considerably with the isolation and study of pancreatic stellate cells, now established as the key cells in pancreatic fibrogenesis. The present review summarizes recent developments in the field particularly with respect to the progress made in unraveling the molecular mechanisms of acute and chronic pancreatic injury secondary to gallstones, alcohol and genetic factors. It is anticipated that continued research in the area will lead to the identification and characterization of molecular pathways that may be therapeutically targeted to prevent/inhibit the initiation and progression of the disease.

  20. Kinetics and Mechanism--A Games Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harsch, Gunther

    1984-01-01

    Proposes an approach to chemical kinetics and mechanism using statistical games, illustrating its use in monomolecular, catalytic, autocatalytic, consecutive, and equilibrium reactions. Major features of the games are also outlined and discussed. (JN)

  1. Integrative network analysis reveals molecular mechanisms of blood pressure regulation

    PubMed Central

    Huan, Tianxiao; Meng, Qingying; Saleh, Mohamed A; Norlander, Allison E; Joehanes, Roby; Zhu, Jun; Chen, Brian H; Zhang, Bin; Johnson, Andrew D; Ying, Saixia; Courchesne, Paul; Raghavachari, Nalini; Wang, Richard; Liu, Poching; O'Donnell, Christopher J; Vasan, Ramachandran; Munson, Peter J; Madhur, Meena S; Harrison, David G; Yang, Xia; Levy, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci associated with blood pressure (BP). The molecular mechanisms underlying BP regulation, however, remain unclear. We investigated BP-associated molecular mechanisms by integrating BP GWAS with whole blood mRNA expression profiles in 3,679 individuals, using network approaches. BP transcriptomic signatures at the single-gene and the coexpression network module levels were identified. Four coexpression modules were identified as potentially causal based on genetic inference because expression-related SNPs for their corresponding genes demonstrated enrichment for BP GWAS signals. Genes from the four modules were further projected onto predefined molecular interaction networks, revealing key drivers. Gene subnetworks entailing molecular interactions between key drivers and BP-related genes were uncovered. As proof-of-concept, we validated SH2B3, one of the top key drivers, using Sh2b3−/− mice. We found that a significant number of genes predicted to be regulated by SH2B3 in gene networks are perturbed in Sh2b3−/− mice, which demonstrate an exaggerated pressor response to angiotensin II infusion. Our findings may help to identify novel targets for the prevention or treatment of hypertension. PMID:25882670

  2. Exact and Optimal Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Boundaries.

    PubMed

    Sun, Qiming; Chan, Garnet Kin-Lic

    2014-09-09

    Motivated by recent work in density matrix embedding theory, we define exact link orbitals that capture all quantum mechanical (QM) effects across arbitrary quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) boundaries. Exact link orbitals are rigorously defined from the full QM solution, and their number is equal to the number of orbitals in the primary QM region. Truncating the exact set yields a smaller set of link orbitals optimal with respect to reproducing the primary region density matrix. We use the optimal link orbitals to obtain insight into the limits of QM/MM boundary treatments. We further analyze the popular general hybrid orbital (GHO) QM/MM boundary across a test suite of molecules. We find that GHOs are often good proxies for the most important optimal link orbital, although there is little detailed correlation between the detailed GHO composition and optimal link orbital valence weights. The optimal theory shows that anions and cations cannot be described by a single link orbital. However, expanding to include the second most important optimal link orbital in the boundary recovers an accurate description. The second optimal link orbital takes the chemically intuitive form of a donor or acceptor orbital for charge redistribution, suggesting that optimal link orbitals can be used as interpretative tools for electron transfer. We further find that two optimal link orbitals are also sufficient for boundaries that cut across double bonds. Finally, we suggest how to construct "approximately" optimal link orbitals for practical QM/MM calculations.

  3. 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.

  4. Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics restrained electrostatic potential fitting.

    PubMed

    Burger, Steven K; Schofield, Jeremy; Ayers, Paul W

    2013-12-05

    We present a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) method to evaluate the partial charges of amino acid residues for use in MM potentials based on their protein environment. For each residue of interest, the nearby residues are included in the QM system while the rest of the protein is treated at the MM level of theory. After a short structural optimization, the partial charges of the central residue are fit to the electrostatic potential using the restrained electrostatic potential (RESP) method. The resulting charges and electrostatic potential account for the individual environment of the residue, although they lack the transferable nature of library partial charges. To evaluate the quality of the QM/MM RESP charges, thermodynamic integration is used to measure the pKa shift of the aspartic acid residues in three different proteins, turkey egg lysozyme, beta-cryptogein, and Thioredoxin. Compared to the AMBER ff99SB library values, the QM/MM RESP charges show better agreement between the calculated and experimental pK(a) values for almost all of the residues considered.

  5. The molecular mechanism and physiological role of cytoplasmic streaming.

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Motoki; Ito, Kohji

    2015-10-01

    Cytoplasmic streaming occurs widely in plants ranging from algae to angiosperms. However, the molecular mechanism and physiological role of cytoplasmic streaming have long remained unelucidated. Recent molecular genetic approaches have identified specific myosin members (XI-2 and XI-K as major and XI-1, XI-B, and XI-I as minor motive forces) for the generation of cytoplasmic streaming among 13 myosin XIs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Simultaneous knockout of these myosin XI members led to a reduced velocity of cytoplasmic streaming and marked defects of plant development. Furthermore, the artificial modifications of myosin XI-2 velocity changed plant and cell sizes along with the velocity of cytoplasmic streaming. Therefore, we assume that cytoplasmic streaming is one of the key regulators in determining plant size.

  6. Extrapolated gradientlike algorithms for molecular dynamics and celestial mechanics simulations.

    PubMed

    Omelyan, I P

    2006-09-01

    A class of symplectic algorithms is introduced to integrate the equations of motion in many-body systems. The algorithms are derived on the basis of an advanced gradientlike decomposition approach. Its main advantage over the standard gradient scheme is the avoidance of time-consuming evaluations of force gradients by force extrapolation without any loss of precision. As a result, the efficiency of the integration improves significantly. The algorithms obtained are analyzed and optimized using an error-function theory. The best among them are tested in actual molecular dynamics and celestial mechanics simulations for comparison with well-known nongradient and gradient algorithms such as the Störmer-Verlet, Runge-Kutta, Cowell-Numerov, Forest-Ruth, Suzuki-Chin, and others. It is demonstrated that for moderate and high accuracy, the extrapolated algorithms should be considered as the most efficient for the integration of motion in molecular dynamics simulations.

  7. New molecular microbiology approaches in the study of Campylobacter fetus

    PubMed Central

    Kienesberger, Sabine; Gorkiewicz, Gregor; Wolinski, Heimo; Zechner, Ellen L.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Campylobacter fetus infection is a substantial problem in herds of domestic cattle worldwide and a rising threat in human disease. Application of comparative and functional genomics approaches will be essential to understand the molecular basis of this pathogen's interactions with various hosts. Here we report recent progress in genome analyses of C. fetus ssp. fetus and C. fetus ssp. venerealis, and the development of molecular tools to determine the genetic basis of niche‐specific adaptations. Campylobacter research has been strengthened by the rapid advancements in imaging technology occurring throughout microbiology. To move forward in understanding the mechanisms underlying C. fetus virulence, current efforts focus on developing suitable in vitro models to reflect host‐ and tissue‐specific aspects of infection. PMID:21255368

  8. Decomposition of amino diazeniumdiolates (NONOates): Molecular mechanisms

    DOE PAGES

    Shaikh, Nizamuddin; Valiev, Marat; Lymar, Sergei V.

    2014-08-23

    Although diazeniumdiolates (X[N(O)NO]-) are extensively used in biochemical, physiological, and pharmacological studies due to their ability to release NO and/or its congeneric nitroxyl, the mechanisms of these processes remain obscure. In this work, we used a combination of spectroscopic, kinetic, and computational techniques to arrive at a quantitatively consistent molecular mechanism for decomposition of amino diazeniumdiolates (amino NONOates: R2N[N(O)NO]-, where R = —N(C2H5)2(1), —N(C3H4NH2)2(2), or —N(C2H4NH2)2(3)). Decomposition of these NONOates is triggered by protonation of their [NN(O)NO]- group with the apparent pKa and decomposition rate constants of 4.6 and 1 s-1 for 1; 3.5 and 0.083 s-1 for 2; andmore » 3.8 and 0.0033 s-1 for 3. Although protonation occurs mainly on the O atoms of the functional group, only the minor R2N(H)N(O)NO tautomer (population ~ 10-7, for 1) undergoes the N—N heterolytic bond cleavage (kd ~ 107 s-1 for 1) leading to amine and NO. Decompositions of protonated amino NONOates are strongly temperature-dependent; activation enthalpies are 20.4 and 19.4 kcal/mol for 1 and 2, respectively, which includes contributions from both the tautomerization and bond cleavage. Thus, the bond cleavage rates exhibit exceptional sensitivity to the nature of R substituents which strongly modulate activation entropy. At pH < 2, decompositions of all three NONOates that have been investigated are subject to additional acid catalysis that occurs through di-protonation of the [NN(O)NO]- group.« less

  9. Molecular mechanisms regulating CD13-mediated adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Mallika; Gerber, Claire; Rahman, M Mamunur; Vernier, Kaitlyn M; Pereira, Flavia E; Subramani, Jaganathan; Caromile, Leslie A; Shapiro, Linda H

    2014-01-01

    CD13/Aminopeptidase N is a transmembrane metalloproteinase that is expressed in many tissues where it regulates various cellular functions. In inflammation, CD13 is expressed on myeloid cells, is up-regulated on endothelial cells at sites of inflammation and mediates monocyte/endothelial adhesion by homotypic interactions. In animal models the lack of CD13 alters the profiles of infiltrating inflammatory cells at sites of ischaemic injury. Here, we found that CD13 expression is enriched specifically on the pro-inflammatory subset of monocytes, suggesting that CD13 may regulate trafficking and function of specific subsets of immune cells. To further dissect the mechanisms regulating CD13-dependent trafficking we used the murine model of thioglycollate-induced sterile peritonitis. Peritoneal monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells were significantly decreased in inflammatory exudates from global CD13KO animals when compared with wild-type controls. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of wild-type and CD13KO primary myeloid cells, or wild-type myeloid cells pre-treated with CD13-blocking antibodies into thioglycollate-challenged wild-type recipients demonstrated fewer CD13KO or treated cells in the lavage, suggesting that CD13 expression confers a competitive advantage in trafficking. Similarly, both wild-type and CD13KO cells were reduced in infiltrates in CD13KO recipients, confirming that both monocytic and endothelial CD13 contribute to trafficking. Finally, murine monocyte cell lines expressing mouse/human chimeric CD13 molecules demonstrated that the C-terminal domain of the protein mediates CD13 adhesion. Therefore, this work verifies that the altered inflammatory trafficking in CD13KO mice is the result of aberrant myeloid cell subset trafficking and further defines the molecular mechanisms underlying this regulation. PMID:24627994

  10. Molecular mechanisms of muscle plasticity with exercise.

    PubMed

    Hoppeler, Hans; Baum, Oliver; Lurman, Glenn; Mueller, Matthias

    2011-07-01

    The skeletal muscle phenotype is subject to considerable malleability depending on use. Low-intensity endurance type exercise leads to qualitative changes of muscle tissue characterized mainly by an increase in structures supporting oxygen delivery and consumption. High-load strength-type exercise leads to growth of muscle fibers dominated by an increase in contractile proteins. In low-intensity exercise, stress-induced signaling leads to transcriptional upregulation of a multitude of genes with Ca(2+) signaling and the energy status of the muscle cells sensed through AMPK being major input determinants. Several parallel signaling pathways converge on the transcriptional co-activator PGC-1α, perceived as being the coordinator of much of the transcriptional and posttranscriptional processes. High-load training is dominated by a translational upregulation controlled by mTOR mainly influenced by an insulin/growth factor-dependent signaling cascade as well as mechanical and nutritional cues. Exercise-induced muscle growth is further supported by DNA recruitment through activation and incorporation of satellite cells. Crucial nodes of strength and endurance exercise signaling networks are shared making these training modes interdependent. Robustness of exercise-related signaling is the consequence of signaling being multiple parallel with feed-back and feed-forward control over single and multiple signaling levels. We currently have a good descriptive understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling muscle phenotypic plasticity. We lack understanding of the precise interactions among partners of signaling networks and accordingly models to predict signaling outcome of entire networks. A major current challenge is to verify and apply available knowledge gained in model systems to predict human phenotypic plasticity.

  11. [Ontogenetic clock: molecular-genetic mechanism].

    PubMed

    Pisaruk, A V

    2010-01-01

    Proposed is a hypothesis of the mechanism providing for the cell to count out the time of life and to change (according to the set program) the expression of chromosomal genes in order to control ontogenesis ("ontogenetic clock"). This mechanism represents an autonomous molecular-genetic oscillator, which memorizes the number of cycles of own oscillations through cutting the terminal tau-segment of chrono-DNA using special restrictase. The latter is formed at this segment out of two sub-units (proteins) in each cycle of oscillator operation. These proteins are alternately synthesized on ribosomes, since each inhibits the synthesis of the other, thus ensuring successive binding of restrictase sub-units at the terminal segment of chrono-DNA and its single section in one cycle. In addition, each of these proteins is a repressor of own gene and activator of the gene of the other protein, thus ensuring efficiency and reliability of oscillator operation. The design of oscillator of ontogenetic clock is similar to that of circadian oscillator, but its frequency is not synchronized with the nature's physical rhythms and depends on body temperature. Therefore, it is physical rather than biological time that is measured. The chrono-DNA consists of short repetitive sequences of nucleotides (tau-segments) and temporal (regulatory) genes inserted over specified number of these segments. The shortening of chrono-DNA leads to uncovering the next gene and to its destruction by exonuclease. As a result, the synthesis of activator (repressor) stops and the expression of some chromosomal genes changes, initiating the next stage of ontogenesis.

  12. Anemia: progress in molecular mechanisms and therapies.

    PubMed

    Sankaran, Vijay G; Weiss, Mitchell J

    2015-03-01

    Anemia is a major source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Here we review recent insights into how red blood cells (RBCs) are produced, the pathogenic mechanisms underlying various forms of anemia, and novel therapies derived from these findings. It is likely that these new insights, mainly arising from basic scientific studies, will contribute immensely to both the understanding of frequently debilitating forms of anemia and the ability to treat affected patients. Major worldwide diseases that are likely to benefit from new advances include the hemoglobinopathies (β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease); rare genetic disorders of RBC production; and anemias associated with chronic kidney disease, inflammation, and cancer. Promising new approaches to treatment include drugs that target recently defined pathways in RBC production, iron metabolism, and fetal globin-family gene expression, as well as gene therapies that use improved viral vectors and newly developed genome editing technologies.

  13. Discovering novel ligands for understanding molecular mechanism of bacteria chemotaxis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Luhua

    2015-03-01

    In order to understand the molecular mechanism of bacteria chemotaxis, we used a combined experimental and computational approach to discover novel chemoeffector molecules and compare their binding features, as well as the conformational changes they produce. We first used molecular docking to computationally screen a large chemical library and tested binding strengths of the top-ranking molecules for the E. coli chemoreceptor Tar. Chemotactic properties of the binding molecules were then studied using a specially designed microfluidic device. Novel attractant and antagonist molecules were identified that bind directly with the E. coli chemoreceptor Tar. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that attractant and antagonist binding result in distinct conformational changes in Tar. Differences of antagonist and attractant binding suggest that molecules lacking triggering interaction with the receptor behave as antagonist. For Tar, the triggering interaction is mediated by the hydrogen bonds formed between a donor group in the attractant and the main-chain carbonyls in the fourth helix of Tar. This ?bind-and-trigger? mechanism of receptor signaling is verified experimentally by converting an antagonist into an attractant when introducing an NH group into the antagonist compound. Similar conformational changes were also observed in the E. coli Tsr system.

  14. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Peritoneal EMT and Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Strippoli, Raffaele; Moreno-Vicente, Roberto; Battistelli, Cecilia; Cicchini, Carla; Noce, Valeria; Amicone, Laura; Marchetti, Alessandra; del Pozo, Miguel Angel; Tripodi, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Peritoneal dialysis is a form of renal replacement alternative to the hemodialysis. During this treatment, the peritoneal membrane acts as a permeable barrier for exchange of solutes and water. Continual exposure to dialysis solutions, as well as episodes of peritonitis and hemoperitoneum, can cause acute/chronic inflammation and injury to the peritoneal membrane, which undergoes progressive fibrosis, angiogenesis, and vasculopathy, eventually leading to discontinuation of the peritoneal dialysis. Among the different events controlling this pathological process, epithelial to mesenchymal transition of mesothelial cells plays a main role in the induction of fibrosis and in subsequent functional deterioration of the peritoneal membrane. Here, the main extracellular inducers and cellular players are described. Moreover, signaling pathways acting during this process are elucidated, with emphasis on signals delivered by TGF-β family members and by Toll-like/IL-1β receptors. The understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying fibrosis of the peritoneal membrane has both a basic and a translational relevance, since it may be useful for setup of therapies aimed at counteracting the deterioration as well as restoring the homeostasis of the peritoneal membrane. PMID:26941801

  15. Molecular mechanisms underlying chemical liver injury

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Xinsheng; Manautou, Jose E.

    2013-01-01

    The liver is necessary for survival. Its strategic localisation, blood flow and prominent role in the metabolism of xenobiotics render this organ particularly susceptible to injury by chemicals to which we are ubiquitously exposed. The pathogenesis of most chemical-induced liver injuries is initiated by the metabolic conversion of chemicals into reactive intermediate species, such as electrophilic compounds or free radicals, which can potentially alter the structure and function of cellular macromolecules. Many reactive intermediate species can produce oxidative stress, which can be equally detrimental to the cell. When protective defences are overwhelmed by excess toxicant insult, the effects of reactive intermediate species lead to deregulation of cell signalling pathways and dysfunction of biomolecules, leading to failure of target organelles and eventual cell death. A myriad of genetic factors determine the susceptibility of specific individuals to chemical-induced liver injury. Environmental factors, lifestyle choices and pre-existing pathological conditions also have roles in the pathogenesis of chemical liver injury. Research aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanism of the pathogenesis of chemical-induced liver diseases is fundamental for preventing or devising new modalities of treatment for liver injury by chemicals. PMID:22306029

  16. An Approach with Hybrid Segmental Mechanics.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Harsh Ashok; Maurya, Raj Kumar

    2016-06-01

    Present case report provides an insight into the hybrid segmental mechanics with treatment of 13-year-old male, considering the side effects of sole continuous arch wire sliding mechanics. Patient was diagnosed as a case of skeletal class I jaw relationship, low mandibular plane angle, class II molar relation on right and class I molar relation on left side, anterior cross bite, crowding of 12mm in upper, 5mm in lower arch. He also had proclined upper and lower anteriors by 2mm, convex profile and incompetent lips. Total treatment duration was 20 months, during which segmental canine retraction was performed with TMA (Titanium, Molybdenum, Aluminum) 'T' loop retraction spring followed by consolidation of spaces with continuous arch mechanics. Most of the treatment objectives were met with good intraoral and facial results within reasonable framework of time. This approach used traditional twin brackets, which offered the versatility to use continuous arch-wire mechanics, segmental mechanics and hybrid sectional mechanics.

  17. 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

  18. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students' Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections…

  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. A Practical Quantum Mechanics Molecular Mechanics Method for the Dynamical Study of Reactions in Biomolecules.

    PubMed

    Mendieta-Moreno, Jesús I; Marcos-Alcalde, Iñigo; Trabada, Daniel G; Gómez-Puertas, Paulino; Ortega, José; Mendieta, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods are excellent tools for the modeling of biomolecular reactions. Recently, we have implemented a new QM/MM method (Fireball/Amber), which combines an efficient density functional theory method (Fireball) and a well-recognized molecular dynamics package (Amber), offering an excellent balance between accuracy and sampling capabilities. Here, we present a detailed explanation of the Fireball method and Fireball/Amber implementation. We also discuss how this tool can be used to analyze reactions in biomolecules using steered molecular dynamics simulations. The potential of this approach is shown by the analysis of a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme triose-phosphate isomerase (TIM). The conformational space and energetic landscape for this reaction are analyzed without a priori assumptions about the protonation states of the different residues during the reaction. The results offer a detailed description of the reaction and reveal some new features of the catalytic mechanism. In particular, we find a new reaction mechanism that is characterized by the intramolecular proton transfer from O1 to O2 and the simultaneous proton transfer from Glu 165 to C2.

  2. Molecular mechanisms of autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia.

    PubMed

    Wilund, Kenneth R; Yi, Ming; Campagna, Filomena; Arca, Marcello; Zuliani, Giovanni; Fellin, Renato; Ho, Yiu-Kee; Garcia, J Victor; Hobbs, Helen H; Cohen, Jonathan C

    2002-11-15

    Mutations in the phosphotyrosine-binding domain protein ARH cause autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia (ARH), an inherited form of hypercholesterolemia due to a tissue-specific defect in the removal of low density lipoproteins (LDL) from the circulation. LDL uptake by the LDL receptor (LDLR) is markedly reduced in the liver but is normal or only moderately impaired in cultured fibroblasts of ARH patients. To define the molecular mechanism underlying ARH we examined ARH mRNA and protein in fibroblasts and lymphocytes from six probands with different ARH mutations. None of the probands had detectable full-length ARH protein in fibroblasts or lymphoblasts. Five probands were homozygous for mutations that introduced premature termination codons. No relationship was apparent between the site of the mutation in ARH and the amount of mRNA. The only mutation identified in the remaining proband was a SINE VNTR Alu (SVA) retroposon insertion in intron 1, which was associated with no detectable ARH mRNA. (125)I-LDL degradation was normal in ARH fibroblasts, as previously reported. In contrast, LDLR function was markedly reduced in ARH lymphoblasts, despite a 2-fold increase in LDL cell surface binding in these cells. These data indicate that all ARH mutations characterized to date preclude the synthesis of full-length ARH and that ARH is required for normal LDLR function in lymphocytes and hepatocytes, but not in fibroblasts. Residual LDLR function in cells that do not require ARH may explain why ARH patients have lower plasma LDL levels than do patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia who have no functional LDLRs.

  3. [Molecular mechanisms underlying thermosensation in mammals].

    PubMed

    Sokabe, Takaaki; Tominaga, Makoto

    2009-07-01

    Sensing environmental temperature is one of the most important fundamental functions of the living things on the earth. Recently, it has been revealed that several members of the TRP ion channel super family are activated by temperature changes. A number of reports clearly demonstrate that thermal activation of these thermosensitive TRP channels contributes to various temperature-dependent responses in vivo, such as thermosensation, thermotaxis, and the regulation of cellular/tissue functions at physiological body temperature. Nine TRP channels have been reported to respond to a physiological range of temperatures in mammals. TRPV1 and TRPV2 expressed in nociceptive neurons are activated by heat (> 43 degrees C and > 52 degrees C, respectively), and TRPV1-null mice show defects in sensing noxious heat. TRPV3 and TRPV4 are predominantly expressed in skin keratinocytes rather than in sensory neurons, and the gene knock-out of each channel causes abnormal thermotaxis in vivo. TRPM8, which senses cold temperatures (< 27 degrees C), is expressed in nociceptive and non-nociceptive neurons and its loss impairs cold sensitivity. TRPA1 is expressed in nociceptive neurons and acts as a sensor for various harmful stimuli, whereas its responsiveness to noxious cold stimuli is controversial even after the analysis of mice lacking the channel. Other thermoTRPs, TRPM2, TRPM4, and TRPM5 are not expressed in sensory neurons, and are reportedly involved in several functions at physiological body temperatures including insulin secretion, taste sensation, and immune response. In this review, I summarize the molecular mechanisms of thermosensation in mammals by focusing on thermosensitive TRP channels.

  4. Silica Synthesis by Sponges: Unanticipated Molecular Mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morse, D. E.; Weaver, J. C.

    2001-12-01

    substitutions of specific amino acid sidechains, in conjunction with computer-assisted molecular modeling and biomimetic synthesis, allowed us to probe the determinants of catalytic activity and confirm the identification of the amino acid sidechains required for hydrolysis of the silicon alkoxides. If, as suggested by the data of others, silicic acid is conjugated with organic moieties after its transport into the cell, the catalytic mechanism described here may be important in biosilicification by sponges. As is often the case, we have been better able to answer mechanistic questions about "how" silica can be formed biologically, than "why" the diversity of structures is elaborated. Studies of spicule formation during cellular regeneration in Tethya aurantia reveal that synthesis of the larger silica needles (megascleres) and smaller starburst-shaped microscleres may be independently regulated, presumably at the genetic level. The spatial segregation of these morphologically-distinct spicule types within the sponge further suggests an adaptive significance of the different skeletal elements.

  5. Integral Equation Theory of Molecular Solvation Coupled with Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanics Method in NWChem Package

    SciTech Connect

    Chuev, Gennady N.; Valiev, Marat; Fedotova, Marina V.

    2012-04-10

    We have developed a hybrid approach based on a combination of integral equation theory of molecular liquids and QM/MM methodology in NorthWest computational Chemistry (NWChem) software package. We have split the evaluations into conse- quent QM/MM and statistical mechanics calculations based on the one-dimensional reference interaction site model, which allows us to reduce signicantly the time of computation. The method complements QM/MM capabilities existing in the NWChem package. The accuracy of the presented method was tested through com- putation of water structure around several organic solutes and their hydration free energies. We have also evaluated the solvent effect on the conformational equilibria. The applicability and limitations of the developed approach are discussed.

  6. The Mechanism Design Approach to Student Assignment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pathak, Parag A.

    2011-01-01

    The mechanism design approach to student assignment involves the theoretical, empirical, and experimental study of systems used to allocate students into schools around the world. Recent practical experience designing systems for student assignment has raised new theoretical questions for the theory of matching and assignment. This article reviews…

  7. Gauge-origin independent magnetizabilities from hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics models: Theory and applications to liquid water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aidas, Kestutis; Kongsted, Jacob; Nielsen, Christian B.; Mikkelsen, Kurt V.; Christiansen, Ove; Ruud, Kenneth

    2007-07-01

    The theory of a hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach for gauge-origin independent calculations of the molecular magnetizability using Hartree-Fock or Density Functional Theory is presented. The method is applied to liquid water using configurations generated from classical Molecular Dynamics simulation to calculate the statistical averaged magnetizability. Based on a comparison with experimental data, treating only one water molecule quantum mechanically appears to be insufficient, while a quantum mechanical treatment of also the first solvation shell leads to good agreement between theory and experiment. This indicates that the gas-to-liquid phase shift for the molecular magnetizability is to a large extent of non-electrostatic nature.

  8. Molecular Mechanics: The Method and Its Underlying Philosophy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Donald B.; Lipkowitz, Kenny B.

    1982-01-01

    Molecular mechanics is a nonquantum mechanical method for solving problems concerning molecular geometries and energy. Methodology based on: the principle of combining potential energy functions of all structural features of a particular molecule into a total force field; derivation of basic equations; and use of available computer programs is…

  9. Application of high level wavefunction methods in quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics hybrid schemes.

    PubMed

    Mata, Ricardo A

    2010-05-21

    In this Perspective, several developments in the field of quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approaches are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on the use of correlated wavefunction theory and new state of the art methods for the treatment of large quantum systems. Until recently, computational chemistry approaches to large/complex chemical problems have seldom been considered as tools for quantitative predictions. However, due to the tremendous development of computational resources and new quantum chemical methods, it is nowadays possible to describe the electronic structure of biomolecules at levels of theory which a decade ago were only possible for system sizes of up to 20 atoms. These advances are here outlined in the context of QM/MM. The article concludes with a short outlook on upcoming developments and possible bottlenecks for future applications.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of Par-4-Induced Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-05-01

    Sambrook J, Fritsch EF, Maniatis T. (1989). Molecular Cloning : A Laboratory Manual (Cold Spring Harbor, New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory...AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-05-1-0622 TITLE: Molecular Mechanisms of Par-4-Induced...SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Molecular Mechanisms of Par-4-Induced Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-05-1-0622 5c. PROGRAM

  12. Molecular mechanisms driving homeostatic plasticity of neurotransmitter release

    PubMed Central

    Lazarevic, Vesna; Pothula, Santosh; Andres-Alonso, Maria; Fejtova, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Homeostatic plasticity is a process by which neurons adapt to the overall network activity to keep their firing rates in a reasonable range. At the cellular level this kind of plasticity comprises modulation of cellular excitability and tuning of synaptic strength. In this review we concentrate on presynaptic homeostatic plasticity controlling the efficacy of neurotransmitter release from presynaptic boutons. While morphological and electrophysiological approaches were successful to describe homeostatic plasticity-induced changes in the presynaptic architecture and function, cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying those modifications remained largely unknown for a long time. We summarize the latest progress made in the understanding of homeostasis-induced regulation of different steps of the synaptic vesicle cycle and the molecular machineries involved in this process. We particularly focus on the role of presynaptic scaffolding proteins, which functionally and spatially organize synaptic vesicle clusters, neurotransmitter release sites and the associated endocytic machinery. These proteins turned out to be major presynaptic substrates for remodeling during homeostatic plasticity. Finally, we discuss cellular processes and signaling pathways acting during homeostatic molecular remodeling and their potential involvement in the maladaptive plasticity occurring in multiple neuropathologic conditions such as neurodegeneration, epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:24348337

  13. 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.

  14. Phosphorylation Reaction in cAPK Protein Kinase - Free Energy Quantum Mechanic/Molecular Mechanics Simulations.

    SciTech Connect

    Valiev, Marat; Yang, Jie; Adams, Joseph; Taylor, Susan S.; Weare, John H.

    2007-11-29

    Protein kinases catalyze the transfer of the γ-phosphoryl group from ATP, a key regulatory process governing signalling pathways in eukaryotic cells. The structure of the active site in these enzymes is highly conserved implying common catalytic mechanism. In this work we investigate the reaction process in cAPK protein kinase (PKA) using a combined quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics approach. The novel computational features of our work include reaction pathway determination with nudged elastic band methodology and calculation of free energy profiles of the reaction process taking into account finite temperature fluctuations of the protein environment. We find that the transfer of the γ-phosphoryl group in the protein environment is an exothermic reaction with the reaction barrier of 15 kcal/mol.

  15. Graphene Young's modulus: Molecular mechanics and DFT treatments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Memarian, F.; Fereidoon, A.; Darvish Ganji, M.

    2015-09-01

    Despite of the numerous theoretical and experimental investigations on the mechanical properties of graphene as a unique nano-structured material, a precious value for this important property has not yet been presented. In the present work, the Young's modulus of single layer graphene sheet has been investigated by using comprehensive classic as well as quantum mechanics (QM) calculations. Molecular mechanics (MM) approach with various well-defined force-fields such as AIREBO, Tresoff and EDIP potentials have been considered. In QM category, several conventional methods (DFTB and DFT-LDA/GGA) have been employed. The results show that EDIP potential method predicts more accurately the graphene Young's modulus value compared to experimental results. Furthermore, despite the various theoretical results reported elsewhere, the EDIP potential calculations result reveals that Young's modulus has the same value at both zigzag and armchair directions. From the results obtained here, we found that among the various MM and QM methods considered here the EDIP method seems to be the most convenient method for evaluation of both structural geometries and mechanical properties of carbon based graphene-like materials. This is because of its less computational costs accompanied with reliable results comparable with the experiments.

  16. Developing accurate molecular mechanics force fields for conjugated molecular systems.

    PubMed

    Do, Hainam; Troisi, Alessandro

    2015-10-14

    A rapid method to parameterize the intramolecular component of classical force fields for complex conjugated molecules is proposed. The method is based on a procedure of force matching with a reference electronic structure calculation. It is particularly suitable for those applications where molecular dynamics simulations are used to generate structures that are therefore analysed by electronic structure methods, because it is possible to build force fields that are consistent with electronic structure calculations that follow classical simulations. Such applications are commonly encountered in organic electronics, spectroscopy of complex systems and photobiology (e.g. photosynthetic systems). We illustrate the method by parameterizing the force fields of a molecule used in molecular semiconductors (2,2-dicyanovinyl-capped S,N-heteropentacene or DCV-SN5), a polymeric semiconductor (thieno[3,2-b]thiophene-diketopyrrolopyrrole TT-DPP) and a chromophore embedded in a protein environment (15,16-dihydrobiliverdin or DBV) where several hundreds of parameters need to be optimized in parallel.

  17. 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.

  18. Shaping mitotic chromosomes: From classical concepts to molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Kschonsak, Marc; Haering, Christian H

    2015-01-01

    How eukaryotic genomes are packaged into compact cylindrical chromosomes in preparation for cell divisions has remained one of the major unsolved questions of cell biology. Novel approaches to study the topology of DNA helices inside the nuclei of intact cells, paired with computational modeling and precise biomechanical measurements of isolated chromosomes, have advanced our understanding of mitotic chromosome architecture. In this Review Essay, we discuss – in light of these recent insights – the role of chromatin architecture and the functions and possible mechanisms of SMC protein complexes and other molecular machines in the formation of mitotic chromosomes. Based on the information available, we propose a stepwise model of mitotic chromosome condensation that envisions the sequential generation of intra-chromosomal linkages by condensin complexes in the context of cohesin-mediated inter-chromosomal linkages, assisted by topoisomerase II. The described scenario results in rod-shaped metaphase chromosomes ready for their segregation to the cell poles. PMID:25988527

  19. Shaping mitotic chromosomes: From classical concepts to molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Kschonsak, Marc; Haering, Christian H

    2015-07-01

    How eukaryotic genomes are packaged into compact cylindrical chromosomes in preparation for cell divisions has remained one of the major unsolved questions of cell biology. Novel approaches to study the topology of DNA helices inside the nuclei of intact cells, paired with computational modeling and precise biomechanical measurements of isolated chromosomes, have advanced our understanding of mitotic chromosome architecture. In this Review Essay, we discuss - in light of these recent insights - the role of chromatin architecture and the functions and possible mechanisms of SMC protein complexes and other molecular machines in the formation of mitotic chromosomes. Based on the information available, we propose a stepwise model of mitotic chromosome condensation that envisions the sequential generation of intra-chromosomal linkages by condensin complexes in the context of cohesin-mediated inter-chromosomal linkages, assisted by topoisomerase II. The described scenario results in rod-shaped metaphase chromosomes ready for their segregation to the cell poles.

  20. An Approach with Hybrid Segmental Mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Harsh Ashok

    2016-01-01

    Present case report provides an insight into the hybrid segmental mechanics with treatment of 13-year-old male, considering the side effects of sole continuous arch wire sliding mechanics. Patient was diagnosed as a case of skeletal class I jaw relationship, low mandibular plane angle, class II molar relation on right and class I molar relation on left side, anterior cross bite, crowding of 12mm in upper, 5mm in lower arch. He also had proclined upper and lower anteriors by 2mm, convex profile and incompetent lips. Total treatment duration was 20 months, during which segmental canine retraction was performed with TMA (Titanium, Molybdenum, Aluminum) ‘T’ loop retraction spring followed by consolidation of spaces with continuous arch mechanics. Most of the treatment objectives were met with good intraoral and facial results within reasonable framework of time. This approach used traditional twin brackets, which offered the versatility to use continuous arch-wire mechanics, segmental mechanics and hybrid sectional mechanics. PMID:27504427

  1. Insect pathogens: molecular approaches and techniques

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  2. Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Study of the Sialyltransferase Reaction Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Hamada, Yojiro; Kanematsu, Yusuke; Tachikawa, Masanori

    2016-10-11

    The sialyltransferase is an enzyme that transfers the sialic acid moiety from cytidine 5'-monophospho-N-acetyl-neuraminic acid (CMP-NeuAc) to the terminal position of glycans. To elucidate the catalytic mechanism of sialyltransferase, we explored the potential energy surface along the sialic acid transfer reaction coordinates by the hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics method on the basis of the crystal structure of sialyltransferase CstII. Our calculation demonstrated that CstII employed an SN1-like reaction mechanism via the formation of a short-lived oxocarbenium ion intermediate. The computational barrier height was 19.5 kcal/mol, which reasonably corresponded with the experimental reaction rate. We also found that two tyrosine residues (Tyr156 and Tyr162) played a vital role in stabilizing the intermediate and the transition states by quantum mechanical interaction with CMP.

