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Sample records for neonicotinoids structural insights

  1. Diverse Actions and Target-Site Selectivity of Neonicotinoids: Structural Insights

    PubMed Central

    Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Kanaoka, Satoshi; Akamatsu, Miki; Sattelle, David B.

    2009-01-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are targets for human and veterinary medicines as well as insecticides. Subtype-selectivity among the diverse nAChR family members is important for medicines targeting particular disorders, and pest-insect selectivity is essential for the development of safer, environmentally acceptable insecticides. Neonicotinoid insecticides selectively targeting insect nAChRs have important applications in crop protection and animal health. Members of this class exhibit strikingly diverse actions on their nAChR targets. Here we review the chemistry and diverse actions of neonicotinoids on insect and mammalian nAChRs. Electrophysiological studies on native nAChRs and on wild-type and mutagenized recombinant nAChRs have shown that basic residues particular to loop D of insect nAChRs are likely to interact electrostatically with the nitro group of neonicotinoids. In 2008, the crystal structures were published showing neonicotinoids docking into the acetylcholine binding site of molluscan acetylcholine binding proteins with homology to the ligand binding domain (LBD) of nAChRs. The crystal structures showed that 1) glutamine in loop D, corresponding to the basic residues of insect nAChRs, hydrogen bonds with the NO2 group of imidacloprid and 2) neonicotinoid-unique stacking and CH-π bonds at the LBD. A neonicotinoid-resistant strain obtained by laboratory-screening has been found to result from target site mutations, and possible reasons for this are also suggested by the crystal structures. The prospects of designing neonicotinoids that are safe not only for mammals but also for beneficial insects such as honey bees (Apis mellifera) are discussed in terms of interactions with non-α nAChR subunits. PMID:19321668

  2. Diverse actions and target-site selectivity of neonicotinoids: structural insights.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Kanaoka, Satoshi; Akamatsu, Miki; Sattelle, David B

    2009-07-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are targets for human and veterinary medicines as well as insecticides. Subtype-selectivity among the diverse nAChR family members is important for medicines targeting particular disorders, and pest-insect selectivity is essential for the development of safer, environmentally acceptable insecticides. Neonicotinoid insecticides selectively targeting insect nAChRs have important applications in crop protection and animal health. Members of this class exhibit strikingly diverse actions on their nAChR targets. Here we review the chemistry and diverse actions of neonicotinoids on insect and mammalian nAChRs. Electrophysiological studies on native nAChRs and on wild-type and mutagenized recombinant nAChRs have shown that basic residues particular to loop D of insect nAChRs are likely to interact electrostatically with the nitro group of neonicotinoids. In 2008, the crystal structures were published showing neonicotinoids docking into the acetylcholine binding site of molluscan acetylcholine binding proteins with homology to the ligand binding domain (LBD) of nAChRs. The crystal structures showed that 1) glutamine in loop D, corresponding to the basic residues of insect nAChRs, hydrogen bonds with the NO(2) group of imidacloprid and 2) neonicotinoid-unique stacking and CH-pi bonds at the LBD. A neonicotinoid-resistant strain obtained by laboratory-screening has been found to result from target site mutations, and possible reasons for this are also suggested by the crystal structures. The prospects of designing neonicotinoids that are safe not only for mammals but also for beneficial insects such as honey bees (Apis mellifera) are discussed in terms of interactions with non-alpha nAChR subunits.

  3. Quantitative structure-activity relationship study using refractotopological state atom index on some neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Debnath, Bikash; Gayen, Shovanlal; Basu, Anindya; Ghosh, Balaram; Srikanth, Kolluru; Jha, Tarun

    2004-12-01

    Importance of atom-level topological descriptors like electrotopological state atom (E-state) index in QSAR study is increasing. These descriptors help to relate structure and activity at atomic/fragmental level. In view of the earlier success of E-state index on some azidopyridinyl neonicotinoid insecticides, a relatively new atom-level topological descriptor; refractotopological state atom (R-state) index was used in this work. This was used to identify the important atoms/fragments related to dispersive/van der Waals interactions of neonicotinoids with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). This study showed the structural requirements for the mammal alpha(4)beta(2) and Drosophila nAChR agonistic activity. It also revealed that substituted imine, nitromethylene at X-position were selective to the insecticidal activity. Azido substitution at pyridine ring of neonicotinoids disfavored the binding with the receptors. This study confirmed the validity of the R-state index as a new tool for quantitative structure-activity relationships. It has the ability to find out the required structural features as well as to predict the activity of the neonicotinoids.

  4. Crystal structures of Lymnaea stagnalis AChBP in complex with neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and clothianidin

    PubMed Central

    Ihara, Makoto; Okajima, Toshihide; Yamashita, Atsuko; Oda, Takuma; Hirata, Koichi; Nishiwaki, Hisashi; Morimoto, Takako; Akamatsu, Miki; Ashikawa, Yuji; Kuroda, Shun’ichi; Mega, Ryosuke; Kuramitsu, Seiki; Sattelle, David B.

    2008-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides, which act on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in a variety of ways, have extremely low mammalian toxicity, yet the molecular basis of such actions is poorly understood. To elucidate the molecular basis for nAChR–neonicotinoid interactions, a surrogate protein, acetylcholine binding protein from Lymnaea stagnalis (Ls-AChBP) was crystallized in complex with neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid (IMI) or clothianidin (CTD). The crystal structures suggested that the guanidine moiety of IMI and CTD stacks with Tyr185, while the nitro group of IMI but not of CTD makes a hydrogen bond with Gln55. IMI showed higher binding affinity for Ls-AChBP than that of CTD, consistent with weaker CH–π interactions in the Ls-AChBP–CTD complex than in the Ls-AChBP–IMI complex and the lack of the nitro group-Gln55 hydrogen bond in CTD. Yet, the NH at position 1 of CTD makes a hydrogen bond with the backbone carbonyl of Trp143, offering an explanation for the diverse actions of neonicotinoids on nAChRs. PMID:18338186

  5. Insight into the mechanism of reproductive dysfunction caused by neonicotinoid pesticides.

    PubMed

    Hoshi, Nobuhiko; Hirano, Tetsushi; Omotehara, Takuya; Tokumoto, Junko; Umemura, Yuria; Mantani, Youhei; Tanida, Takashi; Warita, Katsuhiko; Tabuchi, Yoshiaki; Yokoyama, Toshifumi; Kitagawa, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids, which were developed in the 1990 s as an insecticide having selective toxicity, were later found to cause reproductive abnormalities in experimental animals. In Japan there is an attempt to preserve endangered animals, including the Japanese crested ibis, and there is a question of whether neonicotinoids affect the reproduction of this bird, since they are used in its habitat. Hence, we investigated whether the daily oral administration of the neonicotinoid clothianidin (CTD) has any deleterious effects on the reproductive function of mature male only or both young male and female quails as experimental animals. Vacuolization and the number of germ cells having fragmented DNA in seminiferous tubules, as well as the number and size of vacuoles in hepatocytes, increased dose-dependently. The ovaries showed abnormal histology in the granulosa cells, which produce progesterone. There were significant differences in egg-laying rates and embryo weights between the groups. Glutathione Peroxidase 4 (GPx4) and Manganese Superoxide Dismutase (Mn-SOD), which protect the organism from oxidative damage, showed a dose-dependent decrease. Thus, it is possible neonicotinoids affect the bird's reproductive system through oxidative stress, reflecting an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a biological system's ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or easily repair the resulting damage. Responding to our study, Sado Island has since succeeded in breeding Japanese crested ibis in the wild without the use of neonicotinoids.

  6. Seven-membered azabridged neonicotinoids: synthesis, crystal structure, insecticidal assay, and molecular docking studies.

    PubMed

    Xu, Renbo; Luo, Ming; Xia, Rui; Meng, Xiaoqing; Xu, Xiaoyong; Xu, Zhiping; Cheng, Jiagao; Shao, Xusheng; Li, Houju; Li, Zhong

    2014-11-19

    To study the influence of the ring sizes, 37 novel seven-membered azabridged neonicotinoid analogues were synthesized by reactions of nitromethylene analogues, succinaldehyde, and aniline hydrochlorides. Most of the title compounds presented higher insecticidal activities than that of imidacloprid (IMI), cycloxaprid (CYC), and eight-membered compounds against cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora), armyworm (Pseudaletia separata Walker), and brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens), which indicated that introducing the structure of a seven-membered azabridge could significantly improve the insecticidal activities of neonicotinoid analogues. Docking study and binding mode analysis also revealed that introducing methyl group into position 2 of phenyl ring could increase the hydrophobic interactions with receptor, which implied that position 2 might be the key site to get high insecticidal compounds.

  7. Imidacloprid and thiacloprid neonicotinoids bind more favourably to cockroach than to honeybee α6 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: insights from computational studies.

    PubMed

    Selvam, Balaji; Graton, Jérôme; Laurent, Adèle D; Alamiddine, Zakaria; Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Lebreton, Jacques; Coqueret, Olivier; Olivier, Christophe; Thany, Steeve H; Le Questel, Jean-Yves

    2015-02-01

    The binding interactions of two neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMI) and thiacloprid (THI) with the extracellular domains of cockroach and honeybee α6 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits in an homomeric receptor have been studied through docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The binding mode predicted for the two neonicotinoids is validated through the good agreement observed between the theoretical results with the crystal structures of the corresponding complexes with Ac-AChBP, the recognized structural surrogate for insects nAChR extracellular ligand binding domain. The binding site of the two insect α6 receptors differs by only one residue of loop D, a serine residue (Ser83) in cockroach being replaced by a lysine residue (Lys108) in honeybee. The docking results show very close interactions for the two neonicotinoids with both α6 nAChR models, in correspondence to the trends observed in the experimental neonicotinoid-Ac-AChBP complexes. However, the docking parameters (scores and energies) are not significantly different between the two insect α6 nAChRs to draw clear conclusions. The MD results bring distinct trends. The analysis of the average interaction energies in the two insects α6 nAChRs shows indeed better affinity of neonicotinoids bound to α6 cockroach compared to honeybee nAChR. This preference is explained by tighter contacts with aromatic residues (Trp and Tyr) of the binding pocket. Interestingly, the non-conserved residue Lys108 of loop D of α6 honeybee nAChR interacts through van der Waals contacts with neonicotinoids, which appear more favourable than the direct or water mediated hydrogen-bond interaction between the OH group of Ser83 of α6 cockroach nAChR and the electronegative terminal group of the two neonicotinoids (nitro in IMI and cyano in THI). Finally, in both insects nAChRs, THI is consistently found to bind more favourably than IMI.

  8. Advanced research on cis-Neonicotinoids.

    PubMed

    Shao, Xusheng; Ye, Zhejun; Bao, Haibo; Liu, Zewen; Xu, Xiaoyong; Li, Zhong; Qian, Xuhong

    2011-01-01

    cis-Neonicotinoids are a type of neonicotinoid, in which the nitro or the cyano group are in cis-configuration relative to heteroaromatic moiety, which show excellent activities against a range of insect species. This review covers cis-neonicotinoids with commercialization perspectives, structural optimization (phenylazoneonicotinoids and chlorothiazolyl analogues of Paichongding), modes of action studies, radiao-synthesis of Paichongding and Cycloxaprid, and photostability of neonicotinoids.

  9. Divalent and oxabridged neonicotinoids constructed by dialdehydes and nitromethylene analogues of imidacloprid: design, synthesis, crystal structure, and insecticidal activities.

    PubMed

    Shao, Xusheng; Fu, Hua; Xu, Xiaoyong; Xu, Xinglei; Liu, Zewen; Li, Zhong; Qian, Xuhong

    2010-03-10

    A series of divalent and oxabridged neonicotinoids were synthesized by reactions of nitromethylene analogues of imidacloprid and dialdehydes, and their structures were confirmed by (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, high-resolution mass spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction analysis. The bioassays indicated that some of them were endowed with excellent insecticidal activities against cowpea aphid ( Aphis craccivora ), armyworm ( Pseudaletia separata Walker), and brown planthopper ( Nilaparvata lugens ). Divalent neonicotinoid 6 and oxabridged 8a had higher activities than imidacloprid against cowpea aphids and armyworm; furthermore, the activity of 8a was 40.4-fold higher than that of imidacloprid against imidacloprid-resistant brown planthopper.

  10. Structural features of phenoxycarbonylimino neonicotinoids acting at the insect nicotinic receptor.

    PubMed

    Ohno, Ikuya; Tomizawa, Motohiro; Miyazu, Nozomi; Kushibiki, Gohito; Noda, Kumiko; Hasebe, Yasunori; Durkin, Kathleen A; Miyake, Taiji; Kagabu, Shinzo

    2010-10-01

    Substituted-phenoxycarbonylimino neonicotinoid ligands with an electron-donating group showed significantly higher affinity to the insect nicotinic receptor relative to that of the analogue with an electron-withdrawing substituent, thereby establishing in silico binding site interaction model featuring that the phenoxy ring of neonicotinoids and the receptor loop D tryptophan indole plane form a face-to-edge aromatic interaction.

  11. Comparative analysis of neonicotinoid binding to insect membranes: I. A structure-activity study of the mode of [3H]imidacloprid displacement in Myzus persicae and Aphis craccivora.

    PubMed

    Kayser, Hartmut; Lee, Connie; Decock, Arnaud; Baur, Markus; Haettenschwiler, Joerg; Maienfisch, Peter

    2004-10-01

    Neonicotinoids bind selectively to insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors with nanomolar affinity to act as potent insecticides. While the members of the neonicotinoid class have many structural features in common, it is not known whether they also share the same mode of binding to the target receptor. Previous competition studies with [3H]imidacloprid, the first commercialised neonicotinoid, indicated that thiamethoxam, representing a novel structural sub-class, may bind in a different way from that of other neonicotinoids. In the present work we analysed the mode of [3H]imidacloprid displacement by established neonicotinoids and newly synthesized analogues in the aphids Myzus persicae Sulzer and Aphis craccivora Koch. We found two classes of neonicotinoids with distinct modes of interference with [3H]imidacloprid, described as direct competitive inhibition and non-competitive inhibition, respectively. Competitive neonicotinoids were acetamiprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid, clothianidin and nithiazine, whereas thiamethoxam and the N-methyl analogues of imidacloprid and clothianidin showed non-competitive inhibition. The chloropyridine or chlorothiazole heterocycles, the polar pharmacophore parts, such as nitroimino, cyanoimino and nitromethylene, and the cyclic or acyclic structure of the pharmacophore were not relevant for the mode of inhibition. Consensus structural features of the neonicotinoids were defined for the two mechanisms of interaction with [3H]imidacloprid binding. Furthermore, two sub-classes of non-competitive inhibitors can be discriminated on the basis of their Hill coefficients for imidacloprid displacement. We conclude from the present data that the direct competitors share the binding site with imidacloprid, whereas non-competitive compounds, like thiamethoxam, bind to a different site or in a different mode.

  12. Neonicotinoids-from zero to hero in insecticide chemistry.

    PubMed

    Jeschke, Peter; Nauen, Ralf

    2008-11-01

    In recent years, neonicotinoids have been the fastest-growing class of insecticides in modern crop protection, with widespread use against a broad spectrum of sucking and certain chewing pests. As potent agonists, they act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, their molecular target site. The discovery of neonicotinoids can be considered as a milestone in insecticide research and facilitates greatly the understanding of the functional properties of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Because of the relatively low risk for non-target organisms and environment, the high target specificity of neonicotinoid insecticides and their versatility in application methods, this important class has to be maintained globally for integrated pest management strategies and insect resistance management programmes. This review comprehensively describes particularly the origin, structure and bonding as well as associated properties of neonicotinoid insecticides.