  3. Molecular Mechanism of Cyclodextrin Mediated Cholesterol Extraction

    PubMed Central

    López, Cesar A.; de Vries, Alex H.; Marrink, Siewert J.

    2011-01-01

    The depletion of cholesterol from membranes, mediated by β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) is well known and documented, but the molecular details of this process are largely unknown. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we have been able to study the CD mediated extraction of cholesterol from model membranes, in particular from a pure cholesterol monolayer, at atomic resolution. Our results show that efficient cholesterol extraction depends on the structural distribution of the CDs on the surface of the monolayer. With a suitably oriented dimer, cholesterol is extracted spontaneously on a nanosecond time scale. Additional free energy calculations reveal that the CDs have a strong affinity to bind to the membrane surface, and, by doing so, destabilize the local packing of cholesterol molecules making their extraction favorable. Our results have implications for the interpretation of experimental measurements, and may help in the rational design of efficient CD based nano-carriers. PMID:21455285

  4. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of dendritic morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Fen-Biao

    2008-01-01

    Summary Dendrites exhibit unique cell-type specific branching patterns and targeting specificity that are critically important for neuronal function and connectivity. Recent evidence indicates that highly complex transcriptional regulatory networks dictate various aspects of dendritic outgrowth, branching, and routing. In addition to other intrinsic molecular pathways such as membrane protein trafficking, interactions between neighboring dendritic branches also contribute to the final specification of dendritic morphology. Nonredundant coverage by dendrites of same type of neurons, known as tiling, requires the actions of the Tricornered/Furry (Sax-1/Sax-2) signaling pathway. However, the dendrites of a neuron do not cross over each other, a process called self-avoidance that is mediated by Down’s syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam). Those exciting findings have enhanced significantly our understanding of dendritic morphogenesis and revealed the magnitude of complexity in the underlying molecular regulatory networks. PMID:17933513

  5. Characterizing Cardiac Molecular Mechanisms of Mammalian Hibernation via Quantitative Proteogenomics.

    PubMed

    Vermillion, Katie L; Jagtap, Pratik; Johnson, James E; Griffin, Timothy J; Andrews, Matthew T

    2015-11-06

    This study uses advanced proteogenomic approaches in a nonmodel organism to elucidate cardioprotective mechanisms used during mammalian hibernation. Mammalian hibernation is characterized by drastic reductions in body temperature, heart rate, metabolism, and oxygen consumption. These changes pose significant challenges to the physiology of hibernators, especially for the heart, which maintains function throughout the extreme conditions, resembling ischemia and reperfusion. To identify novel cardioadaptive strategies, we merged large-scale RNA-seq data with large-scale iTRAQ-based proteomic data in heart tissue from 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) throughout the circannual cycle. Protein identification and data analysis were run through Galaxy-P, a new multiomic data analysis platform enabling effective integration of RNA-seq and MS/MS proteomic data. Galaxy-P uses flexible, modular workflows that combine customized sequence database searching and iTRAQ quantification to identify novel ground squirrel-specific protein sequences and provide insight into molecular mechanisms of hibernation. This study allowed for the quantification of 2007 identified cardiac proteins, including over 350 peptide sequences derived from previously uncharacterized protein products. Identification of these peptides allows for improved genomic annotation of this nonmodel organism, as well as identification of potential splice variants, mutations, and genome reorganizations that provides insights into novel cardioprotective mechanisms used during hibernation.

  6. Molecular chaperones: functional mechanisms and nanotechnological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosario Fernández-Fernández, M.; Sot, Begoña; María Valpuesta, José

    2016-08-01

    Molecular chaperones are a group of proteins that assist in protein homeostasis. They not only prevent protein misfolding and aggregation, but also target misfolded proteins for degradation. Despite differences in structure, all types of chaperones share a common general feature, a surface that recognizes and interacts with the misfolded protein. This and other, more specialized properties can be adapted for various nanotechnological purposes, by modification of the original biomolecules or by de novo design based on artificial structures.

  7. Glioblastoma: pathology, molecular mechanisms and markers.

    PubMed

    Aldape, Kenneth; Zadeh, Gelareh; Mansouri, Sheila; Reifenberger, Guido; von Deimling, Andreas

    2015-06-01

    Recent advances in genomic technology have led to a better understanding of key molecular alterations that underlie glioblastoma (GBM). The current WHO-based classification of GBM is mainly based on histologic features of the tumor, which frequently do not reflect the molecular differences that describe the diversity in the biology of these lesions. The current WHO definition of GBM relies on the presence of high-grade astrocytic neoplasm with the presence of either microvascular proliferation and/or tumor necrosis. High-throughput analyses have identified molecular subtypes and have led to progress in more accurate classification of GBM. These findings, in turn, would result in development of more effective patient stratification, targeted therapeutics, and prediction of patient outcome. While consensus has not been reached on the precise nature and means to sub-classify GBM, it is clear that IDH-mutant GBMs are clearly distinct from GBMs without IDH1/2 mutation with respect to molecular and clinical features, including prognosis. In addition, recent findings in pediatric GBMs regarding mutations in the histone H3F3A gene suggest that these tumors may represent a 3rd major category of GBM, separate from adult primary (IDH1/2 wt), and secondary (IDH1/2 mut) GBMs. In this review, we describe major clinically relevant genetic and epigenetic abnormalities in GBM-such as mutations in IDH1/2, EGFR, PDGFRA, and NF1 genes-altered methylation of MGMT gene promoter, and mutations in hTERT promoter. These markers may be incorporated into a more refined classification system and applied in more accurate clinical decision-making process. In addition, we focus on current understanding of the biologic heterogeneity and classification of GBM and highlight some of the molecular signatures and alterations that characterize GBMs as histologically defined. We raise the question whether IDH-wild type high grade astrocytomas without microvascular proliferation or necrosis might best be

  8. Mechanism of Spontaneous Oscillation Emerging from Collective Molecular Motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimamoto, Yuta; Ishiwata, Shin'ichi

    2008-04-01

    Biological systems include a large number and various kinds of molecular machines. Individual molecular machines work stochastically, while the systems constructed of the ensembles of these machines exhibit dynamically-ordered phenomena, rather than a simple sum of individual parts. Here we focus on the spontaneous oscillatory contraction (SPOC) observed in the contractile system of muscle. From the mechanical measurements in the precursor state of SPOC, we discuss how the functions of individual molecular motors are autonomously regulated in the contractile system.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Instructional Approach to Molecular Electronic Structure Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dykstra, Clifford E.; Schaefer, Henry F.

    1977-01-01

    Describes a graduate quantum mechanics projects in which students write a computer program that performs ab initio calculations on the electronic structure of a simple molecule. Theoretical potential energy curves are produced. (MLH)

  12. Symposium on molecular and cellular mechanisms of mutagenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-01-01

    These proceedings contain abstracts only of the 21 papers presented at the Sympsoium. The papers dealt with molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis and cellular responses to chemical and physical mutagenic agents. (ERB)

  13. Friedreich Ataxia: Molecular Mechanisms, Redox Considerations, and Therapeutic Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Lefevre, Sophie; Sliwa, Dominika; Seguin, Alexandra; Camadro, Jean-Michel; Lesuisse, Emmanuel

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage are at the origin of numerous neurodegenerative diseases like Friedreich ataxia and Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is the most common hereditary ataxia, with one individual affected in 50,000. This disease is characterized by progressive degeneration of the central and peripheral nervous systems, cardiomyopathy, and increased incidence of diabetes mellitus. FRDA is caused by a dynamic mutation, a GAA trinucleotide repeat expansion, in the first intron of the FXN gene. Fewer than 5% of the patients are heterozygous and carry point mutations in the other allele. The molecular consequences of the GAA triplet expansion is transcription silencing and reduced expression of the encoded mitochondrial protein, frataxin. The precise cellular role of frataxin is not known; however, it is clear now that several mitochondrial functions are not performed correctly in patient cells. The affected functions include respiration, iron–sulfur cluster assembly, iron homeostasis, and maintenance of the redox status. This review highlights the molecular mechanisms that underlie the disease phenotypes and the different hypothesis about the function of frataxin. In addition, we present an overview of the most recent therapeutic approaches for this severe disease that actually has no efficient treatment. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 13, 0000–0000. PMID:20156111

  14. Molecular Mechanisms and Treatment of Radiation-Induced Lung Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Nian-Hua; Li, Jian Jian; Sun, Lun-Quan

    2014-01-01

    Radiation-induced lung fibrosis (RILF) is a severe side effect of radiotherapy in lung cancer patients that presents as a progressive pulmonary injury combined with chronic inflammation and exaggerated organ repair. RILF is a major barrier to improving the cure rate and well-being of lung cancer patients because it limits the radiation dose that is required to effectively kill tumor cells and diminishes normal lung function. Although the exact mechanism is unclear, accumulating evidence suggests that various cells, cytokines and regulatory molecules are involved in the tissue reorganization and immune response modulation that occur in RILF. In this review, we will summarize the general symptoms, diagnostics, and current understanding of the cells and molecular factors that are linked to the signaling networks implicated in RILF. Potential approaches for the treatment of RILF will also be discussed. Elucidating the key molecular mediators that initiate and control the extent of RILF in response to therapeutic radiation may reveal additional targets for RILF treatment to significantly improve the efficacy of radiotherapy for lung cancer patients. PMID:23909719

  15. 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.

  16. GPU-accelerated molecular mechanics computations.

    PubMed

    Anthopoulos, Athanasios; Grimstead, Ian; Brancale, Andrea

    2013-10-05

    In this article, we describe an improved cell-list approach designed to match the Kepler architecture of General-purpose graphics processing units (GPGPU). We explain how our approach improves load balancing for the above algorithm and how warp intrinsics are used to implement Newton's third law for the nonbonded force calculations. We also talk through our approach to exclusions handling together with a method to calculate bonded forces and 1-4 electrostatic scaling using a single Cuda kernel. Performance benchmarks are included in the last sections to show the linear scaling of our implementation using a step minimization method. In addition, multiple performance benchmarks demonstrate the contribution of various optimizations we used for our implementations. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Hybrid schemes based on quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations goals to success, problems, and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Ferrer, Silvia; Ruiz-Pernía, Javier; Martí, Sergio; Moliner, Vicent; Tuñón, Iñaki; Bertrán, Juan; Andrés, Juan

    2011-01-01

    The development of characterization techniques, advanced synthesis methods, as well as molecular modeling has transformed the study of systems in a well-established research field. The current research challenges in biocatalysis and biotransformation evolve around enzyme discovery, design, and optimization. How can we find or create enzymes that catalyze important synthetic reactions, even reactions that may not exist in nature? What is the source of enzyme catalytic power? To answer these and other related questions, the standard strategies have evolved from trial-and-error methodologies based on chemical knowledge, accumulated experience, and common sense into a clearly multidisciplinary science that allows one to reach the molecular design of tailor-made enzyme catalysts. This is even more so when one refers to enzyme catalysts, for which the detailed structure and composition are known and can be manipulated to introduce well-defined residues which can be implicated in the chemical rearrangements taking place in the active site. The methods and techniques of theoretical and computational chemistry are becoming more and more important in both understanding the fundamental biological roles of enzymes and facilitating their utilization in biotechnology. Improvement of the catalytic function of enzymes is important from scientific and industrial viewpoints, and to put this fact in the actual perspective as well as the potentialities, we recommend the very recent report of Sanderson [Sanderson, K. (2011). Chemistry: enzyme expertise. Nature 471, 397.]. Great fundamental advances have been made toward the ab initio design of enzyme catalysts based on molecular modeling. This has been based on the molecular mechanistic knowledge of the reactions to be catalyzed, together with the development of advanced synthesis and characterization techniques. The corresponding molecular mechanism can be studied by means of powerful quantum chemical calculations. The catalytic

  18. 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

  19. Molecular mechanisms of STIM/Orai communication

    PubMed Central

    Derler, Isabella; Jardin, Isaac

    2016-01-01

    Ca2+ entry into the cell via store-operated Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels triggers diverse signaling cascades that affect cellular processes like cell growth, gene regulation, secretion, and cell death. These store-operated Ca2+ channels open after depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores, and their main features are fully reconstituted by the two molecular key players: the stromal interaction molecule (STIM) and Orai. STIM represents an endoplasmic reticulum-located Ca2+ sensor, while Orai forms a highly Ca2+-selective ion channel in the plasma membrane. Functional as well as mutagenesis studies together with structural insights about STIM and Orai proteins provide a molecular picture of the interplay of these two key players in the CRAC signaling cascade. This review focuses on the main experimental advances in the understanding of the STIM1-Orai choreography, thereby establishing a portrait of key mechanistic steps in the CRAC channel signaling cascade. The focus is on the activation of the STIM proteins, the subsequent coupling of STIM1 to Orai1, and the consequent structural rearrangements that gate the Orai channels into the open state to allow Ca2+ permeation into the cell. PMID:26825122

  20. [Molecular biology and immunopathogenetic mechanisms of sepsis].

    PubMed

    Průcha, M

    2009-01-01

    Sepsis, the systemic inflammatory response to infection, causes high mortality in patients in non-coronary units of intensive care. The most important characteristic of sepsis is the interaction between two subjects, the macro and the microorganism, associated with the dysfunction of innate and adaptive immunity. Sepsis is understood more as a dynamic syndrome characterized by many phenomenona which are often antagonistic. The inflammation, characterizing sepsis, does not act as a primary physiological compensatory mechanism and rather oscillates between the phase of hyperinflammatory response and anergy or immunoparalysis. The elucidation of the pathogenesis of sepsis is linked to the understanding of immunopathogenetic mechanisms, which characterize the interaction between the macro and microorganisms.

  1. 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).

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Action of BPA.

    PubMed

    Acconcia, Filippo; Pallottini, Valentina; Marino, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure has been associated with serious endocrine-disrupting effects in humans and wildlife. Toxicological and epidemiological studies evidenced that BPA increases body mass index and disrupts normal cardiovascular physiology by interfering with endogenous hormones in rodents, nonhuman primates, and cell culture test systems. The BPA concentration derived from these experiments were used by government regulatory agencies to determine the safe exposure levels of BPA in humans. However, accumulating literature in vivo and in vitro indicate that at concentrations lower than that reported in toxicological studies, BPA could elicit a different endocrine-disrupting capacity. To further complicate this picture, BPA effects rely on several and diverse mechanisms that converge upon endocrine and reproductive systems. If all or just few of these mechanisms concur to the endocrine-disrupting potential of low doses of BPA is at present still unclear. Thus, taking into account that the incidence and/or prevalence of health problems associated with endocrine disruption have increased worldwide, the goal of the present review is to give an overview of the many mechanisms of BPA action in order to decipher whether different mechanisms are at the root of the effect of low dose of BPA on endocrine system.

  3. Molecular and Mechanical Behavior of Elastomers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Etzel, A. J.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Describes an experiment in which stretching a rubber band can be used to compare the statistical theory of rubber elasticity with its continuum mechanics counterpart. Employs the use of the equation of the state of rubber elasticity and the Mooney-Rivlin equation. (TW)

  4. Selectivity and molecular mechanisms of toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    DeMatteis, F. ); Lock, E. A. )

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 11 chapters. Some of the titles are: Mechanisms of genotoxicity of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons; Drugs as suicide substrates of cytochrome P-450; Cellular specific toxicity in the lung; The nephrotoxicity of haloalkane and haloalkene glutathione conjugates; and dioxin and organotin compounds as model immunotoxic chemicals.

  5. Molecular mechanics modeling of azobenzene-based photoswitches.

    PubMed

    Duchstein, Patrick; Neiss, Christian; Görling, Andreas; Zahn, Dirk

    2012-06-01

    We present an extension of the generalized amber force field to allow the modeling of azobenzenes by means of classical molecular mechanics. TD-DFT calculations were employed to derive different interaction models for 4-hydroxy-4'-methyl-azobenzene, including the ground (S(0)) and S(1) excited state. For both states, partial charges and the -N = N- torsion potentials were characterized. On this basis, we pave the way to large-scale model simulations involving azobenzene molecular switches. Using the example of an isolated molecule, the mechanics of cyclic switching processes are demonstrated by classical molecular dynamics simulations.

  6. How Molecular Structure Affects Mechanical Properties of an Advanced Polymer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nicholson, Lee M.; Whitley, Karen S.; Gates, Thomas S.; Hinkley, Jeffrey A.

    2000-01-01

    density was performed over a range of temperatures below the glass transition temperature. The physical characterization, elastic properties and notched tensile strength all as a function of molecular weight and test temperature were determined. For the uncrosslinked SI material, it was shown that notched tensile strength is a strong function of both temperature and molecular weight, whereas stiffness is only a strong function of temperature. For the crosslinked PETI-SI material, it was shown that the effect of crosslinking significantly enhances the mechanical performance of the low molecular weight material; comparable to that exhibited by the high molecular weight material.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

    Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of polyploidy and hybrid vigor.

    PubMed

    Chen, Z Jeffrey

    2010-02-01

    Hybrids such as maize (Zea mays) or domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) grow bigger and stronger than their parents. This is also true for allopolyploids such as wheat (Triticum spp.) or frog (i.e. Xenopus and Silurana) that contain two or more sets of chromosomes from different species. The phenomenon, known as hybrid vigor or heterosis, was systematically characterized by Charles Darwin (1876). The rediscovery of heterosis in maize a century ago has revolutionized plant and animal breeding and production. Although genetic models for heterosis have been rigorously tested, the molecular bases remain elusive. Recent studies have determined the roles of nonadditive gene expression, small RNAs, and epigenetic regulation, including circadian-mediated metabolic pathways, in hybrid vigor, which could lead to better use and exploitation of the increased biomass and yield in hybrids and allopolyploids for food, feed, and biofuels.

  9. Vancomycin Molecular Interactions: Antibiotic and Enantioselective Mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, Timothy J.; Gilmore, Aprile; Ward, Karen; Vowell, Courtney

    Medical studies established that vancomycin and other related macrocyclic antibiotics have an enhanced antimicrobial activity when they are associated as dimers. The carbohydrate units attached to the vancomycin basket have an essential role in the dimerization reaction. Covalently synthesized dimers were found active against vancomycin-resistant bacterial strains. A great similarity between antibiotic potential and enantioselectivity was established. A covalent vancomycin dimer was studied in capillary electrophoresis producing excellent chiral separation of dansyl amino acids. Balhimycin is a macrocyclic glycopeptide structurally similar to vancomycin. The small differences are, however, responsible for drastic differences in enantioselectivity in the same experimental conditions. Contributions from studies examining vancomycin's mechanism for antimicrobial activity have substantially aided our understanding of its mechanism in chiral recognition.

  10. Molecular mechanisms regulating NLRP3 inflammasome activation

    PubMed Central

    Jo, Eun-Kyeong; Kim, Jin Kyung; Shin, Dong-Min; Sasakawa, Chihiro

    2016-01-01

    Inflammasomes are multi-protein signaling complexes that trigger the activation of inflammatory caspases and the maturation of interleukin-1β. Among various inflammasome complexes, the NLRP3 inflammasome is best characterized and has been linked with various human autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Thus, the NLRP3 inflammasome may be a promising target for anti-inflammatory therapies. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the mechanisms by which the NLRP3 inflammasome is activated in the cytosol. We also describe the binding partners of NLRP3 inflammasome complexes activating or inhibiting the inflammasome assembly. Our knowledge of the mechanisms regulating NLRP3 inflammasome signaling and how these influence inflammatory responses offers further insight into potential therapeutic strategies to treat inflammatory diseases associated with dysregulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. PMID:26549800

  11. Molecular mechanisms of bone formation in spondyloarthritis.

    PubMed

    González-Chávez, Susana Aideé; Quiñonez-Flores, Celia María; Pacheco-Tena, César

    2016-07-01

    Spondyloarthritis comprise a group of inflammatory rheumatic diseases characterized by its association to HLA-B27 and the presence of arthritis and enthesitis. The pathogenesis involves both an inflammatory process and new bone formation, which eventually lead to ankylosis of the spine. To date, the intrinsic mechanisms of the pathogenic process have not been fully elucidated, and our progress is remarkable in the identification of therapeutic targets to achieve the control of the inflammatory process, yet our ability to inhibit the excessive bone formation is still insufficient. The study of new bone formation in spondyloarthritis has been mostly conducted in animal models of the disease and only few experiments have been done using human biopsies. The deregulation and overexpression of molecules involved in the osteogenesis process have been observed in bone cells, mesenchymal cells, and fibroblasts. The signaling associated to the excessive bone formation is congruent with those involved in the physiological processes of bone remodeling. Bone morphogenetic proteins and Wnt pathways have been found deregulated in this disease; however, the cause for uncontrolled stimulation remains unknown. Mechanical stress appears to play an important role in the pathological osteogenesis process; nevertheless, the association of other important factors, such as the presence of HLA-B27 and environmental factors, remains uncertain. The present review summarizes the experimental findings that describe the signaling pathways involved in the new bone formation process in spondyloarthritis in animal models and in human biopsies. The role of mechanical stress as the trigger of these pathways is also reviewed.

  12. 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.

  13. Molecular mechanisms underlying the exceptional adaptations of batoid fins

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tetsuya; Klomp, Jeff; Pieretti, Joyce; Schneider, Igor; Gehrke, Andrew R.; Shubin, Neil H.

    2015-01-01

    Extreme novelties in the shape and size of paired fins are exemplified by extinct and extant cartilaginous and bony fishes. Pectoral fins of skates and rays, such as the little skate (Batoid, Leucoraja erinacea), show a strikingly unique morphology where the pectoral fin extends anteriorly to ultimately fuse with the head. This results in a morphology that essentially surrounds the body and is associated with the evolution of novel swimming mechanisms in the group. In an approach that extends from RNA sequencing to in situ hybridization to functional assays, we show that anterior and posterior portions of the pectoral fin have different genetic underpinnings: canonical genes of appendage development control posterior fin development via an apical ectodermal ridge (AER), whereas an alternative Homeobox (Hox)–Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf)–Wingless type MMTV integration site family (Wnt) genetic module in the anterior region creates an AER-like structure that drives anterior fin expansion. Finally, we show that GLI family zinc finger 3 (Gli3), which is an anterior repressor of tetrapod digits, is expressed in the posterior half of the pectoral fin of skate, shark, and zebrafish but in the anterior side of the pelvic fin. Taken together, these data point to both highly derived and deeply ancestral patterns of gene expression in skate pectoral fins, shedding light on the molecular mechanisms behind the evolution of novel fin morphologies. PMID:26644578

  14. HIV-1 evolution: frustrating therapies, but disclosing molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Das, Atze T.; Berkhout, Ben

    2010-01-01

    Replication of HIV-1 under selective pressure frequently results in the evolution of virus variants that replicate more efficiently under the applied conditions. For example, in patients on antiretroviral therapy, such evolution can result in variants that are resistant to the HIV-1 inhibitors, thus frustrating the therapy. On the other hand, virus evolution can help us to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie HIV-1 replication. For example, evolution of a defective virus mutant can result in variants that overcome the introduced defect by restoration of the original sequence or by the introduction of additional mutations in the viral genome. Analysis of the evolution pathway can reveal the requirements of the element under study and help to understand its function. Analysis of the escape routes may generate new insight in the viral life cycle and result in the identification of unexpected biological mechanisms. We have developed in vitro HIV-1 evolution into a systematic research tool that allows the study of different aspects of the viral replication cycle. We will briefly review this method of forced virus evolution and provide several examples that illustrate the power of this approach. PMID:20478891

  15. HIV-1 evolution: frustrating therapies, but disclosing molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Das, Atze T; Berkhout, Ben

    2010-06-27

    Replication of HIV-1 under selective pressure frequently results in the evolution of virus variants that replicate more efficiently under the applied conditions. For example, in patients on antiretroviral therapy, such evolution can result in variants that are resistant to the HIV-1 inhibitors, thus frustrating the therapy. On the other hand, virus evolution can help us to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie HIV-1 replication. For example, evolution of a defective virus mutant can result in variants that overcome the introduced defect by restoration of the original sequence or by the introduction of additional mutations in the viral genome. Analysis of the evolution pathway can reveal the requirements of the element under study and help to understand its function. Analysis of the escape routes may generate new insight in the viral life cycle and result in the identification of unexpected biological mechanisms. We have developed in vitro HIV-1 evolution into a systematic research tool that allows the study of different aspects of the viral replication cycle. We will briefly review this method of forced virus evolution and provide several examples that illustrate the power of this approach.

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Circadian Regulation During Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zanello, Susana; Boyle, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Disruption of the regular environmental circadian cues in addition to stringent and demanding operational schedules are two main factors that undoubtedly impact sleep patterns and vigilant performance in the astronaut crews during spaceflight. Most research is focused on the behavioral aspects of the risk of circadian desynchronization, characterized by fatigue and health and performance decrement. A common countermeasure for circadian re-entrainment utilizes blue-green light to entrain the circadian clock and mitigate this risk. However, an effective countermeasure targeting the photoreceptor system requires that the basic circadian molecular machinery remains intact during spaceflight. The molecular clock consists of sets of proteins that perform different functions within the clock machinery: circadian oscillators (genes whose expression levels cycle during the day, keep the pass of cellular time and regulate downstream effector genes), the effector or output genes (those which impact the physiology of the tissue or organism), and the input genes (responsible for sensing the environmental cues that allow circadian entrainment). The main environmental cue is light. As opposed to the known photoreceptors (rods and cones), the non-visual light stimulus is received by a subset of the population of retinal ganglion cells called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC) that express melanopsin (opsin 4 -Opn4-) as the photoreceptor. We hypothesize that spaceflight may affect ipRGC and melanopsin expression, which may be a contributing cause of circadian disruption during spaceflight. To answer this question, eyes from albino Balb/cJ mice aboard STS-133 were collected for histological analysis and gene expression profiling of the retina at 1 and 7 days after landing. Both vivarium and AEM (animal enclosure module) mice were used as ground controls. Opn4 expression was analyzed by real time RT/qPCR and retinal sections were stained for Opn4

  17. Raman scattering from molecular conduction junctions: Charge transfer mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oren, Michal; Galperin, Michael; Nitzan, Abraham

    2012-03-01

    We present a model for the charge transfer contribution to surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) in a molecular junction. The model is a generalization of the equilibrium scheme for SERS of a molecule adsorbed on a metal surface [B. N. J. Persson. Chem. Phys. Lett.CHPLBC0009-261410.1016/0009-2614(81)85441-3 82, 561 (1981)]. We extend the same physical consideration to a nonequilibrium situation in a biased molecular junction and to nonzero temperatures. Two approaches are considered and compared: a semiclassical approach appropriate for nonresonance Raman scattering, and a quantum approach based on the nonequilibrium Green's function method. Nonequilibrium effects on this contribution to SERS are demonstrated with numerical examples. It is shown that the semiclassical approach provides an excellent approximation to the full quantum calculation as long as the molecular electronic state is outside the Fermi window, that is, as long as the field-induced charge transfer is small.

  18. Ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer: molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Hussein, Mahmoud R

    2005-03-01

    Every living organism on the surface of the earth is exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) fraction of the sunlight. This electromagnetic energy has both life-giving and life-endangering effects. UV radiation can damage DNA and thus mutagenize several genes involved in the development of the skin cancer. The presence of typical signature of UV-induced mutations on these genes indicates that the ultraviolet-B part of sunlight is responsible for the evolution of cutaneous carcinogenesis. During this process, variable alterations of the oncogenic, tumor-suppressive, and cell-cycle control signaling pathways occur. These pathways include (a) mutated PTCH (in the mitogenic Sonic Hedgehog pathway) and mutated p53 tumor-suppressor gene in basal cell carcinomas, (b) an activated mitogenic ras pathway and mutated p53 in squamous cell carcinomas, and (c) an activated ras pathway, inactive p16, and p53 tumor suppressors in melanomas. This review presents background information about the skin optics, UV radiation, and molecular events involved in photocarcinogenesis.

  19. Dissecting the Molecular Mechanisms of Electrotactic Effects

    PubMed Central

    Bonazzi, Daria; Minc, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Significance: Steady electric fields (EFs) surround cells and tissues in vivo and may regulate cellular behavior during development, wound healing, or tissue regeneration. Application of exogenous EFs of similar magnitude as those found in vivo can direct migration, growth, and division in most cell types, ranging from bacteria to mammalian cells. These EF effects have therapeutic potential, for instance, in accelerating wound healing or improving nerve repair. EFs are thought to signal through the plasma membrane to locally activate or recruit components of the cytoskeleton and the polarity machinery. How EFs might function to steer polarity is, however, poorly understood at a molecular level. Recent Advances: Here, we review recent work introducing genetically tractable systems, such as yeast and Dictyostelium cells, that begin to identify proteins and pathways involved in this response both at the level of ion transport at the membrane and at the level of cytoskeleton regulation. Critical Issues: These studies highlight the complexity of these EF effects and bring important novel views on core polarity regulation. Future Directions: Future work pursuing initial screening in model organisms should generate broad mechanistic understanding of electrotactic effects. PMID:24761354

  20. Molecular mechanisms of male germ cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Hecht, N B

    1998-07-01

    During spermatogenesis, diploid stem cells differentiate, undergo meiosis, and transform into haploid spermatozoa. As this precisely timed series of events proceeds, chromosomal ploidy is reduced and the nucleosomes of the chromatin are replaced by a transcriptionally quiescent protamine-containing nucleus. The premature termination of transcription during the haploid phase of spermatogenesis necessitates an especially prominent role for posttranscriptional regulation in the temporal and spatial expression of many testis-specific proteins and isozymes. In this review article, discussion will focus on novel mechanisms regulating gene expression in mammalian male germ cells from genome to protein.

  1. Remarks on mechanical approach to observable Universe

    SciTech Connect

    Eingorn, Maxim; Zhuk, Alexander E-mail: ai.zhuk2@gmail.com

    2014-05-01

    We consider the Universe deep inside the cell of uniformity. At these scales, the Universe is filled with inhomogeneously distributed discrete structures (galaxies, groups and clusters of galaxies), which perturb the background Friedmann model. Here, the mechanical approach (Eingorn and Zhuk, 2012) is the most appropriate to describe the dynamics of the inhomogeneities which is defined, on the one hand, by gravitational potentials of inhomogeneities and, on the other hand, by the cosmological expansion of the Universe. In this paper, we present additional arguments in favor of this approach. First, we estimate the size of the cell of uniformity. With the help of the standard methods of statistical physics and for the galaxies of the type of the Milky Way and Andromeda, we get that it is of the order of 190 Mpc which is rather close to observations. Then, we show that the nonrelativistic approximation (with respect to the peculiar velocities) is valid for z∼<10, i.e. approximately for 13 billion years from the present moment. We consider scalar perturbations and, within the ΛCDM model, justify the main equations. Moreover, we demonstrate that radiation can be naturally incorporated into our scheme. This emphasizes the viability of our approach. This approach gives a possibility to analyze different cosmological models and compare them with the observable Universe. For example, we indicate some problematic aspects of the spatially flat models. Such models require a rather specific distribution of the inhomogeneities to get a finite potential at any points outside gravitating masses. We also criticize the application of the Schwarzschild-de Sitter solution to the description of the motion of test bodies on the cosmological background.

  2. Molecular approaches to treatments for cocaine abuse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flippen-Anderson, Judith L.; George, Clifford; Deschamps, Jeffrey R.

    2003-02-01

    Cocaine is a potent stimulant of the central nervous system with severe addiction potential. Its abuse is a major problem worldwide. The exact mechanism of action of cocaine is still uncertain but it is known that its reinforcing and stimulant effects are related to its ability to inhibit the membrane bound dopamine transporter (DAT). This paper discusses efforts that are underway to identify ligands for possible use in the treatment of cocaine abuse. Much of this effort has been focussed on understanding cocaine interactions at DAT receptor sites.

  3. Multiple Sclerosis: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Miljković, Djordje; Spasojević, Ivan

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) involves several components: redox, inflammatory/autoimmune, vascular, and neurodegenerative. All of them are supported by the intertwined lines of evidence, and none of them should be written off. However, the exact mechanisms of MS initiation, its development, and progression are still elusive, despite the impressive pace by which the data on MS are accumulating. In this review, we will try to integrate the current facts and concepts, focusing on the role of redox changes and various reactive species in MS. Knowing the schedule of initial changes in pathogenic factors and the key turning points, as well as understanding the redox processes involved in MS pathogenesis is the way to enable MS prevention, early treatment, and the development of therapies that target specific pathophysiological components of the heterogeneous mechanisms of MS, which could alleviate the symptoms and hopefully stop MS. Pertinent to this, we will outline (i) redox processes involved in MS initiation; (ii) the role of reactive species in inflammation; (iii) prooxidative changes responsible for neurodegeneration; and (iv) the potential of antioxidative therapy. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 19, 2286–2334. PMID:23473637

  4. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jarsch, Iris K; Daste, Frederic; Gallop, Jennifer L

    2016-08-15

    Curving biological membranes establishes the complex architecture of the cell and mediates membrane traffic to control flux through subcellular compartments. Common molecular mechanisms for bending membranes are evident in different cell biological contexts across eukaryotic phyla. These mechanisms can be intrinsic to the membrane bilayer (either the lipid or protein components) or can be brought about by extrinsic factors, including the cytoskeleton. Here, we review examples of membrane curvature generation in animals, fungi, and plants. We showcase the molecular mechanisms involved and how they collaborate and go on to highlight contexts of curvature that are exciting areas of future research. Lessons from how membranes are bent in yeast and mammals give hints as to the molecular mechanisms we expect to see used by plants and protists.

  5. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Daste, Frederic

    2016-01-01

    Curving biological membranes establishes the complex architecture of the cell and mediates membrane traffic to control flux through subcellular compartments. Common molecular mechanisms for bending membranes are evident in different cell biological contexts across eukaryotic phyla. These mechanisms can be intrinsic to the membrane bilayer (either the lipid or protein components) or can be brought about by extrinsic factors, including the cytoskeleton. Here, we review examples of membrane curvature generation in animals, fungi, and plants. We showcase the molecular mechanisms involved and how they collaborate and go on to highlight contexts of curvature that are exciting areas of future research. Lessons from how membranes are bent in yeast and mammals give hints as to the molecular mechanisms we expect to see used by plants and protists. PMID:27528656

  6. Molecular Mechanisms of Circadian Regulation During Spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zanello, S. B.; Boyle, R.

    2012-01-01

    The physiology of both vertebrates and invertebrates follows internal rhythms coordinated in phase with the 24-hour daily light cycle. This circadian clock is governed by a central pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the brain. However, peripheral circadian clocks or oscillators have been identified in most tissues. How the central and peripheral oscillators are synchronized is still being elucidated. Light is the main environmental cue that entrains the circadian clock. Under the absence of a light stimulus, the clock continues its oscillation in a free-running condition. In general, three functional compartments of the circadian clock are defined. The vertebrate retina contains endogenous clocks that control many aspects of retinal physiology, including retinal sensitivity to light, neurohormone synthesis (melatonin and dopamine), rod disk shedding, signalling pathways and gene expression. Neurons with putative local circadian rhythm generation are found among all the major neuron populations in the mammalian retina. In the mouse, clock genes and function are more localized to the inner retinal and ganglion cell layers. The photoreceptor, however, secrete melatonin which may still serve a an important circadian signal. The reception and transmission of the non-visual photic stimulus resides in a small subpopulation (1-3%) or retinal ganglion cells (RGC) that express the pigment melanopsin (Opn4) and are called intrisically photoreceptive RGC (ipRGC). Melanopsin peak absorption is at 420 nm and all the axons of the ipRGC reach the SCN. A common countermeasure for circadian re-entrainment utilizes blue-green light to entrain the circadian clock and mitigate the risk of fatigue and health and performance decrement due to circadian rhythm disruption. However, an effective countermeasure targeting the photoreceptor system requires that the basic circadian molecular machinery remains intact during spaceflight. We hypothesize that spaceflight may affect ip

  7. Molecular mechanisms of intercellular communication: transmembrane signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Bitensky, M.W.; George, J.S.; Siegel, H.N.; McGregor, D.M.

    1982-01-01

    This short discussion of transmembrane signaling depicts a particular class of signaling devices whose functional characteristics may well be representative of broader classes of membrane switches. These multicomponent aggregates are characterized by tight organization of interacting components which function by conformational interactions to provide sensitive, amplified, rapid, and modulated responses. It is clear that the essential role of such switches in cell-cell interactions necessitated their appearance early in the history of the development of multicellular organisms. It also seems clear that once such devices made their appearance, the conformationally interactive moieties were firmly locked into a regulatory relationship. Since modification of interacting components could perturb or interfere with the functional integrity of the whole switch, genetic drift was only permitted at the input and outflow extremes. However, the GTP binding moiety and its interacting protein domains on contiguous portions of the receptor and readout components were highly conserved. The observed stringent evolutionary conservation of the molecular features of these membrane switches thus applies primarily to the central (GTP binding) elements. An extraordinary degree of variation was permitted within the domains of signal recognition and enzymatic output. Thus, time and evolution have adapted the central logic of the regulatory algorithm to serve a great variety of cellular purposes and to recognize a great variety of chemical and physical signals. This is exemplified by the richness of the hormonal and cellular dialogues found in primates such as man. Here the wealth of intercellular communiation can support the composition and performance of symphonies and the study of cellular immunology.

  8. [Molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle hypertrophy].

    PubMed

    Astratenkova, I V; Rogozkin, V A

    2014-06-01

    Enzymes Akt, AMPK, mTOR, S6K and PGC-1a coactivator take part in skeletal muscles in the regulation of synthesis of proteins. The expression of these proteins is regulated by growth factors, hormones, nutrients, mechanical loading and leads to an increase in muscle mass and skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The review presents the results of studies published in the past four years, which expand knowledge on the effects of various factors on protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The attention is focused on the achievements that reveal and clarify the signaling pathways involved in the regulation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. The central place is taken by mTOR enzyme which controls and regulates the main stages of the cascade of reactions of muscle proteins providing synthesis in the conditions of human life. coactivator PGC-1a.

  9. Comparison of molecular mechanics, semi-empirical quantum mechanical, and density functional theory methods for scoring protein-ligand interactions.

    PubMed

    Yilmazer, Nusret Duygu; Korth, Martin

    2013-07-11

    Correctly ranking protein-ligand interactions with respect to overall free energy of binding is a grand challenge for virtual drug design. Here we compare the performance of various quantum chemical approaches for tackling this so-called "scoring" problem. Relying on systematically generated benchmark sets of large protein/ligand model complexes based on the PDBbind database, we show that the performance depends first of all on the general level of theory. Comparing classical molecular mechanics (MM), semiempirical quantum mechanical (SQM), and density functional theory (DFT) based methods, we find that enhanced SQM approaches perform very similar to DFT methods and substantially different from MM potentials.

  10. Frictional granular mechanics: A variational approach

    SciTech Connect

    Holtzman, R.; Silin, D.B.; Patzek, T.W.

    2009-10-16

    The mechanical properties of a cohesionless granular material are evaluated from grain-scale simulations. Intergranular interactions, including friction and sliding, are modeled by a set of contact rules based on the theories of Hertz, Mindlin, and Deresiewicz. A computer generated, three-dimensional, irregular pack of spherical grains is loaded by incremental displacement of its boundaries. Deformation is described by a sequence of static equilibrium configurations of the pack. A variational approach is employed to find the equilibrium configurations by minimizing the total work against the intergranular loads. Effective elastic moduli are evaluated from the intergranular forces and the deformation of the pack. Good agreement between the computed and measured moduli, achieved with no adjustment of material parameters, establishes the physical soundness of the proposed model.

  11. Quantum approach to classical statistical mechanics.

    PubMed

    Somma, R D; Batista, C D; Ortiz, G

    2007-07-20

    We present a new approach to study the thermodynamic properties of d-dimensional classical systems by reducing the problem to the computation of ground state properties of a d-dimensional quantum model. This classical-to-quantum mapping allows us to extend the scope of standard optimization methods by unifying them under a general framework. The quantum annealing method is naturally extended to simulate classical systems at finite temperatures. We derive the rates to assure convergence to the optimal thermodynamic state using the adiabatic theorem of quantum mechanics. For simulated and quantum annealing, we obtain the asymptotic rates of T(t) approximately (pN)/(k(B)logt) and gamma(t) approximately (Nt)(-c/N), for the temperature and magnetic field, respectively. Other annealing strategies are also discussed.

  12. A Resonance Approach to Cochlear Mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Background How does the cochlea analyse sound into its component frequencies? In the 1850s Helmholtz thought it occurred by resonance, whereas a century later Békésy's work indicated a travelling wave. The latter answer seemed to settle the question, but with the discovery in 1978 that the cochlea emits sound, the mechanics of the cochlea was back on the drawing board. Recent studies have raised questions about whether the travelling wave, as currently understood, is adequate to explain observations. Approach Applying basic resonance principles, this paper revisits the question. A graded bank of harmonic oscillators with cochlear-like frequencies and quality factors is simultaneously excited, and it is found that resonance gives rise to similar frequency responses, group delays, and travelling wave velocities as observed by experiment. The overall effect of the group delay gradient is to produce a decelerating wave of peak displacement moving from base to apex at characteristic travelling wave speeds. The extensive literature on chains of coupled oscillators is considered, and the occurrence of travelling waves, pseudowaves, phase plateaus, and forced resonance in such systems is noted. Conclusion and significance This alternative approach to cochlear mechanics shows that a travelling wave can simply arise as an apparently moving amplitude peak which passes along a bank of resonators without carrying energy. This highlights the possible role of the fast pressure wave and indicates how phase delays and group delays of a set of driven harmonic oscillators can generate an apparent travelling wave. It is possible to view the cochlea as a chain of globally forced coupled oscillators, and this model incorporates fundamental aspects of both the resonance and travelling wave theories. PMID:23144835

  13. Molecular mechanisms of LRRK2 regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webber, Philip Jeffrey

    Non-synonymous mutations in LRRK2 are the most common known cause of familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). The dominant inheritance of these mutations in familial PD suggests a gain-of-function mechanism. Increased kinase activity observed in the most common PD associated LRRK2 mutation G2019S suggests that kinase activity is central to disease. However, not all mutations associated with disease are reported to alter kinase activity and controversy exists in the literature about the effects of mutations appearing in the GTPase domain on kinase activity. The studies conducted as a part of this work aim to characterize the mechanisms that regulate LRRK2 kinase activity and the effects of mutations on enzymatic activity of LRRK2 protein. LRRK2 is a large protein with multiple predicted functional domains including two enzymatic domains in the same protein, the small ras-like GTPase domain and a serine-threonine protein kinase domain. Previous studies indicate that LRRK2 kinase is dependent on a functional GTPase domain and binding to GTP is required for kinase activity. Recent work detailed in this dissertation indicates a complex and reciprocal relationship between kinase and GTPase domains. LRRK2 kinase activity is dependent on adapting a homo-dimer that is augmented by PD mutations that increase LRRK2 kinase activity. Activated LRRK2 autophosphorylates the GTPase and c-terminus of Ras (COR) domains robustly. Phosphorylation of these domains is required for normal activity, as preventing autophosphorylation of these sites drastically lowers kinase activity and GTP binding while phosphorylation maintains baseline activity while still reducing GTP binding. Furthermore, we have developed antibodies specific to autophosphorylation residues that track with LRRK2 kinase activity in vitro. While no measurable activity was detected from treated LRRK2 in vivo, LRRK2 protein purified from brain tissue treated with inflammatory stimuli such as LPS, which increases

  14. Molecular mechanisms of retroviral integration site selection

    PubMed Central

    Kvaratskhelia, Mamuka; Sharma, Amit; Larue, Ross C.; Serrao, Erik; Engelman, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Retroviral replication proceeds through an obligate integrated DNA provirus, making retroviral vectors attractive vehicles for human gene-therapy. Though most of the host cell genome is available for integration, the process of integration site selection is not random. Retroviruses differ in their choice of chromatin-associated features and also prefer particular nucleotide sequences at the point of insertion. Lentiviruses including HIV-1 preferentially integrate within the bodies of active genes, whereas the prototypical gammaretrovirus Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMLV) favors strong enhancers and active gene promoter regions. Integration is catalyzed by the viral integrase protein, and recent research has demonstrated that HIV-1 and MoMLV targeting preferences are in large part guided by integrase-interacting host factors (LEDGF/p75 for HIV-1 and BET proteins for MoMLV) that tether viral intasomes to chromatin. In each case, the selectivity of epigenetic marks on histones recognized by the protein tether helps to determine the integration distribution. In contrast, nucleotide preferences at integration sites seem to be governed by the ability for the integrase protein to locally bend the DNA duplex for pairwise insertion of the viral DNA ends. We discuss approaches to alter integration site selection that could potentially improve the safety of retroviral vectors in the clinic. PMID:25147212

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Mercury Transformation

    SciTech Connect

    smith, jeremy

    2014-04-15

    Mercury (Hg) is a major global pollutant arising from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Defining the factors that determine the relative affinities of different ligands for the mercuric ion, Hg2+, is critical to understanding its speciation, transformation, and bioaccumulation in the environment. Here, we used quantum chemistry to dissect the relative binding free energies for a series of inorganic anion complexes of Hg2+. The results show that, whereas in the gas phase the binding affinity of two identical anionic ligands (forming HgL2) increases with ligand (L–) hardness, in contrast, in the aqueous phase the affinity increases with ligand softness. This switch in affinity upon hydration is shown to result mostly from interactions with only a small number (e.g. one or two) of water molecules. The results yield a clear, robust periodic trend within the chalcogenide and halide groups and are in agreement with the well-known experimentally observed preference of Hg2+ for soft ligands. By comparing the Hg2+ binding of one with two anions, the gas phase preferences are found to arise from the enhancement of reactivity of the cationic complex (HgL+) with the hardness of L–. The approach establishes a theoretical basis for understanding Hg speciation in the biosphere.

  16. [Molecular genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis].

    PubMed

    Xue, Kai-Xian

    2005-06-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major type of primary liver cancer and one of the most frequent human malignant neoplasms. Common risk factors of human HCC include chronic hepatitis virus (HBV and HCV) infection, dietary aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) ingestion, chronic alcohol abuse, and cirrhosis associated with genetic liver diseases. Hepatocarcinogenesis is the result of interaction between hereditary and environmental factors. Inheritance determines individual susceptibility to cancer; environment determines which susceptible individuals express cancer. Studies of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis showed that HCC development is a complex polygene and multipathway process; the activation of proto-oncogenes and the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes induced by genetic and epigenetic alterations are core biological processes of hepatocarcinogenesis; RB1, p53, and Wnt pathways are commonly affected in HCCs of different etiologies, which may reflect common pathologic sequence of HCC: chronic liver injury, cirrhosis, atypical hyperplastic nodules, and HCC of early stages. Hepatitis virus infection-associated HCCs have frequent alterations in RB1 pathway, including methylation of p16INK4a and RB1 genes and amplification of Cyclin D1. AFB1 exposure-associated HCCs have frequent alterations in p53 pathway; the G-->T mutation of p53 gene at codon 249 has been identified as a genetic hallmark of HCC caused by AFB1. Alcoholism-associated HCCs have frequent alterations in both RB1 and p53 pathways. The roles of some important genes related to cell apoptosis, DNA repair, drug metabolism, and tumor metastasis in hepatocarcinogenesis had been discussed.

  17. Molecular mechanisms of dominant expression in porphyria.

    PubMed

    Badminton, M N; Elder, G H

    2005-01-01

    Partial deficiency of enzymes in the haem synthetic pathway gives rise to a group of seven inherited metabolic disorders, the porphyrias. Each deficiency is associated with a characteristic increase in haem precursors that correlates with the symptoms associated with individual porphyrias and allows accurate diagnosis. Two types of clinical presentation occur separately or in combination; acute life-threatening neurovisceral attacks and/or cutaneous symptoms. Five of the porphyrias are low-penetrance autosomal dominant conditions in which clinical expression results from additional factors that act by increasing demand for haem or by causing an additional decrease in enzyme activity or by a combination of these effects. These include both genetic and environmental factors. In familial porphyria cutanea tarda (PCTF), environmental factors that include alcohol, exogenous oestrogens and hepatotropic viruses result in inhibition of hepatic enzyme activity via a mechanism that involves excess iron accumulation. In erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), co-inheritance of a functional polymorphism in trans to a null ferrochelatase allele accounts for most clinically overt cases. In the autosomal dominant acute hepatic porphyrias (acute intermittent porphyria, variegate porphyria, hereditary coproporphyria), acute neurovisceral attacks occur in a minority of those who inherit one of these disorders. Although various exogenous (e.g. drugs, alcohol) and endogenous factors (e.g. hormones) have been identified as provoking acute attacks, these do not provide a full explanation for the low penetrance of these disorders. It seems probable that genetic background influences susceptibility to acute attacks, but the genes that are involved have not yet been identified.

  18. A quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics scheme for extended systems.

    PubMed

    Hunt, Diego; Sanchez, Veronica M; Scherlis, Damián A

    2016-08-24

    We introduce and discuss a hybrid quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics (QM-MM) approach for Car-Parrinello DFT simulations with pseudopotentials and planewaves basis, designed for the treatment of periodic systems. In this implementation the MM atoms are considered as additional QM ions having fractional charges of either sign, which provides conceptual and computational simplicity by exploiting the machinery already existing in planewave codes to deal with electrostatics in periodic boundary conditions. With this strategy, both the QM and MM regions are contained in the same supercell, which determines the periodicity for the whole system. Thus, while this method is not meant to compete with non-periodic QM-MM schemes able to handle extremely large but finite MM regions, it is shown that for periodic systems of a few hundred atoms, our approach provides substantial savings in computational times by treating classically a fraction of the particles. The performance and accuracy of the method is assessed through the study of energetic, structural, and dynamical aspects of the water dimer and of the aqueous bulk phase. Finally, the QM-MM scheme is applied to the computation of the vibrational spectra of water layers adsorbed at the TiO2 anatase (1 0 1) solid-liquid interface. This investigation suggests that the inclusion of a second monolayer of H2O molecules is sufficient to induce on the first adsorbed layer, a vibrational dynamics similar to that taking place in the presence of an aqueous environment. The present QM-MM scheme appears as a very interesting tool to efficiently perform molecular dynamics simulations of complex condensed matter systems, from solutions to nanoconfined fluids to different kind of interfaces.

  19. A quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics scheme for extended systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, Diego; Sanchez, Veronica M.; Scherlis, Damián A.

    2016-08-01

    We introduce and discuss a hybrid quantum-mechanics molecular-mechanics (QM-MM) approach for Car-Parrinello DFT simulations with pseudopotentials and planewaves basis, designed for the treatment of periodic systems. In this implementation the MM atoms are considered as additional QM ions having fractional charges of either sign, which provides conceptual and computational simplicity by exploiting the machinery already existing in planewave codes to deal with electrostatics in periodic boundary conditions. With this strategy, both the QM and MM regions are contained in the same supercell, which determines the periodicity for the whole system. Thus, while this method is not meant to compete with non-periodic QM-MM schemes able to handle extremely large but finite MM regions, it is shown that for periodic systems of a few hundred atoms, our approach provides substantial savings in computational times by treating classically a fraction of the particles. The performance and accuracy of the method is assessed through the study of energetic, structural, and dynamical aspects of the water dimer and of the aqueous bulk phase. Finally, the QM-MM scheme is applied to the computation of the vibrational spectra of water layers adsorbed at the TiO2 anatase (1 0 1) solid-liquid interface. This investigation suggests that the inclusion of a second monolayer of H2O molecules is sufficient to induce on the first adsorbed layer, a vibrational dynamics similar to that taking place in the presence of an aqueous environment. The present QM-MM scheme appears as a very interesting tool to efficiently perform molecular dynamics simulations of complex condensed matter systems, from solutions to nanoconfined fluids to different kind of interfaces.

  20. Principles of cellular-molecular mechanisms underlying neuron functions.

    PubMed

    Ratushnyak, Alexander S; Zapara, Tatiana A

    2009-12-01

    In the present work, it was experimentally shown that a neuron in vitro was capable of responding in a manner similar to habituation, Pavlov's reflex and avoidance of the reinforcements. The locality of plastic property modifications and molecular morphology, as well as the connection between functional activity and cytoskeleton have been revealed. A hypothesis is formulated that the neuron is a molecular system which may exercise the control, forecast, recognition, and classification. The basic principles of the molecular mechanisms of the responses underlying integrative activity, learning and memory at the neuronal level are discussed.

  1. Graph-drawing algorithms geometries versus molecular mechanics in fullereness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaufman, M.; Pisanski, T.; Lukman, D.; Borštnik, B.; Graovac, A.

    1996-09-01

    The algorithms of Kamada-Kawai (KK) and Fruchterman-Reingold (FR) have been recently generalized (Pisanski et al., Croat. Chem. Acta 68 (1995) 283) in order to draw molecular graphs in three-dimensional space. The quality of KK and FR geometries is studied here by comparing them with the molecular mechanics (MM) and the adjacency matrix eigenvectors (AME) algorithm geometries. In order to compare different layouts of the same molecule, an appropriate method has been developed. Its application to a series of experimentally detected fullerenes indicates that the KK, FR and AME algorithms are able to reproduce plausible molecular geometries.

  2. Molecular deformation mechanisms of the wood cell wall material.

    PubMed

    Jin, Kai; Qin, Zhao; Buehler, Markus J

    2015-02-01

    Wood is a biological material with outstanding mechanical properties resulting from its hierarchical structure across different scales. Although earlier work has shown that the cellular structure of wood is a key factor that renders it excellent mechanical properties at light weight, the mechanical properties of the wood cell wall material itself still needs to be understood comprehensively. The wood cell wall material features a fiber reinforced composite structure, where cellulose fibrils act as stiff fibers, and hemicellulose and lignin molecules act as soft matrix. The angle between the fiber direction and the loading direction has been found to be the key factor controlling the mechanical properties. However, how the interactions between theses constitutive molecules contribute to the overall properties is still unclear, although the shearing between fibers has been proposed as a primary deformation mechanism. Here we report a molecular model of the wood cell wall material with atomistic resolution, used to assess the mechanical behavior under shear loading in order to understand the deformation mechanisms at the molecular level. The model includes an explicit description of cellulose crystals, hemicellulose, as well as lignin molecules arranged in a layered nanocomposite. The results obtained using this model show that the wood cell wall material under shear loading deforms in an elastic and then plastic manner. The plastic regime can be divided into two parts according to the different deformation mechanisms: yielding of the matrix and sliding of matrix along the cellulose surface. Our molecular dynamics study provides insights of the mechanical behavior of wood cell wall material at the molecular level, and paves a way for the multi-scale understanding of the mechanical properties of wood.

  3. Reaction Mechanism of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Glutamine Synthetase Using Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Calculations.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Cátia; Ramos, Maria J; Fernandes, Pedro Alexandrino

    2016-06-27

    This paper is devoted to the understanding of the reaction mechanism of mycobacterium tuberculosis glutamine synthetase (mtGS) with atomic detail, using computational quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods at the ONIOM M06-D3/6-311++G(2d,2p):ff99SB//B3LYP/6-31G(d):ff99SB level of theory. The complete reaction undergoes a three-step mechanism: the spontaneous transfer of phosphate from ATP to glutamate upon ammonium binding (ammonium quickly loses a proton to Asp54), the attack of ammonia on phosphorylated glutamate (yielding protonated glutamine), and the deprotonation of glutamine by the leaving phosphate. This exothermic reaction has an activation free energy of 21.5 kcal mol(-1) , which is consistent with that described for Escherichia coli glutamine synthetase (15-17 kcal mol(-1) ). The participating active site residues have been identified and their role and energy contributions clarified. This study provides an insightful atomic description of the biosynthetic reaction that takes place in this enzyme, opening doors for more accurate studies for developing new anti-tuberculosis therapies.

  4. [Progress in researches of molecular mechanism of schistosome cercariae infection].

    PubMed

    Du, Xiaofeng; Ju, Chuan; Hu, Wei

    2013-12-01

    Schistosome cercariae must penetrate skin as an initial step to successfully infect the final host. Proteolytic enzymes secreted from the acetabular glands of cercariae contribute significantly to the invasion process. Nowadays, the researches of molecular mechanism of schistosome infection mainly focus on the cercarial secretions including serine protease and cysteine protease. Previous researches already showed that Schistosoma mansoni penetrates the skin mainly depend on cercarial elastease secreted by cercariae while Schistosoma japonicum penetrates the skin chiefly by cathepsin B2. The illustration of molecular mechanism of schistosome cecariae infection will accelerate the identification of novel vaccines and drug targets.

  5. Common molecular mechanisms in explicit and implicit memory.

    PubMed

    Barco, Angel; Bailey, Craig H; Kandel, Eric R

    2006-06-01

    Cellular and molecular studies of both implicit and explicit memory suggest that experience-dependent modulation of synaptic strength and structure is a fundamental mechanism by which these memories are encoded and stored within the brain. In this review, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of two types of memory storage: (i) sensitization in Aplysia, a simple form of implicit memory, and (ii) formation of explicit spatial memories in the mouse hippocampus. These two processes share common molecular mechanisms that have been highly conserved through evolution.

  6. Insights on Molecular Mechanisms of Chondrocytes Death in Osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Charlier, Edith; Relic, Biserka; Deroyer, Céline; Malaise, Olivier; Neuville, Sophie; Collée, Julie; Malaise, Michel G.; De Seny, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint pathology characterized by progressive cartilage degradation. Medical care is mainly based on alleviating pain symptoms. Compelling studies report the presence of empty lacunae and hypocellularity in cartilage with aging and OA progression, suggesting that chondrocyte cell death occurs and participates to OA development. However, the relative contribution of apoptosis per se in OA pathogenesis appears complex to evaluate. Indeed, depending on technical approaches, OA stages, cartilage layers, animal models, as well as in vivo or in vitro experiments, the percentage of apoptosis and cell death types can vary. Apoptosis, chondroptosis, necrosis, and autophagic cell death are described in this review. The question of cell death causality in OA progression is also addressed, as well as the molecular pathways leading to cell death in response to the following inducers: Fas, Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), Tumor Necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), leptin, nitric oxide (NO) donors, and mechanical stresses. Furthermore, the protective role of autophagy in chondrocytes is highlighted, as well as its decline during OA progression, enhancing chondrocyte cell death; the transition being mainly controlled by HIF-1α/HIF-2α imbalance. Finally, we have considered whether interfering in chondrocyte apoptosis or promoting autophagy could constitute therapeutic strategies to impede OA progression. PMID:27999417

  7. Molecular mechanisms of resistance to the EGFR monoclonal antibody cetuximab

    PubMed Central

    Brand, Toni M; Iida, Mari

    2011-01-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a receptor tyrosine kinase belonging to the HER family of receptor tyrosine kinases. Receptor activation upon ligand binding leads to down stream activation of the PI3K/AKT, RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PLCγ/PKC pathways that influence cell proliferation, survival and the metastatic potential of tumor cells. Increased activation by gene amplification, protein overexpression or mutations of the EGFR has been identified as an etiological factor in a number of human epithelial cancers (e.g., NSCLC, CRC, glioblastoma and breast cancer). Therefore, targeting the EGFR has been intensely pursued as a cancer treatment strategy over the last two decades. To date, five EGFR inhibitors, including three small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and two monoclonal antibodies have gained FDA approval for use in oncology. Both approaches to targeting the EGFR have shown clinical promise and the anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab is used to treat HNSCC and CRC. Despite clinical gains arising from use of cetuximab, both intrinsic resistance and the development of acquired resistance are now well recognized. In this review we focus on the biology of the EGFR, the role of EGFR in human cancer, the development of antibody-based anti-EGFR therapies and a summary of their clinical successes. Further, we provide an in depth discussion of described molecular mechanisms of resistance to cetuximab and potential strategies to circumvent this resistance. PMID:21293176

  8. Final Report - Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Mercury Transformation - UCSF

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Susan M.

    2014-04-24

    The bacterial mercury resistance (mer) operon functions in Hg biogeochemistry and bioremediation by converting reactive inorganic Hg(II) and organic [RHg(II)]1+ mercurials to relatively inert monoatomic mercury vapor, Hg(0). Its genes regulate operon expression (MerR, MerD, MerOP), import Hg(II) (MerT, MerP, and MerC), and demethylate (MerB) and reduce (MerA) mercurials. We focus on how these components interact with each other and with the host cell to allow cells to survive and detoxify Hg compounds. Understanding how this ubiquitous detoxification system fits into the biology and ecology of its bacterial host is essential to guide interventions that support and enhance Hg remediation. In the current overall project we focused on two aspects of this system: (1) investigations of the energetics of Hg(II)-ligand binding interactions, and (2) both experimental and computational approaches to investigating the molecular mechanisms of Hg(II) acquisition by MerA and intramolecular transfer of Hg(II) prior to reduction within the MerA enzyme active site. Computational work was led by Prof. Jeremy Smith and took place at the University of Tennessee, while experimental work on MerA was led by Prof. Susan Miller and took place at the University of California San Francisco.

  9. Molecular mechanisms of resistance to the EGFR monoclonal antibody cetuximab.

    PubMed

    Brand, Toni M; Iida, Mari; Wheeler, Deric L

    2011-05-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a receptor tyrosine kinase belonging to the HER family of receptor tyrosine kinases. Receptor activation upon ligand binding leads to down stream activation of the PI3K/AKT, RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PLCγ/PKC pathways that influence cell proliferation, survival and the metastatic potential of tumor cells. Increased activation by gene amplification, protein overexpression or mutations of the EGFR has been identified as an etiological factor in a number of human epithelial cancers (e.g., NSCLC, CRC, glioblastoma and breast cancer). Therefore, targeting the EGFR has been intensely pursued as a cancer treatment strategy over the last two decades. To date, five EGFR inhibitors, including three small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and two monoclonal antibodies have gained FDA approval for use in oncology. Both approaches to targeting the EGFR have shown clinical promise and the anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab is used to treat HNSCC and CRC. Despite clinical gains arising from use of cetuximab, both intrinsic resistance and the development of acquired resistance are now well recognized. In this review we focus on the biology of the EGFR, the role of EGFR in human cancer, the development of antibody-based anti-EGFR therapies and a summary of their clinical successes. Further, we provide an in depth discussion of described molecular mechanisms of resistance to cetuximab and potential strategies to circumvent this resistance.

  10. The molecular mechanisms between metabolic syndrome and breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi; Wen, Ya-yuan; Li, Zhi-rong; Luo, Dong-lin; Zhang, Xiao-hua

    2016-03-18

    Metabolic syndrome, which is extremely common in developed and some developing countries, is a clustering of at least three of five of the following medical conditions: abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides, and low high-density lipoprotein levels. It has been proved that there is a strong association between metabolic syndrome and breast cancer. Metabolic syndrome could increase the risk of breast cancer and influence the prognosis of the breast cancer patients. Some characteristic of metabolic syndrome such as obesity and lack of physical exercise are all risk factors for developing breast cancer. The metabolic syndrome mainly include obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and each of them impacts the risk of breast cancer and the prognosis of the breast cancer patients in different ways. In this Review, we focus on recently uncovered aspects of the immunological and molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the development of this highly prevalent and serious disease. These studies bring new insight into the complex associations between metabolic syndrome and breast cancer and have led to the development of novel therapeutic strategies that might enable a personalized approach in the management of this disease.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical study on the mechanism of the enzymatic Baeyer-Villiger reaction.

    PubMed

    Polyak, Iakov; Reetz, Manfred T; Thiel, Walter

    2012-02-08

    We report a combined quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) study on the mechanism of the enzymatic Baeyer-Villiger reaction catalyzed by cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO). In QM/MM geometry optimizations and reaction path calculations, density functional theory (B3LYP/TZVP) is used to describe the QM region consisting of the substrate (cyclohexanone), the isoalloxazine ring of C4a-peroxyflavin, the side chain of Arg-329, and the nicotinamide ring and the adjacent ribose of NADP(+), while the remainder of the enzyme is represented by the CHARMM force field. QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations at the semiempirical OM3/CHARMM level employ the same QM/MM partitioning. According to the QM/MM calculations, the enzyme-reactant complex contains an anionic deprotonated C4a-peroxyflavin that is stabilized by strong hydrogen bonds with the Arg-329 residue and the NADP(+) cofactor. The CHMO-catalyzed reaction proceeds via a Criegee intermediate having pronounced anionic character. The initial addition reaction has to overcome an energy barrier of about 9 kcal/mol. The formed Criegee intermediate occupies a shallow minimum on the QM/MM potential energy surface and can undergo fragmentation to the lactone product by surmounting a second energy barrier of about 7 kcal/mol. The transition state for the latter migration step is the highest point on the QM/MM energy profile. Gas-phase reoptimizations of the QM region lead to higher barriers and confirm the crucial role of the Arg-329 residue and the NADP(+) cofactor for the catalytic efficiency of CHMO. QM/MM calculations for the CHMO-catalyzed oxidation of 4-methylcyclohexanone reproduce and rationalize the experimentally observed (S)-enantioselectivity for this substrate, which is governed by the conformational preferences of the corresponding Criegee intermediate and the subsequent transition state for the migration step.

  15. Molecular Mechanism of Acrylamide Neurotoxicity: Lessons Learned from Organic Chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Gavin, Terrence

    2012-01-01

    Background: Acrylamide (ACR) produces cumulative neurotoxicity in exposed humans and laboratory animals through a direct inhibitory effect on presynaptic function. Objectives: In this review, we delineate how knowledge of chemistry provided an unprecedented understanding of the ACR neurotoxic mechanism. We also show how application of the hard and soft, acids and bases (HSAB) theory led to the recognition that the α,β-unsaturated carbonyl structure of ACR is a soft electrophile that preferentially forms covalent bonds with soft nucleophiles. Methods: In vivo proteomic and in chemico studies demonstrated that ACR formed covalent adducts with highly nucleophilic cysteine thiolate groups located within active sites of presynaptic proteins. Additional research showed that resulting protein inactivation disrupted nerve terminal processes and impaired neurotransmission. Discussion: ACR is a type-2 alkene, a chemical class that includes structurally related electrophilic environmental pollutants (e.g., acrolein) and endogenous mediators of cellular oxidative stress (e.g., 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal). Members of this chemical family produce toxicity via a common molecular mechanism. Although individual environmental concentrations might not be toxicologically relevant, exposure to an ambient mixture of type-2 alkene pollutants could pose a significant risk to human health. Furthermore, environmentally derived type-2 alkenes might act synergistically with endogenously generated unsaturated aldehydes to amplify cellular damage and thereby accelerate human disease/injury processes that involve oxidative stress. Conclusions: These possibilities have substantial implications for environmental risk assessment and were realized through an understanding of ACR adduct chemistry. The approach delineated here can be broadly applied because many toxicants of different chemical classes are electrophiles that produce toxicity by interacting with cellular proteins. PMID:23060388

  16. Mechanism of Salinity Tolerance in Plants: Physiological, Biochemical, and Molecular Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Bingru

    2014-01-01

    Salinity is a major abiotic stress limiting growth and productivity of plants in many areas of the world due to increasing use of poor quality of water for irrigation and soil salinization. Plant adaptation or tolerance to salinity stress involves complex physiological traits, metabolic pathways, and molecular or gene networks. A comprehensive understanding on how plants respond to salinity stress at different levels and an integrated approach of combining molecular tools with physiological and biochemical techniques are imperative for the development of salt-tolerant varieties of plants in salt-affected areas. Recent research has identified various adaptive responses to salinity stress at molecular, cellular, metabolic, and physiological levels, although mechanisms underlying salinity tolerance are far from being completely understood. This paper provides a comprehensive review of major research advances on biochemical, physiological, and molecular mechanisms regulating plant adaptation and tolerance to salinity stress. PMID:24804192

  17. 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.

  18. Antigenic variation: Molecular and genetic mechanisms of relapsing disease

    SciTech Connect

    Cruse, J.M.; Lewis, R.E.

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 10 chapters. They are: Contemporary Concepts of Antigenic Variation; Antigenic Variation in the Influenza Viruses; Mechanisms of Escape of Visna Lentiviruses from Immunological Control; A Review of Antigenic Variation by the Equine Infectious Anemia Virus; Biologic and Molecular Variations in AIDS Retrovirus Isolates; Rabies Virus Infection: Genetic Mutations and the Impact on Viral Pathogenicity and Immunity; Immunobiology of Relapsing Fever; Antigenic Variation in African Trypanosomes; Antigenic Variation and Antigenic Diversity in Malaria; and Mechanisms of Immune Evasion in Schistosomiasis.

  19. Combination of metformin with chemotherapeutic drugs via different molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Peng, Mei; Darko, Kwame Oteng; Tao, Ting; Huang, Yanjun; Su, Qiongli; He, Caimei; Yin, Tao; Liu, Zhaoqian; Yang, Xiaoping

    2017-03-01

    Metformin, a widely prescribed drug for treating type II diabetes, is one of the most extensively recognized metabolic modulators which has shown an important anti-cancer property. However, fairly amount of clinical trials on its single administration have not demonstrated a convincing efficiency yet. Thus, recent studies tend to combine metformin with clinical commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs to decrease their toxicity and attenuate their tumor resistance. These strategies have displayed promising clinical benefits. Interestingly, metformin experiences a diversity of molecular mechanisms when it combines different chemotherapeutic drugs. For example, AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway activation plays a major role when it combines with hormone modulating drugs. In contrast, suppression of HIF-1, p-gp and MRP1 protein expression is its main mechanism when metformin combines with anti-metabolites. Furthermore, when combining of metformin with antibiotics, inhibition of oxidative stress and inflammatory signaling pathway becomes a novel pharmaceutical mechanism for its cardio-protective effect. Induction of apoptotic mitochondria and nucleus could be the major player for the synergistic effect of its combination with cisplatin. In contrast, down-regulation of lipoprotein or cholesterol synthesis might be the undefined molecular base when metformin combines with taxane. Thus, deep exploration of molecular mechanisms of metformin with these different drugs is critical to understand its synergistic effect and help for personalized administration. In this mini-review, detailed molecular mechanisms of these combinations are discussed and summarized. This work will promote better understanding of molecular mechanisms of metformin and provide precise targets to identify specific patient groups to achieve satisfactory treatment efficacy.

  20. Combined quantum mechanical/molecular mechanics modeling for large organometallic and metallobiochemical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leong, Max Kangchien

    A method of combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics has been developed to model larger organometallic and metallobiochemical systems where neither quantum mechanics nor molecular mechanics, applied separately, can solve the problem. An electronically transparent interface, which allows charge transfers between the quantum and classical fragments, is devised and realized by employing a special iterative procedure of double (intrafragment and interfragment) self-consistent calculations. The combined QM/MM scheme was successfully applied to model iron picket-fence porphyrin, vitamin B12, aquocobalamin, and vitamin B12 coenzyme molecules.

  1. Resolving the molecular mechanism of cadherin catch bond formation

    SciTech Connect

    Manibog, Kristine; Li, Hui; Rakshit, Sabyasachi; Sivasankar, Sanjeevi

    2014-06-02

    Classical cadherin Ca(2+)-dependent cell-cell adhesion proteins play key roles in embryogenesis and in maintaining tissue integrity. Cadherins mediate robust adhesion by binding in multiple conformations. One of these adhesive states, called an X-dimer, forms catch bonds that strengthen and become longer lived in the presence of mechanical force. Here we use single-molecule force-clamp spectroscopy with an atomic force microscope along with molecular dynamics and steered molecular dynamics simulations to resolve the molecular mechanisms underlying catch bond formation and the role of Ca(2+) ions in this process. Our data suggest that tensile force bends the cadherin extracellular region such that they form long-lived, force-induced hydrogen bonds that lock X-dimers into tighter contact. When Ca(2+) concentration is decreased, fewer de novo hydrogen bonds are formed and catch bond formation is eliminated

  2. The molecular mechanisms of hemodialysis vascular access failure

    PubMed Central

    Franzoni, Marco; Misra, Sanjay

    2016-01-01

    The arteriovenous fistula has been used for more than 50 years to provide vascular access for patients undergoing hemodialysis. More than 1.5 million patients worldwide have end stage renal disease and this population will continue to grow. The arteriovenous fistula is the preferred vascular access for patients, but its patency rate at 1 year is only 60%. The majority of arteriovenous fistulas fail because of intimal hyperplasia. In recent years, there have been many studies investigating the molecular mechanisms responsible for intimal hyperplasia and subsequent thrombosis. These studies have identified common pathways including inflammation, uremia, hypoxia, sheer stress, and increased thrombogenicity. These cellular mechanisms lead to increased proliferation, migration, and eventually stenosis. These pathways work synergistically through shared molecular messengers. In this review, we will examine the literature concerning the molecular basis of hemodialysis vascular access malfunction. PMID:26806833

  3. Unraveling the mechanism of molecular doping in organic semiconductors.

    PubMed

    Mityashin, Alexander; Olivier, Yoann; Van Regemorter, Tanguy; Rolin, Cedric; Verlaak, Stijn; Martinelli, Nicolas G; Beljonne, David; Cornil, Jérôme; Genoe, Jan; Heremans, Paul

    2012-03-22

    The mechanism by which molecular dopants donate free charge carriers to the host organic semiconductor is investigated and is found to be quite different from the one in inorganic semiconductors. In organics, a strong correlation between the doping concentration and its charge donation efficiency is demonstrated. Moreover, there is a threshold doping level below which doping simply has no electrical effect.