  13. Atomic interactions of neonicotinoid agonists with AChBP: Molecular recognition of the distinctive electronegative pharmacophore

    SciTech Connect

    Talley, Todd T.; Harel, Michal; Hibbs, Ryan E.; Radi, Zoran; Tomizawa, Motohiro; Casida, John E.; Taylor, Palmer

    2008-07-28

    Acetylcholine-binding proteins (AChBPs) from mollusks are suitable structural and functional surrogates of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors when combined with transmembrane spans of the nicotinic receptor. These proteins assemble as a pentamer with identical ACh binding sites at the subunit interfaces and show ligand specificities resembling those of the nicotinic receptor for agonists and antagonists. A subset of ligands, termed the neonicotinoids, exhibit specificity for insect nicotinic receptors and selective toxicity as insecticides. AChBPs are of neither mammalian nor insect origin and exhibit a distinctive pattern of selectivity for the neonicotinoid ligands. We define here the binding orientation and determinants of differential molecular recognition for the neonicotinoids and classical nicotinoids by estimates of kinetic and equilibrium binding parameters and crystallographic analysis. Neonicotinoid complex formation is rapid and accompanied by quenching of the AChBP tryptophan fluorescence. Comparisons of the neonicotinoids imidacloprid and thiacloprid in the binding site from Aplysia californica AChBP at 2.48 and 1.94 {angstrom} in resolution reveal a single conformation of the bound ligands with four of the five sites occupied in the pentameric crystal structure. The neonicotinoid electronegative pharmacophore is nestled in an inverted direction compared with the nicotinoid cationic functionality at the subunit interfacial binding pocket. Characteristic of several agonists, loop C largely envelops the ligand, positioning aromatic side chains to interact optimally with conjugated and hydrophobic regions of the neonicotinoid. This template defines the association of interacting amino acids and their energetic contributions to the distinctive interactions of neonicotinoids.

  14. N-haloacetylimino neonicotinoids: potency and molecular recognition at the insect nicotinic receptor.

    PubMed

    Tomizawa, Motohiro; Durkin, Kathleen A; Ohno, Ikuya; Nagura, Kyoko; Manabe, Mio; Kumazawa, Satoru; Kagabu, Shinzo

    2011-06-15

    This structure-activity relationship study for neonicotinoids with an N-haloacetylimino pharmacophore identifies several candidate compounds showing outstanding insecticidal potency and consequently leads to establishing their molecular recognition at an insect nicotinic receptor structural model, wherein the neonicotinoid halogen atoms (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine) variously interact with the receptor loops C-D interfacial niche via H-bonding and/or hydrophobic interactions.

  15. Occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in finished drinking water and fate during drinking water treatment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klarich, Kathryn L.; Pflug, Nicholas C.; DeWald, Eden M.; Hladik, Michelle; Kolpin, Dana W.; Cwiertny, David M.; LeFevre, Gergory H.

    2017-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are widespread in surface waters across the agriculturally-intensive Midwestern US. We report for the first time the presence of three neonicotinoids in finished drinking water and demonstrate their general persistence during conventional water treatment. Periodic tap water grab samples were collected at the University of Iowa over seven weeks in 2016 (May-July) after maize/soy planting. Clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam were ubiquitously detected in finished water samples and ranged from 0.24-57.3 ng/L. Samples collected along the University of Iowa treatment train indicate no apparent removal of clothianidin and imidacloprid, with modest thiamethoxam removal (~50%). In contrast, the concentrations of all neonicotinoids were substantially lower in the Iowa City treatment facility finished water using granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration. Batch experiments investigated potential losses. Thiamethoxam losses are due to base-catalyzed hydrolysis at high pH conditions during lime softening. GAC rapidly and nearly completely removed all three neonicotinoids. Clothianidin is susceptible to reaction with free chlorine and may undergo at least partial transformation during chlorination. Our work provides new insights into the persistence of neonicotinoids and their potential for transformation during water treatment and distribution, while also identifying GAC as an effective management tool to lower neonicotinoid concentrations in finished drinking water.

  16. Overview of the status and global strategy for neonicotinoids.

    PubMed

    Jeschke, Peter; Nauen, Ralf; Schindler, Michael; Elbert, Alfred

    2011-04-13

    In recent years, neonicotinoid insecticides have been the fastest growing class of insecticides in modern crop protection, with widespread use against a broad spectrum of sucking and certain chewing pests. As potent agonists, they act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), their molecular target site. The discovery of neonicotinoids can be considered as a milestone in insecticide research and greatly facilitates the understanding of functional properties of the insect nAChRs. In this context, the crystal structure of the acetylcholine-binding proteins provides the theoretical foundation for designing homology models of the corresponding receptor ligand binding domains within the nAChRs, a useful basis for virtual screening of chemical libraries and rational design of novel insecticides acting on these practically relevant channels. Because of the relatively low risk for nontarget organisms and the environment, the high target specificity of neonicotinoid insecticides, and their versatility in application methods, this important class has to be maintained globally for integrated pest management strategies and insect resistance management programs. Innovative concepts for life-cycle management, jointly with the introduction of generic products, have made neonicotinoids the most important chemical class for the insecticide market.

  17. Neonicotinoids interfere with specific components of navigation in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Johannes; Müller, Teresa; Spatz, Anne-Kathrin; Greggers, Uwe; Grünewald, Bernd; Menzel, Randolf

    2014-01-01

    Three neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiacloprid, agonists of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the central brain of insects, were applied at non-lethal doses in order to test their effects on honeybee navigation. A catch-and-release experimental design was applied in which feeder trained bees were caught when arriving at the feeder, treated with one of the neonicotinoids, and released 1.5 hours later at a remote site. The flight paths of individual bees were tracked with harmonic radar. The initial flight phase controlled by the recently acquired navigation memory (vector memory) was less compromised than the second phase that leads the animal back to the hive (homing flight). The rate of successful return was significantly lower in treated bees, the probability of a correct turn at a salient landscape structure was reduced, and less directed flights during homing flights were performed. Since the homing phase in catch-and-release experiments documents the ability of a foraging honeybee to activate a remote memory acquired during its exploratory orientation flights, we conclude that non-lethal doses of the three neonicotinoids tested either block the retrieval of exploratory navigation memory or alter this form of navigation memory. These findings are discussed in the context of the application of neonicotinoids in plant protection.

  18. Neonicotinoids Interfere with Specific Components of Navigation in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Johannes; Müller, Teresa; Spatz, Anne-Kathrin; Greggers, Uwe; Grünewald, Bernd; Menzel, Randolf

    2014-01-01

    Three neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiacloprid, agonists of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the central brain of insects, were applied at non-lethal doses in order to test their effects on honeybee navigation. A catch-and-release experimental design was applied in which feeder trained bees were caught when arriving at the feeder, treated with one of the neonicotinoids, and released 1.5 hours later at a remote site. The flight paths of individual bees were tracked with harmonic radar. The initial flight phase controlled by the recently acquired navigation memory (vector memory) was less compromised than the second phase that leads the animal back to the hive (homing flight). The rate of successful return was significantly lower in treated bees, the probability of a correct turn at a salient landscape structure was reduced, and less directed flights during homing flights were performed. Since the homing phase in catch-and-release experiments documents the ability of a foraging honeybee to activate a remote memory acquired during its exploratory orientation flights, we conclude that non-lethal doses of the three neonicotinoids tested either block the retrieval of exploratory navigation memory or alter this form of navigation memory. These findings are discussed in the context of the application of neonicotinoids in plant protection. PMID:24646521

  19. Structural insights into RNA interference.

    PubMed

    Sashital, Dipali G; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2010-02-01

    Virtually all animals and plants utilize small RNA molecules to control protein expression during different developmental stages and in response to viral infection. Structural and mechanistic studies have begun to illuminate three fundamental aspects of these pathways: small RNA biogenesis, formation of RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISCs), and targeting of complementary mRNAs. Here we review exciting recent progress in understanding how regulatory RNAs are produced and how they trigger specific destruction of mRNAs during RNA interference (RNAi).

  20. Structural insights on complement activation.

    PubMed

    Alcorlo, Martín; López-Perrote, Andrés; Delgado, Sandra; Yébenes, Hugo; Subías, Marta; Rodríguez-Gallego, César; Rodríguez de Córdoba, Santiago; Llorca, Oscar

    2015-10-01

    The proteolytic cleavage of C3 to generate C3b is the central and most important step in the activation of complement, a major component of innate immunity. The comparison of the crystal structures of C3 and C3b illustrates large conformational changes during the transition from C3 to C3b. Exposure of a reactive thio-ester group allows C3b to bind covalently to surfaces such as pathogens or apoptotic cellular debris. The displacement of the thio-ester-containing domain (TED) exposes hidden surfaces that mediate the interaction with complement factor B to assemble the C3-convertase of the alternative pathway (AP). In addition, the displacement of the TED and its interaction with the macroglobulin 1 (MG1) domain generates an extended surface in C3b where the complement regulators factor H (FH), decay accelerating factor (DAF), membrane cofactor protein (MCP) and complement receptor 1 (CR1) can bind, mediating accelerated decay of the AP C3-convertase and proteolytic inactivation of C3b. In the last few years, evidence has accumulated revealing that the structure of C3b in solution is significantly more flexible than anticipated. We review our current knowledge on C3b structural flexibility to propose a general model where the TED can display a collection of conformations around the MG ring, as well as a few specialized positions where the TED is held in one of several fixed locations. Importantly, this conformational heterogeneity in C3b impacts complement regulation by affecting the interaction with regulators.

  1. Structural insights into ribosome translocation

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Clarence

    2016-01-01

    During protein synthesis, tRNA and mRNA are translocated from the A to P to E sites of the ribosome thus enabling the ribosome to translate one codon of mRNA after the other. Ribosome translocation along mRNA is induced by the universally conserved ribosome GTPase, elongation factor G (EF‐G) in bacteria and elongation factor 2 (EF‐2) in eukaryotes. Recent structural and single‐molecule studies revealed that tRNA and mRNA translocation within the ribosome is accompanied by cyclic forward and reverse rotations between the large and small ribosomal subunits parallel to the plane of the intersubunit interface. In addition, during ribosome translocation, the ‘head’ domain of small ribosomal subunit undergoes forward‐ and back‐swiveling motions relative to the rest of the small ribosomal subunit around the axis that is orthogonal to the axis of intersubunit rotation. tRNA/mRNA translocation is also coupled to the docking of domain IV of EF‐G into the A site of the small ribosomal subunit that converts the thermally driven motions of the ribosome and tRNA into the forward translocation of tRNA/mRNA inside the ribosome. Despite recent and enormous progress made in the understanding of the molecular mechanism of ribosome translocation, the sequence of structural rearrangements of the ribosome, EF‐G and tRNA during translocation is still not fully established and awaits further investigation. WIREs RNA 2016, 7:620–636. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1354 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27117863

  2. Neonicotinoids show selective and diverse actions on their nicotinic receptor targets: electrophysiology, molecular biology, and receptor modeling studies.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Shimomura, Masaru; Ihara, Makoto; Akamatsu, Miki; Sattelle, David B

    2005-08-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides, which act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), are used worldwide for insect pest management. Studies that span chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and electrophysiology have contributed to our current understanding of the important physicochemical and structural properties essential for neonicotinoid actions as well as key receptor residues contributing to the high affinity of neonicotinoids for insect nAChRs. Research to date suggests that electrostatic interactions and possibly hydrogen bond formation between neonicotinoids and nAChRs contribute to the selectivity of these chemicals. A rich diversity of neonicotinoid-nAChR interactions has been demonstrated using voltage-clamp electrophysiology. Computational modeling of nAChR-imidacloprid interaction has assisted in the interpretation of these results.

  3. Biological Monitoring of Human Exposure to Neonicotinoids Using Urine Samples, and Neonicotinoid Excretion Kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Harada, Kouji H.; Tanaka, Keiko; Sakamoto, Hiroko; Imanaka, Mie; Niisoe, Tamon; Hitomi, Toshiaki; Kobayashi, Hatasu; Okuda, Hiroko; Inoue, Sumiko; Kusakawa, Koichi; Oshima, Masayo; Watanabe, Kiyohiko; Yasojima, Makoto; Takasuga, Takumi; Koizumi, Akio

    2016-01-01

    Background Neonicotinoids, which are novel pesticides, have entered into usage around the world because they are selectively toxic to arthropods and relatively non-toxic to vertebrates. It has been suggested that several neonicotinoids cause neurodevelopmental toxicity in mammals. The aim was to establish the relationship between oral intake and urinary excretion of neonicotinoids by humans to facilitate biological monitoring, and to estimate dietary neonicotinoid intakes by Japanese adults. Methodology/Principal Findings Deuterium-labeled neonicotinoid (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, and imidacloprid) microdoses were orally ingested by nine healthy adults, and 24 h pooled urine samples were collected for 4 consecutive days after dosing. The excretion kinetics were modeled using one- and two-compartment models, then validated in a non-deuterium-labeled neonicotinoid microdose study involving 12 healthy adults. Increased urinary concentrations of labeled neonicotinoids were observed after dosing. Clothianidin was recovered unchanged within 3 days, and most dinotefuran was recovered unchanged within 1 day. Around 10% of the imidacloprid dose was excreted unchanged. Most of the acetamiprid was metabolized to desmethyl-acetamiprid. Spot urine samples from 373 Japanese adults were analyzed for neonicotinoids, and daily intakes were estimated. The estimated average daily intake of these neonicotinoids was 0.53–3.66 μg/day. The highest intake of any of the neonicotinoids in the study population was 64.5 μg/day for dinotefuran, and this was <1% of the acceptable daily intake. PMID:26731104

  4. Neonicotinoid insecticides: highlights of a symposium on strategic molecular designs.

    PubMed

    Tomizawa, Motohiro; Casida, John E

    2011-04-13

    Neonicotinoids are the newest of the five major classes of insecticides (the others are chlorinated hydrocarbons, organophosphorus compounds, methylcarbamates, and pyrethroids), and they make up approximately one-fourth of the world insecticide market. Nithiazine was the lead compound from Shell Development Co. in California later optimized by Shinzo Kagabu of Nihon Tokushu Noyaku Seizo to increase the potency and photostability, resulting in imidacloprid and thiacloprid. These discoveries are the basis for the International Award for Research in Agrochemicals of the American Chemical Society presented in 2010 to Professor Shinzo Kagabu. Five other neonicotinoids were added by others for the current set of seven commercial compounds. This symposium considers the progress in discovery and development of novel chemotype nicotinic insecticides with enhanced effectiveness, unique biological properties, and maximal safety. Chemorational approaches considered include physicochemical properties, metabolic activation and detoxification, and chemical and structural biology aspects potentially facilitating receptor structure-guided insecticide design.

  5. Structural insights into microtubule doublet interactions inaxonemes

    SciTech Connect

    Downing, Kenneth H.; Sui, Haixin

    2007-06-06

    Coordinated sliding of microtubule doublets, driven by dynein motors, produces periodic beating of the axoneme. Recent structural studies of the axoneme have used cryo-electron tomography to reveal new details of the interactions among some of the multitude of proteins that form the axoneme and regulate its movement. Connections among the several sets of dyneins, in particular, suggest ways in which their actions may be coordinated. Study of the molecular architecture of isolated doublets has provided a structural basis for understanding the doublet's mechanical properties that are related to the bending of the axoneme, and has also offered insight into its potential role in the mechanism of dynein activity regulation.

  6. Orthobunyaviruses: recent genetic and structural insights.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Richard M

    2014-10-01

    Orthobunyaviruses, which have small, tripartite, negative-sense RNA genomes and structurally simple virions composed of just four proteins, can have devastating effects on human health and well-being, either by causing disease in humans or by causing disease in livestock and crops. In this Review, I describe the recent genetic and structural advances that have revealed important insights into the composition of orthobunyavirus virions, viral transcription and replication and viral interactions with the host innate immune response. Lastly, I highlight outstanding questions and areas of future research.

  7. cis-Nitromethylene neonicotinoids as new nicotinic family: synthesis, structural diversity, and insecticidal evaluation of hexahydroimidazo[1,2-alpha]pyridine.

    PubMed

    Shao, Xusheng; Zhang, Wenwen; Peng, Yanqing; Li, Zhong; Tian, Zhongzhen; Qian, Xuhong

    2008-12-15

    A series of neonicotinoids analogues of hexahydroimidazo[1,2-alpha]pyridine were modified at 5-, 6-, and 7-positions, and their insecticidal activities were evaluated. Introducing a methyl or ethyl at 7-position increased the insecticidal activities, while other substituents decreased activities. When alkyl substituents were introduced to 7-position, the insecticidal activities against Pea aphids decreased in the order methyl (7a)>ethyl (7b)>n-butyl (7e)>phenyl (7f)>n-propyl (7c)>iso-propyl (7d), p-NO(2)-phenyl (7g). Modifications at 5-, 6- or both at 6- and 7-positions with methyl or ethyl were unfavorable to activities. Interestingly, introducing methyl to 7-position not only increased insecticidal activities against pea aphids, but also show higher insecticidal activities than imidacloprid against imidacloprid-resistant brown planthopper.

  8. Monitoring of neonicotinoid pesticides in beekeeping.

    PubMed

    Cicero, Nicola; Naccari, Clara; Cammilleri, Gaetano; Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Cicero, Antonello; Gervasi, Teresa; Tropea, Alessia; Albergamo, Ambrogina; Ferrantelli, Vincenzo

    2017-06-01

    The decline of pollinating species is correlated to the extensive use of neonicotinoids against pest insects for crop protection. In this study, the concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides were determined in honeybees, honeycomb and honey samples, collected in Spring 2015 (blooming period) from different areas in Sicily (IT), to carry out an evaluation of bees products' safety and an overview of neonicotinoid contamination in beekeeping. The results obtained showed only the presence of clothianidin in bee samples and these concentrations don't represent a risk for bees' vitality and safety. The absence of residue in all honey samples, instead, showed the quality of bee products.

  9. Latest insights on adenovirus structure and assembly.

    PubMed

    San Martín, Carmen

    2012-05-01

    Adenovirus (AdV) capsid organization is considerably complex, not only because of its large size (~950 Å) and triangulation number (pseudo T = 25), but also because it contains four types of minor proteins in specialized locations modulating the quasi-equivalent icosahedral interactions. Up until 2009, only its major components (hexon, penton, and fiber) had separately been described in atomic detail. Their relationships within the virion, and the location of minor coat proteins, were inferred from combining the known crystal structures with increasingly more detailed cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) maps. There was no structural information on assembly intermediates. Later on that year, two reports described the structural differences between the mature and immature adenoviral particle, starting to shed light on the different stages of viral assembly, and giving further insights into the roles of core and minor coat proteins during morphogenesis [1,2]. Finally, in 2010, two papers describing the atomic resolution structure of the complete virion appeared [3,4]. These reports represent a veritable tour de force for two structural biology techniques: X-ray crystallography and cryoEM, as this is the largest macromolecular complex solved at high resolution by either of them. In particular, the cryoEM analysis provided an unprecedented clear picture of the complex protein networks shaping the icosahedral shell. Here I review these latest developments in the field of AdV structural studies.

  10. Latest Insights on Adenovirus Structure and Assembly

    PubMed Central

    San Martín, Carmen

    2012-01-01

    Adenovirus (AdV) capsid organization is considerably complex, not only because of its large size (~950 Å) and triangulation number (pseudo T = 25), but also because it contains four types of minor proteins in specialized locations modulating the quasi-equivalent icosahedral interactions. Up until 2009, only its major components (hexon, penton, and fiber) had separately been described in atomic detail. Their relationships within the virion, and the location of minor coat proteins, were inferred from combining the known crystal structures with increasingly more detailed cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) maps. There was no structural information on assembly intermediates. Later on that year, two reports described the structural differences between the mature and immature adenoviral particle, starting to shed light on the different stages of viral assembly, and giving further insights into the roles of core and minor coat proteins during morphogenesis [1,2]. Finally, in 2010, two papers describing the atomic resolution structure of the complete virion appeared [3,4]. These reports represent a veritable tour de force for two structural biology techniques: X-ray crystallography and cryoEM, as this is the largest macromolecular complex solved at high resolution by either of them. In particular, the cryoEM analysis provided an unprecedented clear picture of the complex protein networks shaping the icosahedral shell. Here I review these latest developments in the field of AdV structural studies. PMID:22754652

  11. Understanding cochleate formation: insights into structural development.

    PubMed

    Nagarsekar, Kalpa; Ashtikar, Mukul; Steiniger, Frank; Thamm, Jana; Schacher, Felix; Fahr, Alfred

    2016-04-20

    Understanding the structure and the self-assembly process of cochleates has become increasingly necessary considering the advances of this drug delivery system towards the pharmaceutical industry. It is well known that the addition of cations like calcium to a dispersion of anionic lipids such as phosphatidylserines results in stable, multilamellar cochleates through a spontaneous assembly. In the current investigation we have studied the intermediate structures generated during this self-assembly of cochleates. To achieve this, we have varied the process temperature for altering the rate of cochleate formation. Our findings from electron microscopy studies showed the formation of ribbonlike structures, which with proceeding interaction associate to form lipid stacks, networks and eventually cochleates. We also observed that the variation in lipid acyl chains did not make a remarkable difference to the type of structure evolved during the formation of cochleates. More generally, our observations provide a new insight into the self-assembly process of cochleates based on which we have proposed a pathway for cochleate formation from phosphatidylserine and calcium. This knowledge could be employed in using cochleates for a variety of possible biomedical applications in the future.

  12. Structural insight into Slit-Robo signalling.

    PubMed

    Hohenester, Erhard

    2008-04-01

    Drosophila Slit and its vertebrate orthologues Slit1-Slit3 are secreted glycoproteins that play important roles in the development of the nervous system and other organs. Human Slits are also involved in a number of pathological situations, such as cancer and inflammation. Slits exert their effects by activating receptors of the Robo (Roundabout) family, which resemble cell adhesion molecules in their ectodomains and have large, mainly unstructured cytosolic domains. HS (heparan sulfate) is required for Slit-Robo signalling. The hallmark of Slit proteins is a tandem of four LRR (leucine-rich repeat) domains, which mediate binding to the IG (immunoglobulin-like) domains of Robos. A major question is how Slit binding is translated into the recruitment of effector molecules to the cytosolic domain of Robo. Detailed structure-function studies have shown that the second LRR domain of Slit (D2) binds to the first two IG domains of Robo, and that HS serves to stabilize the Slit-Robo interaction and is required for biological activity of Slit D2. Very recently, the crystal structure of a minimal Slit-Robo complex revealed that the IG1 domain of Robo is bound by the concave face of Slit D2, confirming earlier mutagenesis data. To define the mechanism of Robo transmembrane signalling, these structural insights will have to be complemented by new cell biology and microscopy approaches.

  13. Review of crop pests targeted by neonicotinoid seed treatments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed treatment with neonicotinoid insecticides is an increasingly popular crop protection practice, intended to reduce damage due to early season pests. A large proportion of major U.S. crops are planted with neonicotinoid-treated seed. Use of the three most popular neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, thi...

  14. Synthesis and biological evaluation of nitromethylene neonicotinoids based on the enhanced conjugation.

    PubMed

    Lu, Siyuan; Zhuang, Yingying; Wu, Ningbo; Feng, Yue; Cheng, Jiagao; Li, Zhong; Chen, Jie; Yuan, Jing; Xu, Xiaoyong

    2013-11-20

    The neonicotinoids with a nitroconjugated system had excellent bioactivity, which could rival imidacloprid, and has been previously reported. However, the photodegradation and hydrolysis of this series of neonicotinoids was very quick according to our further investigation, which cannot be developed as a pesticide further. The approach to further enhance the conjugation was tried not only to increase the bioactivities but also to improve the stability in water and in the sun. A substituted phenyl group was introduced into the furan ring of compound 3. A total of 13 novel neonicotinoid analogues with a higher conjugation system were designed and synthesized. The target molecular structures have been confirmed on the basis of satisfactory analytical and spectral data. All compounds presented significant insecticidal activities on cowpea aphid ( Aphis craccivora ), cotton aphid ( Aphis gossypii ), and brown planthopper ( Nilaparvata lugens ). The stability test exhibited that the stability of novel analogues in water and under the mercury lamp has been improved significantly in comparison to compound 3.

  15. Structural insights into calicivirus attachment and uncoating.

    PubMed

    Bhella, David; Gatherer, Derek; Chaudhry, Yasmin; Pink, Rebecca; Goodfellow, Ian G

    2008-08-01

    The Caliciviridae family comprises positive-sense RNA viruses of medical and veterinary significance. In humans, caliciviruses are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis, while in animals respiratory illness, conjunctivitis, stomatitis, and hemorrhagic disease are documented. Investigation of virus-host interactions is limited by a lack of culture systems for many viruses in this family. Feline calicivirus (FCV), a member of the Vesivirus genus, provides a tractable model, since it may be propagated in cell culture. Feline junctional adhesion molecule 1 (fJAM-1) was recently identified as a functional receptor for FCV. We have analyzed the structure of this virus-receptor complex by cryo-electron microscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction, combined with fitting of homology modeled high-resolution coordinates. We show that domain 1 of fJAM-1 binds to the outer face of the P2 domain of the FCV capsid protein VP1, inducing conformational changes in the viral capsid. This study provides the first structural view of a native calicivirus-protein receptor complex and insights into the mechanisms of virus attachment and uncoating.

  16. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Sébastien C; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Radcliffe, Amy; Stout, Jane C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-05-07

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  17. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessler, Sébastien C.; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  18. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-01-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies1-3. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants4. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure4,5. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly-used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO) in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX, and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees’ mouthparts nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a significant hazard to foraging bees. PMID:25901684

  19. Target-site resistance to neonicotinoids.

    PubMed

    Crossthwaite, Andrew J; Rendine, Stefano; Stenta, Marco; Slater, Russell

    2014-10-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides selectively target the invertebrate nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and disrupt excitatory cholinergic neurotransmission. First launched over 20 years ago, their broad pest spectrum, variety of application methods and relatively low risk to nontarget organisms have resulted in this class dominating the insecticide market with global annual sales in excess of $3.5 bn. This remarkable commercial success brings with it conditions in the field that favour selection of resistant phenotypes. A number of important pest species have been identified with mutations at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor associated with insensitivity to neonicotinoids. The detailed characterization of these mutations has facilitated a greater understanding of the invertebrate nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

  20. Agonist actions of neonicotinoids on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed by cockroach neurons.

    PubMed

    Tan, Jianguo; Galligan, James J; Hollingworth, Robert M

    2007-07-01

    indicated by maximal current (I(max)). Agonist efficacy, but not affinity, was positively correlated with insecticidal activity. These findings indicate that: (1) agonist affinity and efficacy vary independently with neonicotinoid structure; (2) high agonist efficacy is dependent on the presence of an acyclic electronegative pharmacophore group; (3) agonist efficacy is a significant factor in the insecticidal activity of neonicotinoids to cockroaches; (4) lower efficacy compounds cause excitatory symptoms (Type A), while high efficacy compounds cause depressive/paralytic symptoms (Type B).

  1. Schedule for Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The dockets for all the neonicotinoid pesticides, which pose exposure risk to honey bees and other pollinators, have been opened. Our goal is to review the pesticides in this class in the same timeframe so we can ensure consistency across the class.

  2. Neonicotinoids in the Canadian aquatic environment: a literature review on current use products with a focus on fate, exposure, and biological effects.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J C; Dubetz, C; Palace, V P

    2015-02-01

    Developed to replace organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, neonicotinoids are structurally similar to nicotine. The three main neonicotinoid insecticides, imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, are being re-evaluated by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). An important aspect of the re-evaluation is the potential for effects in non-target organisms, including aquatic organisms. Leaching into surface waters is one of the major concerns surrounding extensive use of neonicotinoids, especially in close proximity to water bodies. The PMRA has classified IMI as 'persistent' with a 'high' leaching potential. Globally, neonicotinoids have been detected in a variety of water bodies, typically at concentrations in the low μg/L range. While IMI has been included in some monitoring exercises, there are currently very few published data for the presence of CLO and THM in Canadian water bodies. The majority of neonicotinoid toxicity studies have been conducted with IMI due to its longer presence on the market and high prevalence of use. Aquatic insects are particularly vulnerable to neonicotinoids and chronic toxicity has been observed at concentrations of IMI below 1 μg/L. Acute toxicity has been reported at concentrations below 20 μg/L for the most sensitive species, including Hyalella azteca, ostracods, and Chironomus riparius. Fish, algae, amphibians, and molluscs are relatively insensitive to IMI. However, the biological effects of THM and CLO have not been as well explored. The Canadian interim water quality guideline for IMI is 0.23 μg/L, but there is currently insufficient use, fate, and toxicological information available to establish guidelines for CLO and THM. Based on concentrations of neonicotinoids reported in surface waters in Canada and globally, there is potential for aquatic invertebrates to be negatively impacted by neonicotinoids. Therefore, it is necessary to address knowledge gaps to inform decisions around guidelines

  3. Binary mixtures of neonicotinoids show different transcriptional changes than single neonicotinoids in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Christen, Verena; Bachofer, Sara; Fent, Karl

    2017-01-01

    Among the many factors responsible for the decline of bee populations are plant protection products such as neonicotinoids. In general, bees are exposed to not only one but mixtures of such chemicals. At environmental realistic concentrations neonicotinoids may display negative effects on the immune system, foraging activity, learning and memory formation of bees. Neonicotinoids induce alterations of gene transcripts such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits, vitellogenin, genes of the immune system and genes linked to memory formation. While previous studies focused on individual compounds, the effect of neonicotinoid mixtures in bees is poorly known. Here we investigated the effects of neonicotinoids acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam as single compounds, and binary mixtures thereof in honeybees. We determined transcriptional changes of nAChR subunits and vitellogenin in the brain of experimentally exposed honeybees after exposure up to 72 h. Exposure concentrations were selected on the basis of lowest effect concentrations of the single compounds. Transcriptional induction of nAChRs and vitellogenin was strongest for thiamethoxam, and weakest for acetamiprid. To a large extent, binary mixtures did not show additive transcriptional inductions but they were less than additive. Our data suggest that the joint transcriptional activity of neonicotinoids cannot be explained by concentration addition. The in vivo effects are not only governed by agonistic interaction with nAChRs alone, but are more complex as a result of interactions with other pathways as well. Further studies are needed to investigate the physiological joint effects of mixtures of neonicotinoids and other plant protection products on bees to better understand their joint effects.

  4. Bacterial biodegradation of neonicotinoid pesticides in soil and water systems.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Sarfraz; Hartley, Carol J; Shettigar, Madhura; Pandey, Gunjan

    2016-12-01

    Neonicotinoids are neurotoxic systemic insecticides used in plant protection worldwide. Unfortunately, application of neonicotinoids affects both beneficial and target insects indiscriminately. Being water soluble and persistent, these pesticides are capable of disrupting both food chains and biogeochemical cycles. This review focuses on the biodegradation of neonicotinoids in soil and water systems by the bacterial community. Several bacterial strains have been isolated and identified as capable of transforming neonicotinoids in the presence of an additional carbon source. Environmental parameters have been established for accelerated transformation in some of these strains. Studies have also indicated that enhanced biotransformation of these pesticides can be accomplished by mixed microbial populations under optimised environmental conditions. Substantial research into the identification of neonicotinoid-mineralising bacterial strains and identification of the genes and enzymes responsible for neonicotinoid degradation is still required to complete the understanding of microbial biodegradation pathways, and advance bioremediation efforts.