  4. A Molecular Mechanics Study of Monensin B Ion Selectivity.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    well known knot theorist working with Jon Simon under the math part of the ONR stereochemical topology project. 2) The 5-rung THYME diol-ditosylate has...trefoil knot, which will posses 100 atoms in the ring. 3) The first molecular mechanics studies on the THYME system have been accomplished. 4) Preliminary

  5. 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.

  6. A statistical mechanics approach to Granovetter theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barra, Adriano; Agliari, Elena

    2012-05-01

    In this paper we try to bridge breakthroughs in quantitative sociology/econometrics, pioneered during the last decades by Mac Fadden, Brock-Durlauf, Granovetter and Watts-Strogatz, by introducing a minimal model able to reproduce essentially all the features of social behavior highlighted by these authors. Our model relies on a pairwise Hamiltonian for decision-maker interactions which naturally extends the multi-populations approaches by shifting and biasing the pattern definitions of a Hopfield model of neural networks. Once introduced, the model is investigated through graph theory (to recover Granovetter and Watts-Strogatz results) and statistical mechanics (to recover Mac-Fadden and Brock-Durlauf results). Due to the internal symmetries of our model, the latter is obtained as the relaxation of a proper Markov process, allowing even to study its out-of-equilibrium properties. The method used to solve its equilibrium is an adaptation of the Hamilton-Jacobi technique recently introduced by Guerra in the spin-glass scenario and the picture obtained is the following: shifting the patterns from [-1,+1]→[0.+1] implies that the larger the amount of similarities among decision makers, the stronger their relative influence, and this is enough to explain both the different role of strong and weak ties in the social network as well as its small-world properties. As a result, imitative interaction strengths seem essentially a robust request (enough to break the gauge symmetry in the couplings), furthermore, this naturally leads to a discrete choice modelization when dealing with the external influences and to imitative behavior à la Curie-Weiss as the one introduced by Brock and Durlauf.

  7. A Molecular Mechanics Analysis of Molecular Recognition by Cyclodextrin Mimics of Alpha-Chymotrypsin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-05-26

    Recognition By Cyclodextrin Mimics of Alpha-Chymotrypsin i by C.A. Venanzi. P.M. Canzius, Z. Zhang, and J.D. Bunce LT IC To Be Published in CLECTE JUN 0 51...Clasification) A Molecular Mechanics Analysis of Molecular Recognition By Cyclodextrin Mimics of Alpha-Chymotrypsin. 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) C.A. Venanzil... CYCLODEXTRIN MIMICS OF 0( -CHYMOTRYPSIN Carol A. Venanzi1 , Preston M. Canzius, Zhifeng Zhang, and Jeffrey D. Bunce Department of Chemical Engineering

  8. Mechanistic insights into Mg2+-independent prenylation by CloQ from classical molecular mechanics and hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Bayse, Craig A; Merz, Kenneth M

    2014-08-05

    Understanding the mechanism of prenyltransferases is important to the design of engineered proteins capable of synthesizing derivatives of naturally occurring therapeutic agents. CloQ is a Mg(2+)-independent aromatic prenyltransferase (APTase) that transfers a dimethylallyl group to 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate in the biosynthetic pathway for clorobiocin. APTases consist of a common ABBA fold that defines a β-barrel containing the reaction cavity. Positively charged basic residues line the inside of the β-barrel of CloQ to activate the pyrophosphate leaving group to replace the function of the Mg(2+) cofactor in other APTases. Classical molecular dynamics simulations of CloQ, its E281G and F68S mutants, and the related NovQ were used to explore the binding of the 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate (4HPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate substrates in the reactive cavity and the role of various conserved residues. Hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potential of mean force (PMF) calculations show that the effect of the replacement of the Mg(2+) cofactor with basic residues yields a similar activation barrier for prenylation to Mg(2+)-dependent APTases like NphB. The topology of the binding pocket for 4HPP is important for selective prenylation at the ortho position of the ring. Methylation at this position alters the conformation of the substrate for O-prenylation at the phenol group. Further, a two-dimensional PMF scan shows that a "reverse" prenylation product may be a possible target for protein engineering.

  9. Investigation of deformation mechanisms of staggered nanocomposites using molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathiazhagan, S.; Anup, S.

    2016-08-01

    Biological materials with nanostructure of regularly or stair-wise staggered arrangements of hard platelets reinforced in a soft protein matrix have superior mechanical properties. Applications of these nanostructures to ceramic matrix composites could enhance their toughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, mechanical behaviour of the bio-inspired nanocomposites is studied. Regularly staggered model shows better flow behaviour compared to stair-wise staggered model due to the symmetrical crack propagation along the interface. Though higher stiffness and strength are obtained for stair-wise staggered models, rapid crack propagation reduces the toughness. Arresting this crack propagation could lead to superior mechanical properties in stair-wise staggered models.

  10. Molecular mechanisms underlying the fetal programming of adult disease.

    PubMed

    Vo, Thin; Hardy, Daniel B

    2012-08-01

    Adverse events in utero can be critical in determining quality of life and overall health. It is estimated that up to 50 % of metabolic syndrome diseases can be linked to an adverse fetal environment. However, the mechanisms linking impaired fetal development to these adult diseases remain elusive. This review uncovers some of the molecular mechanisms underlying how normal physiology may be impaired in fetal and postnatal life due to maternal insults in pregnancy. By understanding the mechanisms, which include epigenetic, transcriptional, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and reactive oxygen species (ROS), we also highlight how intervention in fetal and neonatal life may be able to prevent these diseases long-term.

  11. Novel molecular mechanisms and regeneration therapy for heart failure.

    PubMed

    Oka, Toru; Morita, Hiroyuki; Komuro, Issei

    2016-03-01

    Heart failure (HF) is one of the leading causes of mortality in the world. Various molecular mechanisms have been proposed for HF, but its precise mechanisms are still largely unknown. In this review, summarizing the "President's Distinguished Lecture Award" of XX World Congress of International Society for Heart Research 2010 in Kyoto, Japan, we introduce recent our studies on HF, including 1) p53-induced suppression of Hif-1-induced angiogenesis as a novel mechanism of HF, 2) angiogenesis as a potential therapeutic strategy for HF, and 3) IGFBP-4 as a novel factor for cardiomyogenesis by inhibiting canonical Wnt signaling.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of neuropathological changes in Alzheimer's disease: a review.

    PubMed

    Serý, Omar; Povová, Jana; Míšek, Ivan; Pešák, Lukáš; Janout, Vladimir

    2013-01-01

    More than 100 years after description of Alzheimer's disease (AD), two major pathological processes observed already by Alois Alzheimer, remain as the main explanation of the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Important molecular interactions leading to AD neuropathology were described in amyloid cascade and in tau protein function. No clinical trials with novel therapies based on amyloid cascade and tau protein hypotheses have been successful. The main aim of recent research is focused on the question what is primary mechanism leading to the molecular development of AD pathology. Promising explanation of triggering mechanism can be seen in vascular pathology that have direct influence on the development of pathological processes typical for Alzheimer disease. Novel insight into a number of cellular signaling mechanisms, as well as mitochondrial function in Alzheimer disease could also bring explanations of initial processes leading to the development of this pathology.

  13. Molecular mechanics of mineralized collagen fibrils in bone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nair, Arun K.; Gautieri, Alfonso; Chang, Shu-Wei; Buehler, Markus J.

    2013-04-01

    Bone is a natural composite of collagen protein and the mineral hydroxyapatite. The structure of bone is known to be important to its load-bearing characteristics, but relatively little is known about this structure or the mechanism that govern deformation at the molecular scale. Here we perform full-atomistic calculations of the three-dimensional molecular structure of a mineralized collagen protein matrix to try to better understand its mechanical characteristics under tensile loading at various mineral densities. We find that as the mineral density increases, the tensile modulus of the network increases monotonically and well beyond that of pure collagen fibrils. Our results suggest that the mineral crystals within this network bears up to four times the stress of the collagen fibrils, whereas the collagen is predominantly responsible for the material’s deformation response. These findings reveal the mechanism by which bone is able to achieve superior energy dissipation and fracture resistance characteristics beyond its individual constituents.

  14. Molecular Mechanisms in Mood Regulation Involving the Circadian Clock.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Urs

    2017-01-01

    The circadian system coordinates activities and functions in cells and tissues in order to optimize body functions in anticipation to daily changes in the environment. Disruption of the circadian system, due to irregular lifestyle such as rotating shift work, frequent travel across time-zones, or chronic stress, is correlated with several diseases such as obesity, cancer, and neurological disorders. Molecular mechanisms linking the circadian clock with neurological functions have been uncovered suggesting that disruption of the clock may be critically involved in the development of mood disorders. In this mini-review, I will summarize molecular mechanisms in which clock components play a central role for mood regulation. Such mechanisms have been identified in the monoaminergic system, the HPA axis, and neurogenesis.

  15. Molecular Mechanisms in Mood Regulation Involving the Circadian Clock

    PubMed Central

    Albrecht, Urs

    2017-01-01

    The circadian system coordinates activities and functions in cells and tissues in order to optimize body functions in anticipation to daily changes in the environment. Disruption of the circadian system, due to irregular lifestyle such as rotating shift work, frequent travel across time-zones, or chronic stress, is correlated with several diseases such as obesity, cancer, and neurological disorders. Molecular mechanisms linking the circadian clock with neurological functions have been uncovered suggesting that disruption of the clock may be critically involved in the development of mood disorders. In this mini-review, I will summarize molecular mechanisms in which clock components play a central role for mood regulation. Such mechanisms have been identified in the monoaminergic system, the HPA axis, and neurogenesis. PMID:28223962

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Submillisecond Elastic Recoil Reveals Molecular Origins of Fibrin Fiber Mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Nathan E.; Ding, Feng; Bucay, Igal; O’Brien, E. Timothy; Gorkun, Oleg V.; Superfine, Richard; Lord, Susan T.; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.; Falvo, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Fibrin fibers form the structural scaffold of blood clots. Thus, their mechanical properties are of central importance to understanding hemostasis and thrombotic disease. Recent studies have revealed that fibrin fibers are elastomeric despite their high degree of molecular ordering. These results have inspired a variety of molecular models for fibrin’s elasticity, ranging from reversible protein unfolding to rubber-like elasticity. An important property that has not been explored is the timescale of elastic recoil, a parameter that is critical for fibrin’s mechanical function and places a temporal constraint on molecular models of fiber elasticity. Using high-frame-rate imaging and atomic force microscopy-based nanomanipulation, we measured the recoil dynamics of individual fibrin fibers and found that the recoil was orders of magnitude faster than anticipated from models involving protein refolding. We also performed steered discrete molecular-dynamics simulations to investigate the molecular origins of the observed recoil. Our results point to the unstructured αC regions of the otherwise structured fibrin molecule as being responsible for the elastic recoil of the fibers. PMID:23790375

  19. Unveiling the Pathogenic Molecular Mechanisms of the Most Common Variant (p.K329E) in Medium-Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency by in Vitro and in Silico Approaches.

    PubMed

    Bonito, Cátia A; Nunes, Joana; Leandro, João; Louro, Filipa; Leandro, Paula; Ventura, Fátima V; Guedes, Rita C

    2016-12-27

    Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD) is the most common genetic disorder affecting the mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation pathway. The mature and functional form of human MCAD (hMCAD) is a homotetramer assembled as a dimer of dimers (monomers A/B and C/D). Each monomer binds a FAD cofactor, necessary for the enzyme's activity. The most frequent mutation in MCADD results from the substitution of a lysine with a glutamate in position 304 of mature hMCAD (p.K329E in the precursor protein). Here, we combined in vitro and in silico approaches to assess the impact of the p.K329E mutation on the protein's structure and function. Our in silico results demonstrated for the first time that the p.K329E mutation, despite lying at the dimer-dimer interface and being deeply buried inside the tetrameric core, seems to affect the tetramer surface, especially the β-domain that forms part of the catalytic pocket wall. Additionally, the molecular dynamics data indicate a stronger impact of the mutation on the protein's motions in dimer A/B, while dimer C/D remains similar to the wild type. For dimer A/B, severe disruptions in the architecture of the pockets and in the FAD and octanoyl-CoA binding affinities were also observed. The presence of unaffected pockets (C/D) in the in silico studies may explain the decreased enzymatic activity determined for the variant protein (46% residual activity). Moreover, the in silico structural changes observed for the p.K329E variant protein provide an explanation for the structural instability observed experimentally, namely, the disturbed oligomeric profile, thermal stability, and conformational flexibility, with respect to the wild-type.

  20. Molecular mechanisms of peritoneal dissemination in gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kanda, Mitsuro; Kodera, Yasuhiro

    2016-01-01

    Peritoneal dissemination represents a devastating form of gastric cancer (GC) progression with a dismal prognosis. There is no effective therapy for this condition. The 5-year survival rate of patients with peritoneal dissemination is 2%, even including patients with only microscopic free cancer cells without macroscopic peritoneal nodules. The mechanism of peritoneal dissemination of GC involves several steps: detachment of cancer cells from the primary tumor, survival in the free abdominal cavity, attachment to the distant peritoneum, invasion into the subperitoneal space and proliferation with angiogenesis. These steps are not mutually exclusive, and combinations of different molecular mechanisms can occur in each process of peritoneal dissemination. A comprehensive understanding of the molecular events involved in peritoneal dissemination is important and should be systematically pursued. It is crucial to identify novel strategies for the prevention of this condition and for identification of markers of prognosis and the development of molecular-targeted therapies. In this review, we provide an overview of recently published articles addressing the molecular mechanisms of peritoneal dissemination of GC to provide an update on what is currently known in this field and to propose novel promising candidates for use in diagnosis and as therapeutic targets. PMID:27570420

  1. 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

  2. Dissecting molecular mechanisms in the living brain of dementia patients.

    PubMed

    Barrio, Jorge R; Satyamurthy, Nagichettiar; Huang, Sung-Cheng; Petric, Andrej; Small, Gary W; Kepe, Vladimir

    2009-07-21

    Understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with the development of dementia is essential for designing successful interventions. Dementia, like cancer and cardiovascular disease, requires early detection to potentially arrest or prevent further disease progression. By the time a neurologist begins to manage clinical symptoms, the disease has often damaged the brain significantly. Because successful treatment is the logical goal, detecting the disease when brain damage is still limited is of the essence. The role of chemistry in this discovery process is critical. With the advent of molecular imaging, the understanding of molecular mechanisms in human neurodegenerative diseases has exploded. Traditionally, knowledge of enzyme and neurotransmitter function in humans has been extrapolated from animal studies, but now we can acquire data directly from both healthy and diseased human subjects. In this Account, we describe the use of molecular imaging probes to elucidate the biochemical and cellular bases of dementia (e.g., Alzheimer's disease) and the application of these discoveries to the design of successful therapeutic interventions. Molecular imaging permits observation and evaluation of the basic molecular mechanisms of disease progression in the living brains of patients. 2-Deoxy-2-[(18)F]fluoro-d-glucose is used to assess the effect of Alzheimer's disease progression on neuronal circuits projecting from and to the temporal lobe (one of the earliest metabolic signs of the disease). Recently, we have developed imaging probes for detection of amyloid neuropathology (both tau and beta-amyloid peptide deposits) and neuronal losses. These probes allow us to visualize the development of pathology in the living brain of dementia patients and its consequences, such as losses of critical neurons associated with memory deficits and other neuropsychiatric impairments. Because inflammatory processes are tightly connected to the brain degenerative processes

  3. Molecular mechanisms involved in mammalian primary sex determination.

    PubMed

    She, Zhen-Yu; Yang, Wan-Xi

    2014-08-01

    Sex determination refers to the developmental decision that directs the bipotential genital ridge to develop as a testis or an ovary. Genetic studies on mice and humans have led to crucial advances in understanding the molecular fundamentals of sex determination and the mutually antagonistic signaling pathway. In this review, we summarize the current molecular mechanisms of sex determination by focusing on the known critical sex determining genes and their related signaling pathways in mammalian vertebrates from mice to humans. We also discuss the underlying delicate balance between testis and ovary sex determination pathways, concentrating on the antagonisms between major sex determining genes.

  4. Stability Mechanisms of a Thermophilic Laccase Probed by Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Niels J.; Kepp, Kasper P.

    2013-01-01

    Laccases are highly stable, industrially important enzymes capable of oxidizing a large range of substrates. Causes for their stability are, as for other proteins, poorly understood. In this work, multiple-seed molecular dynamics (MD) was applied to a Trametes versicolor laccase in response to variable ionic strengths, temperatures, and glycosylation status. Near-physiological conditions provided excellent agreement with the crystal structure (average RMSD ∼0.92 Å) and residual agreement with experimental B-factors. The persistence of backbone hydrogen bonds was identified as a key descriptor of structural response to environment, whereas solvent-accessibility, radius of gyration, and fluctuations were only locally relevant. Backbone hydrogen bonds decreased systematically with temperature in all simulations (∼9 per 50 K), probing structural changes associated with enthalpy-entropy compensation. Approaching Topt (∼350 K) from 300 K, this change correlated with a beginning “unzipping” of critical β-sheets. 0 M ionic strength triggered partial denucleation of the C-terminal (known experimentally to be sensitive) at 400 K, suggesting a general salt stabilization effect. In contrast, F− (but not Cl−) specifically impaired secondary structure by formation of strong hydrogen bonds with backbone NH, providing a mechanism for experimentally observed small anion destabilization, potentially remedied by site-directed mutagenesis at critical intrusion sites. N-glycosylation was found to support structural integrity by increasing persistent backbone hydrogen bonds by ∼4 across simulations, mainly via prevention of F− intrusion. Hydrogen-bond loss in distinct loop regions and ends of critical β-sheets suggest potential strategies for laboratory optimization of these industrially important enzymes. PMID:23658618

  5. Atomistic insight into the catalytic mechanism of glycosyltransferases by combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods.

    PubMed

    Tvaroška, Igor

    2015-02-11

    Glycosyltransferases catalyze the formation of glycosidic bonds by assisting the transfer of a sugar residue from donors to specific acceptor molecules. Although structural and kinetic data have provided insight into mechanistic strategies employed by these enzymes, molecular modeling studies are essential for the understanding of glycosyltransferase catalyzed reactions at the atomistic level. For such modeling, combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods have emerged as crucial. These methods allow the modeling of enzymatic reactions by using quantum mechanical methods for the calculation of the electronic structure of the active site models and treating the remaining enzyme environment by faster molecular mechanics methods. Herein, the application of QM/MM methods to glycosyltransferase catalyzed reactions is reviewed, and the insight from modeling of glycosyl transfer into the mechanisms and transition states structures of both inverting and retaining glycosyltransferases are discussed.

  6. 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

  7. Inactivation mechanism of glycerol dehydration by diol dehydratase from combined quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations.

    PubMed

    Doitomi, Kazuki; Kamachi, Takashi; Toraya, Tetsuo; Yoshizawa, Kazunari

    2012-11-13

    Inactivation of diol dehydratase during the glycerol dehydration reaction is studied on the basis of quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations. Glycerol is not a chiral compound but contains a prochiral carbon atom. Once it is bound to the active site, the enzyme adopts two binding conformations. One is predominantly responsible for the product-forming reaction (G(R) conformation), and the other primarily contributes to inactivation (G(S) conformation). Reactant radical is converted into a product and byproduct in the product-forming reaction and inactivation, respectively. The OH group migrates from C2 to C1 in the product-forming reaction, whereas the transfer of a hydrogen from the 3-OH group of glycerol to C1 takes place during the inactivation. The activation barrier of the hydrogen transfer does not depend on the substrate-binding conformation. On the other hand, the activation barrier of OH group migration is sensitive to conformation and is 4.5 kcal/mol lower in the G(R) conformation than in the G(S) conformation. In the OH group migration, Glu170 plays a critical role in stabilizing the reactant radical in the G(S) conformation. Moreover, the hydrogen bonding interaction between Ser301 and the 3-OH group of glycerol lowers the activation barrier in G(R)-TS2. As a result, the difference in energy between the hydrogen transfer and the OH group migration is reduced in the G(S) conformation, which shows that the inactivation is favored in the G(S) conformation.

  8. 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.

  9. Molecular mechanisms of sound amplification in the mammalian cochlea.

    PubMed

    Ashmore, J F; Géléoc, G S; Harbott, L

    2000-10-24

    Mammalian hearing depends on the enhanced mechanical properties of the basilar membrane within the cochlear duct. The enhancement arises through the action of outer hair cells that act like force generators within the organ of Corti. Simple considerations show that underlying mechanism of somatic motility depends on local area changes within the lateral membrane of the cell. The molecular basis for this phenomenon is a dense array of particles that are inserted into the basolateral membrane and that are capable of sensing membrane potential field. We show here that outer hair cells selectively take up fructose, at rates high enough to suggest that a sugar transporter may be part of the motor complex. The relation of these findings to a recent candidate for the molecular motor is also discussed.

  10. Self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Tianhui; Xu, Jinghong; Zhu, Yongliang

    2017-01-01

    Colorectal cancer stem cells (CCSCs) represent a small fraction of the colorectal cancer cell population that possess self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation potential and drive tumorigenicity. Self-renewal is essential for the malignant biological behaviors of colorectal cancer stem cells. While the self-renewal molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer stem cells are not yet fully understood, the aberrant activation of signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Notch, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Hedgehog-Gli (HH-GLI), specific roles mediated by cell surface markers and micro-environmental factors are involved in the regulation of self-renewal. The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms behind self-renewal may lead to the development of novel targeted interventions for the treatment of colorectal cancer. PMID:27909729

  11. Some Fundamental Molecular Mechanisms of Contractility in Fibrous Macromolecules

    PubMed Central

    Mandelkern, L.

    1967-01-01

    The fundamental molecular mechanisms of contractility and tension development in fibrous macromolecules are developed from the point of view of the principles of polymer physical chemistry. The problem is treated in a general manner to encompass the behavior of all macromolecular systems irrespective of their detailed chemical structure and particular function, if any. Primary attention is given to the contractile process which accompanies the crystal-liquid transition in axially oriented macromolecular systems. The theoretical nature of the process is discussed, and many experimental examples are given from the literature which demonstrate the expected behavior. Experimental attention is focused on the contraction of fibrous proteins, and the same underlying molecular mechanism is shown to be operative for a variety of different systems. PMID:6050598

  12. Separating Mechanical and Chemical Contributions to Molecular-Level Friction

    SciTech Connect

    KIM,HYUN I.; HOUSTON,JACK E.

    2000-08-14

    The authors use force-probe microscopy to study the friction force and the adhesive interaction for molecular monolayer self-assembled on both Au probe tips and substrate surfaces. By systematically varying the chemical nature of the end groups on these monolayers the authors have, for the first time, delineated the mechanical and chemical origins of molecular-level friction. They use chemically inert {double_bond}CH{sub 3} groups on both interracial surfaces to establish the purely mechanical component of the friction and contrast the results with the findings for chemically active {double_bond}COOH end-groups. In addition, by using odd or even numbers of methylene groups in the alkyl backbones of the molecules they are able to determine the levels of inter-film and intra-film hydrogen bonding.

  13. Molecular mechanisms of desiccation tolerance in resurrection plants.

    PubMed

    Gechev, Tsanko S; Dinakar, Challabathula; Benina, Maria; Toneva, Valentina; Bartels, Dorothea

    2012-10-01

    Resurrection plants are a small but diverse group of land plants characterized by their tolerance to extreme drought or desiccation. They have the unique ability to survive months to years without water, lose most of the free water in their vegetative tissues, fall into anabiosis, and, upon rewatering, quickly regain normal activity. Thus, they are fundamentally different from other drought-surviving plants such as succulents or ephemerals, which cope with drought by maintaining higher steady state water potential or via a short life cycle, respectively. This review describes the unique physiological and molecular adaptations of resurrection plants enabling them to withstand long periods of desiccation. The recent transcriptome analysis of Craterostigma plantagineum and Haberlea rhodopensis under drought, desiccation, and subsequent rehydration revealed common genetic pathways with other desiccation-tolerant species as well as unique genes that might contribute to the outstanding desiccation tolerance of the two resurrection species. While some of the molecular responses appear to be common for both drought stress and desiccation, resurrection plants also possess genes that are highly induced or repressed during desiccation with no apparent sequence homologies to genes of other species. Thus, resurrection plants are potential sources for gene discovery. Further proteome and metabolome analyses of the resurrection plants contributed to a better understanding of molecular mechanisms that are involved in surviving severe water loss. Understanding the cellular mechanisms of desiccation tolerance in this unique group of plants may enable future molecular improvement of drought tolerance in crop plants.

  14. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of cognitive function: implications for psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Silva, A J; Elgersma, Y; Costa, R M

    2000-02-01

    Recent studies on the molecular and cellular basis of learning and memory have brought us closer than ever to understanding the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and their relevance to memory formation. Genetic approaches have played a central role in these new findings because the same mutant mice can be studied with molecular, cellular, circuit, and behavioral tools. Therefore, the results can be used to construct models that cut across levels of analytical complexity, forging connections from the biochemistry of the modified protein to the behavior of the mutant mice. These findings are not only improving our understanding of learning and memory, they are also enriching our understanding of cognitive disorders, such as neurofibromatosis type I. Mechanisms underlying long-term changes in synaptic function are likely to be at the heart of many cognitive and emotional processes in humans. Therefore, molecular and cellular insights into learning and memory undoubtedly will have a profound impact on the understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

  15. Molecular mechanism of Ca(2+)-catalyzed fusion of phospholipid micelles.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Hui-Hsu Gavin; Juang, Wei-Fu; Chang, Che-Ming; Hou, Tsai-Yi; Lee, Jian-Bin

    2013-11-01

    Although membrane fusion plays key roles in intracellular trafficking, neurotransmitter release, and viral infection, its underlying molecular mechanism and its energy landscape are not well understood. In this study, we employed all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the fusion mechanism, catalyzed by Ca(2+) ions, of two highly hydrated 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-3-phosphoethanolamine (POPE) micelles. This simulation system mimics the small contact zone between two large vesicles at which the fusion is initiated. Our simulations revealed that Ca(2+) ions are capable of catalyzing the fusion of POPE micelles; in contrast, we did not observe close contact of the two micelles in the presence of only Na(+) or Mg(2+) ions. Determining the free energy landscape of fusion allowed us to characterize the underlying molecular mechanism. The Ca(2+) ions play a key role in catalyzing the micelle fusion in three aspects: creating a more-hydrophobic surface on the micelles, binding two micelles together, and enhancing the formation of the pre-stalk state. In contrast, Na(+) or Mg(2+) ions have relatively limited effects. Effective fusion proceeds through sequential formation of pre-stalk, stalk, hemifused-like, and fused states. The pre-stalk state is the state featuring lipid tails exposed to the inter-micellar space; its formation is the rate-limiting step. The stalk state is the state where a localized hydrophobic core is formed connecting two micelles; its formation occurs in conjunction with water expulsion from the inter-micellar space. This study provides insight into the molecular mechanism of fusion from the points of view of energetics, structure, and dynamics.

  16. Molecular Transport Mechanisms for Associating and Solvating Penetrant in Polymers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    PIB ) at different vapor activities in order to understand complex diffusion mechanisms and probe molecular structures above the glass tranisition. The...the individual diffusion coefficients can be separated and that they are equal to each other for the acetic acid/ PIB system. The values of the...BOH) mixtures in polyisobutylene ( PIB ) was studied at varying mixture compositions. Diffusion coefficients and hydrogen bonding interactions were

  17. Molecular mechanisms of metabolic regulation by insulin in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Teleman, Aurelio A

    2009-12-14

    The insulin signalling pathway is highly conserved from mammals to Drosophila. Insulin signalling in the fly, as in mammals, regulates a number of physiological functions, including carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, tissue growth and longevity. In the present review, I discuss the molecular mechanisms by which insulin signalling regulates metabolism in Drosophila, comparing and contrasting with the mammalian system. I discuss both the intracellular signalling network, as well as the communication between organs in the fly.

  18. Underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms in childhood irritable bowel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Chumpitazi, Bruno P; Shulman, Robert J

    2016-12-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects a large number of children throughout the world. The symptom expression of IBS is heterogeneous, and several factors which may be interrelated within the IBS biopsychosocial model play a role. These factors include visceral hyperalgesia, intestinal permeability, gut microbiota, psychosocial distress, gut inflammation, bile acids, food intolerance, colonic bacterial fermentation, and genetics. The molecular and cellular mechanisms of these factors are being actively investigated. In this mini-review, we present updates of these mechanisms and, where possible, relate the findings to childhood IBS. Mechanistic elucidation may lead to the identification of biomarkers as well as personalized childhood IBS therapies.

  19. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating TGF-β-Induced Foxp3 Expression

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Lili; Kitani, Atsushi; Strober, Warren

    2013-01-01

    Molecular mechanisms regulating TGF-β induction of Foxp3 expression and thus induction of iTregs has been the focus of a great deal of study in recent years. It has become clear that this process is influenced by a number of factors as perhaps might be predicted by the fact that there is an overarching need of the immune system to fine-tune response to environmental antigens. In this review we discuss these mechanisms, with the aim of presenting a broad picture of how the various observations fit together to form an integrated regulatory regime. PMID:20404810

  20. Mechanical instability of α-quartz: A molecular dynamics study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tse, John S.; Klug, Dennis D.

    1991-12-01

    Pressure-induced amorphization in α-quartz has been investigated using constant-pressure molecular-dynamics calculations with the two-body potential of van Beest, Kramer, and van Santen. Both the static properties and the crystalline-to-amorphous phase transition were very well reproduced. Through an analysis of the elastic moduli, the mechanism for the transformation is shown to be a mechanical instability driven mainly by a cooperative twisting and compression of the helical tetrahedral silicate units with an abrupt decrease in the C12, C23, C13, C14, and C33 elastic moduli.

  1. Water Exchange Rates and Molecular Mechanism around Aqueous Halide Ions

    SciTech Connect

    Annapureddy, Harsha V.; Dang, Liem X.

    2014-07-17

    Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to systematically study the water-exchange mechanism around aqueous chloride, bromide, and iodide ions. Transition state theory, Grote-Hynes theory, and the reactive flux method were employed to compute water exchange rates. We computed the pressure dependence of rate constants and the corresponding activation volumes to investigate the mechanism of the solvent exchange event. The activation volumes obtained using the transition state theory rate constants are negative for all the three anions, thus indicating an associative mechanism. Contrary to the transition state theory results, activation volumes obtained using rate constants from Grote-Hynes theory and the reactive flux method are positive, thus indicating a dissociative mechanism. The Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES), of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded this work. Battelle operates Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for DOE. The calculations were carried out using computer resources provided by BES.

  2. Kainate receptor trafficking: physiological roles and molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Isaac, John T R; Mellor, Jack; Hurtado, David; Roche, Katherine W

    2004-12-01

    Recently, there has been intense interest in the mechanisms regulating the trafficking and synaptic targeting of kainate receptors in neurons. This topic is still in its infancy when compared with studies of trafficking of other ionotropic glutamate receptors; however, it is already clear that mechanisms exist for subunit- and splice variant-specific trafficking of kainate receptors. There is also enormous diversity of kainate receptor targeting, with the best-studied neurons in this regard being hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons and CA1 GABAergic interneurons. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge on this topic, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of kainate receptor trafficking and the potential for these mechanisms to regulate neuronal kainate receptor function.

  3. Simulated scaling method for localized enhanced sampling and simultaneous "alchemical" free energy simulations: a general method for molecular mechanical, quantum mechanical, and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongzhi; Fajer, Mikolai; Yang, Wei

    2007-01-14

    A potential scaling version of simulated tempering is presented to efficiently sample configuration space in a localized region. The present "simulated scaling" method is developed with a Wang-Landau type of updating scheme in order to quickly flatten the distributions in the scaling parameter lambdam space. This proposal is meaningful for a broad range of biophysical problems, in which localized sampling is required. Besides its superior capability and robustness in localized conformational sampling, this simulated scaling method can also naturally lead to efficient "alchemical" free energy predictions when dual-topology alchemical hybrid potential is applied; thereby simultaneously, both of the chemically and conformationally distinct portions of two end point chemical states can be efficiently sampled. As demonstrated in this work, the present method is also feasible for the quantum mechanical and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations.

  4. NEW APPROACHES: Mechanics from a bottle opener

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shipstone, David

    1996-11-01

    The action of a cleverly designed bottle opener known as the Lazyfish provides an excellent illustration of the relationship between work done, force and distance moved, and is thus a useful example in the teaching of mechanics.

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular mechanisms of hookworm disease: stealth, virulence, and vaccines.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Mark S; Tribolet, Leon; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Periago, Maria Victoria; Valero, Maria Adela; Valerio, Maria Adela; Jariwala, Amar R; Hotez, Peter; Diemert, David; Loukas, Alex; Bethony, Jeffrey

    2012-07-01

    Hookworms produce a vast repertoire of structurally and functionally diverse molecules that mediate their long-term survival and pathogenesis within a human host. Many of these molecules are secreted by the parasite, after which they interact with critical components of host biology, including processes that are key to host survival. The most important of these interactions is the hookworm's interruption of nutrient acquisition by the host through its ingestion and digestion of host blood. This results in iron deficiency and eventually the microcytic hypochromic anemia or iron deficiency anemia that is the clinical hallmark of hookworm infection. Other molecular mechanisms of hookworm infection cause a systematic suppression of the host immune response to both the parasite and to bystander antigens (eg, vaccines or allergens). This is achieved by a series of molecules that assist the parasite in the stealthy evasion of the host immune response. This review will summarize the current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms used by hookworms to survive for extended periods in the human host (up to 7 years or longer) and examine the pivotal contributions of these molecular mechanisms to chronic hookworm parasitism and host clinical outcomes.

  7. Molecular imaging and the unification of multilevel mechanisms and data in medical physics.

    PubMed

    Nikiforidis, George C; Sakellaropoulos, George C; Kagadis, George C

    2008-08-01

    Molecular imaging (MI) constitutes a recently developed approach of imaging, where modalities and agents have been reinvented and used in novel combinations in order to expose and measure biologic processes occurring at molecular and cellular levels. It is an approach that bridges the gap between modalities acquiring data from high (e.g., computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron-emitting isotopes) and low (e.g., PCR, microarrays) levels of a biological organization. While data integration methodologies will lead to improved diagnostic and prognostic performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, triggered by MI, will result in a better perception of the underlying biological mechanisms. Toward the development of a unifying theory describing these mechanisms, medical physicists can formulate new hypotheses, provide the physical constraints bounding them, and consequently design appropriate experiments. Their new scientific and working environment calls for interventions in their syllabi to educate scientists with enhanced capabilities for holistic views and synthesis.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Age-Related Sleep Loss in the Fruit Fly

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Meagan; Keene, Alex C.