  5. Novel neonicotinoid-agarose affinity column for Drosophila and Musca nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Tomizawa, M; Latli, B; Casida, J E

    1996-10-01

    Neonicotinoids such as the insecticide imidacloprid (IMI) act as agonists at the insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Head membranes of Drosophila melanogaster and Musca domestica have a single high-affinity binding site for [3H]IMI with KD values of 1-2 nM and Bmax values of 560-850 fmol/mg of protein. Locusta and Periplaneta nAChRs isolated with an alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BGT)-agarose affinity column are known to be alpha-subunit homooligomers. This study uses 1-[N-(6-chloro-3-pyridylmethyl)-N-ethyl]amino-1-amino-2-nitroethene++ + (which inhibits [3H]IMI binding to Drosophila and Musca head membranes at 2-3 nM) to develop a neonicotinoid-agarose affinity column. The procedure-introduction of Triton-solubilized Drosophila or Musca head membranes into this neonicotinoid-based column, elution with IMI, and analysis by lithium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamicle gel electrophoresis-gives only three proteins (69, 66, and 61 kDa) tentatively assigned as putative subunits of the nAChR; the same three proteins are obtained with Musca using the alpha-BGT-agarose affinity column. Photoaffinity labeling of the Drosophila and Musca putative subunits from the neonicotinoid column with 125I-alpha-BGT-4-azidosalicylic acid gives a labeled derivative of 66-69 kDa. The yield is 2-5 micrograms of receptor protein from 1 g of Drosophila or Musca heads. Neonicotinoid affinity chromatography to isolate native Drosophila and Musca receptors will facilitate studies on the structure and function of insect nAChRs.

  6. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    PubMed

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-10-13

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances.

  7. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Geoffrey R.; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances. PMID:26459072

  8. Risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Fairbrother, Anne; Purdy, John; Anderson, Troy; Fell, Richard

    2014-01-01

    The European honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an important pollinator of agricultural crops. Since 2006, when unexpectedly high colony losses were first reported, articles have proliferated in the popular press suggesting a range of possible causes and raising alarm over the general decline of bees. Suggested causes include pesticides, genetically modified crops, habitat fragmentation, and introduced diseases and parasites. Scientists have concluded that multiple factors in various combinations—including mites, fungi, viruses, and pesticides, as well as other factors such as reduction in forage, poor nutrition, and queen failure—are the most probable cause of elevated colony loss rates. Investigators and regulators continue to focus on the possible role that insecticides, particularly the neonicotinoids, may play in honeybee health. Neonicotinoid insecticides are insect neurotoxicants with desirable features such as broad-spectrum activity, low application rates, low mammalian toxicity, upward systemic movement in plants, and versatile application methods. Their distribution throughout the plant, including pollen, nectar, and guttation fluids, poses particular concern for exposure to pollinators. The authors describe how neonicotinoids interact with the nervous system of honeybees and affect individual honeybees in laboratory situations. Because honeybees are social insects, colony effects in semifield and field studies are discussed. The authors conclude with a review of current and proposed guidance in the United States and Europe for assessing the risks of pesticides to honeybees. PMID:24692231

  9. Potential exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoid insecticides from the use of insecticide seed treatments in the mid-southern United States.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Scott D; Lorenz, Gus M; Catchot, Angus L; Gore, Jeff; Cook, Don; Skinner, John; Mueller, Thomas C; Johnson, Donald R; Zawislak, Jon; Barber, Jonathan

    2014-08-19

    Research was done during 2012 to evaluate the potential exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoid insecticides used as seed treatments on corn, cotton, and soybean. Samples were collected from small plot evaluations of seed treatments and from commercial fields in agricultural production areas in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. In total, 560 samples were analyzed for concentrations of clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and their metabolites. These included pollen from corn and cotton, nectar from cotton, flowers from soybean, honey bees, Apis mellifera L., and pollen carried by foragers returning to hives, preplanting and in-season soil samples, and wild flowers adjacent to recently planted fields. Neonicotinoid insecticides were detected at a level of 1 ng/g or above in 23% of wild flower samples around recently planted fields, with an average detection level of about 10 ng/g. We detected neonicotinoid insecticides in the soil of production fields prior to planting at an average concentration of about 10 ng/g, and over 80% of the samples having some insecticide present. Only 5% of foraging honey bees tested positive for the presence of neonicotinoid insecticides, and there was only one trace detection (< 1 ng/g) in pollen being carried by those bees. Soybean flowers, cotton pollen, and cotton nectar contained little or no neonicotinoids resulting from insecticide seed treatments. Average levels of neonicotinoid insecticides in corn pollen ranged from less than 1 to 6 ng/g. The highest neonicotinoid concentrations were found in soil collected during early flowering from insecticide seed treatment trials. However, these levels were generally not well correlated with neonicotinoid concentrations in flowers, pollen, or nectar. Concentrations in flowering structures were well below defined levels of concern thought to cause acute mortality in honey bees. The potential implications of our findings are discussed.

  10. Structural insights into the translational infidelity mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rozov, Alexey; Demeshkina, Natalia; Westhof, Eric; Yusupov, Marat; Yusupova, Gulnara

    2015-06-01

    The decoding of mRNA on the ribosome is the least accurate process during genetic information transfer. Here we propose a unified decoding mechanism based on 11 high-resolution X-ray structures of the 70S ribosome that explains the occurrence of missense errors during translation. We determined ribosome structures in rare states where incorrect tRNAs were incorporated into the peptidyl-tRNA-binding site. These structures show that in the codon-anticodon duplex, a G.U mismatch adopts the Watson-Crick geometry, indicating a shift in the tautomeric equilibrium or ionization of the nucleobase. Additional structures with mismatches in the 70S decoding centre show that the binding of any tRNA induces identical rearrangements in the centre, which favours either isosteric or close to the Watson-Crick geometry codon-anticodon pairs. Overall, the results suggest that a mismatch escapes discrimination by preserving the shape of a Watson-Crick pair and indicate that geometric selection via tautomerism or ionization dominates the translational infidelity mechanism.

  11. Environmental fate and exposure; neonicotinoids and fipronil.

    PubMed

    Bonmatin, J-M; Giorio, C; Girolami, V; Goulson, D; Kreutzweiser, D P; Krupke, C; Liess, M; Long, E; Marzaro, M; Mitchell, E A D; Noome, D A; Simon-Delso, N; Tapparo, A

    2015-01-01

    Systemic insecticides are applied to plants using a wide variety of methods, ranging from foliar sprays to seed treatments and soil drenches. Neonicotinoids and fipronil are among the most widely used pesticides in the world. Their popularity is largely due to their high toxicity to invertebrates, the ease and flexibility with which they can be applied, their long persistence, and their systemic nature, which ensures that they spread to all parts of the target crop. However, these properties also increase the probability of environmental contamination and exposure of nontarget organisms. Environmental contamination occurs via a number of routes including dust generated during drilling of dressed seeds, contamination and accumulation in arable soils and soil water, runoff into waterways, and uptake of pesticides by nontarget plants via their roots or dust deposition on leaves. Persistence in soils, waterways, and nontarget plants is variable but can be prolonged; for example, the half-lives of neonicotinoids in soils can exceed 1,000 days, so they can accumulate when used repeatedly. Similarly, they can persist in woody plants for periods exceeding 1 year. Breakdown results in toxic metabolites, though concentrations of these in the environment are rarely measured. Overall, there is strong evidence that soils, waterways, and plants in agricultural environments and neighboring areas are contaminated with variable levels of neonicotinoids or fipronil mixtures and their metabolites (soil, parts per billion (ppb)-parts per million (ppm) range; water, parts per trillion (ppt)-ppb range; and plants, ppb-ppm range). This provides multiple routes for chronic (and acute in some cases) exposure of nontarget animals. For example, pollinators are exposed through direct contact with dust during drilling; consumption of pollen, nectar, or guttation drops from seed-treated crops, water, and consumption of contaminated pollen and nectar from wild flowers and trees growing near

  12. Insight into Amyloid Structure Using Chemical Probes

    PubMed Central

    Reinke, Ashley A.; Gestwicki, Jason E.

    2011-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the deposition of amyloids in the brain. One prominent form of amyloid is composed of repeating units of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide. Over the past decade, it has become clear that these Aβ amyloids are not homogeneous; rather, they are composed of a series of structures varying in their overall size and shape and the number of Aβ peptides they contain. Recent theories suggest that these different amyloid conformations may play distinct roles in disease, although their relative contributions are still being discovered. Here, we review how chemical probes, such as congo red, thioflavin T and their derivatives, have been powerful tools for better understanding amyloid structure and function. Moreover, we discuss how design and deployment of conformationally selective probes might be used to test emerging models of AD. PMID:21457473

  13. BK channel activation: structural and functional insights

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Urvi S.; Cui, Jianmin

    2010-01-01

    The voltage and Ca2+ activated K+ (BK) channels are involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release and neuronal excitability. Structurally, BK channels are homologous to voltage- and ligand-gated K+ channels, having a voltage sensor and pore as the membrane-spanning domain and a cytosolic domain containing metal binding sites. Recently published electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) and X-ray crystallographic structures of the BK channel provided the first look into the assembly of these domains, corroborating the close interactions among these domains during channel gating that have been suggested by functional studies. This review discusses these latest findings and an emerging new understanding about BK channel gating and implications for diseases such as epilepsy, in which mutations in BK channel genes have been associated. PMID:20663573

  14. Structural insights into sulfite oxidase deficiency.

    PubMed

    Karakas, Erkan; Wilson, Heather L; Graf, Tyler N; Xiang, Song; Jaramillo-Busquets, Sandra; Rajagopalan, K V; Kisker, Caroline

    2005-09-30

    Sulfite oxidase deficiency is a lethal genetic disease that results from defects either in the genes encoding proteins involved in molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis or in the sulfite oxidase gene itself. Several point mutations in the sulfite oxidase gene have been identified from patients suffering from this disease worldwide. Although detailed biochemical analyses have been carried out on these mutations, no structural data could be obtained because of problems in crystallizing recombinant human and rat sulfite oxidases and the failure to clone the chicken sulfite oxidase gene. We synthesized the gene for chicken sulfite oxidase de novo, working backward from the amino acid sequence of the native chicken liver enzyme by PCR amplification of a series of 72 overlapping primers. The recombinant protein displayed the characteristic absorption spectrum of sulfite oxidase and exhibited steady state and rapid kinetic parameters comparable with those of the tissue-derived enzyme. We solved the crystal structures of the wild type and the sulfite oxidase deficiency-causing R138Q (R160Q in humans) variant of recombinant chicken sulfite oxidase in the resting and sulfate-bound forms. Significant alterations in the substrate-binding pocket were detected in the structure of the mutant, and a comparison between the wild type and mutant protein revealed that the active site residue Arg-450 adopts different conformations in the presence and absence of bound sulfate. The size of the binding pocket is thereby considerably reduced, and its position relative to the cofactor is shifted, causing an increase in the distance of the sulfur atom of the bound sulfate to the molybdenum.

  15. New insights into prion structure and toxicity.

    PubMed

    Harris, David A; True, Heather L

    2006-05-04

    Prion diseases in humans and animals are due to conformational conversion of PrP(C), a cellular glycoprotein of unknown function, into PrP(Sc), an isoform that appears to be infectious in the absence of nucleic acids. Proteins that behave as prions are also found in yeast and filamentous fungi. Although there is now strong experimental support for the hypothesis that prions are infectious proteins, two subjects have remained poorly understood: the structure of prions, and the mechanisms by which they kill neurons. In this review, we will highlight recent studies that shed new light on these important issues.

  16. The discovery of thiamethoxam: a second-generation neonicotinoid.

    PubMed

    Maienfisch, P; Huerlimann, H; Rindlisbacher, A; Gsell, L; Dettwiler, H; Haettenschwiler, J; Sieger, E; Walti, M

    2001-02-01

    Neonicotinoids represent a novel and distinct chemical class of insecticides with remarkable chemical and biological properties. In 1985, a research programme was started in this field, in which novel nitroimino heterocycles were designed, prepared and assayed for insecticidal activity. The methodology for the synthesis of 2-nitroimino-hexahydro-1,3,5-triazines, 4-nitroimino-1,3,5-oxadiazinanes and 4-nitroimino-1,3,5-thiadiazinanes is outlined. Bioassays demonstrated that 3-(6-chloropyridin-3-ylmethyl)-4-nitroimino-1,3,5-oxadiazinane exhibited better insecticidal activity than the corresponding 2-nitroimino-hexahydro-1,3,5-triazine and 4-nitroimino-1,3,5-thiadiazinane. In most tests, this compound was equally or only slightly less active than imidacloprid. A series of structural modifications on this lead structure revealed that replacement of the 6-chloro-3-pyridyl group by a 2-chloro-5-thiazolyl moiety resulted in a strong increase of activity against chewing insects, whereas the introduction of a methyl group as pharmacophore substituent increased activity against sucking pests. The combination of these two favourable modifications led to thiamethoxam (CGA 293 343). Thiamethoxam is the first commercially available second-generation neonicotinoid and belongs to the thianicotinyl sub-class. It is marketed under the trademarks Actara for foliar and soil treatment and Cruiser for seed treatment. The compound has broad-spectrum insecticidal activity and offers excellent control of a wide variety of commercially important pests in many crops. Low use rates, flexible application methods, excellent efficacy and the favourable safety profile make this new insecticide well-suited for modern integrated pest management programmes in many cropping systems.

  17. Design, synthesis, and particular biological behaviors of chain-opening nitromethylene neonicotinoids with cis configuration.

    PubMed

    Lu, Siyuan; Shao, Xusheng; Li, Zhong; Xu, Zhiping; Zhao, Shishuai; Wu, Yinli; Xu, Xiaoyong

    2012-01-11

    On the basis of the structure of heterocyclic-fused cis configuration derivatives and chain-opening neonicotinoids, two series of novel chain-opening tetrahydropyridine analogues were designed and synthesized. The preliminary bioassay tests were determined on cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora) and armyworm (Pseudaletia separata Walker). The results showed that some of the target compounds exhibited repellent effects, whereas others showed good insecticidal activities.

  18. Are neonicotinoid insecticides driving declines of widespread butterflies?

    PubMed Central

    Bunnefeld, Nils; Wilson, John McVean; Botham, Marc S.; Brereton, Tom M.; Fox, Richard; Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    There has been widespread concern that neonicotinoid pesticides may be adversely impacting wild and managed bees for some years, but recently attention has shifted to examining broader effects they may be having on biodiversity. For example in the Netherlands, declines in insectivorous birds are positively associated with levels of neonicotinoid pollution in surface water. In England, the total abundance of widespread butterfly species declined by 58% on farmed land between 2000 and 2009 despite both a doubling in conservation spending in the UK, and predictions that climate change should benefit most species. Here we build models of the UK population indices from 1985 to 2012 for 17 widespread butterfly species that commonly occur at farmland sites. Of the factors we tested, three correlated significantly with butterfly populations. Summer temperature and the index for a species the previous year are both positively associated with butterfly indices. By contrast, the number of hectares of farmland where neonicotinoid pesticides are used is negatively associated with butterfly indices. Indices for 15 of the 17 species show negative associations with neonicotinoid usage. The declines in butterflies have largely occurred in England, where neonicotinoid usage is at its highest. In Scotland, where neonicotinoid usage is comparatively low, butterfly numbers are stable. Further research is needed urgently to show whether there is a causal link between neonicotinoid usage and the decline of widespread butterflies or whether it simply represents a proxy for other environmental factors associated with intensive agriculture. PMID:26623186

  19. Are neonicotinoid insecticides driving declines of widespread butterflies?

    PubMed

    Gilburn, Andre S; Bunnefeld, Nils; Wilson, John McVean; Botham, Marc S; Brereton, Tom M; Fox, Richard; Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    There has been widespread concern that neonicotinoid pesticides may be adversely impacting wild and managed bees for some years, but recently attention has shifted to examining broader effects they may be having on biodiversity. For example in the Netherlands, declines in insectivorous birds are positively associated with levels of neonicotinoid pollution in surface water. In England, the total abundance of widespread butterfly species declined by 58% on farmed land between 2000 and 2009 despite both a doubling in conservation spending in the UK, and predictions that climate change should benefit most species. Here we build models of the UK population indices from 1985 to 2012 for 17 widespread butterfly species that commonly occur at farmland sites. Of the factors we tested, three correlated significantly with butterfly populations. Summer temperature and the index for a species the previous year are both positively associated with butterfly indices. By contrast, the number of hectares of farmland where neonicotinoid pesticides are used is negatively associated with butterfly indices. Indices for 15 of the 17 species show negative associations with neonicotinoid usage. The declines in butterflies have largely occurred in England, where neonicotinoid usage is at its highest. In Scotland, where neonicotinoid usage is comparatively low, butterfly numbers are stable. Further research is needed urgently to show whether there is a causal link between neonicotinoid usage and the decline of widespread butterflies or whether it simply represents a proxy for other environmental factors associated with intensive agriculture.

  20. Specific Synergist for Neonicotinoid Insecticides: IPPA08, a cis-Neonicotinoid Compound with a Unique Oxabridged Substructure.

    PubMed

    Bao, Haibo; Shao, Xusheng; Zhang, Yixi; Deng, Yayun; Xu, Xiaoyong; Liu, Zewen; Li, Zhong

    2016-06-29

    Insecticide synergists are key components to increase the control efficacy and reduce active ingredient use. Here, we describe a novel insecticide synergist with activity specific for insecticidal neonicotinoids. The synergist IPPA08, a cis configuration neonicotinoid compound with a unique oxabridged substructure, could increase the toxicity of most neonicotinoid insecticides belonging to the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) 4A subgroup against a range of insect species, although IPPA08 itself was almost inactive to insects at synergistic concentrations. Unfortunately, similar effects were observed on the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and the brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens), resistant to imidacloprid. IPPA08 did not show any effects on toxicity of insecticides with different targets, which made us define it as a neonicotinoid-specific synergist. Unlike most insecticide synergists, by inhibition of activities of detoxification enzymes, IPPA08 showed no effects on enzyme activities. The results revealed that IPPA08 worked as a synergist through a distinct way. Although the modulating insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs, targets of neonicotinoid insecticides) were supposed as a possible mode of action for IPPA08 as a neonicotinoid-specific synergist, direct evidence is needed in further studies. In insect pest control, IPPA08 acts as a target synergist to increase neonicotinoid toxicity and reduce the amount of neonicotinoid used. Combinations of IPPA08 and insecticidal neonicotinoids may be developed into new insecticide formulations. In summary, combining an active ingredient with a "custom" synergist appears to be a very promising approach for the development of effective new insecticide products.

  1. Benefits of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments to Soybean Production

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Read about EPA’s analysis of use of the neonicotinoid seed treatments for insect control in U.S. soybean production. EPA concludes that these seed treatments provide little or no overall benefits to soybean production in most situations.

  2. Visualization of elusive structures using intracardiac echocardiography: Insights from electrophysiology

    PubMed Central

    Szili-Torok, T; McFadden, EP; Jordaens, LJ; Roelandt, JRTC

    2004-01-01

    Electrophysiological mapping and ablation techniques are increasingly used to diagnose and treat many types of supraventricular and ventricular tachycardias. These procedures require an intimate knowledge of intracardiac anatomy and their use has led to a renewed interest in visualization of specific structures. This has required collaborative efforts from imaging as well as electrophysiology experts. Classical imaging techniques may be unable to visualize structures involved in arrhythmia mechanisms and therapy. Novel methods, such as intracardiac echocardiography and three-dimensional echocardiography, have been refined and these technological improvements have opened new perspectives for more effective and accurate imaging during electrophysiology procedures. Concurrently, visualization of these structures noticeably improved our ability to identify intracardiac structures. The aim of this review is to provide electrophysiologists with an overview of recent insights into the structure of the heart obtained with intracardiac echocardiography and to indicate to the echo-specialist which structures are potentially important for the electrophysiologist. PMID:15253772

  3. The effects of neonicotinoid exposure on embryonic development and organ mass in northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus).

    PubMed

    Gobeli, Amanda; Crossley, Dane; Johnson, Jeff; Reyna, Kelly

    2017-02-08

    Since their emergence in the early 1990s, neonicotinoid use has increased exponentially to make them the world's most prevalent insecticides. Although there has been considerable research concerning the lethality of neonicotinoids, their sub-lethal and developmental effects are still being explored, especially with regard to non-mammalian species. The goal of this research was to investigate the effects of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid on the morphological and physiological development of northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). Bobwhite eggs (n=390) were injected with imidacloprid concentrations of 0 (sham), 10, 50, 100, and 150mg/kg of egg mass, which was administered at day 0 (pre-incubation), 3, 6, 9, or 12 of growth. Embryos were dissected, weighed, staged, and examined for any overt structural deformities after 19days of incubation. The mass of the embryonic heart, liver, lungs and kidneys was also recorded. The majority of treatments produced no discernible differences in embryo morphology; however, in some instances, embryos were subject to increased frequency of anatomical deformity and altered organ masses. Some impacts were more pronounced in specific dosing periods, implying that there may be critical windows of development when embryos are more susceptible to neonicotinoid exposure. This investigation suggests that imidacloprid has the potential to impact bobwhite quail embryonic development and chick survival.

  4. Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees.

    PubMed

    Rundlöf, Maj; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Fries, Ingemar; Hederström, Veronica; Herbertsson, Lina; Jonsson, Ove; Klatt, Björn K; Pedersen, Thorsten R; Yourstone, Johanna; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-05-07

    Understanding the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees is vital because of reported declines in bee diversity and distribution and the crucial role bees have as pollinators in ecosystems and agriculture. Neonicotinoids are suspected to pose an unacceptable risk to bees, partly because of their systemic uptake in plants, and the European Union has therefore introduced a moratorium on three neonicotinoids as seed coatings in flowering crops that attract bees. The moratorium has been criticized for being based on weak evidence, particularly because effects have mostly been measured on bees that have been artificially fed neonicotinoids. Thus, the key question is how neonicotinoids influence bees, and wild bees in particular, in real-world agricultural landscapes. Here we show that a commonly used insecticide seed coating in a flowering crop can have serious consequences for wild bees. In a study with replicated and matched landscapes, we found that seed coating with Elado, an insecticide containing a combination of the neonicotinoid clothianidin and the non-systemic pyrethroid β-cyfluthrin, applied to oilseed rape seeds, reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction under field conditions. Hence, such insecticidal use can pose a substantial risk to wild bees in agricultural landscapes, and the contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated. The lack of a significant response in honeybee colonies suggests that reported pesticide effects on honeybees cannot always be extrapolated to wild bees.

  5. The global status of insect resistance to neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Bass, Chris; Denholm, Ian; Williamson, Martin S; Nauen, Ralf

    2015-06-01

    The first neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, was launched in 1991. Today this class of insecticides comprises at least seven major compounds with a market share of more than 25% of total global insecticide sales. Neonicotinoid insecticides are highly selective agonists of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and provide farmers with invaluable, highly effective tools against some of the world's most destructive crop pests. These include sucking pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and planthoppers, and also some coleopteran, dipteran and lepidopteran species. Although many insect species are still successfully controlled by neonicotinoids, their popularity has imposed a mounting selection pressure for resistance, and in several species resistance has now reached levels that compromise the efficacy of these insecticides. Research to understand the molecular basis of neonicotinoid resistance has revealed both target-site and metabolic mechanisms conferring resistance. For target-site resistance, field-evolved mutations have only been characterized in two aphid species. Metabolic resistance appears much more common, with the enhanced expression of one or more cytochrome P450s frequently reported in resistant strains. Despite the current scale of resistance, neonicotinoids remain a major component of many pest control programmes, and resistance management strategies, based on mode of action rotation, are of crucial importance in preventing resistance becoming more widespread. In this review we summarize the current status of neonicotinoid resistance, the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved, and the implications for resistance management.

  6. Translocation of the neonicotinoid seed treatment clothianidin in maize

    PubMed Central

    Krupke, Christian H.

    2017-01-01

    Neonicotinoid seed treatments, typically clothianidin or thiamethoxam, are routinely applied to >80% of maize (corn) seed grown in North America where they are marketed as a targeted pesticide delivery system. Despite this widespread use, the amount of compound translocated into plant tissue from the initial seed treatment to provide protection has not been reported. Our two year field study compared concentrations of clothianidin seed treatments in maize to that of maize without neonicotinoid seed treatments and found neonicotinoids present in root tissues up to 34 days post planting. Plant-bound clothianidin concentrations followed an exponential decay pattern with initially high values followed by a rapid decrease within the first ~20 days post planting. A maximum of 1.34% of the initial seed treatment was successfully recovered from plant tissues in both study years and a maximum of 0.26% was recovered from root tissue. Our findings show neonicotinoid seed treatments may provide protection from some early season secondary maize pests. However, the proportion of the neonicotinoid seed treatment clothianidin translocated into plant tissues throughout the growing season is low overall and this observation may provide a mechanism to explain reports of inconsistent efficacy of this pest management approach and increasing detections of environmental neonicotinoids. PMID:28282441

  7. Translocation of the neonicotinoid seed treatment clothianidin in maize.

    PubMed

    Alford, Adam; Krupke, Christian H

    2017-01-01

    Neonicotinoid seed treatments, typically clothianidin or thiamethoxam, are routinely applied to >80% of maize (corn) seed grown in North America where they are marketed as a targeted pesticide delivery system. Despite this widespread use, the amount of compound translocated into plant tissue from the initial seed treatment to provide protection has not been reported. Our two year field study compared concentrations of clothianidin seed treatments in maize to that of maize without neonicotinoid seed treatments and found neonicotinoids present in root tissues up to 34 days post planting. Plant-bound clothianidin concentrations followed an exponential decay pattern with initially high values followed by a rapid decrease within the first ~20 days post planting. A maximum of 1.34% of the initial seed treatment was successfully recovered from plant tissues in both study years and a maximum of 0.26% was recovered from root tissue. Our findings show neonicotinoid seed treatments may provide protection from some early season secondary maize pests. However, the proportion of the neonicotinoid seed treatment clothianidin translocated into plant tissues throughout the growing season is low overall and this observation may provide a mechanism to explain reports of inconsistent efficacy of this pest management approach and increasing detections of environmental neonicotinoids.

  8. Molecular Effects of Neonicotinoids in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Christen, Verena; Mittner, Fabian; Fent, Karl

    2016-04-05

    Neonicotinoids are implicated in the decline of bee populations. As agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, they disturb acetylcholine receptor signaling leading to neurotoxicity. Several behavioral studies showed the link between neonicotinoid exposure and adverse effects on foraging activity and reproduction. However, molecular effects underlying these effects are poorly understood. Here we elucidated molecular effects at environmental realistic levels of three neonicotinoids and nicotine, and compared laboratory studies to field exposures with acetamiprid. We assessed transcriptional alterations of eight selected genes in caged honey bees exposed to different concentrations of the neonicotinoids acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloporid, and thiamethoxam, as well as nicotine. We determined transcripts of several targets, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α 1 and α 2 subunit, the multifunctional gene vitellogenin, immune system genes apidaecin and defensin-1, stress-related gene catalase and two genes linked to memory formation, pka and creb. Vitellogenin showed a strong increase upon neonicotinoid exposures in the laboratory and field, while creb and pka transcripts were down-regulated. The induction of vitellogenin suggests adverse effects on foraging activity, whereas creb and pka down-regulation may be implicated in decreased long-term memory formation. Transcriptional alterations occurred at environmental concentrations and provide an explanation for the molecular basis of observed adverse effects of neonicotinoids to bees.

  9. Signal Transduction in Histidine Kinases: Insights from New Structures

    PubMed Central

    Bhate, Manasi P.; Molnar, Kathleen S.; Goulian, Mark; DeGrado, William F.

    2015-01-01

    Histidine kinases (HKs) are major players in bacterial signaling. There has been an explosion of new HK crystal structures in the last five years. We globally analyze the structures of HKs to yield insights into the mechanisms by which signals are transmitted to and across protein structures in this family. We interpret known enzymological data in the context of new structural data to show how asymmetry across the dimer interface is a key feature of signal transduction in HKs, and discuss how different HK domains undergo asymmetric-to-symmetric transitions during signal transduction and catalysis. A thermodynamic framework for signaling that encompasses these various properties is presented and the consequences of weak thermodynamic coupling are discussed. The synthesis of observations from enzymology, structural biology, protein engineering and thermodynamics paves the way for a deeper molecular understanding of histidine kinase signal transduction. PMID:25982528

  10. Opioid receptors: Structural and mechanistic insights into pharmacology and signaling

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Yi; Filizola, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Opioid receptors are important drug targets for pain management, addiction, and mood disorders. Although substantial research on these important subtypes of G protein-coupled receptors has been conducted over the past two decades to discover ligands with higher specificity and diminished side effects, currently used opioid therapeutics remain suboptimal. Luckily, recent advances in structural biology of opioid receptors provide unprecedented insights into opioid receptor pharmacology and signaling. We review here a few recent studies that have used the crystal structures of opioid receptors as a basis for revealing mechanistic details of signal transduction mediated by these receptors, and for the purpose of drug discovery. PMID:25981301

  11. Opioid receptors: Structural and mechanistic insights into pharmacology and signaling.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yi; Filizola, Marta

    2015-09-15

    Opioid receptors are important drug targets for pain management, addiction, and mood disorders. Although substantial research on these important subtypes of G protein-coupled receptors has been conducted over the past two decades to discover ligands with higher specificity and diminished side effects, currently used opioid therapeutics remain suboptimal. Luckily, recent advances in structural biology of opioid receptors provide unprecedented insights into opioid receptor pharmacology and signaling. We review here a few recent studies that have used the crystal structures of opioid receptors as a basis for revealing mechanistic details of signal transduction mediated by these receptors, and for the purpose of drug discovery.

  12. Managing resistance is critical to future use of Pyrethroids and Neonicotinoids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Synthetic pyrethroids and neonicotinoids are the most readily available alternatives to the organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Pyrethroids have become widely used in California, and problems with insecticide resistance and non-target impacts have already been identified. Neonicotinoids are ...

  13. Monitoring changes in bemisia tabaci susceptibility to neonicotinoid insecticides in Arizona and California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Laboratory bioassays were carried out on field-collected and laboratory strains of Bemisia tabaci to evaluate relative toxicities of four neonicotinoid insecticides: acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. Susceptibility to all four neonicotinoids in leaf-uptake bioassays varied co...

  14. Structural insights into the transport of small molecules across membranes

    PubMed Central

    Noinaj, Nicholas; Buchanan, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    While hydrophobic small molecules often can freely permeate a lipid bilayer, ions and other polar molecules cannot and require transporters to mediate their transport. Recently, a number of important structures have been reported which have advanced our understanding of how membrane protein transporters function to transport small molecules. Structures of TbpA/B and HmuUV provided new insight into iron uptake by pathogenic bacteria while the structures of NarK, ASBT, and VcINDY revealed molecular details about the transport of nitrate, bile acids and dicarboxylates, respectively. The structure of the folate ECF transporter indicated that the S component likely undergoes a large conformational shift to mediate folate transport, while the cellulose synthase/transporter contains an elongated translocation pore for passage through the inner membrane. PMID:24681594

  15. Structural and functional insights into asymmetric enzymatic dehydration of alkenols.

    PubMed

    Nestl, Bettina M; Geinitz, Christopher; Popa, Stephanie; Rizek, Sari; Haselbeck, Robert J; Stephen, Rosary; Noble, Michael A; Fischer, Max-Philipp; Ralph, Erik C; Hau, Hoi Ting; Man, Henry; Omar, Muhiadin; Turkenburg, Johan P; van Dien, Stephen; Culler, Stephanie J; Grogan, Gideon; Hauer, Bernhard

    2017-03-01

    The asymmetric dehydration of alcohols is an important process for the direct synthesis of alkenes. We report the structure and substrate specificity of the bifunctional linalool dehydratase isomerase (LinD) from the bacterium Castellaniella defragrans that catalyzes in nature the hydration of β-myrcene to linalool and the subsequent isomerization to geraniol. Enzymatic kinetic resolutions of truncated and elongated aromatic and aliphatic tertiary alcohols (C5-C15) that contain a specific signature motif demonstrate the broad substrate specificity of LinD. The three-dimensional structure of LinD from Castellaniella defragrans revealed a pentamer with active sites at the protomer interfaces. Furthermore, the structure of LinD in complex with the product geraniol provides initial mechanistic insights into this bifunctional enzyme. Site-directed mutagenesis confirmed active site amino acid residues essential for its dehydration and isomerization activity. These structural and mechanistic insights facilitate the development of hydrating catalysts, enriching the toolbox for novel bond-forming biocatalysis.