    2013-01-01

    Across phyla, aging is associated with reduced sleep duration and efficiency. Both aging and sleep involve complex genetic architecture and diverse cell types and are heavily influenced by diet and environment. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms of age-dependent changes in sleep will require integrative approaches that go beyond examining these two processes independently. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, provides a genetically amenable system for dissecting the molecular basis of these processes. In this review, we examine the role of metabolism and circadian rhythms in age-dependent sleep loss. PMID:23594925

  9. Integrated genomics and molecular breeding approaches for dissecting the complex quantitative traits in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Kujur, Alice; Saxena, Maneesha S; Bajaj, Deepak; Laxmi; Parida, Swarup K

    2013-12-01

    The enormous population growth, climate change and global warming are now considered major threats to agriculture and world's food security. To improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture, the development of highyielding and durable abiotic and biotic stress-tolerant cultivars and/climate resilient crops is essential. Henceforth, understanding the molecular mechanism and dissection of complex quantitative yield and stress tolerance traits is the prime objective in current agricultural biotechnology research. In recent years, tremendous progress has been made in plant genomics and molecular breeding research pertaining to conventional and next-generation whole genome, transcriptome and epigenome sequencing efforts, generation of huge genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic resources and development of modern genomics-assisted breeding approaches in diverse crop genotypes with contrasting yield and abiotic stress tolerance traits. Unfortunately, the detailed molecular mechanism and gene regulatory networks controlling such complex quantitative traits is not yet well understood in crop plants. Therefore, we propose an integrated strategies involving available enormous and diverse traditional and modern -omics (structural, functional, comparative and epigenomics) approaches/resources and genomics-assisted breeding methods which agricultural biotechnologist can adopt/utilize to dissect and decode the molecular and gene regulatory networks involved in the complex quantitative yield and stress tolerance traits in crop plants. This would provide clues and much needed inputs for rapid selection of novel functionally relevant molecular tags regulating such complex traits to expedite traditional and modern marker-assisted genetic enhancement studies in target crop species for developing high-yielding stress-tolerant varieties.

  10. Reaction Mechanisms in Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes: Glycoside Hydrolases and Glycosyltransferases. Insights from ab Initio Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Dynamic Simulations.

    PubMed

    Ardèvol, Albert; Rovira, Carme

    2015-06-24

    Carbohydrate-active enzymes such as glycoside hydrolases (GHs) and glycosyltransferases (GTs) are of growing importance as drug targets. The development of efficient competitive inhibitors and chaperones to treat diseases related to these enzymes requires a detailed knowledge of their mechanisms of action. In recent years, sophisticated first-principles modeling approaches have significantly advanced in our understanding of the catalytic mechanisms of GHs and GTs, not only the molecular details of chemical reactions but also the significant implications that just the conformational dynamics of a sugar ring can have on these mechanisms. Here we provide an overview of the progress that has been made in the past decade, combining molecular dynamics simulations with density functional theory to solve these sweet mysteries of nature.

  11. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies.

    PubMed

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J

    2010-12-06

    Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms most known materials in terms of its mechanical performance, despite its underlying weak chemical bonding based on H-bonds. While experimental studies have shown that the molecular structure of silk proteins has a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness and failure strength of silk, no molecular-level analysis of the nanostructure and associated mechanical properties of silk assemblies have been reported. Here, we report atomic-level structures of MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using replica exchange molecular dynamics, and subject these structures to mechanical loading for a detailed nanomechanical analysis. The structural analysis reveals that poly-alanine regions in silk predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains, while disorderly regions are formed by glycine-rich repeats that consist of 3₁-helix type structures and beta-turns. Our structural predictions are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content. Mechanical shearing simulations on selected structures illustrate that the nanoscale behaviour of silk protein assemblies is controlled by the distinctly different secondary structure content and hydrogen bonding in the crystalline and semi-amorphous regions. Both structural and mechanical characterization results show excellent agreement with available experimental evidence. Our findings set the stage for extensive atomistic investigations of silk, which may contribute towards an improved understanding of the source of the strength and toughness of this biological superfibre.

  12. Integrated Metabolomics and Genomics: Systems Approaches to Biomarkers and Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Disease

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Svati H.; Newgard, Christopher B.

    2015-01-01

    The genetic architecture underlying the heritability of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is incompletely understood. Metabolomics is an emerging technology platform that has shown early success in identifying biomarkers and mechanisms of common, chronic diseases. Integration of metabolomics, genetics and other ‘omics’ platforms in a systems biology approach holds potential for elucidating novel genetic markers and mechanisms for CVD. We review important studies that have utilized metabolomic profiling in cardiometabolic diseases, approaches for integrating metabolomics with genetics and other molecular profiling platforms, and key studies showing the potential for such studies in deciphering CVD genetics, biomarkers and mechanisms. PMID:25901039

  13. Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene: Mechanics, Morphology, and Clinical Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Sobieraj, MC; Rimnac, CM

    2013-01-01

    Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is a semicrystalline polymer that has been used for over four decades as a bearing surface in total joint replacements. The mechanical properties and wear properties of UHMWPE are of interest with respect to the in vivo performance of UHMWPE joint replacement components. The mechanical properties of the polymer are dependent on both its crystalline and amorphous phases. Altering either phase (i.e., changing overall crystallinity, crystalline morphology, or crosslinking the amorphous phase) can affect the mechanical behavior of the material. There is also evidence that the morphology of UHMWPE, and, hence, its mechanical properties evolve with loading. UHMWPE has also been shown to be susceptible to oxidative degradation following gamma radiation sterilization with subsequent loss of mechanical properties. Contemporary UHMWPE sterilization methods have been developed to reduce or eliminate oxidative degradation. Also, crosslinking of UHMWPE has been pursued to improve the wear resistance of UHMWPE joint components. The 1st generation of highly crosslinked UHMWPEs have resulted in clinically reduced wear; however, the mechanical properties of these materials, such as ductility and fracture toughness, are reduced when compared to the virgin material. Therefore, a 2nd generation of highly crosslinked UHMWPEs are being introduced to preserve the wear resistance of the 1st generation while also seeking to provide oxidative stability and improved mechanical properties. PMID:19627849

  14. Theoretical modeling of large molecular systems. Advances in the local self consistent field method for mixed quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations.

    PubMed

    Monari, Antonio; Rivail, Jean-Louis; Assfeld, Xavier

    2013-02-19

    Molecular mechanics methods can efficiently compute the macroscopic properties of a large molecular system but cannot represent the electronic changes that occur during a chemical reaction or an electronic transition. Quantum mechanical methods can accurately simulate these processes, but they require considerably greater computational resources. Because electronic changes typically occur in a limited part of the system, such as the solute in a molecular solution or the substrate within the active site of enzymatic reactions, researchers can limit the quantum computation to this part of the system. Researchers take into account the influence of the surroundings by embedding this quantum computation into a calculation of the whole system described at the molecular mechanical level, a strategy known as the mixed quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach. The accuracy of this embedding varies according to the types of interactions included, whether they are purely mechanical or classically electrostatic. This embedding can also introduce the induced polarization of the surroundings. The difficulty in QM/MM calculations comes from the splitting of the system into two parts, which requires severing the chemical bonds that link the quantum mechanical subsystem to the classical subsystem. Typically, researchers replace the quantoclassical atoms, those at the boundary between the subsystems, with a monovalent link atom. For example, researchers might add a hydrogen atom when a C-C bond is cut. This Account describes another approach, the Local Self Consistent Field (LSCF), which was developed in our laboratory. LSCF links the quantum mechanical portion of the molecule to the classical portion using a strictly localized bond orbital extracted from a small model molecule for each bond. In this scenario, the quantoclassical atom has an apparent nuclear charge of +1. To achieve correct bond lengths and force constants, we must take into account the inner shell of

  15. Hyperthermophilic Enzymes: Sources, Uses, and Molecular Mechanisms for Thermostability

    PubMed Central

    Vieille, Claire; Zeikus, Gregory J.

    2001-01-01

    Enzymes synthesized by hyperthermophiles (bacteria and archaea with optimal growth temperatures of >80°C), also called hyperthermophilic enzymes, are typically thermostable (i.e., resistant to irreversible inactivation at high temperatures) and are optimally active at high temperatures. These enzymes share the same catalytic mechanisms with their mesophilic counterparts. When cloned and expressed in mesophilic hosts, hyperthermophilic enzymes usually retain their thermal properties, indicating that these properties are genetically encoded. Sequence alignments, amino acid content comparisons, crystal structure comparisons, and mutagenesis experiments indicate that hyperthermophilic enzymes are, indeed, very similar to their mesophilic homologues. No single mechanism is responsible for the remarkable stability of hyperthermophilic enzymes. Increased thermostability must be found, instead, in a small number of highly specific alterations that often do not obey any obvious traffic rules. After briefly discussing the diversity of hyperthermophilic organisms, this review concentrates on the remarkable thermostability of their enzymes. The biochemical and molecular properties of hyperthermophilic enzymes are described. Mechanisms responsible for protein inactivation are reviewed. The molecular mechanisms involved in protein thermostabilization are discussed, including ion pairs, hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic interactions, disulfide bridges, packing, decrease of the entropy of unfolding, and intersubunit interactions. Finally, current uses and potential applications of thermophilic and hyperthermophilic enzymes as research reagents and as catalysts for industrial processes are described. PMID:11238984

  16. The superspreading mechanism unveiled via molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodorakis, Panagiotis; Muller, Erich; Craster, Richard; Matar, Omar

    2014-11-01

    Superspreading, by which aqueous droplets laden with specific surfactants wet hydrophobic substrates, is an unusual and dramatic phenomenon. This is attributed to various factors, e.g., a particular surfactant geometry, Marangoni flow, unique solid-fluid interactions, however, direct evidence for a plausible mechanism for superspreading has not yet been provided. Here, we use molecular dynamics simulations of a coarse-grained model with force fields obtained from the SAFT- γ equation of state to capture the superspreading mechanism of water drops with surfactants on model surfaces. Our simulations highlight and monitor the main features of the molecular behavior that lead to the superspreading mechanism, and reproduce and explain the experimentally-observed characteristic maxima of the spreading rate of the droplet vs. surfactant concentration and wettability. We also present a comparison between superspreading and non-superspreading surfactants underlining the main morphological and energetic characteristics of superspreaders. We believe that this is the first time a plausible superspreading mechanism based on a microscopic description is proposed; this will enable the design of surfactants with enhanced spreading ability specifically tailored for applications. EPSRC Grant Number EP/J010502/1.

  17. Linking traits based on their shared molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Oren, Yael; Nachshon, Aharon; Frishberg, Amit; Wilentzik, Roni; Gat-Viks, Irit

    2015-01-01

    There is growing recognition that co-morbidity and co-occurrence of disease traits are often determined by shared genetic and molecular mechanisms. In most cases, however, the specific mechanisms that lead to such trait–trait relationships are yet unknown. Here we present an analysis of a broad spectrum of behavioral and physiological traits together with gene-expression measurements across genetically diverse mouse strains. We develop an unbiased methodology that constructs potentially overlapping groups of traits and resolves their underlying combination of genetic loci and molecular mechanisms. For example, our method predicts that genetic variation in the Klf7 gene may influence gene transcripts in bone marrow-derived myeloid cells, which in turn affect 17 behavioral traits following morphine injection; this predicted effect of Klf7 is consistent with an in vitro perturbation of Klf7 in bone marrow cells. Our analysis demonstrates the utility of studying hidden causative mechanisms that lead to relationships between complex traits. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04346.001 PMID:25781485

  18. Osteoblast dysfunctions in bone diseases: from cellular and molecular mechanisms to therapeutic strategies.

    PubMed

    Marie, Pierre J

    2015-04-01

    Several metabolic, genetic and oncogenic bone diseases are characterized by defective or excessive bone formation. These abnormalities are caused by dysfunctions in the commitment, differentiation or survival of cells of the osteoblast lineage. During the recent years, significant advances have been made in our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the osteoblast dysfunctions in osteoporosis, skeletal dysplasias and primary bone tumors. This led to suggest novel therapeutic approaches to correct these abnormalities such as the modulation of WNT signaling, the pharmacological modulation of proteasome-mediated protein degradation, the induction of osteoprogenitor cell differentiation, the repression of cancer cell proliferation and the manipulation of epigenetic mechanisms. This article reviews our current understanding of the major cellular and molecular mechanisms inducing osteoblastic cell abnormalities in age-related bone loss, genetic skeletal dysplasias and primary bone tumors, and discusses emerging therapeutic strategies to counteract the osteoblast abnormalities in these disorders of bone formation.

  19. 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

  20. An efficient method for the calculation of quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics free energies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woods, Christopher J.; Manby, Frederick R.; Mulholland, Adrian J.

    2008-01-01

    The combination of quantum mechanics (QM) with molecular mechanics (MM) offers a route to improved accuracy in the study of biological systems, and there is now significant research effort being spent to develop QM/MM methods that can be applied to the calculation of relative free energies. Currently, the computational expense of the QM part of the calculation means that there is no single method that achieves both efficiency and rigor; either the QM/MM free energy method is rigorous and computationally expensive, or the method introduces efficiency-led assumptions that can lead to errors in the result, or a lack of generality of application. In this paper we demonstrate a combined approach to form a single, efficient, and, in principle, exact QM/MM free energy method. We demonstrate the application of this method by using it to explore the difference in hydration of water and methane. We demonstrate that it is possible to calculate highly converged QM/MM relative free energies at the MP2/aug-cc-pVDZ/OPLS level within just two days of computation, using commodity processors, and show how the method allows consistent, high-quality sampling of complex solvent configurational change, both when perturbing hydrophilic water into hydrophobic methane, and also when moving from a MM Hamiltonian to a QM/MM Hamiltonian. The results demonstrate the validity and power of this methodology, and raise important questions regarding the compatibility of MM and QM/MM forcefields, and offer a potential route to improved compatibility.

  1. Molecular mechanisms of coronavirus RNA capping and methylation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu; Guo, Deyin

    2016-02-01

    The 5'-cap structures of eukaryotic mRNAs are important for RNA stability, pre-mRNA splicing, mRNA export, and protein translation. Many viruses have evolved mechanisms for generating their own cap structures with methylation at the N7 position of the capped guanine and the ribose 2'-Oposition of the first nucleotide, which help viral RNAs escape recognition by the host innate immune system. The RNA genomes of coronavirus were identified to have 5'-caps in the early 1980s. However, for decades the RNA capping mechanisms of coronaviruses remained unknown. Since 2003, the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus has drawn increased attention and stimulated numerous studies on the molecular virology of coronaviruses. Here, we review the current understanding of the mechanisms adopted by coronaviruses to produce the 5'-cap structure and methylation modification of viral genomic RNAs.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Physiological, Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Long-Term Habituation

    SciTech Connect

    Calin-Jageman, Robert J

    2009-09-12

    Work funded on this grant has explored the mechanisms of long-term habituation, a ubiquitous form of learning that plays a key role in basic cognitive functioning. Specifically, behavioral, physiological, and molecular mechanisms of habituation have been explored using a simple model system, the tail-elicited siphon-withdrawal reflex (T-SWR) in the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. Substantial progress has been made on the first and third aims, providing some fundamental insights into the mechanisms by which memories are stored. We have characterized the physiological correlates of short- and long-term habituation. We found that short-term habituation is accompanied by a robust sensory adaptation, whereas long-term habituation is accompanied by alterations in sensory and interneuron synaptic efficacy. Thus, our data indicates memories can be shifted between different sites in a neural network as they are consolidated from short to long term. At the molecular level, we have accomplished microarray analysis comparing gene expression in both habituated and control ganglia. We have identified a network of putatively regulated transcripts that seems particularly targeted towards synaptic changes (e.g. SNAP25, calmodulin) . We are now beginning additional work to confirm regulation of these transcripts and build a more detailed understanding of the cascade of molecular events leading to the permanent storage of long-term memories. On the third aim, we have fostered a nascent neuroscience program via a variety of successful initiatives. We have funded over 11 undergraduate neuroscience scholars, several of whom have been recognized at national and regional levels for their research. We have also conducted a pioneering summer research program for community college students which is helping enhance access of underrepresented groups to life science careers. Despite minimal progress on the second aim, this project has provided a) novel insight into the network mechanisms by

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Immune System Regulation in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Eleftherianos, Ioannis; Castillo, Julio Cesar

    2012-01-01

    Aging is a complex process that involves the accumulation of deleterious changes resulting in overall decline in several vital functions, leading to the progressive deterioration in physiological condition of the organism and eventually causing disease and death. The immune system is the most important host-defense mechanism in humans and is also highly conserved in insects. Extensive research in vertebrates has concluded that aging of the immune function results in increased susceptibility to infectious disease and chronic inflammation. Over the years, interest has grown in studying the molecular interaction between aging and the immune response to pathogenic infections. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model system for dissecting the genetic and genomic basis of important biological processes, such as aging and the innate immune system, and deciphering parallel mechanisms in vertebrate animals. Here, we review the recent advances in the identification of key players modulating the relationship between molecular aging networks and immune signal transduction pathways in the fly. Understanding the details of the molecular events involved in aging and immune system regulation will potentially lead to the development of strategies for decreasing the impact of age-related diseases, thus improving human health and life span. PMID:22949833

  6. Non Equilibrium Transformations of Molecular Compounds Induced Mechanically

    SciTech Connect

    Descamps, M.; Willart, J. F.; Dudognon, E.

    2006-05-05

    Results clarifying the effects of mechanical milling on molecular solids are shortly reviewed. Special attention has been paid to the temperature of milling with regard to the glass transition temperature of the compounds. It is shown that decreasing the grinding temperature has for incidence to increase the amorphization tendency whereas milling above Tg produces a crystal-to-crystal transformation between polymorphic varieties. These observations contradict the usual proposition that grinding transforms the physical state only by a heating effect which induces a local melting. Equilibrium thermodynamics does not seem to be appropriate for describing the process. The driven alloys concept offers a more rational framework to interpret the effect of the milling temperature. Other results are presented which demonstrate the possibility for grinding to realize low temperature solid state alloying which offers new promising ways to stabilize amorphous molecular solids. In a second part the effect of dehydration of a molecular hydrate is described. It is shown that the rate of the dehydration process is a driving force for this other type of mechanical non equilibrium transformation.

  7. Studies on the molecular mechanisms of seed germination.

    PubMed

    Han, Chao; Yang, Pingfang

    2015-05-01

    Seed germination that begins with imbibition and ends with radicle emergence is the first step for plant growth. Successful germination is not only crucial for seedling establishment but also important for crop yield. After being dispersed from mother plant, seed undergoes continuous desiccation in ecosystem and selects proper environment to trigger germination. Owing to the contribution of transcriptomic, proteomic, and molecular biological studies, molecular aspect of seed germination is elucidated well in Arabidopsis. Recently, more and more proteomic and genetic studies concerning cereal seed germination were performed on rice (Oryza sativa) and barley (Hordeum vulgare), which possess completely different seed structure and domestication background with Arabidopsis. In this review, both the common features and the distinct mechanisms of seed germination are compared among different plant species including Arabidopsis, rice, and maize. These features include morphological changes, cell and its related structure recovery, metabolic activation, hormone behavior, and transcription and translation activation. This review will provide more comprehensive insights into the molecular mechanisms of seed germination.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-01-01

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecular mechanisms remain less understood. As major channels for water regulation and transport, aquaporins (AQPs) are involved in this process. However, due to the regulatory complexity and functional diversity of AQPs, their molecular mechanism for foliar water uptake remains unclear. In this study, Tamarix ramosissima, a tree species widely distributed in desert regions, was investigated for gene expression patterns of AQPs and for sap flow velocity. Our results suggest that the foliar water uptake of T. ramosissima occurs in natural fields at night when the humidity is over a threshold of 85 %. The diurnal gene expression pattern of AQPs suggests that most AQP gene expressions display a circadian rhythm, and this could affect both photosynthesis and transpiration. At night, the PIP2-1 gene is also upregulated with increased relative air humidity. This gene expression pattern may allow desert plants to regulate foliar water uptake to adapt to extreme drought. This study suggests a molecular basis of foliar water uptake in desert plants. PMID:26567212

  9. Modeling and experimental research on a removal mechanism during chemical mechanical polishing at the molecular scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, An; Yongwu, Zhao; Yongguang, Wang

    2010-11-01

    In order to understand the fundamentals of the chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) material removal mechanism, the indentation depth of a slurry particle into a wafer surface is determined using the in situ nanomechanical testing system tribo-indenter by Hysitron. It was found that the removal mechanism in CMP is most probably a molecular scale removal theory. Furthermore, a comprehensive mathematical model was modified and used to pinpoint the effects of wafer/pad relative velocity, which has not been modeled previously. The predicted results based on the current model are shown to be consistent with the published experimental data. Results and analysis may lead to further understanding of the microscopic removal mechanism at the molecular scale in addition to its underlying theoretical foundation.

  10. Treating electrostatics with Wolf summation in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojeda-May, Pedro; Pu, Jingzhi

    2015-11-01

    The Wolf summation approach [D. Wolf et al., J. Chem. Phys. 110, 8254 (1999)], in the damped shifted force (DSF) formalism [C. J. Fennell and J. D. Gezelter, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 234104 (2006)], is extended for treating electrostatics in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulations. In this development, we split the QM/MM electrostatic potential energy function into the conventional Coulomb r-1 term and a term that contains the DSF contribution. The former is handled by the standard machinery of cutoff-based QM/MM simulations whereas the latter is incorporated into the QM/MM interaction Hamiltonian as a Fock matrix correction. We tested the resulting QM/MM-DSF method for two solution-phase reactions, i.e., the association of ammonium and chloride ions and a symmetric SN2 reaction in which a methyl group is exchanged between two chloride ions. The performance of the QM/MM-DSF method was assessed by comparing the potential of mean force (PMF) profiles with those from the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-isotropic periodic sum (IPS) methods, both of which include long-range electrostatics explicitly. For ion association, the QM/MM-DSF method successfully eliminates the artificial free energy drift observed in the QM/MM-Cutoff simulations, in a remarkable agreement with the two long-range-containing methods. For the SN2 reaction, the free energy of activation obtained by the QM/MM-DSF method agrees well with both the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-IPS results. The latter, however, requires a greater cutoff distance than QM/MM-DSF for a proper convergence of the PMF. Avoiding time-consuming lattice summation, the QM/MM-DSF method yields a 55% reduction in computational cost compared with the QM/MM-Ewald method. These results suggest that, in addition to QM/MM-IPS, the QM/MM-DSF method may serve as another efficient and accurate alternative to QM/MM-Ewald for treating electrostatics in condensed-phase simulations of chemical reactions.

  11. Treating electrostatics with Wolf summation in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Ojeda-May, Pedro; Pu, Jingzhi

    2015-11-07

    The Wolf summation approach [D. Wolf et al., J. Chem. Phys. 110, 8254 (1999)], in the damped shifted force (DSF) formalism [C. J. Fennell and J. D. Gezelter, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 234104 (2006)], is extended for treating electrostatics in combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) molecular dynamics simulations. In this development, we split the QM/MM electrostatic potential energy function into the conventional Coulomb r{sup −1} term and a term that contains the DSF contribution. The former is handled by the standard machinery of cutoff-based QM/MM simulations whereas the latter is incorporated into the QM/MM interaction Hamiltonian as a Fock matrix correction. We tested the resulting QM/MM-DSF method for two solution-phase reactions, i.e., the association of ammonium and chloride ions and a symmetric SN{sub 2} reaction in which a methyl group is exchanged between two chloride ions. The performance of the QM/MM-DSF method was assessed by comparing the potential of mean force (PMF) profiles with those from the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-isotropic periodic sum (IPS) methods, both of which include long-range electrostatics explicitly. For ion association, the QM/MM-DSF method successfully eliminates the artificial free energy drift observed in the QM/MM-Cutoff simulations, in a remarkable agreement with the two long-range-containing methods. For the SN{sub 2} reaction, the free energy of activation obtained by the QM/MM-DSF method agrees well with both the QM/MM-Ewald and QM/MM-IPS results. The latter, however, requires a greater cutoff distance than QM/MM-DSF for a proper convergence of the PMF. Avoiding time-consuming lattice summation, the QM/MM-DSF method yields a 55% reduction in computational cost compared with the QM/MM-Ewald method. These results suggest that, in addition to QM/MM-IPS, the QM/MM-DSF method may serve as another efficient and accurate alternative to QM/MM-Ewald for treating electrostatics in condensed-phase simulations of chemical

  12. Soy isoflavones and prostate cancer: a review of molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Abeer M; Yang, Wancai; Bosland, Maarten C

    2014-03-01

    Soy isoflavones are dietary components for which an association has been demonstrated with reduced risk of prostate cancer (PCa) in Asian populations. However, the exact mechanism by which these isoflavones may prevent the development or progression of PCa is not completely understood. There are a growing number of animal and in vitro studies that have attempted to elucidate these mechanisms. The predominant and most biologically active isoflavones in soy products, genistein, daidzein, equol, and glycetin, inhibit prostate carcinogenesis in some animal models. Cell-based studies show that soy isoflavones regulate genes that control cell cycle and apoptosis. In this review, we discuss the literature relevant to the molecular events that may account for the benefit of soy isoflavones in PCa prevention or treatment. These reports show that although soy isoflavone-induced growth arrest and apoptosis of PCa cells are plausible mechanisms, other chemo protective mechanisms are also worthy of consideration. These possible mechanisms include antioxidant defense, DNA repair, inhibition of angiogenesis and metastasis, potentiation of radio- and chemotherapeutic agents, and antagonism of estrogen- and androgen-mediated signaling pathways. Moreover, other cells in the cancer milieu, such as the fibroblastic stromal cells, endothelial cells, and immune cells, may be targeted by soy isoflavones, which may contribute to soy-mediated prostate cancer prevention. In this review, these mechanisms are discussed along with considerations about the doses and the preclinical models that have been used.

  13. Molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction following traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Kendall R.; Tesco, Giuseppina

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in significant disability due to cognitive deficits particularly in attention, learning and memory, and higher-order executive functions. The role of TBI in chronic neurodegeneration and the development of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and most recently chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is of particular importance. However, despite significant effort very few therapeutic options exist to prevent or reverse cognitive impairment following TBI. In this review, we present experimental evidence of the known secondary injury mechanisms which contribute to neuronal cell loss, axonal injury, and synaptic dysfunction and hence cognitive impairment both acutely and chronically following TBI. In particular we focus on the mechanisms linking TBI to the development of two forms of dementia: AD and CTE. We provide evidence of potential molecular mechanisms involved in modulating Aβ and Tau following TBI and provide evidence of the role of these mechanisms in AD pathology. Additionally we propose a mechanism by which Aβ generated as a direct result of TBI is capable of exacerbating secondary injury mechanisms thereby establishing a neurotoxic cascade that leads to chronic neurodegeneration. PMID:23847533

  14. 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

  15. Combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods in computational enzymology.

    PubMed

    van der Kamp, Marc W; Mulholland, Adrian J

    2013-04-23

    Computational enzymology is a rapidly maturing field that is increasingly integral to understanding mechanisms of enzyme-catalyzed reactions and their practical applications. Combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) methods are important in this field. By treating the reacting species with a quantum mechanical method (i.e., a method that calculates the electronic structure of the active site) and including the enzyme environment with simpler molecular mechanical methods, enzyme reactions can be modeled. Here, we review QM/MM methods and their application to enzyme-catalyzed reactions to investigate fundamental and practical problems in enzymology. A range of QM/MM methods is available, from cheaper and more approximate methods, which can be used for molecular dynamics simulations, to highly accurate electronic structure methods. We discuss how modeling of reactions using such methods can provide detailed insight into enzyme mechanisms and illustrate this by reviewing some recent applications. We outline some practical considerations for such simulations. Further, we highlight applications that show how QM/MM methods can contribute to the practical development and application of enzymology, e.g., in the interpretation and prediction of the effects of mutagenesis and in drug and catalyst design.

  16. Molecular mechanism of selective binding of peptides to silicon surface.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishnan, Sathish Kumar; Martin, Marta; Cloitre, Thierry; Firlej, Lucyna; Gergely, Csilla

    2014-07-28

    Despite extensive recent research efforts on material-specific peptides, the fundamental problem to be explored yet is the molecular interactions between peptides and inorganic surfaces. Here we used computer simulations (density functional theory and classical molecular dynamics) to investigate the adsorption mechanism of silicon-binding peptides and the role of individual amino acids in the affinity of peptides for an n-type silicon (n(+)-Si) semiconductor. Three silicon binding 12-mer peptides previously elaborated using phage display technology have been studied. The peptides' conformations close to the surface have been determined and the best-binding amino acids have been identified. Adsorption energy calculations explain the experimentally observed different degrees of affinity of the peptides for n(+)-Si. Our residual scanning analysis demonstrates that the binding affinity relies on both the identity of the amino acid and its location in the peptide sequence.

  17. Neural tube closure: cellular, molecular and biomechanical mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Nikolopoulou, Evanthia; Galea, Gabriel L; Rolo, Ana; Greene, Nicholas D E; Copp, Andrew J

    2017-02-15

    Neural tube closure has been studied for many decades, across a range of vertebrates, as a paradigm of embryonic morphogenesis. Neurulation is of particular interest in view of the severe congenital malformations - 'neural tube defects' - that result when closure fails. The process of neural tube closure is complex and involves cellular events such as convergent extension, apical constriction and interkinetic nuclear migration, as well as precise molecular control via the non-canonical Wnt/planar cell polarity pathway, Shh/BMP signalling, and the transcription factors Grhl2/3, Pax3, Cdx2 and Zic2. More recently, biomechanical inputs into neural tube morphogenesis have also been identified. Here, we review these cellular, molecular and biomechanical mechanisms involved in neural tube closure, based on studies of various vertebrate species, focusing on the most recent advances in the field.

  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. Supersymmetric Liouville theory: A statistical mechanical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Barrozo, M.C.; Belvedere, L.V.

    1996-02-01

    The statistical mechanical system associated with the two-dimensional supersymmetric Liouville theory is obtained through an infrared-finite perturbation expansion. Considering the system confined in a finite volume and in the presence of a uniform neutralizing background, we show that the grand-partition function of this system describes a one-component gas, in which the Boltzmann factor is weighted by an integration over the Grassmann variables. This weight function introduces the dimensional reduction phenomenon. After performing the thermodynamic limit, the resulting supersymmetric quantum theory is translationally invariant. {copyright} {ital 1996 The American Physical Society.}

  20. Statistical mechanical approach to human language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kosmidis, Kosmas; Kalampokis, Alkiviadis; Argyrakis, Panos

    2006-07-01

    We use the formulation of equilibrium statistical mechanics in order to study some important characteristics of language. Using a simple expression for the Hamiltonian of a language system, which is directly implied by the Zipf law, we are able to explain several characteristic features of human language that seem completely unrelated, such as the universality of the Zipf exponent, the vocabulary size of children, the reduced communication abilities of people suffering from schizophrenia, etc. While several explanations are necessarily only qualitative at this stage, we have, nevertheless, been able to derive a formula for the vocabulary size of children as a function of age, which agrees rather well with experimental data.

  1. Zika Virus-Induced Microcephaly and Its Possible Molecular Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Faizan, Md Imam; Abdullah, Mohd; Ali, Sher; Naqvi, Irshad H; Ahmed, Anwar; Parveen, Shama

    2016-01-01

    Zika virus is an arthropod-borne re-emerging pathogen associated with the global pandemic of 2015-2016. The devastating effect of Zika viral infection is reflected by its neurological manifestations such as microcephaly in newborns. This scenario evoked our interest to uncover the neurotropic localization, multiplication of the virus, and the mechanism of microcephaly. The present report provides an overview of a possible molecular mechanism of Zika virus-induced microcephaly based on recent publications. Transplacental transmission of Zika viral infection from mother to foetus during the first trimester of pregnancy results in propagation of the virus in human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs), where entry is facilitated by the receptor (AXL protein) leading to the alteration of signalling and immune pathways in host cells. Further modification of the viral-induced TLR3-mediated immune network in the infected hNPCs affects viral replication. Downregulation of neurogenesis and upregulation of apoptosis in hNPCs leads to cell cycle arrest and death of the developing neurons. In addition, it is likely that the environmental, physiological, immunological, and genetic factors that determine in utero transmission of Zika virus are also involved in neurotropism. Despite the global concern regarding the Zika-mediated epidemic, the precise molecular mechanism of neuropathogenesis remains elusive.

  2. Sexual polyploidization in plants – cytological mechanisms and molecular regulation

    PubMed Central

    De Storme, Nico; Geelen, Danny

    2013-01-01

    In the plant kingdom, events of whole genome duplication or polyploidization are generally believed to occur via alterations of the sexual reproduction process. Thereby, diploid pollen and eggs are formed that contain the somatic number of chromosomes rather than the gametophytic number. By participating in fertilization, these so-called 2n gametes generate polyploid offspring and therefore constitute the basis for the establishment of polyploidy in plants. In addition, diplogamete formation, through meiotic restitution, is an essential component of apomixis and also serves as an important mechanism for the restoration of F1 hybrid fertility. Characterization of the cytological mechanisms and molecular factors underlying 2n gamete formation is therefore not only relevant for basic plant biology and evolution, but may also provide valuable cues for agricultural and biotechnological applications (e.g. reverse breeding, clonal seeds). Recent data have provided novel insights into the process of 2n pollen and egg formation and have revealed multiple means to the same end. Here, we summarize the cytological mechanisms and molecular regulatory networks underlying 2n gamete formation, and outline important mitotic and meiotic processes involved in the ectopic induction of sexual polyploidization. PMID:23421646

  3. DNA intercalation optimized by two-step molecular lock mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Almaqwashi, Ali A.; Andersson, Johanna; Lincoln, Per; Rouzina, Ioulia; Westerlund, Fredrik; Williams, Mark C.

    2016-01-01

    The diverse properties of DNA intercalators, varying in affinity and kinetics over several orders of magnitude, provide a wide range of applications for DNA-ligand assemblies. Unconventional intercalation mechanisms may exhibit high affinity and slow kinetics, properties desired for potential therapeutics. We used single-molecule force spectroscopy to probe the free energy landscape for an unconventional intercalator that binds DNA through a novel two-step mechanism in which the intermediate and final states bind DNA through the same mono-intercalating moiety. During this process, DNA undergoes significant structural rearrangements, first lengthening before relaxing to a shorter DNA-ligand complex in the intermediate state to form a molecular lock. To reach the final bound state, the molecular length must increase again as the ligand threads between disrupted DNA base pairs. This unusual binding mechanism results in an unprecedented optimized combination of high DNA binding affinity and slow kinetics, suggesting a new paradigm for rational design of DNA intercalators. PMID:27917863

  4. Enlightening molecular mechanisms through study of protein interactions

    PubMed Central

    Rizo, Josep; Rosen, Michael K.; Gardner, Kevin H.

    2012-01-01

    The investigation of molecular mechanisms is a fascinating area of current biological research that unites efforts from scientists with very diverse expertise. This review provides a perspective on the characterization of protein interactions as a central aspect of this research. We discuss case studies on the neurotransmitter release machinery that illustrate a variety of principles and emphasize the power of combining nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with other biophysical techniques, particularly X-ray crystallography. These studies have shown that: (i) the soluble SNAP receptor (SNARE) proteins form a tight complex that brings the synaptic vesicle and plasma membranes together, which is key for membrane fusion; (ii) the SNARE syntaxin-1 adopts an autoinhibitory closed conformation; (iii) Munc18-1 plays crucial functions through interactions with closed syntaxin-1 and with the SNARE complex; (iv) Munc13s mediate the opening of syntaxin-1; (v) complexins play dual roles through distinct interactions with the SNARE complex; (vi) synaptotagmin-1 acts a Ca2+ sensor, interacting simultaneously with the membranes and the SNAREs; and (vii) a Munc13 homodimer to Munc13-RIM heterodimer switch modulates neurotransmitter release. Overall, this research underlines the complexities involved in elucidating molecular mechanisms and how these mechanisms can depend critically on an interplay between strong and weak protein interactions. PMID:22735643

  5. Lipid Raft Redox Signaling: Molecular Mechanisms in Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Fan; Katirai, Foad

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Lipid rafts, the sphingolipid and cholesterol-enriched membrane microdomains, are able to form different membrane macrodomains or platforms upon stimulations, including redox signaling platforms, which serve as a critical signaling mechanism to mediate or regulate cellular activities or functions. In particular, this raft platform formation provides an important driving force for the assembling of NADPH oxidase subunits and the recruitment of other related receptors, effectors, and regulatory components, resulting, in turn, in the activation of NADPH oxidase and downstream redox regulation of cell functions. This comprehensive review attempts to summarize all basic and advanced information about the formation, regulation, and functions of lipid raft redox signaling platforms as well as their physiological and pathophysiological relevance. Several molecular mechanisms involving the formation of lipid raft redox signaling platforms and the related therapeutic strategies targeting them are discussed. It is hoped that all information and thoughts included in this review could provide more comprehensive insights into the understanding of lipid raft redox signaling, in particular, of their molecular mechanisms, spatial-temporal regulations, and physiological, pathophysiological relevances to human health and diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 15, 1043–1083. PMID:21294649

  6. Advancing neuroscience through epigenetics: molecular mechanisms of learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Molfese, David L

    2011-01-01

    Humans share 96% of our 30,000 genes with Chimpanzees. The 1,200 genes that differ appear at first glance insufficient to describe what makes us human and them apes. However, we are now discovering that the mechanisms that regulate how genes are expressed tell a much richer story than our DNA alone. Sections of our DNA are constantly being turned on or off, marked for easy access, or secluded and hidden away, all in response to ongoing cellular activity. In the brain, neurons encode information-in effect memories-at the cellular level. Yet while memories may last a lifetime, neurons are dynamic structures. Every protein in the synapse undergoes some form of turnover, some with half-lives of only hours. How can a memory persist beyond the lifetimes of its constitutive molecular building blocks? Epigenetics-changes in gene expression that do not alter the underlying DNA sequence-may be the answer. In this article, epigenetic mechanisms including DNA methylation and acetylation or methylation of the histone proteins that package DNA are described in the context of animal learning. Through the interaction of these modifications a "histone code" is emerging wherein individual memories leave unique memory traces at the molecular level with distinct time courses. A better understanding of these mechanisms has implications for treatment of memory disorders caused by normal aging or diseases including schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, depression, and drug addiction.