  16. Emerging structural insights into the function of ionotropic glutamate receptors

    PubMed Central

    Karakas, Erkan; Regan, Michael C.; Furukawa, Hiro

    2015-01-01

    Summary Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate excitatory neurotransmission crucial for brain development and function including learning and memory formation. Recently a wealth of structural studies on iGluRs, including AMPA receptors (AMPARs), kainate receptors, and NMDA receptors (NMDARs) became available.. These studies showed structures of non-NMDARs including AMPAR and kainate receptor in various functional states, thereby providing the first visual sense of how non-NMDAR iGluRs may function in the context of homotetramers. Furthermore, they provided the first view of heterotetrameric NMDAR ion channels, which illuminated the similarities with and differences from non-NMDARs, thus raising a mechanistic distinction between the two groups of iGluRs. Here we review mechanistic insights into iGluR functions gained through structural studies of multiple groups. PMID:25941168

  17. Structural and mechanistic insights into hepatitis C viral translation initiation.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Christopher S; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2007-01-01

    Hepatitis C virus uses an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) to control viral protein synthesis by directly recruiting ribosomes to the translation-start site in the viral mRNA. Structural insights coupled with biochemical studies have revealed that the IRES substitutes for the activities of translation-initiation factors by binding and inducing conformational changes in the 40S ribosomal subunit. Direct interactions of the IRES with initiation factor eIF3 are also crucial for efficient translation initiation, providing clues to the role of eIF3 in protein synthesis.

  18. Structural Insights into the Mechanism of PEPCK Catalysis

    SciTech Connect

    Holyoak,T.; Sullivan, S.; Nowak, T.

    2006-01-01

    Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase catalyzes the reversible decarboxylation of oxaloacetic acid with the concomitant transfer of the {gamma}-phosphate of GTP to form PEP and GDP as the first committed step of gluconeogenesis and glyceroneogenesis. The three structures of the mitochondrial isoform of PEPCK reported are complexed with Mn{sup 2+}, Mn{sup 2+}-PEP, or Mn{sup 2+}-malonate-Mn{sup 2+}GDP and provide the first observations of the structure of the mitochondrial isoform and insight into the mechanism of catalysis mediated by this enzyme. The structures show the involvement of the hyper-reactive cysteine (C307) in the coordination of the active site Mn{sup 2+}. Upon formation of the PEPCK-Mn{sup 2+}-PEP or PEPCK-Mn{sup 2+}-malonate-Mn{sup 2+}GDP complexes, C307 coordination is lost as the P-loop in which it resides adopts a different conformation. The structures suggest that stabilization of the cysteine-coordinated metal geometry holds the enzyme as a catalytically incompetent metal complex and may represent a previously unappreciated mechanism of regulation. A third conformation of the mobile P-loop in the PEPCK-Mn{sup 2+}-malonate-Mn{sup 2+}GDP complex demonstrates the participation of a previously unrecognized, conserved serine residue (S305) in mediating phosphoryl transfer. The ordering of the mobile active site lid in the PEPCK-Mn{sup 2+}-malonate-Mn{sup 2+}GDP complex yields the first observation of this structural feature and provides additional insight into the mechanism of phosphoryl transfer.

  19. Structural insights into Bacillus thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and parasporin toxins.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chengchen; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Yu, Ziniu; Sun, Ming

    2014-09-16

    Since the first X-ray structure of Cry3Aa was revealed in 1991, numerous structures of B. thuringiensis toxins have been determined and published. In recent years, functional studies on the mode of action and resistance mechanism have been proposed, which notably promoted the developments of biological insecticides and insect-resistant transgenic crops. With the exploration of known pore-forming toxins (PFTs) structures, similarities between PFTs and B. thuringiensis toxins have provided great insights into receptor binding interactions and conformational changes from water-soluble to membrane pore-forming state of B. thuringiensis toxins. This review mainly focuses on the latest discoveries of the toxin working mechanism, with the emphasis on structural related progress. Based on the structural features, B. thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and parasporin toxins could be divided into three categories: three-domain type α-PFTs, Cyt toxin type β-PFTs and aerolysin type β-PFTs. Structures from each group are elucidated and discussed in relation to the latest data, respectively.

  20. Insights into structural mechanisms of gating induced regulation of aquaporins.

    PubMed

    Sachdeva, Ruchi; Singh, Balvinder

    2014-04-01

    Aquaporin family comprises of transmembrane channels that are specialized in conducting water and certain small, uncharged molecules across cell membranes. Essential roles of aquaporins in various physiological and pathophysiological conditions have attracted great scientific interest. Pioneering structural studies on aquaporins have almost solved the basic question of mechanism of selective water transport through these channels. Another important structural aspect of aquaporins which seeks attention is that how the flow of water through the channel is regulated by the mechanism of gating. Aquaporins are also regulated at the protein level, i.e. by trafficking which includes changes in their expression levels in the membrane. Availability of high resolution structures along with numerous molecular dynamics simulation studies have helped to gain an understanding of the structural mechanisms by which water flux through aquaporins is controlled. This review will summarize the highlights regarding structural features of aquaporins, mechanisms governing water permeation, proton exclusion and substrate specificity, and describe the structural insights into the mechanisms of aquaporin gating whereby water conduction is regulated by post translational modifications, such as phosphorylation.

  1. Structural Insights into Bacillus thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and Parasporin Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Chengchen; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Yu, Ziniu; Sun, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Since the first X-ray structure of Cry3Aa was revealed in 1991, numerous structures of B. thuringiensis toxins have been determined and published. In recent years, functional studies on the mode of action and resistance mechanism have been proposed, which notably promoted the developments of biological insecticides and insect-resistant transgenic crops. With the exploration of known pore-forming toxins (PFTs) structures, similarities between PFTs and B. thuringiensis toxins have provided great insights into receptor binding interactions and conformational changes from water-soluble to membrane pore-forming state of B. thuringiensis toxins. This review mainly focuses on the latest discoveries of the toxin working mechanism, with the emphasis on structural related progress. Based on the structural features, B. thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and parasporin toxins could be divided into three categories: three-domain type α-PFTs, Cyt toxin type β-PFTs and aerolysin type β-PFTs. Structures from each group are elucidated and discussed in relation to the latest data, respectively. PMID:25229189

  2. Neonicotinoid-induced impairment of odour coding in the honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Andrione, Mara; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Antolini, Renzo; Haase, Albrecht

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides is considered one of the possible causes of honeybee (Apis mellifera) population decline. At sublethal doses, these chemicals have been shown to negatively affect a number of behaviours, including performance of olfactory learning and memory, due to their interference with acetylcholine signalling in the mushroom bodies. Here we provide evidence that neonicotinoids can affect odour coding upstream of the mushroom bodies, in the first odour processing centres of the honeybee brain, i.e. the antennal lobes (ALs). In particular, we investigated the effects of imidacloprid, the most common neonicotinoid, in the AL glomeruli via in vivo two-photon calcium imaging combined with pulsed odour stimulation. Following acute imidacloprid treatment, odour-evoked calcium response amplitude in single glomeruli decreases, and at the network level the representations of different odours are no longer separated. This demonstrates that, under neonicotinoid influence, olfactory information might reach the mushroom bodies in a form that is already incorrect. Thus, some of the impairments in olfactory learning and memory caused by neonicotinoids could, in fact, arise from the disruption in odor coding and olfactory discrimination ability of the honey bees. PMID:27905515

  3. Neonicotinoid insecticides can serve as inadvertent insect contraceptives

    PubMed Central

    Villamar-Bouza, Laura; Bruckner, Selina; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Gauthier, Laurent; Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong; Retschnig, Gina; Troxler, Aline; Vidondo, Beatriz; Neumann, Peter; Williams, Geoffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    There is clear evidence for sublethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on non-target ecosystem service-providing insects. However, their possible impact on male insect reproduction is currently unknown, despite the key role of sex. Here, we show that two neonicotinoids (4.5 ppb thiamethoxam and 1.5 ppb clothianidin) significantly reduce the reproductive capacity of male honeybees (drones), Apis mellifera. Drones were obtained from colonies exposed to the neonicotinoid insecticides or controls, and subsequently maintained in laboratory cages until they reached sexual maturity. While no significant effects were observed for male teneral (newly emerged adult) body mass and sperm quantity, the data clearly showed reduced drone lifespan, as well as reduced sperm viability (percentage living versus dead) and living sperm quantity by 39%. Our results demonstrate for the first time that neonicotinoid insecticides can negatively affect male insect reproductive capacity, and provide a possible mechanistic explanation for managed honeybee queen failure and wild insect pollinator decline. The widespread prophylactic use of neonicotinoids may have previously overlooked inadvertent contraceptive effects on non-target insects, thereby limiting conservation efforts. PMID:27466446

  4. Neonicotinoid metabolism: compounds, substituents, pathways, enzymes, organisms, and relevance.

    PubMed

    Casida, John E

    2011-04-13

    Neonicotinoids are one of the three principal insecticide chemotypes. The seven major commercial neonicotinoids are readily biodegraded by metabolic attack at their N-heterocyclylmethyl moiety, heterocyclic or acyclic spacer, and N-nitroimine, nitromethylene, or N-cyanoimine tip. Phase I metabolism is largely dependent on microsomal CYP450 isozymes with situ selectivity in hydroxylation, desaturation, dealkylation, sulfoxidation, and nitro reduction. Cytosolic aldehyde oxidase is a nitroreductase for some neonicotinoids. Phase II metabolism involves methylation, acetylation, and formation of glucuronide, glucoside, amino acid, and sulfate- and glutathione-derived conjugates. Some neonicotinoids act as proinsecticides with metabolism to more potent nicotinic agonists. Pest resistance is more commonly due to synergist-reversible CYP450 detoxification than to nAChR mutants or variants. Metabolites in some cases contribute to mammalian hepatotoxicity and carcinogenesis and in others to enhanced plant vigor and stress shields. These relationships explain much of neonicotinoid comparative toxicology and provide the basis for continued and improved safety and effectiveness of this chemotype.

  5. Neonicotinoid insecticides can serve as inadvertent insect contraceptives.

    PubMed

    Straub, Lars; Villamar-Bouza, Laura; Bruckner, Selina; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Gauthier, Laurent; Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong; Retschnig, Gina; Troxler, Aline; Vidondo, Beatriz; Neumann, Peter; Williams, Geoffrey R

    2016-07-27

    There is clear evidence for sublethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on non-target ecosystem service-providing insects. However, their possible impact on male insect reproduction is currently unknown, despite the key role of sex. Here, we show that two neonicotinoids (4.5 ppb thiamethoxam and 1.5 ppb clothianidin) significantly reduce the reproductive capacity of male honeybees (drones), Apis mellifera Drones were obtained from colonies exposed to the neonicotinoid insecticides or controls, and subsequently maintained in laboratory cages until they reached sexual maturity. While no significant effects were observed for male teneral (newly emerged adult) body mass and sperm quantity, the data clearly showed reduced drone lifespan, as well as reduced sperm viability (percentage living versus dead) and living sperm quantity by 39%. Our results demonstrate for the first time that neonicotinoid insecticides can negatively affect male insect reproductive capacity, and provide a possible mechanistic explanation for managed honeybee queen failure and wild insect pollinator decline. The widespread prophylactic use of neonicotinoids may have previously overlooked inadvertent contraceptive effects on non-target insects, thereby limiting conservation efforts.

  6. Structural insight into CIDE domains: the Janus face of CIDEs.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyun Ho

    2015-02-01

    Cell-death inducing DFF45-like effect domain (CIDE domain) is a protein interaction module that was initially found in DNA fragmentation factor (DFF) proteins DFF40 and DFF45. Several other CIDE-containing proteins, CIDE-A, CIDE-B, and CIDE-3, have since been identified in humans. Although the main function of these proteins is associated with apoptosis, recent studies have identified roles of CIDE-containing proteins in energy metabolism, especially involvement in control of the size of lipid droplets. Because CIDE-containing proteins perform critical tasks in apoptosis and energy metabolism and have been linked to many human diseases including cancer and obesity, studies of CIDE domains and CIDE-containing proteins are of great biological importance. This review summarizes the structural insight into CIDE and the CIDE-CIDE complex and speculates on a generalized strategy for the CIDE-CIDE interaction based on the available CIDE structures and molecular modelling.

  7. Structure-function insights into prokaryotic and eukaryotic translation initiation.

    PubMed

    Myasnikov, Alexander G; Simonetti, Angelita; Marzi, Stefano; Klaholz, Bruno P

    2009-06-01

    Translation initiation is the rate-limiting and most complexly regulated step of protein synthesis in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In the last few years, cryo-electron microscopy has provided several novel insights into the universal process of translation initiation. Structures of prokaryotic 30S and 70S ribosomal initiation complexes with initiator transfer RNA (tRNA), messenger RNA (mRNA), and initiation factors have recently revealed the mechanism of initiator tRNA recruitment to the assembling ribosomal machinery, involving molecular rearrangements of the ribosome and associated factors. First three-dimensional pictures of the particularly complex eukaryotic translation initiation machinery have been obtained, revealing how initiation factors tune the ribosome for recruiting the mRNA. A comparison of the available prokaryotic and eukaryotic structures shows that--besides significant differences--some key ribosomal features are universally conserved.

  8. Neonicotinoids as seed potato treatments to control wireworms.

    PubMed

    Huiting, H F; Ester, A

    2009-01-01

    A series of field trials were carried out from 2000 to 2003. Neonicotinoid insecticides applied as seed potato treatments at planting were tested to control wireworms in potato crops. Compounds were applied as drench or spray. Neonicotinoids tested were imidacloprid at rates of 35, 70, 88, and 175 g a.i.; thiamethoxam at 17.5, 35, 50, 70, and 140 g a.i.; and thiacloprid at 72 and 144 g a.i. per metric ton seed potatoes. Treatment with imidacloprid at 70 g/ton seed and thiamethoxam at 50 g/ton seed showed significant control of wireworms at harvest but thiacloprid showed insufficient protection. No phytotoxicity was recorded at harvest. Prospects and benefits of seed potato treatments with neonicotinoids are discussed, including lowering of the amount of insecticide needed for adequate protection.

  9. Structure Prediction: New Insights into Decrypting Long Noncoding RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Kun; Arfat, Yasir; Li, Dijie; Zhao, Fan; Chen, Zhihao; Yin, Chong; Sun, Yulong; Hu, Lifang; Yang, Tuanmin; Qian, Airong

    2016-01-01

    Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which form a diverse class of RNAs, remain the least understood type of noncoding RNAs in terms of their nature and identification. Emerging evidence has revealed that a small number of newly discovered lncRNAs perform important and complex biological functions such as dosage compensation, chromatin regulation, genomic imprinting, and nuclear organization. However, understanding the wide range of functions of lncRNAs related to various processes of cellular networks remains a great experimental challenge. Structural versatility is critical for RNAs to perform various functions and provides new insights into probing the functions of lncRNAs. In recent years, the computational method of RNA structure prediction has been developed to analyze the structure of lncRNAs. This novel methodology has provided basic but indispensable information for the rapid, large-scale and in-depth research of lncRNAs. This review focuses on mainstream RNA structure prediction methods at the secondary and tertiary levels to offer an additional approach to investigating the functions of lncRNAs. PMID:26805815

  10. Insights from the sea: structural biology of marine polyketide synthases.

    PubMed

    Akey, David L; Gehret, Jennifer J; Khare, Dheeraj; Smith, Janet L

    2012-10-01

    The world's oceans are a rich source of natural products with extremely interesting chemistry. Biosynthetic pathways have been worked out for a few, and the story is being enriched with crystal structures of interesting pathway enzymes. By far, the greatest number of structural insights from marine biosynthetic pathways has originated with studies of curacin A, a poster child for interesting marine chemistry with its cyclopropane and thiazoline rings, internal cis double bond, and terminal alkene. Using the curacin A pathway as a model, structural details are now available for a novel loading enzyme with remarkable dual decarboxylase and acetyltransferase activities, an Fe(2+)/α-ketoglutarate-dependent halogenase that dictates substrate binding order through conformational changes, a decarboxylase that establishes regiochemistry for cyclopropane formation, and a thioesterase with specificity for β-sulfated substrates that lead to terminal alkene offloading. The four curacin A pathway dehydratases reveal an intrinsic flexibility that may accommodate bulky or stiff polyketide intermediates. In the salinosporamide A pathway, active site volume determines the halide specificity of a halogenase that catalyzes for the synthesis of a halogenated building block. Structures of a number of putative polyketide cyclases may help in understanding reaction mechanisms and substrate specificities although their substrates are presently unknown.