  7. Steered Molecular Dynamics Methods Applied to Enzyme Mechanism and Energetics.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, C L; Martí, M A; Roitberg, A E

    2016-01-01

    One of the main goals of chemistry is to understand the underlying principles of chemical reactions, in terms of both its reaction mechanism and the thermodynamics that govern it. Using hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM)-based methods in combination with a biased sampling scheme, it is possible to simulate chemical reactions occurring inside complex environments such as an enzyme, or aqueous solution, and determining the corresponding free energy profile, which provides direct comparison with experimental determined kinetic and equilibrium parameters. Among the most promising biasing schemes is the multiple steered molecular dynamics method, which in combination with Jarzynski's Relationship (JR) allows obtaining the equilibrium free energy profile, from a finite set of nonequilibrium reactive trajectories by exponentially averaging the individual work profiles. However, obtaining statistically converged and accurate profiles is far from easy and may result in increased computational cost if the selected steering speed and number of trajectories are inappropriately chosen. In this small review, using the extensively studied chorismate to prephenate conversion reaction, we first present a systematic study of how key parameters such as pulling speed, number of trajectories, and reaction progress are related to the resulting work distributions and in turn the accuracy of the free energy obtained with JR. Second, and in the context of QM/MM strategies, we introduce the Hybrid Differential Relaxation Algorithm, and show how it allows obtaining more accurate free energy profiles using faster pulling speeds and smaller number of trajectories and thus smaller computational cost.

  8. Molecular-dynamics study of detonation. II. The reaction mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Betsy M.; Mattson, William; Grosh, John; Trevino, S. F.

    1996-01-01

    In this work, we investigate mechanisms of chemical reactions that sustain an unsupported detonation. The chemical model of an energetic crystal used in this study consists of heteronuclear diatomic molecules that, at ambient pressure, dissociate endothermically. Subsequent association of the products to form homonuclear diatomic molecules provides the energy release that sustains the detonation. A many-body interaction is used to simulate changes in the electronic bonding as a function of local atomic environment. The consequence of the many-body interaction in this model is that the intramolecular bond is weakened with increasing density. The mechanism of the reaction for this model was extracted by investigating the details of the molecular properties in the reaction zone with two-dimensional molecular dynamics. The mechanism for the initiation of the reaction in this model is pressure-induced atomization. There was no evidence of excitation of vibrational modes to dissociative states. This particular result is directly attributable to the functional form and choice of parameters for this model, but might also have more general applicability.

  9. Using Quantum Mechanical Approaches to Study Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Conspectus Quantum mechanics (QM) has revolutionized our understanding of the structure and reactivity of small molecular systems. Given the tremendous impact of QM in this research area, it is attractive to believe that this could also be brought into the biological realm where systems of a few thousand atoms and beyond are routine. Applying QM methods to biological problems brings an improved representation to these systems by the direct inclusion of inherently QM effects such as polarization and charge transfer. Because of the improved representation, novel insights can be gleaned from the application of QM tools to biomacromolecules in aqueous solution. To achieve this goal, the computational bottlenecks of QM methods had to be addressed. In semiempirical theory, matrix diagonalization is rate limiting, while in density functional theory or Hartree–Fock theory electron repulsion integral computation is rate-limiting. In this Account, we primarily focus on semiempirical models where the divide and conquer (D&C) approach linearizes the matrix diagonalization step with respect to the system size. Through the D&C approach, a number of applications to biological problems became tractable. Herein, we provide examples of QM studies on biological systems that focus on protein solvation as viewed by QM, QM enabled structure-based drug design, and NMR and X-ray biological structure refinement using QM derived restraints. Through the examples chosen, we show the power of QM to provide novel insights into biological systems, while also impacting practical applications such as structure refinement. While these methods can be more expensive than classical approaches, they make up for this deficiency by the more realistic modeling of the electronic nature of biological systems and in their ability to be broadly applied. Of the tools and applications discussed in this Account, X-ray structure refinement using QM models is now generally available to the community in the

  10. United polarizable multipole water model for molecular mechanics simulation

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Rui; Wang, Lee-Ping; Wang, Qiantao; Pande, Vijay S.; Ren, Pengyu

    2015-01-01

    We report the development of a united AMOEBA (uAMOEBA) polarizable water model, which is computationally 3–5 times more efficient than the three-site AMOEBA03 model in molecular dynamics simulations while providing comparable accuracy for gas-phase and liquid properties. In this coarse-grained polarizable water model, both electrostatic (permanent and induced) and van der Waals representations have been reduced to a single site located at the oxygen atom. The permanent charge distribution is described via the molecular dipole and quadrupole moments and the many-body polarization via an isotropic molecular polarizability, all located at the oxygen center. Similarly, a single van der Waals interaction site is used for each water molecule. Hydrogen atoms are retained only for the purpose of defining local frames for the molecular multipole moments and intramolecular vibrational modes. The parameters have been derived based on a combination of ab initio quantum mechanical and experimental data set containing gas-phase cluster structures and energies, and liquid thermodynamic properties. For validation, additional properties including dimer interaction energy, liquid structures, self-diffusion coefficient, and shear viscosity have been evaluated. The results demonstrate good transferability from the gas to the liquid phase over a wide range of temperatures, and from nonpolar to polar environments, due to the presence of molecular polarizability. The water coordination, hydrogen-bonding structure, and dynamic properties given by uAMOEBA are similar to those derived from the all-atom AMOEBA03 model and experiments. Thus, the current model is an accurate and efficient alternative for modeling water. PMID:26156485

  11. United polarizable multipole water model for molecular mechanics simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Qi, Rui; Wang, Qiantao; Ren, Pengyu; Wang, Lee-Ping; Pande, Vijay S.

    2015-07-07

    We report the development of a united AMOEBA (uAMOEBA) polarizable water model, which is computationally 3–5 times more efficient than the three-site AMOEBA03 model in molecular dynamics simulations while providing comparable accuracy for gas-phase and liquid properties. In this coarse-grained polarizable water model, both electrostatic (permanent and induced) and van der Waals representations have been reduced to a single site located at the oxygen atom. The permanent charge distribution is described via the molecular dipole and quadrupole moments and the many-body polarization via an isotropic molecular polarizability, all located at the oxygen center. Similarly, a single van der Waals interaction site is used for each water molecule. Hydrogen atoms are retained only for the purpose of defining local frames for the molecular multipole moments and intramolecular vibrational modes. The parameters have been derived based on a combination of ab initio quantum mechanical and experimental data set containing gas-phase cluster structures and energies, and liquid thermodynamic properties. For validation, additional properties including dimer interaction energy, liquid structures, self-diffusion coefficient, and shear viscosity have been evaluated. The results demonstrate good transferability from the gas to the liquid phase over a wide range of temperatures, and from nonpolar to polar environments, due to the presence of molecular polarizability. The water coordination, hydrogen-bonding structure, and dynamic properties given by uAMOEBA are similar to those derived from the all-atom AMOEBA03 model and experiments. Thus, the current model is an accurate and efficient alternative for modeling water.

  12. United polarizable multipole water model for molecular mechanics simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Rui; Wang, Lee-Ping; Wang, Qiantao; Pande, Vijay S.; Ren, Pengyu

    2015-07-01

    We report the development of a united AMOEBA (uAMOEBA) polarizable water model, which is computationally 3-5 times more efficient than the three-site AMOEBA03 model in molecular dynamics simulations while providing comparable accuracy for gas-phase and liquid properties. In this coarse-grained polarizable water model, both electrostatic (permanent and induced) and van der Waals representations have been reduced to a single site located at the oxygen atom. The permanent charge distribution is described via the molecular dipole and quadrupole moments and the many-body polarization via an isotropic molecular polarizability, all located at the oxygen center. Similarly, a single van der Waals interaction site is used for each water molecule. Hydrogen atoms are retained only for the purpose of defining local frames for the molecular multipole moments and intramolecular vibrational modes. The parameters have been derived based on a combination of ab initio quantum mechanical and experimental data set containing gas-phase cluster structures and energies, and liquid thermodynamic properties. For validation, additional properties including dimer interaction energy, liquid structures, self-diffusion coefficient, and shear viscosity have been evaluated. The results demonstrate good transferability from the gas to the liquid phase over a wide range of temperatures, and from nonpolar to polar environments, due to the presence of molecular polarizability. The water coordination, hydrogen-bonding structure, and dynamic properties given by uAMOEBA are similar to those derived from the all-atom AMOEBA03 model and experiments. Thus, the current model is an accurate and efficient alternative for modeling water.

  13. An approach to nonstandard quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raab, A.

    2004-12-01

    We use nonstandard analysis to formulate quantum mechanics in hyperfinite-dimensional spaces. Self-adjoint operators on hyperfinite-dimensional spaces have complete eigensets, and bound states and continuum states of a Hamiltonian can thus be treated on an equal footing. We show that the formalism extends the standard formulation of quantum mechanics. To this end we develop the Loeb-function calculus in nonstandard hulls. The idea is to perform calculations in a hyperfinite-dimensional space, but to interpret expectation values in the corresponding nonstandard hull. We further apply the framework to nonrelativistic quantum scattering theory. For time-dependent scattering theory, we identify the starting time and the finishing time of a scattering experiment, and we obtain a natural separation of time scales on which the preparation process, the interaction process, and the detection process take place. For time-independent scattering theory, we derive rigorously explicit formulas for the Mo/ller wave operators and the S-matrix.

  14. An atomistic approach to viral mechanical oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankey, Otto F.

    2009-03-01

    Viruses are the simplest ``life'' form. These parasites reproduce by borrowing the machinery of their host cell. Many are pathogenic to plants, animals, and humans. Viruses possess an outer protein coat (capsid) that protects its genomic material that resides inside. We have developed a theoretical technique to model the very low frequency mechanical modes of the viral capsid with atomic resolution. The method uses empirical force fields and a mathematical framework borrowed from electronic structure theory for finding low energy states. The low frequency modes can be ``pinged'' with an ultra-short laser pulse and the aim of the light/vibrational coupling is to interfere with the viral life cycle. The theoretical work here is motivated by the recent work of Tsen et al. [2] who have used ultra-short pulsed laser scattering to inactivate viruses. The methodology can be applied to many systems, and the coupled mechanical oscillations of other floppy biomolecules such as a complete ATP binding cassette (ABC transporter) will also be discussed. Co-authors of this work are Dr. Eric Dykeman, Prof. K.-T. Tsen and Daryn Benson. [4pt] [1] E.C. Dykeman et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 100, 028101 (2008). [0pt] [2] K-T. Tsen et al., J. of Physics -- Cond. Mat. 19, 472201 (2007).

  15. Damage Mechanics Approach for Bearing Lifetime Prognostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Jing; Seth, Brij B.; Liang, Steven Y.; Zhang, Cheng

    2002-09-01

    The ability to achieve accurate bearing prognostics is critical to the optimal maintenance of rotating machinery in the interest of cost and productivity. However, techniques to real time predict the lifetime of a bearing under practical operating conditions have not been well developed. In this paper, a stiffness-based prognostic model for bearing systems based on vibration response analysis and damage mechanics is discussed. As the bearing system is considered as a single-degree-of-freedom vibratory system, its natural frequency and its acceleration amplitude at the natural frequency can be related to the system stiffness. On the other hand, the relationship between failure lifetime, running time and stiffness variation can be established from the damage mechanics. Combining the above two, the natural frequency and the acceleration amplitude of a bearing system can be related to its running time and failure lifetime. Thus, the failure lifetime of a bearing system can be predicted on-line based on vibration measurement. Experiments have been performed on a tapered roller bearing life testing stand under various operation conditions to calibrate and to validate the proposed model. The comparison between model-calculated data and experimental results indicates that this model can be used to effectively predict the failure lifetime and the remaining life of a bearing system.

  16. Explaining the "Pulse of Protoplasm": the search for molecular mechanisms of protoplasmic streaming.

    PubMed

    Dietrich, Michael R

    2015-01-01

    Explanations for protoplasmic streaming began with appeals to contraction in the eighteenth century and ended with appeals to contraction in the twentieth. During the intervening years, biologists proposed a diverse array of mechanisms for streaming motions. This paper focuses on the re-emergence of contraction among the molecular mechanisms proposed for protoplasmic streaming during the twentieth century. The revival of contraction is a result of a broader transition from colloidal chemistry to a macromolecular approach to the chemistry of proteins, the recognition of the phenomena of shuttle streaming and the pulse of protoplasm, and the influential analogy between protoplasmic streaming and muscle contraction.

  17. Anisotropy induced Kondo splitting in a mechanically stretched molecular junction: A first-principles based study

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Xiaoli; Hou, Dong; Zheng, Xiao; Yan, YiJing

    2016-01-21

    The magnetic anisotropy and Kondo phenomena in a mechanically stretched magnetic molecular junction are investigated by combining the density functional theory (DFT) and hierarchical equations of motion (HEOM) approach. The system is comprised of a magnetic complex Co(tpy–SH){sub 2} sandwiched between adjacent gold electrodes, which is mechanically stretched in experiments done by Parks et al. [Science 328, 1370 (2010)]. The electronic structure and mechanical property of the stretched system are investigated via the DFT calculations. The HEOM approach is then employed to characterize the Kondo resonance features, based on the Anderson impurity model parameterized from the DFT results. It is confirmed that the ground state prefers the S = 1 local spin state. The structural properties, the magnetic anisotropy, and corresponding Kondo peak splitting in the axial stretching process are systematically evaluated. The results reveal that the strong electron correlations and the local magnetic properties of the molecule magnet are very sensitive to structural distortion. This work demonstrates that the combined DFT+HEOM approach could be useful in understanding and designing mechanically controlled molecular junctions.

  18. Anisotropy induced Kondo splitting in a mechanically stretched molecular junction: A first-principles based study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiaoli; Hou, Dong; Zheng, Xiao; Yan, YiJing

    2016-01-01

    The magnetic anisotropy and Kondo phenomena in a mechanically stretched magnetic molecular junction are investigated by combining the density functional theory (DFT) and hierarchical equations of motion (HEOM) approach. The system is comprised of a magnetic complex Co(tpy-SH)2 sandwiched between adjacent gold electrodes, which is mechanically stretched in experiments done by Parks et al. [Science 328, 1370 (2010)]. The electronic structure and mechanical property of the stretched system are investigated via the DFT calculations. The HEOM approach is then employed to characterize the Kondo resonance features, based on the Anderson impurity model parameterized from the DFT results. It is confirmed that the ground state prefers the S = 1 local spin state. The structural properties, the magnetic anisotropy, and corresponding Kondo peak splitting in the axial stretching process are systematically evaluated. The results reveal that the strong electron correlations and the local magnetic properties of the molecule magnet are very sensitive to structural distortion. This work demonstrates that the combined DFT+HEOM approach could be useful in understanding and designing mechanically controlled molecular junctions.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Forces in molecular recognition: Comparison of experimental data and molecular mechanics calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waltho, J. P.; Vinter, J. G.; Davis, A.; Williams, D. H.

    1988-04-01

    NMR studies of the rotation barrier of the disaccharide of the glycopeptide antibiotic vancomycin have been used to test the performance of computer simulation techniques using molecular mechanics. In the absence of any solvated water, no correlation could be found between experiment and calculation. By introducing solvent water molecules into the binding region of the antibiotic, the NMR results could be simulated both qualitatively and quantitatively within experimental error without using massive computational resources.

  2. Molecular mechanisms of l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia.

    PubMed

    Fisone, Gilberto; Bezard, Erwan

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD), a common neurodegenerative disorder caused by the loss of the dopaminergic input to the basal ganglia, is commonly treated with l-DOPA. Use of this drug, however, is severely limited by the development of dystonic and choreic motor complications, or dyskinesia. This chapter describes the molecular mechanisms implicated in the emergence and manifestation of l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID). Particular emphasis is given to the role played in this condition by abnormalities in signal transduction at the level of the medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the striatum, which are the principal target of l-DOPA. Recent evidence pointing to pre-synaptic dysregulation is also discussed.

  3. On molecular mechanism of the photodynamic therapy of tumors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mostovnikov, Vasili A.; Mostovnikova, Galina R.; Plavski, Vitali Y.; Tretjakov, S. A.

    1995-01-01

    In this work we present the experimental results indicating that the photodestruction (inactivation) of glycolysis enzymes located in mitochondria and responsible for the energy providing of malignant tumors, could serve as a possible molecular mechanism of a photodynamic therapy of cancer. The formation of complexes between the glycolysis enzymes and sensitizer favors can lead to an effective photodestruction of the former [in the experiments lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), pyruvate kinase (PK), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and water-soluble tetra(carboxiphenyl)porphyrine [T(CP)P] (the analogue of coprorphyrin) were used as photosensitizer.

  4. Dietary flavonoids: molecular mechanisms of action as anti- inflammatory agents.

    PubMed

    Marzocchella, Laura; Fantini, Massimo; Benvenuto, Monica; Masuelli, Laura; Tresoldi, Ilaria; Modesti, Andrea; Bei, Roberto

    2011-09-01

    Flavonoids are a large group of polyphenolic compounds, which are ubiquitously expressed in plants. They are grouped according to their chemical structure and function into flavonols, flavones, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, flavanones and isoflavones. Many of flavonoids are found in fruits, vegetables and beverages. Flavonoids have been demonstrated to have advantageous effects on human health because their anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-tumor and anti-oxidant behavior. This report reviews the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of action of flavonoids as anti-inflammatory agents and also discusses the relevant patents.

  5. Molecular and Electrophysiological Mechanisms Underlying Cardiac Arrhythmogenesis in Diabetes Mellitus

    PubMed Central

    Tse, Vivian; Yeo, Jie Ming

    2016-01-01

    Diabetes is a common endocrine disorder with an ever increasing prevalence globally, placing significant burdens on our healthcare systems. It is associated with significant cardiovascular morbidities. One of the mechanisms by which it causes death is increasing the risk of cardiac arrhythmias. The aim of this article is to review the cardiac (ion channel abnormalities, electrophysiological and structural remodelling) and extracardiac factors (neural pathway remodelling) responsible for cardiac arrhythmogenesis in diabetes. It is concluded by an outline of molecular targets for future antiarrhythmic therapy for the diabetic population. PMID:27642609

  6. The mechanism of selective molecular capture in carbon nanotube networks.

    PubMed

    Wan, Yu; Guan, Jun; Yang, Xudong; Zheng, Quanshui; Xu, Zhiping

    2014-07-28

    Recently, air pollution issues have drawn significant attention to the development of efficient air filters, and one of the most promising materials for this purpose is nanofibers. We explore here the mechanism of selective molecular capture of volatile organic compounds in carbon nanotube networks by performing atomistic simulations. The results are discussed with respect to the two key parameters that define the performance of nanofiltration, i.e. the capture efficiency and flow resistance, which demonstrate the advantages of carbon nanotube networks with high surface-to-volume ratio and atomistically smooth surfaces. We also reveal the important roles of interfacial adhesion and diffusion that govern selective gas transport through the network.

  7. Molecular mechanics of dihydroxyphenylalanine at a silica interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Zhao; Buehler, Markus

    2012-08-01

    L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) is an amazing biological glue secreted by marine mussels. Through enhanced sampling molecular dynamics, here we demonstrate that proteins with DOPA residues have a strong affinity to a silica surface with an interfacial strength of several hundreds of thousand N/cm2. The mechanism of such strong adhesion is a pair of hydrogen bonds that forms between DOPA and the substrate, enabling enhanced cooperativity as the DOPA residue lays flat on top the surface. Our predicted adhesion force (743 pN) agrees well with experimental measurements (847 ± 157 pN), including the orientation of the DOPA residue on the surface.

  8. Molecular mechanisms of methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Domínguez, M A; Liñares, J; Martín, R

    1997-09-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are among the most common nosocomial pathogens. The most significant mechanism of resistance to methicillin in this-species is the acquisition of a genetic determinant (mecA gene). However, resistance seems to have a more complex molecular basis, since additional chromosomal material is involved in such resistance. Besides, overproduction of penicillinase and/or alterations in the PBPs can contribute to the formation of resistance phenotypes. Genetic and environmental factors leading to MRSA are reviewed.

  9. Molecular mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Haiyan; Luo, Hui; Zhang, Wenwen; Shen, Zhaojun; Hu, Xiaoli; Zhu, Xueqiong

    2016-01-01

    Patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer have poor prognosis, and their 1-year survival is only 10%–20%. Chemotherapy is considered as the standard treatment for patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer, and cisplatin appears to treat the disease effectively. However, resistance to cisplatin may develop, thus substantially compromising the efficacy of cisplatin to treat advanced or recurrent cervical cancer. In this article, we systematically review the recent literature and summarize the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin resistance in cervical cancer. PMID:27354763

  10. Origin of microbial life: Nano- and molecular events, thermodynamics/entropy, quantum mechanisms and genetic instructions.

    PubMed

    Trevors, J T

    2011-03-01

    Currently, there are no agreed upon mechanisms and supporting evidence for the origin of the first microbial cells on the Earth. However, some hypotheses have been proposed with minimal supporting evidence and experimentation/observations. The approach taken in this article is that life originated at the nano- and molecular levels of biological organization, using quantum mechanic principles that became manifested as classical microbial cell(s), allowing the origin of microbial life on the Earth with a core or minimal, organic, genetic code containing the correct instructions for cell(s) for growth and division, in a micron dimension environment, with a local entropy range conducive to life (present about 4 billion years ago), and obeying the laws of thermodynamics. An integrated approach that explores all encompassing factors necessary for the origin of life, may bring forth plausible hypotheses (and mechanisms) with much needed supporting experimentation and observations for an origin of life theory.

  11. 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

  12. Molecular View of Protein Crystal Growth: Molecular Interactions, Surface Reconstruction and Growth Mechanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nadarajah, Arunan; Li, Huayu; Konnert, John H.; Pusey, Marc L.

    2000-01-01

    Studies of the growth and molecular packing of tetragonal lysozyme crystals suggest that there is an underlying molecular growth mechanism, in addition to the classical one involving screw dislocation/2D) nucleation growth. These crystals are constructed by strongly bonded molecular chains forming helices about the 43 axes. The helices are connected to each other by weaker bonds. Crystal growth proceeds by the formation of these 4(sub 3) helices, which would explain some unexpected observations by earlier investigators, such as bimolecular growth steps on the (110) face. Another consequence of these molecular considerations is that only one of two possible packing arrangements could occur on the crystal faces and that their growth unit was at least a tetramer corresponding to the 4(sub 3) helix. Two new high resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques were developed to directly confirm these predictions on tetragonal lysozyme crystals. Most earlier investigations of protein crystal growth with AFM were in the low resolution mode which is adequate to investigate the classical growth mechanisms, but cannot resolve molecular features and mechanisms. Employing the first of the newly developed techniques, high resolution AFM images of the (110) face were compared with the theoretically constructed images for the two possible packing arrangements on this face. The prediction that the molecular packing arrangement of these faces corresponded to that for complete 4(sub 3) helices was confirmed in this manner. This investigation also showed the occurrence of surface reconstruction on protein crystals. The molecules on the surface of the (110) face were found to pack closer along the 4(sub 3) axes than those in the interior. The second new AFM technique was used to follow the growth process by measuring the dimensions of individual growth units on the (110) face. Linescans across a growth step, performed near the saturation limit of the crystals, allowed the growth

  13. Disease mechanisms and therapeutic approaches in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Tisdale, Sarah; Pellizzoni, Livio

    2015-06-10

    Motor neuron diseases are neurological disorders characterized primarily by the degeneration of spinal motor neurons, skeletal muscle atrophy, and debilitating and often fatal motor dysfunction. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive motor neuron disease of high incidence and severity and the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA is caused by homozygous mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene and retention of at least one copy of the hypomorphic gene paralog SMN2. Early studies established a loss-of-function disease mechanism involving ubiquitous SMN deficiency and suggested SMN upregulation as a possible therapeutic approach. In recent years, greater knowledge of the central role of SMN in RNA processing combined with deep characterization of animal models of SMA has significantly advanced our understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of the disease. SMA is emerging as an RNA disease not limited to motor neurons, but one that involves dysfunction of motor circuits that comprise multiple neuronal subpopulations and possibly other cell types. Advances in SMA research have also led to the development of several potential therapeutics shown to be effective in animal models of SMA that are now in clinical trials. These agents offer unprecedented promise for the treatment of this still incurable neurodegenerative disease.

  14. A quest to understand molecular mechanisms for genetic stability.

    PubMed

    Sekiguchi, Mutsuo

    2006-06-10

    In the midst of the post-war turmoil in Japan, I fortunately followed a path to become a scientist. Sometime at an early stage of my career, I encountered the problem of the cellular response to DNA damage and had the chance to discover a DNA repair enzyme. This event greatly influenced the subsequent course of my research, and I extended my studies toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis as well as of carcinogenesis. Through these studies I came to understand the importance of mechanisms for dealing with the actions of reactive oxygen species to the living systems. These recollections deal with these endeavors with emphasis on the early part of my scientific career.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of the membrane sculpting ESCRT pathway.

    PubMed

    Henne, William Mike; Stenmark, Harald; Emr, Scott D

    2013-09-01

    The endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT) drive multivesicular body (MVB) biogenesis and cytokinetic abscission. Originally identified through genetics and cell biology, more recent work has begun to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of ESCRT-mediated membrane remodeling, with special focus on the ESCRT-III complex. In particular, several light and electron microscopic studies provide high-resolution imaging of ESCRT-III rings and spirals that purportedly drive MVB morphogenesis and abscission. These studies highlight unifying principles to ESCRT-III function, in particular: (1) the ordered assembly of the ESCRT-III monomers into a heteropolymer, (2) ESCRT-III as a dynamic complex, and (3) the role of the AAA ATPase Vps4 as a contributing factor in membrane scission. Mechanistic comparisons of ESCRT-III function in MVB morphogenesis and cytokinesis suggest common mechanisms in membrane remodeling.

  16. Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms Underpinning Macrophage Activation during Remyelination

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, Amy F.; Miron, Veronique E.

    2016-01-01

    Remyelination is an example of central nervous system (CNS) regeneration, whereby myelin is restored around demyelinated axons, re-establishing saltatory conduction and trophic/metabolic support. In progressive multiple sclerosis, remyelination is limited or fails altogether which is considered to contribute to axonal damage/loss and consequent disability. Macrophages have critical roles in both CNS damage and regeneration, such as remyelination. This diverse range in functions reflects the ability of macrophages to acquire tissue microenvironment-specific activation states. This activation is dynamically regulated during efficient regeneration, with a switch from pro-inflammatory to inflammation-resolution/pro-regenerative phenotypes. Although, some molecules and pathways have been implicated in the dynamic activation of macrophages, such as NFκB, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning plasticity of macrophage activation are unclear. Identifying mechanisms regulating macrophage activation to pro-regenerative phenotypes may lead to novel therapeutic strategies to promote remyelination in multiple sclerosis. PMID:27446913

  17. Molecular mechanism of action of microtubule-stabilizing anticancer agents.

    PubMed

    Prota, Andrea E; Bargsten, Katja; Zurwerra, Didier; Field, Jessica J; Díaz, José Fernando; Altmann, Karl-Heinz; Steinmetz, Michel O

    2013-02-01

    Microtubule-stabilizing agents (MSAs) are efficacious chemotherapeutic drugs widely used for the treatment of cancer. Despite the importance of MSAs for medical applications and basic research, their molecular mechanisms of action on tubulin and microtubules remain elusive. We determined high-resolution crystal structures of αβ-tubulin in complex with two unrelated MSAs, zampanolide and epothilone A. Both compounds were bound to the taxane pocket of β-tubulin and used their respective side chains to induce structuring of the M-loop into a short helix. Because the M-loop establishes lateral tubulin contacts in microtubules, these findings explain how taxane-site MSAs promote microtubule assembly and stability. Further, our results offer fundamental structural insights into the control mechanisms of microtubule dynamics.

  18. Molecular mechanisms in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy: an update.

    PubMed

    Arora, Mandeep Kumar; Singh, Umesh Kumar

    2013-04-01

    Diabetes mellitus is known to trigger retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy, a long-term major microvascular complication of uncontrolled hyperglycemia, affects a large population worldwide. Recent findings suggest that numerous pathways are activated during the course of diabetes mellitus and that these pathways individually or collectively play a role in the induction and progression of diabetic nephropathy. However, clinical strategies targeting these pathways to manage diabetic nephropathy remain unsatisfactory, as the number of diabetic patients with nephropathy is increasing yearly. To develop ground-breaking therapeutic options to prevent the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy, a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of the disease is mandatory. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the underlying mechanisms and downstream pathways involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.

  19. Molecular approach to the mechanisms of C-C bond formation and cleavage on metal surfaces: Hydrogenolysis, homologation, and dimerization of ethylene over Ru/SiO sub 2 catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez, E.; Leconte, M.; Basset, J.M.; Tanaka, K. )

    1989-09-01

    At temperatures above ca. 50 C, over Ru/SiO{sub 2} catalysts and in the presence of hydrogen, ethylene undergoes hydrogenation, hydrogenolysis, homologation, and dimerization reactions. The influence of contact times and reaction temperatures on conversions and selectivities has been examined. At low temperatures (mechanisms are proposed which involve either metallocarbene insertion-elimination reactions or formation and decomposition of dimetallacyclic intermediates. Several mechanisms are envisioned for dimerization of ethylene; experimental data seem to support a mechanism which involves formation and coupling of two ethylidene species.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. [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.

  3. Intelligence and embodiment: a statistical mechanics approach.

    PubMed

    Chinea, Alejandro; Korutcheva, Elka

    2013-04-01

    Evolutionary neuroscience has been mainly dominated by the principle of phylogenetic conservation, specifically, by the search for similarities in brain organization. This principle states that closely related species tend to be similar because they have a common ancestor. However, explaining, for instance, behavioral differences between humans and chimpanzees, has been revealed to be notoriously difficult. In this paper, the hypothesis of a common information-processing principle exploited by the brains evolved through natural evolution is explored. A model combining recent advances in cognitive psychology and evolutionary neuroscience is presented. The macroscopic effects associated with the intelligence-like structures postulated by the model are analyzed from a statistical mechanics point of view. As a result of this analysis, some plausible explanations are put forward concerning the disparities and similarities in cognitive capacities which are observed in nature across species. Furthermore, an interpretation on the efficiency of brain's computations is also provided. These theoretical results and their implications against modern theories of intelligence are shown to be consistent with the formulated hypothesis.

  4. Molecular mechanism of statin-mediated LOX-1 inhibition.

    PubMed

    Biocca, Silvia; Iacovelli, Federico; Matarazzo, Sara; Vindigni, Giulia; Oteri, Francesco; Desideri, Alessandro; Falconi, Mattia

    2015-01-01

    Statins are largely used in clinics in the treatment of patients with cardiovascular diseases for their effect on lowering circulating cholesterol. Lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LOX-1), the primary receptor for ox-LDL, plays a central role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disorders. We have recently shown that chronic exposure of cells to lovastatin disrupts LOX-1 receptor cluster distribution in plasma membranes, leading to a marked loss of LOX-1 function. Here we investigated the molecular mechanism of statin-mediated LOX-1 inhibition and we demonstrate that all tested statins are able to displace the binding of fluorescent ox-LDL to LOX-1 by a direct interaction with LOX-1 receptors in a cell-based binding assay. Molecular docking simulations confirm the interaction and indicate that statins completely fill the hydrophobic tunnel that crosses the C-type lectin-like (CTLD) recognition domain of LOX-1. Classical molecular dynamics simulation technique applied to the LOX-1 CTLD, considered in the entire receptor structure with or without a statin ligand inside the tunnel, indicates that the presence of a ligand largely increases the dimer stability. Electrophoretic separation and western blot confirm that different statins binding stabilize the dimer assembly of LOX-1 receptors in vivo. The simulative and experimental results allow us to propose a CTLD clamp motion, which enables the receptor-substrate coupling. These findings reveal a novel and significant functional effect of statins.

  5. Lactobacilli as multifaceted probiotics with poorly disclosed molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Turpin, Williams; Humblot, Christèle; Thomas, Muriel; Guyot, Jean-Pierre

    2010-10-15

    Lactic acid bacteria and more particularly lactobacilli have been used for the production of fermented foods for centuries. Several lactobacilli have been recognized as probiotics due to their wide range of health-promoting effects in humans. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underpinning their probiotic functions. Here we reviewed the main beneficial effects of lactobacilli and discussed, when the information is available, the molecular machinery involved in their probiotic function. Among the beneficial effects, lactobacilli can improve digestion, absorption and availability of nutrients. As an example, some strains are able to degrade carbohydrates such as lactose or α-galactosides that may cause abdominal pain. Furthermore, they can hydrolyze compounds that limit the bioavailability of minerals like tannin and phytate due to tannin acylhydrolase and phytase activities. In addition, it was shown that some lactobacilli strains can improve mineral absorption in Caco-2 cells. Lactobacilli can also contribute to improve the nutritional status of the host by producing B group vitamins. More recently, the role of lactobacilli in energy homeostasis, particularly in obese patients, is the object of an increased interest. Lactobacilli are also involved in the prevention of diseases. They have potential to prevent carcinogenesis through the modulation of enzymes involved in the xenobiotic pathway, and may prevent cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension through the production of a bioactive peptide that may have angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor activity. Lactobacilli are increasingly studied for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases and exhibit interesting potential in the reduction of pain perception. The ability of some strains to bind to intestinal cells, their pathogen-associated molecular patterns and the metabolites they produce confer interesting immunomodulatory effects. Finally, pathogenic fungi, virus or bacteria can be

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Aftershock Energy Distribution by Statistical Mechanics Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daminelli, R.; Marcellini, A.

    2015-12-01

    The aim of our work is to research the most probable distribution of the energy of aftershocks. We started by applying one of the fundamental principles of statistical mechanics that, in case of aftershock sequences, it could be expressed as: the greater the number of different ways in which the energy of aftershocks can be arranged among the energy cells in phase space the more probable the distribution. We assume that each cell in phase space has the same possibility to be occupied, and that more than one cell in the phase space can have the same energy. Seeing that seismic energy is proportional to products of different parameters, a number of different combinations of parameters can produce different energies (e.g., different combination of stress drop and fault area can release the same seismic energy). Let us assume that there are gi cells in the aftershock phase space characterised by the same energy released ɛi. Therefore we can assume that the Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics can be applied to aftershock sequences with the proviso that the judgment on the validity of this hypothesis is the agreement with the data. The aftershock energy distribution can therefore be written as follow: n(ɛ)=Ag(ɛ)exp(-βɛ)where n(ɛ) is the number of aftershocks with energy, ɛ, A and β are constants. Considering the above hypothesis, we can assume g(ɛ) is proportional to ɛ. We selected and analysed different aftershock sequences (data extracted from Earthquake Catalogs of SCEC, of INGV-CNT and other institutions) with a minimum magnitude retained ML=2 (in some cases ML=2.6) and a time window of 35 days. The results of our model are in agreement with the data, except in the very low energy band, where our model resulted in a moderate overestimation.