  11. Insights from the Sea: Structural Biology of Marine Polyketide Synthases

    PubMed Central

    Akey, David L.; Gehret, Jennifer J.; Khare, Dheeraj; Smith, Janet L.

    2013-01-01

    The world’s oceans are a rich source of natural products with extremely interesting chemistry. Biosynthetic pathways have been worked out for a few, and the story is being enriched with crystal structures of interesting pathway enzymes. By far, the greatest number of structural insights from marine biosynthetic pathways has originated with studies of curacin A, a poster child for interesting marine chemistry with its cyclopropane and thiazoline rings, internal cis double bond, and terminal alkene. Using the curacin A pathway as a model, structural details are now available for a novel loading enzyme with remarkable dual decarboxylase and acetyltransferase activities, an Fe2+/α-ketoglutarate-dependent halogenase that dictates substrate binding order through conformational changes, a decarboxylase that establishes regiochemistry for cyclopropane formation, and a thioesterase with specificity for β-sulfated substrates that lead to terminal alkene offloading. The four curacin A pathway dehydratases reveal an intrinsic flexibility that may accommodate bulky or stiff polyketide intermediates. In the salinosporamide A pathway, active site volume determines the halide specificity of a halogenase that catalyzes for the synthesis of a halogenated building block. Structures of a number of putative polyketide cyclases may help in understanding reaction mechanisms and substrate specificities although their substrates are presently unknown. PMID:22498975

  12. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Stanca, Sarmiza E; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang

    2015-01-21

    The iron oxide-hydroxyapatite (FeOxHA) nanoparticles reported here differ from those reported before by their advantage of homogeneity and simple preparation; moreover, the presence of carboxymethyldextran (CMD), together with hydroxyapatite (HA), allows access to the cellular membrane, which makes our magnetic apatite unique. These nanoparticles combine magnetic behavior, Raman label ability and the property of interaction with the cellular membrane; they therefore represent an interesting material for structural differentiation of the cell membrane. It was observed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence microscopy that FeOxHA adheres to the plasma membrane and does not penetrate the membrane. These insights make the nanoparticles a promising material for magnetic cell sorting, e.g. in microfluidic device applications.

  13. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanca, Sarmiza E.; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    The iron oxide-hydroxyapatite (FeOxHA) nanoparticles reported here differ from those reported before by their advantage of homogeneity and simple preparation; moreover, the presence of carboxymethyldextran (CMD), together with hydroxyapatite (HA), allows access to the cellular membrane, which makes our magnetic apatite unique. These nanoparticles combine magnetic behavior, Raman label ability and the property of interaction with the cellular membrane; they therefore represent an interesting material for structural differentiation of the cell membrane. It was observed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence microscopy that FeOxHA adheres to the plasma membrane and does not penetrate the membrane. These insights make the nanoparticles a promising material for magnetic cell sorting, e.g. in microfluidic device applications.

  14. Structural Insights on the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Proteasomal ATPase Mpa

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, T.; Li, H; Lin, G; Tang, C; Li, D; Nathan, C; Heran Darwin, K

    2009-01-01

    Proteasome-mediated protein turnover in all domains of life is an energy-dependent process that requires ATPase activity. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) was recently shown to possess a ubiquitin-like proteasome pathway that plays an essential role in Mtb resistance to killing by products of host macrophages. Here we report our structural and biochemical investigation of Mpa, the presumptive Mtb proteasomal ATPase. We demonstrate that Mpa binds to the Mtb proteasome in the presence of ATPS, providing the physical evidence that Mpa is the proteasomal ATPase. X-ray crystallographic determination of the conserved interdomain showed a five stranded double {beta} barrel structure containing a Greek key motif. Structure and mutational analysis indicate a major role of the interdomain for Mpa hexamerization. Our mutational and functional studies further suggest that the central channel in the Mpa hexamer is involved in protein substrate translocation and degradation. These studies provide insights into how a bacterial proteasomal ATPase interacts with and facilitates protein degradation by the proteasome.

  15. Insights from the structural analysis of protein heterodimer interfaces.

    PubMed

    Sowmya, Gopichandran; Anita, Sathyanarayanan; Kangueane, Pandjassarame

    2011-05-07

    Protein heterodimer complexes are often involved in catalysis, regulation, assembly, immunity and inhibition. This involves the formation of stable interfaces between the interacting partners. Hence, it is of interest to describe heterodimer interfaces using known structural complexes. We use a non-redundant dataset of 192 heterodimer complex structures from the protein databank (PDB) to identify interface residues and describe their interfaces using amino-acids residue property preference. Analysis of the dataset shows that the heterodimer interfaces are often abundant in polar residues. The analysis also shows the presence of two classes of interfaces in heterodimer complexes. The first class of interfaces (class A) with more polar residues than core but less than surface is known. These interfaces are more hydrophobic than surfaces, where protein-protein binding is largely hydrophobic. The second class of interfaces (class B) with more polar residues than core and surface is shown. These interfaces are more polar than surfaces, where binding is mainly polar. Thus, these findings provide insights to the understanding of protein-protein interactions.

  16. Amyloid-beta fibrillogenesis: structural insight and therapeutic intervention.

    PubMed

    Dasilva, Kevin A; Shaw, James E; McLaurin, Joanne

    2010-06-01

    Structural insight into the conformational changes associated with aggregation and assembly of fibrils has provided a number of targets for therapeutic intervention. Solid-state NMR, hydrogen/deuterium exchange and mutagenesis strategies have been used to probe the secondary and tertiary structure of amyloid fibrils and key intermediates. Rational design of peptide inhibitors directed against key residues important for aggregation and stabilization of fibrils has demonstrated effectiveness at inhibiting fibrillogenesis. Studies on the interaction between Abeta and cell membranes led to the discovery that inositol, the head group of phosphatidylinositol, inhibits fibrillogenesis. As a result, scyllo-inositol is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of AD. Additional small-molecule inhibitors, including polyphenolic compounds such as curcumin, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and grape seed extract have been shown to attenuate Abeta aggregation through distinct mechanisms, and have shown effectiveness at reducing amyloid levels when administered to transgenic mouse models of AD. Although the results of ongoing clinical trials remain to be seen, these compounds represent the first generation of amyloid-based therapeutics, with the potential to alter the progression of AD and, when used prophylactically, alleviate the deposition of Abeta.

  17. Reconciling laboratory and field assessments of neonicotinoid toxicity to honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Mickaël; Cerrutti, Nicolas; Aupinel, Pierrick; Decourtye, Axel; Gayrard, Mélanie; Odoux, Jean-François; Pissard, Aurélien; Rüger, Charlotte; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    European governments have banned the use of three common neonicotinoid pesticides due to insufficiently identified risks to bees. This policy decision is controversial given the absence of clear consistency between toxicity assessments of those substances in the laboratory and in the field. Although laboratory trials report deleterious effects in honeybees at trace levels, field surveys reveal no decrease in the performance of honeybee colonies in the vicinity of treated fields. Here we provide the missing link, showing that individual honeybees near thiamethoxam-treated fields do indeed disappear at a faster rate, but the impact of this is buffered by the colonies' demographic regulation response. Although we could ascertain the exposure pathway of thiamethoxam residues from treated flowers to honeybee dietary nectar, we uncovered an unexpected pervasive co-occurrence of similar concentrations of imidacloprid, another neonicotinoid normally restricted to non-entomophilous crops in the study country. Thus, its origin and transfer pathways through the succession of annual crops need be elucidated to conveniently appraise the risks of combined neonicotinoid exposures. This study reconciles the conflicting laboratory and field toxicity assessments of neonicotinoids on honeybees and further highlights the difficulty in actually detecting non-intentional effects on the field through conventional risk assessment methods. PMID:26582026

  18. Structural and functional insights into alphavirus polyprotein processing and pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Shin, Gyehwa; Yost, Samantha A; Miller, Matthew T; Elrod, Elizabeth J; Grakoui, Arash; Marcotrigiano, Joseph

    2012-10-09

    Alphaviruses, a group of positive-sense RNA viruses, are globally distributed arboviruses capable of causing rash, arthritis, encephalitis, and death in humans. The viral replication machinery consists of four nonstructural proteins (nsP1-4) produced as a single polyprotein. Processing of the polyprotein occurs in a highly regulated manner, with cleavage at the P2/3 junction influencing RNA template use during genome replication. Here, we report the structure of P23 in a precleavage form. The proteins form an extensive interface and nsP3 creates a ring structure that encircles nsP2. The P2/3 cleavage site is located at the base of a narrow cleft and is not readily accessible, suggesting a highly regulated cleavage. The nsP2 protease active site is over 40 Å away from the P2/3 cleavage site, supporting a trans cleavage mechanism. nsP3 contains a previously uncharacterized protein fold with a zinc-coordination site. Known mutations in nsP2 that result in formation of noncytopathic viruses or a temperature sensitive phenotype cluster at the nsP2/nsP3 interface. Structure-based mutations in nsP3 opposite the location of the nsP2 noncytopathic mutations prevent efficient cleavage of P23, affect RNA infectivity, and alter viral RNA production levels, highlighting the importance of the nsP2/nsP3 interaction in pathogenesis. A potential RNA-binding surface, spanning both nsP2 and nsP3, is proposed based on the location of ion-binding sites and adaptive mutations. These results offer unexpected insights into viral protein processing and pathogenesis that may be applicable to other polyprotein-encoding viruses such as HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and Dengue virus.

  19. Structural and functional insights into alphavirus polyprotein processing and pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Gyehwa; Yost, Samantha A.; Miller, Matthew T.; Elrod, Elizabeth J.; Grakoui, Arash; Marcotrigiano, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Alphaviruses, a group of positive-sense RNA viruses, are globally distributed arboviruses capable of causing rash, arthritis, encephalitis, and death in humans. The viral replication machinery consists of four nonstructural proteins (nsP1–4) produced as a single polyprotein. Processing of the polyprotein occurs in a highly regulated manner, with cleavage at the P2/3 junction influencing RNA template use during genome replication. Here, we report the structure of P23 in a precleavage form. The proteins form an extensive interface and nsP3 creates a ring structure that encircles nsP2. The P2/3 cleavage site is located at the base of a narrow cleft and is not readily accessible, suggesting a highly regulated cleavage. The nsP2 protease active site is over 40 Å away from the P2/3 cleavage site, supporting a trans cleavage mechanism. nsP3 contains a previously uncharacterized protein fold with a zinc-coordination site. Known mutations in nsP2 that result in formation of noncytopathic viruses or a temperature sensitive phenotype cluster at the nsP2/nsP3 interface. Structure-based mutations in nsP3 opposite the location of the nsP2 noncytopathic mutations prevent efficient cleavage of P23, affect RNA infectivity, and alter viral RNA production levels, highlighting the importance of the nsP2/nsP3 interaction in pathogenesis. A potential RNA-binding surface, spanning both nsP2 and nsP3, is proposed based on the location of ion-binding sites and adaptive mutations. These results offer unexpected insights into viral protein processing and pathogenesis that may be applicable to other polyprotein-encoding viruses such as HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and Dengue virus. PMID:23010928

  20. Effects of neonicotinoids and fipronil on non-target invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Pisa, L W; Amaral-Rogers, V; Belzunces, L P; Bonmatin, J M; Downs, C A; Goulson, D; Kreutzweiser, D P; Krupke, C; Liess, M; McField, M; Morrissey, C A; Noome, D A; Settele, J; Simon-Delso, N; Stark, J D; Van der Sluijs, J P; Van Dyck, H; Wiemers, M

    2015-01-01

    We assessed the state of knowledge regarding the effects of large-scale pollution with neonicotinoid insecticides and fipronil on non-target invertebrate species of terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. A large section of the assessment is dedicated to the state of knowledge on sublethal effects on honeybees (Apis mellifera) because this important pollinator is the most studied non-target invertebrate species. Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), Lumbricidae (earthworms), Apoidae sensu lato (bumblebees, solitary bees) and the section "other invertebrates" review available studies on the other terrestrial species. The sections on freshwater and marine species are rather short as little is known so far about the impact of neonicotinoid insecticides and fipronil on the diverse invertebrate fauna of these widely exposed habitats. For terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate species, the known effects of neonicotinoid pesticides and fipronil are described ranging from organismal toxicology and behavioural effects to population-level effects. For earthworms, freshwater and marine species, the relation of findings to regulatory risk assessment is described. Neonicotinoid insecticides exhibit very high toxicity to a wide range of invertebrates, particularly insects, and field-realistic exposure is likely to result in both lethal and a broad range of important sublethal impacts. There is a major knowledge gap regarding impacts on the grand majority of invertebrates, many of which perform essential roles enabling healthy ecosystem functioning. The data on the few non-target species on which field tests have been performed are limited by major flaws in the outdated test protocols. Despite large knowledge gaps and uncertainties, enough knowledge exists to conclude that existing levels of pollution with neonicotinoids and fipronil resulting from presently authorized uses frequently exceed the lowest observed adverse effect concentrations and are thus likely to have large

  1. Insights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogner, Donna, Ed.

    1988-01-01

    Describes two methods to teach radioactive decay to secondary students with wide ranging abilities. Activities are designed to follow classroom discussions of atomic structure, transmutation, half life, and nuclear decay. Includes "The Tasmanian Empire: A Radioactive Dating Activity" and an exercise to teach concepts of half life without…

  2. Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodcock, Ben A.; Isaac, Nicholas J. B.; Bullock, James M.; Roy, David B.; Garthwaite, David G.; Crowe, Andrew; Pywell, Richard F.

    2016-08-01

    Wild bee declines have been ascribed in part to neonicotinoid insecticides. While short-term laboratory studies on commercially bred species (principally honeybees and bumblebees) have identified sub-lethal effects, there is no strong evidence linking these insecticides to losses of the majority of wild bee species. We relate 18 years of UK national wild bee distribution data for 62 species to amounts of neonicotinoid use in oilseed rape. Using a multi-species dynamic Bayesian occupancy analysis, we find evidence of increased population extinction rates in response to neonicotinoid seed treatment use on oilseed rape. Species foraging on oilseed rape benefit from the cover of this crop, but were on average three times more negatively affected by exposure to neonicotinoids than non-crop foragers. Our results suggest that sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids could scale up to cause losses of bee biodiversity. Restrictions on neonicotinoid use may reduce population declines.

  3. Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England

    PubMed Central

    Woodcock, Ben A.; Isaac, Nicholas J. B.; Bullock, James M.; Roy, David B.; Garthwaite, David G.; Crowe, Andrew; Pywell, Richard F.

    2016-01-01

    Wild bee declines have been ascribed in part to neonicotinoid insecticides. While short-term laboratory studies on commercially bred species (principally honeybees and bumblebees) have identified sub-lethal effects, there is no strong evidence linking these insecticides to losses of the majority of wild bee species. We relate 18 years of UK national wild bee distribution data for 62 species to amounts of neonicotinoid use in oilseed rape. Using a multi-species dynamic Bayesian occupancy analysis, we find evidence of increased population extinction rates in response to neonicotinoid seed treatment use on oilseed rape. Species foraging on oilseed rape benefit from the cover of this crop, but were on average three times more negatively affected by exposure to neonicotinoids than non-crop foragers. Our results suggest that sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids could scale up to cause losses of bee biodiversity. Restrictions on neonicotinoid use may reduce population declines. PMID:27529661

  4. Quantitative analysis of neonicotinoid insecticide residues in foods: implication for dietary exposures.

    PubMed

    Chen, Mei; Tao, Lin; McLean, John; Lu, Chensheng

    2014-07-02

    This study quantitatively measured neonicotinoids in various foods that are common to human consumption. All fruit and vegetable samples (except nectarine and tomato) and 90% of honey samples were detected positive for at least one neonicotinoid; 72% of fruits, 45% of vegetables, and 50% of honey samples contained at least two different neonicotinoids in one sample, with imidacloprid having the highest detection rate among all samples. All pollen samples from New Zealand contained multiple neonicotinoids, and five of seven pollens from Massachusetts detected positive for imidacloprid. These results show the prevalence of low-level neonicotinoid residues in fruits, vegetables, and honey that are readily available in the market for human consumption and in the environment where honeybees forage. In light of new reports of toxicological effects in mammals, the results strengthen the importance of assessing dietary neonicotinoid intakes and the potential human health effects.

  5. Determination of toxicity of neonicotinoids on the genome level using chemogenomics in yeast.

    PubMed

    Mattiazzi Ušaj, Mojca; Kaferle, Petra; Toplak, Alenka; Trebše, Polonca; Petrovič, Uroš

    2014-06-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are an important contribution to plant protection products. At the same time, their environmental impact on non-target organisms is often problematic. It has been shown that the toxicity of formulations of neonicotinoid insecticides can originate from non-neonicotinoid additives. In the present study we used chemogenomics to analyse side effects of purified neonicotinoids, additives and formulations on the genome-wide scale. We show that the additives in formulations have more pronounced effects than the active components, and that these effects could explain previously observed negative effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on spermatogenesis in animals. We also demonstrate that cell wall organization and biogenesis in yeast is negatively affected by neonicotinoid substances.

  6. Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England.

    PubMed

    Woodcock, Ben A; Isaac, Nicholas J B; Bullock, James M; Roy, David B; Garthwaite, David G; Crowe, Andrew; Pywell, Richard F

    2016-08-16

    Wild bee declines have been ascribed in part to neonicotinoid insecticides. While short-term laboratory studies on commercially bred species (principally honeybees and bumblebees) have identified sub-lethal effects, there is no strong evidence linking these insecticides to losses of the majority of wild bee species. We relate 18 years of UK national wild bee distribution data for 62 species to amounts of neonicotinoid use in oilseed rape. Using a multi-species dynamic Bayesian occupancy analysis, we find evidence of increased population extinction rates in response to neonicotinoid seed treatment use on oilseed rape. Species foraging on oilseed rape benefit from the cover of this crop, but were on average three times more negatively affected by exposure to neonicotinoids than non-crop foragers. Our results suggest that sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids could scale up to cause losses of bee biodiversity. Restrictions on neonicotinoid use may reduce population declines.

  7. Quantitative Analysis of Neonicotinoid Insecticide Residues in Foods: Implication for Dietary Exposures

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    This study quantitatively measured neonicotinoids in various foods that are common to human consumption. All fruit and vegetable samples (except nectarine and tomato) and 90% of honey samples were detected positive for at least one neonicotinoid; 72% of fruits, 45% of vegetables, and 50% of honey samples contained at least two different neonicotinoids in one sample, with imidacloprid having the highest detection rate among all samples. All pollen samples from New Zealand contained multiple neonicotinoids, and five of seven pollens from Massachusetts detected positive for imidacloprid. These results show the prevalence of low-level neonicotinoid residues in fruits, vegetables, and honey that are readily available in the market for human consumption and in the environment where honeybees forage. In light of new reports of toxicological effects in mammals, the results strengthen the importance of assessing dietary neonicotinoid intakes and the potential human health effects. PMID:24933495

  8. Survey of neonicotinoids and fipronil in corn seeds for agriculture.

    PubMed

    Sabatino, Leonardo; Scordino, Monica; Pantò, Valentina; Chiappara, Elena; Traulo, Pasqualino; Gagliano, Giacomo

    2013-01-01

    Recently, legislative decisions withdrew or temporarily suspended the use of neonicotinoids and fipronil as seeds tanning in many countries because of their endocrine-disrupting activity imputable to the bees' toxicity. In this study, the occurrence of acetamiprid, fipronil, clothianidin, flonicamid, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam was detected in 66 samples of commercial treated corn seeds, collected in the Italian market in the frame of ministerial institutional quality control activity. Because of the lack of a validated analytical protocol for neonicotinoid detection in seeds, a routinely suitable liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS) analytical method was developed and statistically validated on fortified corn seeds. Survey results demonstrated that 88% of the investigated seed samples showed the presence of residues of clothianidin, fipronil, thiamethoxam and thiacloprid, either individually or simultaneously, with values that ranged from about 0.002 to 20 mg kg(-1), which evidenced the alarming illicit use of these pesticides in seed treatments.

  9. Neonicotinoid insecticides induce salicylate-associated plant defense responses

    PubMed Central

    Ford, Kevin A.; Casida, John E.; Chandran, Divya; Gulevich, Alexander G.; Okrent, Rachel A.; Durkin, Kathleen A.; Sarpong, Richmond; Bunnelle, Eric M.; Wildermuth, Mary C.

    2010-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides control crop pests based on their action as agonists at the insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, which accepts chloropyridinyl- and chlorothiazolyl-analogs almost equally well. In some cases, these compounds have also been reported to enhance plant vigor and (a)biotic stress tolerance, independent of their insecticidal function. However, this mode of action has not been defined. Using Arabidopsis thaliana, we show that the neonicotinoid compounds, imidacloprid (IMI) and clothianidin (CLO), via their 6-chloropyridinyl-3-carboxylic acid and 2-chlorothiazolyl-5-carboxylic acid metabolites, respectively, induce salicylic acid (SA)-associated plant responses. SA is a phytohormone best known for its role in plant defense against pathogens and as an inducer of systemic acquired resistance; however, it can also modulate abiotic stress responses. These neonicotinoids effect a similar global transcriptional response to that of SA, including genes involved in (a)biotic stress response. Furthermore, similar to SA, IMI and CLO induce systemic acquired resistance, resulting in reduced growth of a powdery mildew pathogen. The action of CLO induces the endogenous synthesis of SA via the SA biosynthetic enzyme ICS1, with ICS1 required for CLO-induced accumulation of SA, expression of the SA marker PR1, and fully enhanced resistance to powdery mildew. In contrast, the action of IMI does not induce endogenous synthesis of SA. Instead, IMI is further bioactivated to 6-chloro-2-hydroxypyridinyl-3-carboxylic acid, which is shown here to be a potent inducer of PR1 and inhibitor of SA-sensitive enzymes. Thus, via different mechanisms, these chloropyridinyl- and chlorothiazolyl-neonicotinoids induce SA responses associated with enhanced stress tolerance. PMID:20876120

  10. Improving Mitochondrial Function Protects Bumblebees from Neonicotinoid Pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Powner, Michael B.; Salt, Thomas E.; Hogg, Chris; Jeffery, Glen

    2016-01-01

    Global pollination is threatened by declining insect pollinator populations that may be linked to neonicotinoid pesticide use. Neonicotinoids over stimulate neurons and depolarize their mitochondria, producing immobility and death. However, mitochondrial function can be improved by near infrared light absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase in mitochondrial respiration. In flies, daily exposure to 670nm light throughout life increases average lifespan and aged mobility, and reduces systemic inflammation. Here we treat bumble bees with Imidacloprid a common neonicotinoid. This undermined ATP and rapidly induced immobility and reduced visual function and survival. Bees exposed to insecticide and daily to 670nm light showed corrected ATP levels and significantly improved mobility allowing them to feed. Physiological recordings from eyes revealed that light exposure corrected deficits induced by the pesticide. Overall, death rates in bees exposed to insecticide but also given 670nm light were indistinguishable from controls. When Imidacloprid and light exposure were withdrawn, survival was maintained. Bees and insects generally cannot see deep red light so it does not disturb their behaviour. Hence, we show that deep red light exposure that improves mitochondrial function, reverses the sensory and motor deficits induced by Imidacloprid. These results may have important implications as light delivery is economic and can be placed in hives/colonies. PMID:27846310

  11. Biological response of earthworm, Eisenia fetida, to five neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Pang, Sen; Mu, Xiyan; Qi, Suzhen; Li, Dongzhi; Cui, Feng; Wang, Chengju

    2015-08-01

    Earthworms (Eisenia fetida) are one of the most abundant terrestrial species, and play an important role in maintaining the ecological function of soil. Neonicotinoids are some of the most widely used insecticides applied to crops. Studies on the effect of neonicotinoids on E. fetida are limited. In the present work, we evaluated the effects of five neonicotinoid insecticides on reproduction, cellulase activity and the tissues of E. fetida. The results showed that, the LC50 of imidacloprid, acetamiprid, nitenpyram, clothianidin and thiacloprid was 3.05, 2.69, 4.34, 0.93 and 2.68mgkg(-1), respectively. They also could seriously affect the reproduction of E. fetida, reducing the fecundity by 84.0%, 39.5%, 54.3%, 45.7% and 39.5% at the sub-lethal concentrations of 2.0, 1.5, 0.80, 2.0 and 1.5mgkg(-1), respectively. The cellulase activity of E. fetida was most sensitive to clothianidin. Significant disruption of the epidermal and midgut tissue was observed after 14d exposure. In summary, we demonstrate that imidacloprid, acetamiprid, nitenpyram, clothianidin and thiacloprid have high toxic to earthworm, and can significantly inhibited fecundity and cellulase activity of E. fetida, and they also damage the epidermal and midgut cells of earthworm.

  12. Improving Mitochondrial Function Protects Bumblebees from Neonicotinoid Pesticides.

    PubMed

    Powner, Michael B; Salt, Thomas E; Hogg, Chris; Jeffery, Glen

    2016-01-01

    Global pollination is threatened by declining insect pollinator populations that may be linked to neonicotinoid pesticide use. Neonicotinoids over stimulate neurons and depolarize their mitochondria, producing immobility and death. However, mitochondrial function can be improved by near infrared light absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase in mitochondrial respiration. In flies, daily exposure to 670nm light throughout life increases average lifespan and aged mobility, and reduces systemic inflammation. Here we treat bumble bees with Imidacloprid a common neonicotinoid. This undermined ATP and rapidly induced immobility and reduced visual function and survival. Bees exposed to insecticide and daily to 670nm light showed corrected ATP levels and significantly improved mobility allowing them to feed. Physiological recordings from eyes revealed that light exposure corrected deficits induced by the pesticide. Overall, death rates in bees exposed to insecticide but also given 670nm light were indistinguishable from controls. When Imidacloprid and light exposure were withdrawn, survival was maintained. Bees and insects generally cannot see deep red light so it does not disturb their behaviour. Hence, we show that deep red light exposure that improves mitochondrial function, reverses the sensory and motor deficits induced by Imidacloprid. These results may have important implications as light delivery is economic and can be placed in hives/colonies.

  13. Nitromethylene neonicotinoids analogues with tetrahydropyrimidine fixed cis-configuration: synthesis, insecticidal activities, and molecular docking studies.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chuanwen; Yang, Dingrong; Xing, Jiahua; Wang, Haifeng; Jin, Jia; Zhu, Jun

    2010-03-24

    Two series of new nitromethylene neonicotinoid analogues (2a-2h and 3a-3h) were designed and prepared, with the cis-configuration confirmed by X-ray diffraction. Preliminary bioassays showed that most analogues exhibited excellent insecticidal activities at 500 mg/L, and analogues with optical activity (2c-2g) were highly potent at 100 mg/L, while compound 2d had >90% mortality at 20 mg/L, which suggested that it could be used as a lead for future insecticides development. Modeling the ligand-receptor complexes by molecular docking study explained the structure-activity relationships observed in vitro and revealed an intriguing molecular binding mode at the active site of the nAChR model, thereby possibly providing some useful information for future receptor structure-based designs of novel insecticidal compounds.

  14. Environmental Fate of Soil Applied Neonicotinoid Insecticides in an Irrigated Potato Agroecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Huseth, Anders S.; Groves, Russell L.

    2014-01-01

    Since 1995, neonicotinoid insecticides have been a critical component of arthropod management in potato, Solanum tuberosum L. Recent detections of neonicotinoids in groundwater have generated questions about the sources of these contaminants and the relative contribution from commodities in U.S. agriculture. Delivery of neonicotinoids to crops typically occurs as a seed or in-furrow treatment to manage early season insect herbivores. Applied in this way, these insecticides become systemically mobile in the plant and provide control of key pest species. An outcome of this project links these soil insecticide application strategies in crop plants with neonicotinoid contamination of water leaching from the application zone. In 2011 and 2012, our objectives were to document the temporal patterns of neonicotinoid leachate below the planting furrow following common insecticide delivery methods in potato. Leaching loss of thiamethoxam from potato was measured using pan lysimeters from three at-plant treatments and one foliar application treatment. Insecticide concentration in leachate was assessed for six consecutive months using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Findings from this study suggest leaching of neonicotinoids from potato may be greater following crop harvest in comparison to other times during the growing season. Furthermore, this study documented recycling of neonicotinoid insecticides from contaminated groundwater back onto the crop via high capacity irrigation wells. These results document interactions between cultivated potato, different neonicotinoid delivery methods, and the potential for subsurface water contamination via leaching. PMID:24823765

  15. Determination of neonicotinoids in Estonian honey by liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Laaniste, Asko; Leito, Ivo; Rebane, Riin; Lõhmus, Rünno; Lõhmus, Ants; Punga, Fredrik; Kruve, Anneli

    2016-07-02

    The aim of the study was to provide a comprehensive overview of neonicotinoid pesticide residues in honey samples for a single country and compare the results with the import data for neonicotinoid pesticides. The levels of four neonicotinoid pesticides, namely thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, and thiacloprid, were determined in 294 honey samples harvested from 2005 to 2013 from more than 200 locations in Estonia. For the analyzed honey samples, 27% contained thiacloprid, and its levels in all cases were below the maximum residue level set by the European Union. The other neonicotinoids were not detected. The proportion of thiacloprid-positive samples for different years correlates well with the data on thiacloprid imports into Estonia, indicating that honey contamination with neonicotinoids can be estimated based on the import data.

  16. Impact of Chronic Neonicotinoid Exposure on Honeybee Colony Performance and Queen Supersedure

    PubMed Central

    Sandrock, Christoph; Tanadini, Matteo; Tanadini, Lorenzo G.; Fauser-Misslin, Aline; Potts, Simon G.; Neumann, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Background Honeybees provide economically and ecologically vital pollination services to crops and wild plants. During the last decade elevated colony losses have been documented in Europe and North America. Despite growing consensus on the involvement of multiple causal factors, the underlying interactions impacting on honeybee health and colony failure are not fully resolved. Parasites and pathogens are among the main candidates, but sublethal exposure to widespread agricultural pesticides may also affect bees. Methodology/Principal Findings To investigate effects of sublethal dietary neonicotinoid exposure on honeybee colony performance, a fully crossed experimental design was implemented using 24 colonies, including sister-queens from two different strains, and experimental in-hive pollen feeding with or without environmentally relevant concentrations of thiamethoxam and clothianidin. Honeybee colonies chronically exposed to both neonicotinoids over two brood cycles exhibited decreased performance in the short-term resulting in declining numbers of adult bees (−28%) and brood (−13%), as well as a reduction in honey production (−29%) and pollen collections (−19%), but colonies recovered in the medium-term and overwintered successfully. However, significantly decelerated growth of neonicotinoid-exposed colonies during the following spring was associated with queen failure, revealing previously undocumented long-term impacts of neonicotinoids: queen supersedure was observed for 60% of the neonicotinoid-exposed colonies within a one year period, but not for control colonies. Linked to this, neonicotinoid exposure was significantly associated with a reduced propensity to swarm during the