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Pulmonary Vascular Remodeling in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Leopold, Jane A.; Maron, Bradley A.

    2016-01-01

    Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease that is precipitated by hypertrophic pulmonary vascular remodeling of distal arterioles to increase pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance in the absence of left heart, lung parenchymal, or thromboembolic disease. Despite available medical therapy, pulmonary artery remodeling and its attendant hemodynamic consequences result in right ventricular dysfunction, failure, and early death. To limit morbidity and mortality, attention has focused on identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying aberrant pulmonary artery remodeling to identify pathways for intervention. While there is a well-recognized heritable genetic component to PAH, there is also evidence of other genetic perturbations, including pulmonary vascular cell DNA damage, activation of the DNA damage response, and variations in microRNA expression. These findings likely contribute, in part, to dysregulation of proliferation and apoptosis signaling pathways akin to what is observed in cancer; changes in cellular metabolism, metabolic flux, and mitochondrial function; and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition as key signaling pathways that promote pulmonary vascular remodeling. This review will highlight recent advances in the field with an emphasis on the aforementioned molecular mechanisms as contributors to the pulmonary vascular disease pathophenotype. PMID:27213345

  10. Molecular mechanisms of ROS production and oxidative stress in diabetes.

    PubMed

    Newsholme, Philip; Cruzat, Vinicius Fernandes; Keane, Kevin Noel; Carlessi, Rodrigo; de Bittencourt, Paulo Ivo Homem

    2016-12-15

    Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are known to be associated with the development of metabolic diseases, including diabetes. Oxidative stress, an imbalance between oxidative and antioxidative systems of cells and tissues, is a result of over production of oxidative-free radicals and associated reactive oxygen species (ROS). One outcome of excessive levels of ROS is the modification of the structure and function of cellular proteins and lipids, leading to cellular dysfunction including impaired energy metabolism, altered cell signalling and cell cycle control, impaired cell transport mechanisms and overall dysfunctional biological activity, immune activation and inflammation. Nutritional stress, such as that caused by excess high-fat and/or carbohydrate diets, promotes oxidative stress as evident by increased lipid peroxidation products, protein carbonylation and decreased antioxidant status. In obesity, chronic oxidative stress and associated inflammation are the underlying factors that lead to the development of pathologies such as insulin resistance, dysregulated pathways of metabolism, diabetes and cardiovascular disease through impaired signalling and metabolism resulting in dysfunction to insulin secretion, insulin action and immune responses. However, exercise may counter excessive levels of oxidative stress and thus improve metabolic and inflammatory outcomes. In the present article, we review the cellular and molecular origins and significance of ROS production, the molecular targets and responses describing how oxidative stress affects cell function including mechanisms of insulin secretion and action, from the point of view of possible application of novel diabetic therapies based on redox regulation.

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of Phosphorus Metabolism and Transport during Leaf Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Stigter, Kyla A.; Plaxton, William C.

    2015-01-01

    Leaf senescence, being the final developmental stage of the leaf, signifies the transition from a mature, photosynthetically active organ to the attenuation of said function and eventual death of the leaf. During senescence, essential nutrients sequestered in the leaf, such as phosphorus (P), are mobilized and transported to sink tissues, particularly expanding leaves and developing seeds. Phosphorus recycling is crucial, as it helps to ensure that previously acquired P is not lost to the environment, particularly under the naturally occurring condition where most unfertilized soils contain low levels of soluble orthophosphate (Pi), the only form of P that roots can directly assimilate from the soil. Piecing together the molecular mechanisms that underpin the highly variable efficiencies of P remobilization from senescing leaves by different plant species may be critical for devising effective strategies for improving overall crop P-use efficiency. Maximizing Pi remobilization from senescing leaves using selective breeding and/or biotechnological strategies will help to generate P-efficient crops that would minimize the use of unsustainable and polluting Pi-containing fertilizers in agriculture. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms whereby P is remobilized from senescing leaves and transported to sink tissues, which encompasses the action of hormones, transcription factors, Pi-scavenging enzymes, and Pi transporters. PMID:27135351

  12. Zinc and diabetes--clinical links and molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jansen, Judith; Karges, Wolfram; Rink, Lothar

    2009-06-01

    Zinc is an essential trace element crucial for the function of more than 300 enzymes and it is important for cellular processes like cell division and apoptosis. Hence, the concentration of zinc in the human body is tightly regulated and disturbances of zinc homeostasis have been associated with several diseases including diabetes mellitus, a disease characterized by high blood glucose concentrations as a consequence of decreased secretion or action of insulin. Zinc supplementation of animals and humans has been shown to ameliorate glycemic control in type 1 and 2 diabetes, the two major forms of diabetes mellitus, but the underlying molecular mechanisms have only slowly been elucidated. Zinc seems to exert insulin-like effects by supporting the signal transduction of insulin and by reducing the production of cytokines, which lead to beta-cell death during the inflammatory process in the pancreas in the course of the disease. Furthermore, zinc might play a role in the development of diabetes, since genetic polymorphisms in the gene of zinc transporter 8 and in metallothionein (MT)-encoding genes could be demonstrated to be associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The fact that antibodies against this zinc transporter have been detected in type 1 diabetic patients offers new diagnostic possibilities. This article reviews the influence of zinc on the diabetic state including the molecular mechanisms, the role of the zinc transporter 8 and MT for diabetes development and the resulting diagnostic and therapeutic options.

  13. Molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolones resistance in Mycoplasma hominis clinical isolates.

    PubMed

    Meng, Dong-Ya; Sun, Chang-Jian; Yu, Jing-Bo; Ma, Jun; Xue, Wen-Cheng

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolones resistance in Mycoplasma hominis (MH) clinical strains isolated from urogenital specimens. 15 MH clinical isolates with different phenotypes of resistance to fluoroquinolones antibiotics were screened for mutations in the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDRs) of DNA gyrase (gyrA and gyrB) and topoisomerase IV (parC and parE) in comparison with the reference strain PG21, which is susceptible to fluoroquinolones antibiotics. 15 MH isolates with three kinds of quinolone resistance phenotypes were obtained. Thirteen out of these quinolone-resistant isolates were found to carry nucleotide substitutions in either gyrA or parC. There were no alterations in gyrB and no mutations were found in the isolates with a phenotype of resistance to Ofloxacin (OFX), intermediate resistant to Levofloxacin (LVX) and Sparfloxacin (SFX), and those susceptible to all three tested antibiotics. The molecular mechanism of fluoroquinolone resistance in clinical isolates of MH was reported in this study. The single amino acid mutation in ParC of MH may relate to the resistance to OFX and LVX and the high-level resistance to fluoroquinolones for MH is likely associated with mutations in both DNA gyrase and the ParC subunit of topoisomerase IV.

  14. Molecular mechanisms of the plant heat stress response

    SciTech Connect

    Qu, Ai-Li; Ding, Yan-Fei; Jiang, Qiong; Zhu, Cheng

    2013-03-08

    Highlights: ► This review elaborates the response networks of heat stress in plants. ► It elaborates proteins responding to heat stress in special physiological period. ► The proteins and pathways have formed a basic network of the heat stress response. ► Achievements of the various technologies are also combined. -- Abstract: High temperature has become a global concern, which seriously affects the growth and production of plants, particularly crops. Thus, the molecular mechanism of the heat stress response and breeding of heat-tolerant plants is necessary to protect food production and ensure crop safety. This review elaborates on the response networks of heat stress in plants, including the Hsf and Hsp response pathways, the response of ROS and the network of the hormones. In addition, the production of heat stress response elements during particular physiological periods of the plant is described. We also discuss the existing problems and future prospects concerning the molecular mechanisms of the heat stress response in plants.

  15. Statistical mechanics approach to lock-key supramolecular chemistry interactions.

    PubMed

    Odriozola, Gerardo; Lozada-Cassou, Marcelo

    2013-03-08

    In the supramolecular chemistry field, intuitive concepts such as molecular complementarity and molecular recognition are used to explain the mechanism of lock-key associations. However, these concepts lack a precise definition, and consequently this mechanism is not well defined and understood. Here we address the physical basis of this mechanism, based on formal statistical mechanics, through Monte Carlo simulation and compare our results with recent experimental data for charged or uncharged lock-key colloids. We find that, given the size range of the molecules involved in these associations, the entropy contribution, driven by the solvent, rules the interaction, over that of the enthalpy. A universal behavior for the uncharged lock-key association is found. Based on our results, we propose a supramolecular chemistry definition.

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Biological Aging in Intervertebral Discs

    PubMed Central

    Vo, Nam V.; Hartman, Robert A.; Patil, Prashanti R.; Risbud, Makarand V.; Kletsas, Dimitris; Iatridis, James C.; Hoyland, Judith A.; Le Maitre, Christine L.; Sowa, Gwendolyn A.; Kang, James D.

    2016-01-01

    Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for the majority of human ailments, including spine-related chronic disability and back pain, which stem from age-associated intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Given the rapid global rise in the aging population, understanding the biology of intervertebral disc aging in order to develop effective therapeutic interventions to combat the adverse effects of aging on disc health is now imperative. Fortunately, recent advances in aging research have begun to shed light on the basic biological process of aging. Here we review some of these insights and organize the complex process of disc aging into three different phases to guide research efforts to understand the biology of disc aging. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge and the recent progress made to elucidate specific molecular mechanisms underlying disc aging. In particular, studies over the last few years have uncovered cellular senescence and genomic instability as important drivers of disc aging. Supporting evidence comes from DNA repair-deficient animal models that show increased disc cellular senescence and accelerated disc aging. Additionally, stress-induced senescent cells have now been well documented to secrete catabolic factors, which can negatively impact the physiology of neighboring cells and ECM. These along with other molecular drivers of aging are reviewed in depth to shed crucial insights into the underlying mechanisms of age-related disc degeneration. We also highlight molecular targets for novel therapies and emerging candidate therapeutics that may mitigate age-associated IDD. PMID:26890203

  17. Towards identification of molecular mechanisms of short stature

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Growth evaluations are among the most common referrals to pediatric endocrinologists. Although a number of pathologies, both primary endocrine and non-endocrine, can present with short stature, an estimated 80% of evaluations fail to identify a clear etiology, leaving a default designation of idiopathic short stature (ISS). As a group, several features among children with ISS are suggestive of pathophysiology of the GH–IGF-1 axis, including low serum levels of IGF-1 despite normal GH secretion. Candidate gene analysis of rare cases has demonstrated that severe mutations of genes of the GH–IGF-1 axis can present with a profound height phenotype, leading to speculation that a collection of mild mutations or polymorphisms of these genes can explain poor growth in a larger proportion of patients. Recent genome-wide association studies have identified ~180 genomic loci associated with height that together account for approximately 10% of height variation. With only modest representation of the GH–IGF-1 axis, there is little support for the long-held hypothesis that common genetic variants of the hormone pathway provide the molecular mechanism for poor growth in a substantial proportion of individuals. The height-associated common variants are not observed in the anticipated frequency in the shortest individuals, suggesting rare genetic factors with large effect are more plausible in this group. As we advance towards establishing a molecular mechanism for poor growth in a greater percentage of those currently labeled ISS, we highlight two strategies that will likely be offered with increasing frequency: (1) unbiased genetic technologies including array analysis for copy number variation and whole exome/genome sequencing and (2) epigenetic alterations of key genomic loci. Ultimately data from subsets with similar molecular etiologies may emerge that will allow tailored interventions to achieve the best clinical outcome. PMID:24257104

  18. Molecular Mechanisms of Cognitive & Behavioral Co-Morbidities of Epilepsy in Children

    PubMed Central

    Brooks-Kayal, Amy

    2010-01-01

    Summary Intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) such as Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and epilepsies are heterogeneous disorders that have diverse etiologies and pathophysiologies. The high rate of co-occurrence of these disorders, however, suggest potentially shared underlying mechanisms. A number of well-known genetic disorders share epilepsy, intellectual disability and autism as prominent phenotypic features, including tuberous sclerosis, Rett syndrome, and fragile X. In addition, mutations of several genes involved in neurodevelopment, including ARX, DCX, neuroligins and neuropilin2 have been identified in children with epilepsy, IDD, ASD or a combination of thereof. Finally, in animal models, early life seizures can result in cellular and molecular changes that could contribute to learning and behavioral disabilities. Increased understanding of the common genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms of IDD, ASD and epilepsy may provide insight into their underlying pathophysiology and elucidate new therapeutic approaches for these conditions. PMID:21214535

  19. Molecular mechanisms in deformation of cross-linked hydrogel nanocomposite.

    PubMed

    Mathesan, Santhosh; Rath, Amrita; Ghosh, Pijush

    2016-02-01

    The self-folding behavior in response to external stimuli observed in hydrogels is potentially used in biomedical applications. However, the use of hydrogels is limited because of its reduced mechanical properties. These properties are enhanced when the hydrogels are cross-linked and reinforced with nanoparticles. In this work, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is applied to perform uniaxial tension and pull out tests to understand the mechanism contributing towards the enhanced mechanical properties. Also, nanomechanical characterization is performed using quasi static nanoindentation experiments to determine the Young's modulus of hydrogels in the presence of nanoparticles. The stress-strain responses for chitosan (CS), chitosan reinforced with hydroxyapatite (HAP) and cross-linked chitosan are obtained from uniaxial tension test. It is observed that the Young's modulus and maximum stress increase as the HAP content increases and also with cross-linking process. Load displacement plot from pullout test is compared for uncross-linked and cross-linked chitosan chains on hydroxyapatite surface. MD simulation reveals that the variation in the dihedral conformation of chitosan chains and the evolution of internal structural variables are associated with mechanical properties. Additional results reveal that the formation of hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions is responsible for the above variations in different systems.

  20. Probabilistic Approach to Teaching the Principles of Quantum Mechanics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Santos, Emilio

    1976-01-01

    Approaches the representation of quantum mechanics through Hilbert space postulates. Demonstrates that if the representation is to be accurate, an evolution operator of the form of a Hamiltonian must be used. (CP)

  1. MOLECULAR MECHANISM OF MICROBIAL TECHNETIUM REDUCTION FINAL REPORT

    SciTech Connect

    DiChristina, Thomas J.

    2013-04-30

    Microbial Tc(VII) reduction is an attractive alternative strategy for bioremediation of technetium-contaminated subsurface environments. Traditional ex situ remediation processes (e.g., adsorption or ion exchange) are often limited by poor extraction efficiency, inhibition by competing ions and production of large volumes of produced waste. Microbial Tc(VII) reduction provides an attractive alternative in situ remediation strategy since the reduced end-product Tc(IV) precipitates as TcO2, a highly insoluble hydrous oxide. Despite its potential benefits, the molecular mechanism of microbial Tc(VII) reduction remains poorly understood. The main goal of the proposed DOENABIR research project is to determine the molecular mechanism of microbial Tc(VII) reduction. Random mutagenesis studies in our lab have resulted in generation of a set of six Tc(VII) reduction-deficient mutants of Shewanella oneidensis. The anaerobic respiratory deficiencies of each Tc(VII) reduction-deficient mutant was determined by anaerobic growth on various combinations of three electron donors and 14 terminal electron acceptors. Results indicated that the electron transport pathways to Tc(VII), NO3 -, Mn(III) and U(VI) share common structural or regulatory components. In addition, we have recently found that wild-type Shewanella are also able to reduce Tc(IV) as electron acceptor, producing Tc(III) as an end-product. The recent genome sequencing of a variety of technetium-reducing bacteria and the anticipated release of several additional genome sequences in the coming year, provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to determine the mechanism of microbial technetium reduction across species and genus lines.

  2. Molecular mechanisms of asbestos-induced lung epithelial cell apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Gang; Beri, Rohinee; Mueller, Amanda; Kamp, David W

    2010-11-05

    Asbestos causes pulmonary fibrosis (asbestosis) and malignancies (bronchogenic lung cancer and mesothelioma) by mechanisms that are not fully elucidated. Accumulating evidence show that alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) apoptosis is a crucial initiating and perpetuating event in the development of pulmonary fibrosis following exposure to a wide variety of noxious stimuli, including asbestos. We review the important molecular mechanisms underlying asbestos-induced AEC apoptosis. Specifically, we focus on the role of asbestos in augmenting AEC apoptosis by the mitochondria- and p53-regulated death pathways that result from the production of iron-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) and DNA damage. We summarize emerging evidence implicating the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response in AEC apoptosis in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a disease with similarities to asbestosis. Finally, we discuss a recent finding that a mitochondrial oxidative DNA repair enzyme (8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase; Ogg1) acts as a mitochondrial aconitase chaperone protein to prevent oxidant (asbestos and H(2)O(2))-induced AEC mitochondrial dysfunction and intrinsic apoptosis. The coupling of mitochondrial Ogg1 to mitochondrial aconitase is a novel mechanism linking metabolism to mitochondrial DNA that may be important in the pathophysiologic events resulting in oxidant-induced toxicity as seen in tumors, aging, and respiratory disorders (e.g. asbestosis, IPF). Collectively, these studies are illuminating the molecular basis of AEC apoptosis following asbestos exposure that may prove useful for developing novel therapeutic strategies. Importantly, the asbestos paradigm is elucidating pathophysiologic insights into other more common pulmonary diseases, such as IPF and lung cancer, for which better therapy is required.

  3. Computerized approaches to enhance understanding of organic reaction mechanisms: CAN reaction mechanisms and CPLEX prelaboratory methodology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Shammari, Abdulrahman G. Alhamzani

    2008-10-01

    Two approaches to enhance the understanding of organic reaction mechanisms are described. First, a new method for teaching organic reaction mechanisms that can be used in a Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) environment is proposed and tested (Chapter 1). The method concentrates upon the important intermediate structures, which are assumed to be on the reaction coordinate, and which can be evaluated and graded by currently available computer techniques. At the same time, the "curved arrows" that show the electron flow in a reaction mechanism are neglected, since they cannot be evaluated and graded with currently available computer techniques. By allowing student practice for learning organic reaction mechanisms using the Curved Arrow Neglect (CAN) method within a "Practice Makes Perfect" CAI method, student performance in the drawing of traditional reaction mechanisms, in which students had to include the "curved arrows" on their written classroom exams, was significantly enhanced. Second, computerized prelaboratory experiments (CPLEX) for organic chemistry laboratory 1 & 2 courses have been created, used, and evaluated (Chapters 2 and 3). These computerized prelabs are unique because they combine both "dry lab" actions with detailed animations of the actual chemistry occurring at the molecular level. The "dry lab" serves to simulate the actual physical manipulations of equipment and chemicals that occur in the laboratory experiment through the use of drag-and-drop computer technology. At the same time, these physical actions are accompanied on a separate part of the computer screen by animations showing the chemistry at the molecular level that is occurring in the experiment. These CPLEX modules were made into Internet accessible modules. The students were allowed to access the CPLEX modules prior to performing the actual laboratory experiment. A detailed evaluation of students' perception of the modules was accomplished via survey methodology during the entire

  4. Using Molecular Mechanics to Predict Bulk Material Properties of Fibronectin Fibers

    PubMed Central

    Bradshaw, Mark J.; Cheung, Man C.; Ehrlich, Daniel J.; Smith, Michael L.

    2012-01-01

    The structural proteins of the extracellular matrix (ECM) form fibers with finely tuned mechanical properties matched to the time scales of cell traction forces. Several proteins such as fibronectin (Fn) and fibrin undergo molecular conformational changes that extend the proteins and are believed to be a major contributor to the extensibility of bulk fibers. The dynamics of these conformational changes have been thoroughly explored since the advent of single molecule force spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations but remarkably, these data have not been rigorously applied to the understanding of the time dependent mechanics of bulk ECM fibers. Using measurements of protein density within fibers, we have examined the influence of dynamic molecular conformational changes and the intermolecular arrangement of Fn within fibers on the bulk mechanical properties of Fn fibers. Fibers were simulated as molecular strands with architectures that promote either equal or disparate molecular loading under conditions of constant extension rate. Measurements of protein concentration within micron scale fibers using deep ultraviolet transmission microscopy allowed the simulations to be scaled appropriately for comparison to in vitro measurements of fiber mechanics as well as providing estimates of fiber porosity and water content, suggesting Fn fibers are approximately 75% solute. Comparing the properties predicted by single molecule measurements to in vitro measurements of Fn fibers showed that domain unfolding is sufficient to predict the high extensibility and nonlinear stiffness of Fn fibers with surprising accuracy, with disparately loaded fibers providing the best fit to experiment. This work shows the promise of this microstructural modeling approach for understanding Fn fiber properties, which is generally applicable to other ECM fibers, and could be further expanded to tissue scale by incorporating these simulated fibers into three dimensional network models. PMID

  5. Structures and stabilities of diacetylene-expanded polyhedranes by quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics.

    PubMed

    Jarowski, Peter D; Diederich, François; Houk, Kendall N

    2005-03-04

    The structures, heats of formation, and strain energies of diacetylene (buta-1,3-diynediyl) expanded molecules have been computed with ab initio and molecular mechanics calculations. Expanded cubane, prismane, tetrahedrane, and expanded monocyclics and bicyclics were optimized at the HF/6-31G(d) and B3LYP/6-31G(d) levels. The heats of formation of these systems were obtained from isodesmic equations at the HF/6-31G(d) level. Heats of formation were also calculated from Benson group equivalents. The strain energies of these expanded molecules were estimated by several independent methods. An adapted MM3 molecular mechanics force field, specifically parametrized to treat conjugated acetylene units, was employed for one measure of strain energy and as an additional method for structural analysis. Expanded dodecahedrane and icosahedrane were calculated by this method. Expanded molecules were considered structurally in the context of their potential material applications.

  6. Exactly Solvable Quantum Mechanical Potentials: An Alternative Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pronchik, Jeremy N.; Williams, Brian W.

    2003-01-01

    Describes an alternative approach to finding exactly solvable, one-dimensional quantum mechanical potentials. Differs from the usual approach in that instead of starting with a particular potential and seeking solutions to the related Schrodinger equations, it begins with known solutions to second-order ordinary differential equations and seeks to…

  7. Molecular mechanism of action of fluoride on bone cells.

    PubMed

    Lau, K H; Baylink, D J

    1998-11-01

    Fluoride is an effective anabolic agent to increase spinal bone density by increasing bone formation, and at therapeutically relevant (i.e., micromolar) concentrations, it stimulates bone cell proliferation and activities in vitro and in vivo. However, the fluoride therapy of osteoporosis has been controversial, in large part because of a lack of consistent antifracture efficacy. However, information regarding the molecular mechanism of action of fluoride may improve its optimum and correct usage and may disclose potential targets for the development of new second generation drugs that might have a better efficacy and safety profile. Accordingly, this review will address the molecular mechanisms of the osteogenic action of fluoride. In this regard, we and other workers have proposed two competing models, both of which involve the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) mitogenic signal transduction pathway. Our model involves a fluoride inhibition of a unique fluoride-sensitive phosphotyrosine phosphatase (PTP) in osteoblasts, which results in a sustained increase in the tyrosine phosphorylation level of the key signaling proteins of the MAPK mitogenic transduction pathway, leading to the potentiation of the bone cell proliferation initiated by growth factors. The competing model proposes that fluoride acts in coordination with aluminum to form fluoroaluminate, which activates a pertussis toxin-sensitive Gi/o protein on bone cell membrane, leading to an activation of cellular protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs), which in turn leads to increases in the tyrosine phosphorylation of signaling proteins of the MAPK mitogenic signal transduction pathway, ultimately leading to a stimulation of cell proliferation. A benefit of our model, but not the other model, is that it accounts for all the unique properties of the osteogenic action of fluoride. These include the low effective fluoride dose, the skeletal tissue specificity, the requirement of PTK-activating growth factors

  8. A multilayered representation, quantum mechanical and molecular mechanics study of the CH3 F + OH(-) reaction in water.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jie; Xu, Yulong; Wang, Dunyou

    2014-03-05

    The bimolecular nucleophilic substitution (SN 2) reaction of CH3 F + OH(-) in aqueous solution was investigated using a combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanics approach. Reactant complex, transition state, and product complex along the reaction pathway were analyzed in water. The potentials of mean force were calculated using a multilayered representation with the DFT and CCSD(T) level of theory for the reactive region. The obtained free energy activation barrier for this reaction at the CCSD(T)/MM representation is 18.3 kcal/mol which agrees well with the experimental value at ∼21.6 kcal/mol. Both the solvation effect and solute polarization effect play key roles on raising the activation barrier height in aqueous solution, with the former raising the barrier height by 3.1 kcal/mol, the latter 1.5 kcal/mol.

  9. Cellular and molecular mechanisms for the bone response to mechanical loading

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomfield, S. A.

    2001-01-01

    To define the cellular and molecular mechanisms for the osteogenic response of bone to increased loading, several key steps must be defined: sensing of the mechanical signal by cells in bone, transduction of the mechanical signal to a biochemical one, and transmission of that biochemical signal to effector cells. Osteocytes are likely to serve as sensors of loading, probably via interstitial fluid flow produced during loading. Evidence is presented for the role of integrins, the cell's actin cytoskeleton, G proteins, and various intracellular signaling pathways in transducing that mechanical signal to a biochemical one. Nitric oxide, prostaglandins, and insulin-like growth factors all play important roles in these pathways. There is growing evidence for modulation of these mechanotransduction steps by endocrine factors, particularly parathyroid hormone and estrogen. The efficiency of this process is also impaired in the aged animal, yet what remains undefined is at what step mechanotransduction is affected.

  10. Aging and Immune Function: Molecular Mechanisms to Interventions

    PubMed Central

    Ponnappan, Subramaniam

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The immune system of an organism is an essential component of the defense mechanism aimed at combating pathogenic stress. Age-associated immune dysfunction, also dubbed “immune senescence,” manifests as increased susceptibility to infections, increased onset and progression of autoimmune diseases, and onset of neoplasia. Over the years, extensive research has generated consensus in terms of the phenotypic and functional defects within the immune system in various organisms, including humans. Indeed, age-associated alterations such as thymic involution, T cell repertoire skewing, decreased ability to activate naïve T cells and to generate robust memory responses, have been shown to have a causative role in immune decline. Further, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of proteotoxic stress, DNA damage response, modulation of ubiquitin proteasome pathway, and regulation of transcription factor NFκB activation, in immune decline, have paved the way to delineating signaling pathways that cross-talk and impact immune senescence. Given the role of the immune system in combating infections, its effectiveness with age may well be a marker of health and a predictor of longevity. It is therefore believed that a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying immune senescence will lead to an effective interventional strategy aimed at improving the health span of individuals. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 1551–1585. PMID:20812785

  11. Mechanical Properties of Nanostructured Materials Determined Through Molecular Modeling Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for gains in material properties over conventional materials has motivated an effort to develop novel nanostructured materials for aerospace applications. These novel materials typically consist of a polymer matrix reinforced with particles on the nanometer length scale. In this study, molecular modeling is used to construct fully atomistic models of a carbon nanotube embedded in an epoxy polymer matrix. Functionalization of the nanotube which consists of the introduction of direct chemical bonding between the polymer matrix and the nanotube, hence providing a load transfer mechanism, is systematically varied. The relative effectiveness of functionalization in a nanostructured material may depend on a variety of factors related to the details of the chemical bonding and the polymer structure at the nanotube-polymer interface. The objective of this modeling is to determine what influence the details of functionalization of the carbon nanotube with the polymer matrix has on the resulting mechanical properties. By considering a range of degree of functionalization, the structure-property relationships of these materials is examined and mechanical properties of these models are calculated using standard techniques.

  12. Mechanical properties of borophene films: a reactive molecular dynamics investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quy Le, Minh; Mortazavi, Bohayra; Rabczuk, Timon

    2016-11-01

    The most recent experimental advances could provide ways for the fabrication of several atomic thick and planar forms of boron atoms. For the first time, we explore the mechanical properties of five types of boron films with various vacancy ratios ranging from 0.1-0.15, using molecular dynamics simulations with ReaxFF force field. It is found that the Young’s modulus and tensile strength decrease with increasing the temperature. We found that boron sheets exhibit an anisotropic mechanical response due to the different arrangement of atoms along the armchair and zigzag directions. At room temperature, 2D Young’s modulus and fracture stress of these five sheets appear in the range 63-136 N m-1 and 12-19 N m-1, respectively. In addition, the strains at tensile strength are in the ranges of 9%-14%, 11%-19%, and 10%-16% at 1, 300, and 600 K, respectively. This investigation not only reveals the remarkable stiffness of 2D boron, but establishes relations between the mechanical properties of the boron sheets to the loading direction, temperature and atomic structures.

  13. Causes, effects and molecular mechanisms of testicular heat stress.

    PubMed

    Durairajanayagam, Damayanthi; Agarwal, Ashok; Ong, Chloe

    2015-01-01

    The process of spermatogenesis is temperature-dependent and occurs optimally at temperatures slightly lower than that of the body. Adequate thermoregulation is imperative to maintain testicular temperatures at levels lower than that of the body core. Raised testicular temperature has a detrimental effect on mammalian spermatogenesis and the resultant spermatozoa. Therefore, thermoregulatory failure leading to heat stress can compromise sperm quality and increase the risk of infertility. In this paper, several different types of external and internal factors that may contribute towards testicular heat stress are reviewed. The effects of heat stress on the process of spermatogenesis, the resultant epididymal spermatozoa and on germ cells, and the consequent changes in the testis are elaborated upon. We also discuss the molecular response of germ cells to heat exposure and the possible mechanisms involved in heat-induced germ cell damage, including apoptosis, DNA damage and autophagy. Further, the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways that are involved in the intricate mechanism of germ cell apoptosis are explained. Ultimately, these complex mechanisms of apoptosis lead to germ cell death.

  14. Tea and cancer prevention: Molecular mechanisms and human relevance

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Chung S. Lambert, Joshua D.; Ju Jihyeung; Lu Gang; Sang Shengmin

    2007-11-01

    Tea made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis is a popular beverage. The possible cancer-preventive activity of tea and tea polyphenols has been studied extensively. This article briefly reviews studies in animal models, cell lines, and possible relevance of these studies to the prevention of human cancer. The cancer-preventive activity of tea constituents have been demonstrated in many animal models including cancer of the skin, lung, oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, small intestine, colon, bladder, prostate, and mammary gland. The major active constituents are polyphenols, of which (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is most abundant, most active, and most studied, and caffeine. The molecular mechanisms of the cancer-preventive action, however, are just beginning to be understood. Studies in cell lines led to the proposal of many mechanisms on the action of EGCG. However, mechanisms based on studies with very high concentrations of EGCG may not be relevant to cancer prevention in vivo. The autooxidation of EGCG in cell culture may also produce activities that do not occur in many internal organs. In contrast to the cancer prevention activity demonstrated in different animal models, no such conclusion can be convincingly drawn from epidemiological studies on tea consumption and human cancers. Even though the human data are inconclusive, tea constituents may still be used for the prevention of cancer at selected organ sites if sufficient concentrations of the agent can be delivered to these organs. Some interesting examples in this area are discussed.

  15. Small-Molecule Hormones: Molecular Mechanisms of Action

    PubMed Central

    Budzińska, Monika

    2013-01-01

    Small-molecule hormones play crucial roles in the development and in the maintenance of an adult mammalian organism. On the molecular level, they regulate a plethora of biological pathways. Part of their actions depends on their transcription-regulating properties, exerted by highly specific nuclear receptors which are hormone-dependent transcription factors. Nuclear hormone receptors interact with coactivators, corepressors, basal transcription factors, and other transcription factors in order to modulate the activity of target genes in a manner that is dependent on tissue, age and developmental and pathophysiological states. The biological effect of this mechanism becomes apparent not earlier than 30–60 minutes after hormonal stimulus. In addition, small-molecule hormones modify the function of the cell by a number of nongenomic mechanisms, involving interaction with proteins localized in the plasma membrane, in the cytoplasm, as well as with proteins localized in other cellular membranes and in nonnuclear cellular compartments. The identity of such proteins is still under investigation; however, it seems that extranuclear fractions of nuclear hormone receptors commonly serve this function. A direct interaction of small-molecule hormones with membrane phospholipids and with mRNA is also postulated. In these mechanisms, the reaction to hormonal stimulus appears within seconds or minutes. PMID:23533406

  16. Environmental antiandrogens: developmental effects, molecular mechanisms, and clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Kelce, W R; Wilson, E M

    1997-03-01

    Industrial chemicals and environmental pollutants can disrupt reproductive development in wildlife and humans by mimicking or inhibiting the action of the gonadal steroid hormones, estradiol and testosterone. The toxicity of these so-called environmental endocrine disruptors is especially insidious during sex differentiation and development due to the crucial role of gonadal steroid hormones in regulating these processes. This review describes the mechanism of toxicity and clinical implications of a new class of environmental chemicals that inhibit androgen-mediated sex development. For several of these chemicals, including the agricultural fungicide vinclozolin and the ubiquitous and persistent 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)ethane metabolite, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethylene, the molecular mechanism of action and the adverse developmental effects on male sex differentiation have been elucidated and are used as examples. Environmental chemicals with antiandrogenic activity offer profound implications with regard to recent clinical observations that suggest an increasing incidence of human male genital tract malformations, male infertility, and female breast cancer. Finally, in light of increasing concern over the potential endocrine disrupting effects of environmental pollutants, an in vitro/in vivo investigational strategy is presented which has proved useful in identifying chemicals with antiandrogen activity and their mechanism of action.

  17. Molecular mechanisms of alpha-fetoprotein gene expression.

    PubMed

    Lazarevich, N L

    2000-01-01

    Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is the main component of mammalian fetal serum. It is synthesized by visceral endoderm of the yolk sac and by fetal liver. Immediately after birth AFP level in blood decreases dramatically. AFP synthesis is reactivated in liver tumors and germinogeneous teratoblastomas, in a lesser degree after chemical and mechanical liver injuries followed by regeneration (i.e., acute viral hepatitis). AFP blood level change is an important marker for liver tumors that is widely used in clinical practice. Therefore, the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms participating in regulation of the oncoembryonal protein AFP is an important task. On various experimental models it has been shown that the expression is regulated mainly on the transcriptional level, the AFP gene having a 7 kb regulatory region upstream. Within this region a tissue-specific promoter, three independent enhancers, and a silencer that is at least partially responsible for AFP gene expression decrease in adult liver have been defined. Some ubiquitous and some tissue-specific transcription factors, including hepatocyte nuclear factors (HNFs), which mediate the transcription of most of the liver-specific genes, have been shown to bind to the promoter. However, the mechanisms determining drastic changes of AFP synthesis level in the course of ontogenesis and carcinogenesis remain incompletely clarified. Also, little is known about negative regulators of AFP gene expression in cells of non-hepatic origin and in adult liver.

  18. [Radiation-induced genomic instability: phenomenon, molecular mechanisms, pathogenetic significance].

    PubMed

    Mazurik, V K; Mikhaĭlov, V F

    2001-01-01

    The recent data on the radiation-induced genome instability as a special state of progeny of cells irradiated in vitro as well as after a whole body exposure to ionizing radiation, that make these cells considerably different from normal, unirradiated cells, were considered. This state presents a number of cytogenetical, molecular-biological, cytological and biochemical manifestations untypical for normal cells. The state is controlled by the mechanisms of regulation of checkpoints of cell cycle, and apoptosis, that is under gene p53 control. The proof has been found that this state transfers from irradiated maternal cells to their surviving progeny by the epigenetical mechanisms and would exist until the cells restore the original state of response on the DNA damage. From the point of view of the genome instability conception, that considers the chromatine rearrangement as the adaptive-evolution mechanism of adaptation of the species to changeable environmental conditions, the radiation-induced genome instability may be considered as transition of irradiated progeny to the state of read these to adaptation changes with two alternative pathways. The first leads to adaptation to enviromental conditions and restoring of normal cell functions. The second presents the cell transition into the transformed state with remain genome instability and with increase of tumour growth probability.

  19. Cellular and molecular investigations of the adhesion and mechanics of Listeria monocytogenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eskhan, Asma Omar

    Atomic force microscopy has been used to quantify the adherence and mechanical properties of an array of L. monocytogenes strains and their surface biopolymers. First, eight L. monocytogenes strains that represented the two major lineages of the species were compared for their adherence and mechanics at cellular and molecular levels. Our results indicated that strains of lineage' II were characterized by higher adhesion and Young's moduli, longer and more rigid surface biopolymers and lower specific and nonspecific forces when compared to lineage' I strains. Additionally, adherence and mechanical properties of eight L. monocytogenes epidemic and environmental strains were probed. Our results pointed to that environmental and epidemic strains representative of a given lineage were similar in their adherence and mechanical properties when investigated at a cellular level. However, when the molecular properties of the strains were considered, epidemic strains were characterized by higher specific and nonspecific forces, shorter, denser and more flexible biopolymers compared to environmental strains. Second, the role of environmental pH conditions of growth on the adhesion and mechanics of a pathogenic L. monocytogenes EGDe was investigated. Our results pointed to a transition in the adhesion energies for cells cultured at pH 7. In addition, when the types of molecular forces that govern the adhesion were quantified using Poisson statistical approach and using a new proposed method, specific hydrogen-bond energies dominated the bacterial adhesion process. Such a finding is instrumental to researchers designing methods to control bacterial adhesion. Similarly, bacterial cells underwent a transition in their mechanical properties. We have shown that cells cultured at pH 7 were the most rigid compared to those cultured in lower or higher pH conditions of growth. Due to transitions observed in adherence and mechanics when cells were cultured at pH 7, we hypothesized that

  20. Molecular mechanisms responsible for hydrate anti-agglomerant performance.

    PubMed

    Phan, Anh; Bui, Tai; Acosta, Erick; Krishnamurthy, Pushkala; Striolo, Alberto

    2016-09-28

    Steered and equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations were employed to study the coalescence of a sI hydrate particle and a water droplet within a hydrocarbon mixture. The size of both the hydrate particle and the water droplet is comparable to that of the aqueous core in reverse micelles. The simulations were repeated in the presence of various quaternary ammonium chloride surfactants. We investigated the effects due to different groups on the quaternary head group (e.g. methyl vs. butyl groups), as well as different hydrophobic tail lengths (e.g. n-hexadecyl vs. n-dodecyl tails) on the surfactants' ability to prevent coalescence. Visual inspection of sequences of simulation snapshots indicates that when the water droplet is not covered by surfactants it is more likely to approach the hydrate particle, penetrate the protective surfactant film, reach the hydrate surface, and coalesce with the hydrate than when surfactants are present on both surfaces. Force-distance profiles obtained from steered molecular dynamics simulations and free energy profiles obtained from umbrella sampling suggest that surfactants with butyl tripods on the quaternary head group and hydrophobic tails with size similar to the solvent molecules can act as effective anti-agglomerants. These results qualitatively agree with macroscopic experimental observations. The simulation results provide additional insights, which could be useful in flow assurance applications: the butyl tripod provides adhesion between surfactants and hydrates; when the length of the surfactant tail is compatible with that of the hydrocarbon in the liquid phase a protective film can form on the hydrate; however, once a molecularly thin chain of water molecules forms through the anti-agglomerant film, connecting the water droplet and the hydrate, water flows to the hydrate and coalescence is inevitable.

  1. Molecular Investigations into the Mechanics of a Muscle Anchoring Complex

    PubMed Central

    Bodmer, Nicholas K.; Theisen, Kelly E.; Dima, Ruxandra I.

    2015-01-01

    The titin-telethonin complex, essential for anchoring filaments in the Z-disk of the sarcomere, is composed of immunoglobulin domains. Surprisingly, atomic force microscopy experiments showed that it resists forces much higher than the typical immunoglobulin domain and that the force distribution is unusually broad. To investigate the origin of this behavior, we developed a multiscale simulation approach, combining minimalist and atomistic models (SOP-AT). By following the mechanical response of the complex on experimental timescales, we found that the mechanical stability of titin-telethonin is modulated primarily by the strength of contacts between telethonin and the two titin chains, and secondarily by the timescales of conformational excursions inside telethonin and the pulled titin domains. Importantly, the conformational transitions executed by telethonin in simulations support its proposed role in mechanosensing. Our SOP-AT computational approach thus provides a powerful tool for the exploration of the link between conformational diversity and the broadness of the mechanical response, which can be applied to other multidomain complexes. PMID:25954889

  2. Gene × Environment Interactions: From Molecular Mechanisms to Behavior.

    PubMed

    Halldorsdottir, Thorhildur; Binder, Elisabeth B

    2017-01-03

    Gene-by-environment interactions (G×Es) can provide important biological insights into psychiatric disorders and may consequently have direct clinical implications. In this review, we begin with an overview of the major challenges G×E studies have faced (e.g., difficulties replicating findings and high false discovery rates). In light of these challenges, this review focuses on describing examples in which we might begin to understand G×Es on the molecular, cellular, circuit, and behavioral level and link this interaction to altered risk for the development of psychiatric disorders. We also describe recent studies that utilize a polygenic approach to examine G×Es. Finally, we discuss how gaining a deeper understanding of G×Es may translate into a therapeutic practice with more targeted treatments.

  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. 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

  5. Systematic study of imidazoles inhibiting IDO1 via the integration of molecular mechanics and quantum mechanics calculations.

    PubMed

    Zou, Yi; Wang, Fang; Wang, Yan; Guo, Wenjie; Zhang, Yihua; Xu, Qiang; Lai, Yisheng

    2017-05-05

    Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) is regarded as an attractive target for cancer immunotherapy. To rationalize the detailed interactions between IDO1 and its inhibitors at the atomic level, an integrated computational approach by combining molecular mechanics and quantum mechanics methods was employed in this report. Specifically, the binding modes of 20 inhibitors was initially investigated using the induced fit docking (IFD) protocol, which outperformed other two docking protocols in terms of correctly predicting ligand conformations. Secondly, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and MM/PBSA free energy calculations were employed to determine the dynamic binding process and crucial residues were confirmed through close contact analysis, hydrogen-bond analysis and binding free energy decomposition calculations. Subsequent quantum mechanics and nonbonding interaction analysis were carried out to provide in-depth explanations on the critical role of those key residues, and Arg231 and 7-propionate of the heme group were major contributors to ligand binding, which lowed a great amount of interaction energy. We anticipate that these findings will be valuable for enzymatic studies and rational drug design.

  6. Molecular mechanics work station for protein conformational studies

    SciTech Connect

    Fine, R.; Levinthal, C.; Schoenborn, B.; Dimmier, G.; Rankowitz, C.

    1984-01-01

    Interest in computational problems in Biology has intensified over the last few years, partly due to the development of techniques for the rapid cloning, sequencing, and mutagenesis of genes from organisims ranging from E. coli to Man. The central dogma of molecular biology; that DNA codes for mRNA which codes for protein, has been understood in a linear programming sense since the genetic code was cracked. But what is not understood at present is how a protein, once assembled as a long sequence of amino acids, folds back on itself to produce a three-dimensional structure which is unique to that protein and which dictates its chemical and biological activity. This folding process is purely physics, and involves the time evolution of a system of several thousand atoms which interact with each other and with atoms from the surrounding solvent. Molecular dynamics simulations on smaller molecules suggest that approaches which treat the protein as a classical ensemble of atoms interacting with each other via an empirical Hamiltonian can yield the kind of predictive results one would like when applied to proteins.

  7. 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.

  8. EGFR gene deregulation mechanisms in lung adenocarcinoma: A molecular review.

    PubMed

    Tsiambas, Evangelos; Lefas, Alicia Y; Georgiannos, Stavros N; Ragos, Vasileios; Fotiades, Panagiotis P; Grapsa, Dimitra; Stamatelopoulos, Athanasios; Kavantzas, Nikolaos; Patsouris, Efstratios; Syrigos, Konstantinos

    2016-08-01

    For the last two decades, evolution in molecular biology has expanded our knowledge in decoding a broad spectrum of genomic imbalances that progressively lead normal cells to a neoplastic state and finally to complete malignant transformation. Concerning oncogenes and signaling transduction pathways mediated by them, identification of specific gene alterations remains a critical process for handling patients by applying targeted therapeutic regimens. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway plays a crucial role in regulating cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis in normal cells. EGFR mutations and amplification represent the gene's main deregulation mechanisms in cancers of different histo-genetic origin. Furthermore, intra-cancer molecular heterogeneity due to clonal rise and expansion mainly explains the variable resistance to novel anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody (mAb), and also tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). According to recently published 2015 WHO new classification, lung cancer is the leading cause of death related to cancer and its incidence is still on the increase worldwide. The majority of patients suffering from lung cancer are diagnosed with epithelial tumors (adenocarcinoma predominantly and squamous cell carcinoma represent ∼85% of all pathologically defined lung cancer cases). In those patients, EGFR-activating somatic mutations in exons 18/19/20/21 modify patients' sensitivity (i.e. exon 21 L858R, exon 19 LREA deletion) or resistance (ie exon 20 T790M and/or insertion) to TKI mediated targeted therapeutic strategies. Additionally, the role of specific micro-RNAs that affect EGFR regulation is under investigation. In the current review, we focused on EGFR gene/protein structural and functional aspects and the corresponding alterations that occur mainly in lung adenocarcinoma to critically modify its molecular landscape.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Drug-DNA intercalation: from discovery to the molecular mechanism.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Arnab; Sasikala, Wilbee D

    2013-01-01

    The ability of small molecules to perturb the natural structure and dynamics of nucleic acids is intriguing and has potential applications in cancer therapeutics. Intercalation is a special binding mode where the planar aromatic moiety of a small molecule is inserted between a pair of base pairs, causing structural changes in the DNA and leading to its functional arrest. Enormous progress has been made to understand the nature of the intercalation process since its idealistic conception five decades ago. However, the biological functions were detected even earlier. In this review, we focus mainly on the acridine and anthracycline types of drugs and provide a brief overview of the development in the field through various experimental methods that led to our present understanding of the subject. Subsequently, we discuss the molecular mechanism of the intercalation process, free-energy landscapes, and kinetics that was revealed recently through detailed and rigorous computational studies.

  13. Molecular Mechanisms of Floral Boundary Formation in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Hongyang; Huang, Tengbo

    2016-01-01

    Boundary formation is a crucial developmental process in plant organogenesis. Boundaries separate cells with distinct identities and act as organizing centers to control the development of adjacent organs. In flower development, initiation of floral primordia requires the formation of the meristem-to-organ (M–O) boundaries and floral organ development depends on the establishment of organ-to-organ (O–O) boundaries. Studies in this field have revealed a suite of genes and regulatory pathways controlling floral boundary formation. Many of these genes are transcription factors that interact with phytohormone pathways. This review will focus on the functions and interactions of the genes that play important roles in the floral boundaries and discuss the molecular mechanisms that integrate these regulatory pathways to control the floral boundary formation. PMID:26950117

  14. Osteoporosis in diabetes mellitus: Possible cellular and molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Wongdee, Kannikar; Charoenphandhu, Narattaphol

    2011-03-15

    Osteoporosis, a global age-related health problem in both male and female elderly, insidiously deteriorates the microstructure of bone, particularly at trabecular sites, such as vertebrae, ribs and hips, culminating in fragility fractures, pain and disability. Although osteoporosis is normally associated with senescence and estrogen deficiency, diabetes mellitus (DM), especially type 1 DM, also contributes to and/or aggravates bone loss in osteoporotic patients. This topic highlight article focuses on DM-induced osteoporosis and DM/osteoporosis comorbidity, covering alterations in bone metabolism as well as factors regulating bone growth under diabetic conditions including, insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1 and angiogenesis. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of DM-related bone loss are also discussed. This information provides a foundation for the better understanding of diabetic complications and for development of early screening and prevention of osteoporosis in diabetic patients.

  15. A molecular mechanism of chaperone-client recognition

    PubMed Central

    He, Lichun; Sharpe, Timothy; Mazur, Adam; Hiller, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    Molecular chaperones are essential in aiding client proteins to fold into their native structure and in maintaining cellular protein homeostasis. However, mechanistic aspects of chaperone function are still not well understood at the atomic level. We use nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to elucidate the mechanism underlying client recognition by the adenosine triphosphate-independent chaperone Spy at the atomic level and derive a structural model for the chaperone-client complex. Spy interacts with its partially folded client Im7 by selective recognition of flexible, locally frustrated regions in a dynamic fashion. The interaction with Spy destabilizes a partially folded client but spatially compacts an unfolded client conformational ensemble. By increasing client backbone dynamics, the chaperone facilitates the search for the native structure. A comparison of the interaction of Im7 with two other chaperones suggests that the underlying principle of recognizing frustrated segments is of a fundamental nature. PMID:28138538

  16. Molecular spectroscopic study for suggested mechanism of chrome tanned leather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nashy, Elshahat H. A.; Osman, Osama; Mahmoud, Abdel Aziz; Ibrahim, Medhat

    2012-03-01

    Collagen represents the structural protein of the extracellular matrix, which gives strength of hides and/or skin under tanning process. Chrome tan is the most important tanning agent all over the world. The methods for production of leather evolved over several centuries as art and engineering with little understanding of the underlying science. The present work is devoted to suggest the most probable mechanistic action of chrome tan on hide proteins. First the affect of Cr upon hide protein is indicated by the studied mechanical properties. Then the spectroscopic characterization of the hide protein as well as chrome tanned leather was carried out with Horizontal Attenuated Total Reflection (HATR) FT-IR. The obtained results indicate how the chromium can attached with the active sites of collagen. Molecular modeling confirms that chromium can react with amino as well as carboxylate groups. Four schemes were obtained to describe the possible interactions of chrome tan with hide proteins.

  17. Molecular mechanisms of disease-causing missense mutations

    PubMed Central

    Stefl, Shannon; Nishi, Hafumi; Petukh, Marharyta; Panchenko, Anna R.; Alexov, Emil

    2013-01-01

    Genetic variations resulting in a change of amino acid sequence can have a dramatic effect on stability, hydrogen bond network, conformational dynamics, activity and many other physiologically important properties of proteins. The substitutions of only one residue in a protein sequence, so-called missense mutations, can be related to many pathological conditions, and may influence susceptibility to disease and drug treatment. The plausible effects of missense mutations range from affecting the macromolecular stability to perturbing macromolecular interactions and cellular localization. Here we review the individual cases and genome-wide studies which illustrate the association between missense mutations and diseases. In addition we emphasize that the molecular mechanisms of effects of mutations should be revealed in order to understand the disease origin. Finally we report the current state-of-the-art methodologies which predict the effects of mutations on protein stability, the hydrogen bond network, pH-dependence, conformational dynamics and protein function. PMID:23871686

  18. Obstructive renal injury: from fluid mechanics to molecular cell biology.

    PubMed

    Ucero, Alvaro C; Gonçalves, Sara; Benito-Martin, Alberto; Santamaría, Beatriz; Ramos, Adrian M; Berzal, Sergio; Ruiz-Ortega, Marta; Egido, Jesus; Ortiz, Alberto

    2010-04-22

    Urinary tract obstruction is a frequent cause of renal impairment. The physiopathology of obstructive nephropathy has long been viewed as a mere mechanical problem. However, recent advances in cell and systems biology have disclosed a complex physiopathology involving a high number of molecular mediators of injury that lead to cellular processes of apoptotic cell death, cell injury leading to inflammation and resultant fibrosis. Functional studies in animal models of ureteral obstruction using a variety of techniques that include genetically modified animals have disclosed an important role for the renin-angiotensin system, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and other mediators of inflammation in this process. In addition, high throughput techniques such as proteomics and transcriptomics have identified potential biomarkers that may guide clinical decision-making.

  19. Recent Advances in Molecular Mechanisms of Taste Signaling and Modifying.

    PubMed

    Shigemura, Noriatsu; Ninomiya, Yuzo

    2016-01-01

    The sense of taste conveys crucial information about the quality and nutritional value of foods before it is ingested. Taste signaling begins with taste cells via taste receptors in oral cavity. Activation of these receptors drives the transduction systems in taste receptor cells. Then particular transmitters are released from the taste cells and activate corresponding afferent gustatory nerve fibers. Recent studies have revealed that taste sensitivities are defined by distinct taste receptors and modulated by endogenous humoral factors in a specific group of taste cells. Such peripheral taste generations and modifications would directly influence intake of nutritive substances. This review will highlight current understanding of molecular mechanisms for taste reception, signal transduction in taste bud cells, transmission between taste cells and nerves, regeneration from taste stem cells, and modification by humoral factors at peripheral taste organs.

  20. Reversible Mechanical Switching of Magnetic Interactions in a Molecular Shuttle

    PubMed Central

    Bleve, Valentina; Schäfer, Christian; Franchi, Paola; Silvi, Serena; Mezzina, Elisabetta; Credi, Alberto; Lucarini, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Invited for this months cover are the groups of Professors Marco Lucarini and Alberto Credi at the University of Bologna. The cover picture shows coupled and uncoupled states of a [2]rotaxane incorporating stable nitroxide radical units in both the ring and dumbbell components. Interaction between nitroxide radicals could be switched between noncoupled (three-line electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrum) and coupled (five-line EPR spectrum) upon deprotonation of the rotaxane NH2+ centers that effects a quantitative displacement of a dibenzocrown macroring to a 4,4’-bipyridinium recognition site. The complete base- and acid-induced switching cycle of the EPR pattern was repeated several times without an appreciable loss of signal, highlighting the reversibility of the process. Hence, this molecular machine is capable of switching on/off magnetic interactions by chemically driven reversible mechanical effects. For more details, see the Communication on p. 18 ff. PMID:25870780

  1. Generic Transport Mechanisms for Molecular Traffic in Cellular Protrusions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graf, Isabella R.; Frey, Erwin

    2017-03-01

    Transport of molecular motors along protein filaments in a half-closed geometry is a common feature of biologically relevant processes in cellular protrusions. Using a lattice-gas model we study how the interplay between active and diffusive transport and mass conservation leads to localized domain walls and tip localization of the motors. We identify a mechanism for task sharing between the active motors (maintaining a gradient) and the diffusive motion (transport to the tip), which ensures that energy consumption is low and motor exchange mostly happens at the tip. These features are attributed to strong nearest-neighbor correlations that lead to a strong reduction of active currents, which we calculate analytically using an exact moment identity, and might prove useful for the understanding of correlations and active transport also in more elaborate systems.

  2. Obstructive renal injury: from fluid mechanics to molecular cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Ucero, Alvaro C; Gonçalves, Sara; Benito-Martin, Alberto; Santamaría, Beatriz; Ramos, Adrian M; Berzal, Sergio; Ruiz-Ortega, Marta; Egido, Jesus; Ortiz, Alberto

    2010-01-01

    Urinary tract obstruction is a frequent cause of renal impairment. The physiopathology of obstructive nephropathy has long been viewed as a mere mechanical problem. However, recent advances in cell and systems biology have disclosed a complex physiopathology involving a high number of molecular mediators of injury that lead to cellular processes of apoptotic cell death, cell injury leading to inflammation and resultant fibrosis. Functional studies in animal models of ureteral obstruction using a variety of techniques that include genetically modified animals have disclosed an important role for the renin-angiotensin system, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and other mediators of inflammation in this process. In addition, high throughput techniques such as proteomics and transcriptomics have identified potential biomarkers that may guide clinical decision-making. PMID:24198613

  3. Molecular mechanisms of hepatitis C virus-induced hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Vescovo, T; Refolo, G; Vitagliano, G; Fimia, G M; Piacentini, M

    2016-10-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCV-induced hepatocarcinogenesis is a multistep process resulting from a combination of pathway alterations that are either caused directly by viral factors or immune mediated as a consequence of a chronic state of inflammation. Host genetic variation is now emerging as an additional element that contribute to increase the risk of developing HCC. The advent of direct-acting antiviral agents foresees a rapid decline of HCC rate in HCV patients. However, a full understanding of the HCV-mediated tumourigenic process is required to elucidate if pro-oncogenic signatures may persist after virus clearance, and to identify novel tools for HCC prevention and therapy. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms responsible for HCV-induced hepatocarcinogenesis.

  4. Molecular mechanisms underlying phosphate sensing, signaling, and adaptation in plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhaoliang; Liao, Hong; Lucas, William J

    2014-03-01

    As an essential plant macronutrient, the low availability of phosphorus (P) in most soils imposes serious limitation on crop production. Plants have evolved complex responsive and adaptive mechanisms for acquisition, remobilization and recycling of phosphate (Pi) to maintain P homeostasis. Spatio-temporal molecular, physiological, and biochemical Pi deficiency responses developed by plants are the consequence of local and systemic sensing and signaling pathways. Pi deficiency is sensed locally by the root system where hormones serve as important signaling components in terms of developmental reprogramming, leading to changes in root system architecture. Root-to-shoot and shoot-to-root signals, delivered through the xylem and phloem, respectively, involving Pi itself, hormones, miRNAs, mRNAs, and sucrose, serve to coordinate Pi deficiency responses at the whole-plant level. A combination of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranslational events contribute to globally regulating a wide range of Pi deficiency responses. In this review, recent advances are evaluated in terms of progress toward developing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular events underlying control over P homeostasis. Application of this knowledge, in terms of developing crop plants having enhanced attributes for P use efficiency, is discussed from the perspective of agricultural sustainability in the face of diminishing global P supplies.

  5. Molecular mechanisms of hepcidin regulation in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

    PubMed

    Neves, J V; Caldas, C; Wilson, J M; Rodrigues, P N S

    2011-12-01

    Hepcidin, an antimicrobial peptide described as a key regulator of iron metabolism, is known to respond in mammals to several stimuli, including iron overload, anemia, hypoxia and inflammation, through a number of molecular pathways. In order to understand the molecular pathways involved in the regulation of hepcidin expression in teleost fish, we have isolated for European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) several coding sequences of known molecules involved on these pathways in mammals, namely jak3, stat3, tmprss6, bmp6, bmpr2, hjv, smad4, smad5, tfr1 and tfr2. The transcription levels of the isolated genes were evaluated by real-time PCR on fish subjected to experimental iron modulation (overload/deficiency) or infection with Photobacterium damsela. Results show that genes associated with the major pathway of the inflammatory response (IL6/JAK/STAT pathway) in mammals are also modulated in sea bass, being up-regulated during infection. Similarly, genes of the pathways classically associated with the response to variations in iron status (the HJV/BMP/SMAD and HFE/TfR pathways) are also modulated, mostly through down-regulation in iron deficiency and up-regulation during iron overload. Interestingly, many of these genes are also found to be up-regulated during infection, which may indicate a crosstalk between the known pathways of hepcidin regulation. These observations suggest the evolutionary conservation of the mechanisms of hepcidin regulation in teleost fish.

  6. Vitamin D in Autoimmunity: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Dankers, Wendy; Colin, Edgar M.; van Hamburg, Jan Piet; Lubberts, Erik

    2017-01-01

    Over the last three decades, it has become clear that the role of vitamin D goes beyond the regulation of calcium homeostasis and bone health. An important extraskeletal effect of vitamin D is the modulation of the immune system. In the context of autoimmune diseases, this is illustrated by correlations of vitamin D status and genetic polymorphisms in the vitamin D receptor with the incidence and severity of the disease. These correlations warrant investigation into the potential use of vitamin D in the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases. In recent years, several clinical trials have been performed to investigate the therapeutic value of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, type I diabetes, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Additionally, a second angle of investigation has focused on unraveling the molecular pathways used by vitamin D in order to find new potential therapeutic targets. This review will not only provide an overview of the clinical trials that have been performed but also discuss the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms underlying the immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D and how these advances can be used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. PMID:28163705

  7. Redox Control of Leukemia: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Irwin, Mary E.; Rivera-Del Valle, Nilsa

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play both positive and negative roles in the proliferation and survival of a cell. This dual nature has been exploited by leukemia cells to promote growth, survival, and genomic instability—some of the hallmarks of the cancer phenotype. In addition to altered ROS levels, many antioxidants are dysregulated in leukemia cells. Together, the production of ROS and the expression and activity of antioxidant enzymes make up the primary redox control of leukemia cells. By manipulating this system, leukemia cells gain proliferative and survival advantages, even in the face of therapeutic insults. Standard treatment options have improved leukemia patient survival rates in recent years, although relapse and the development of resistance are persistent challenges. Therapies targeting the redox environment show promise for these cases. This review highlights the molecular mechanisms that control the redox milieu of leukemia cells. In particular, ROS production by the mitochondrial electron transport chain, NADPH oxidase, xanthine oxidoreductase, and cytochrome P450 will be addressed. Expression and activation of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, heme oxygenase, glutathione, thioredoxin, and peroxiredoxin are perturbed in leukemia cells, and the functional consequences of these molecular alterations will be described. Lastly, we delve into how these pathways can be potentially exploited therapeutically to improve treatment regimens and promote better outcomes for leukemia patients. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 1349–1383. PMID:22900756

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Bipolar Disorder: Progress Made and Future Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yeni; Santos, Renata; Gage, Fred H.; Marchetto, Maria C.

    2017-01-01

    Bipolar disorder (BD) is a chronic and progressive psychiatric illness characterized by mood oscillations, with episodes of mania and depression. The impact of BD on patients can be devastating, with up to 15% of patients committing suicide. This disorder is associated with psychiatric and medical comorbidities and patients with a high risk of drug abuse, metabolic and endocrine disorders and vascular disease. Current knowledge of the pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms causing BD is still modest. With no clear biological markers available, early diagnosis is a great challenge to clinicians without previous knowledge of the longitudinal progress of illness. Moreover, despite recommendations from evidence-based guidelines, polypharmacy is still common in clinical treatment of BD, reflecting the gap between research and clinical practice. A major challenge in BD is the development of effective drugs with low toxicity for the patients. In this review article, we focus on the progress made and future challenges we face in determining the pathophysiology and molecular pathways involved in BD, such as circadian and metabolic perturbations, mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction, autophagy and glutamatergic neurotransmission; which may lead to the development of new drugs. PMID:28261061

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of IgE Class Switch Recombination.

    PubMed

    Tong, Pei; Wesemann, Duane R

    2015-01-01

    Immunoglobulin (Ig) E is the most tightly regulated of all Ig heavy chain (IgH) isotypes and plays a key role in atopic disease. The gene encoding for IgH in mature B cells consists of a variable region exon-assembled from component gene segments via V(D)J recombination during early B cell development-upstream of a set of IgH constant region CH exons. Upon activation by antigen in peripheral lymphoid organs, B cells can undergo IgH class switch recombination (CSR), a process in which the initially expressed IgH μ constant region exons (Cμ) are deleted and replaced by one of several sets of downstream CH exons (e.g., Cγ, Cε, and Cα). Activation of the IL-4 receptor on B cells, together with other signals, can lead to the replacement of Cμ with Cε resulting in CSR to IgE through a series of molecular events involving irreversible remodeling of the IgH locus. Here, we discuss the molecular mechanisms of CSR and the unique features surrounding the generation of IgE-producing B cells.

  10. Molecular Mechanisms of Bipolar Disorder: Progress Made and Future Challenges.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yeni; Santos, Renata; Gage, Fred H; Marchetto, Maria C

    2017-01-01

    Bipolar disorder (BD) is a chronic and progressive psychiatric illness characterized by mood oscillations, with episodes of mania and depression. The impact of BD on patients can be devastating, with up to 15% of patients committing suicide. This disorder is associated with psychiatric and medical comorbidities and patients with a high risk of drug abuse, metabolic and endocrine disorders and vascular disease. Current knowledge of the pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms causing BD is still modest. With no clear biological markers available, early diagnosis is a great challenge to clinicians without previous knowledge of the longitudinal progress of illness. Moreover, despite recommendations from evidence-based guidelines, polypharmacy is still common in clinical treatment of BD, reflecting the gap between research and clinical practice. A major challenge in BD is the development of effective drugs with low toxicity for the patients. In this review article, we focus on the progress made and future challenges we face in determining the pathophysiology and molecular pathways involved in BD, such as circadian and metabolic perturbations, mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction, autophagy and glutamatergic neurotransmission; which may lead to the development of new drugs.

  11. An approximate approach to quantum mechanical study of biomacromolecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xihua

    This thesis summarizes the author's major work in Prof. John Z.H. Zhang's Threoretical Chemistry research group. In Chapter 1, we present a general description of MFCC (molecular fractionation with conjugated caps) method that has been developed in this group to treat biomacromolecules in a divide-and-conquer fashion. Then we give in detail a computational study of MFCC application to peptide/protein that contains disulfide bonds. Continued on the basis of previous MFCC tests, this study provides another numerical support for the accuracy of the MFCC approach to full quantum mechanical calculation of protein/peptide-small molecule interaction. In Chapter 2, we further develop the MFCC scheme for quantum mechanical computation of DNA-ligand interaction energy. We study three oligonuclear acid interaction systems: dinucleotide dCG/water, trinucleotide dCGT/water and a Watson-Crick paired DNA segment dCGT/dGCA. The MFCC interaction energies are found to be in excellent agreement with the corresponding results obtained from the full system ab initio calculations. This study is an exemplification of the application of the general MFCC approach to biomacromolecules. In Chapter 3, firstly, a MFCC-downhill simplex method is proposed to study binding structures of ligands (atoms, ions, or small molecules) in large molecular complex systems. This method employs the MFCC approach to compute the interaction energy-structure relation of the system and implements the downhill simplex algorithm for structural optimization. Secondly, this method is numerically tested on a system of [KCp(18-crown-6)], as a simplest monatomic case study, to optimize the binding position of the potassium cation in a fixed coordination Cp and 18-crown-6 coordinating sphere. The result of the MFCC-downhill simplex optimization shows good agreement with both the crystal structure and with the full-system downhill simplex optimized structure. The effects of the initial structure of the simplex and of the

  12. 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.

  13. Modeling large RNAs and ribonucleoprotein particles using molecular mechanics techniques.

    PubMed Central

    Malhotra, A; Tan, R K; Harvey, S C

    1994-01-01

    There is a growing body of low-resolution structural data that can be utilized to devise structural models for large RNAs and ribonucleoproteins. These models are routinely built manually. We introduce an automated refinement protocol to utilize such data for building low-resolution three-dimensional models using the tools of molecular mechanics. In addition to specifying the positions of each nucleotide, the protocol provides quantitative estimates of the uncertainties in those positions, i.e., the resolution of the model. In typical applications, the resolution of the models is about 10-20 A. Our method uses reduced representations and allows us to refine three-dimensional structures of systems as big as the 16S and 23S ribosomal RNAs, which are about one to two orders of magnitude larger than nucleic acids that can be examined by traditional all-atom modeling methods. Nonatomic resolution structural data--secondary structure, chemical cross-links, chemical and enzymatic footprinting patterns, protein positions, solvent accessibility, and so on--are combined with known motifs in RNA structure to predict low-resolution models of large RNAs. These structural constraints are imposed on the RNA chain using molecular mechanics-type potential functions with parameters based on the quality of experimental data. Surface potential functions are used to incorporate shape and positional data from electron microscopy image reconstruction experiments into our models. The structures are optimized using techniques of energy refinement to get RNA folding patterns. In addition to providing a consensus model, the method finds the range of models consistent with the data, which allows quantitative evaluation of the resolution of the model. The method also identifies conflicts in the experimental data. Although our protocol is aimed at much larger RNAs, we illustrate these techniques using the tRNA structure as an example and test-bed. Images FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 PMID:7521223

  14. Molecular Mechanisms of Aldehyde Toxicity: A Chemical Perspective

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Aldehydes are electrophilic compounds to which humans are pervasively exposed. Despite a significant health risk due to exposure, the mechanisms of aldehyde toxicity are poorly understood. This ambiguity is likely due to the structural diversity of aldehyde derivatives and corresponding differences in chemical reactions and biological targets. To gain mechanistic insight, we have used parameters based on the hard and soft, acids and bases (HSAB) theory to profile the different aldehyde subclasses with respect to electronic character (softness, hardness), electrophilic reactivity (electrophilic index), and biological nucleophilic targets. Our analyses indicate that short chain aldehydes and longer chain saturated alkanals are hard electrophiles that cause toxicity by forming adducts with hard biological nucleophiles, e.g., primary nitrogen groups on lysine residues. In contrast, α,β-unsaturated carbonyl derivatives, alkenals, and the α-oxoaldehydes are soft electrophiles that preferentially react with soft nucleophilic thiolate groups on cysteine residues. The aldehydes can therefore be grouped into subclasses according to common electronic characteristics (softness/hardness) and molecular mechanisms of toxicity. As we will discuss, the toxic potencies of these subgroups are generally related to corresponding electrophilicities. For some aldehydes, however, predictions of toxicity based on electrophilicity are less accurate due to inherent physicochemical variables that limit target accessibility, e.g., steric hindrance and solubility. The unsaturated aldehydes are also members of the conjugated type-2 alkene chemical class that includes α,β-unsaturated amide, ketone, and ester derivatives. Type-2 alkenes are electrophiles of varying softness and electrophilicity that share a common mechanism of toxicity. Therefore, exposure to an environmental mixture of unsaturated carbonyl derivatives could cause “type-2 alkene toxicity” through additive interactions

  15. Molecular mechanisms in the pathogenesis of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Saffitz, Jeffrey E

    2017-02-27

    The article is based on work presented in the Distinguished Achievement Award lecture at the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology meeting in Seattle, WA, in March 2016. It reviews our current understanding of mechanisms responsible for a highly arrhythmogenic, nonischemic cardiomyopathy. It highlights the armamentarium of powerful methods available to the experimental pathologist in efforts to define how complex cardiovascular diseases work. It concludes with acknowledgment of the need for a far more detailed approach as to how we categorize human disease, a task for which pathologists are especially well positioned.

  16. Mechanical behavior of linear amorphous polymers: comparison between molecular dynamics and finite-element simulations.

    PubMed

    Solar, Mathieu; Meyer, Hendrik; Gauthier, Christian; Fond, Christophe; Benzerara, Olivier; Schirrer, Robert; Baschnagel, Jörg

    2012-02-01

    This paper studies the rheology of weakly entangled polymer melts and films in the glassy domain and near the rubbery domain using two different methods: molecular dynamics (MD) and finite element (FE) simulations. In a first step, the uniaxial mechanical behavior of a bulk polymer sample is studied by means of particle-based MD simulations. The results are in good agreement with experimental data, and mechanical properties may be computed from the simulations. This uniaxial mechanical behavior is then implemented in FE simulations using an elasto-viscoelasto-viscoplastic constitutive law in a continuum mechanics (CM) approach. In a second step, the mechanical response of a polymer film during an indentation test is modeled with the MD method and with the FE simulations using the same constitutive law. Good agreement is found between the MD and CM results. This work provides evidence in favor of using MD simulations to investigate the local physics of contact mechanics, since the volume elements studied are representative and thus contain enough information about the microstructure of the polymer model, while surface phenomena (adhesion and surface tension) are naturally included in the MD approach.

  17. 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.

  18. Mechanism of the Glycosidic Bond Cleavage of Mismatched Thymine in Human Thymine DNA Glycosylase Revealed by Classical Molecular Dynamics and Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical Calculations.

    PubMed

    Kanaan, Natalia; Crehuet, Ramon; Imhof, Petra

    2015-09-24

    Base excision of mismatched or damaged nucleotides catalyzed by glycosylase enzymes is the first step of the base excision repair system, a machinery preserving the integrity of DNA. Thymine DNA glycosylase recognizes and removes mismatched thymine by cleaving the C1'-N1 bond between the base and the sugar ring. Our quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations of this reaction in human thymine DNA glycosylase reveal a requirement for a positive charge in the active site to facilitate C1'-N1 bond scission: protonation of His151 significantly lowers the free energy barrier for C1'-N1 bond dissociation compared to the situation with neutral His151. Shuttling a proton from His151 to the thymine base further reduces the activation free energy for glycosidic bond cleavage. Classical molecular dynamics simulations of the H151A mutant suggest that the mutation to the smaller, neutral, residue increases the water accessibility of the thymine base, rendering direct proton transfer from the bulk feasible. Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations of the glycosidic bond cleavage reaction in the H151A mutant show that the activation free energy is slightly lower than in the wild-type enzyme, explaining the experimentally observed higher reaction rates in this mutant.

  19. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students’ Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. PMID:26931398

  20. Features of Knowledge Building in Biology: Understanding Undergraduate Students' Ideas about Molecular Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S

    2016-01-01

    Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning.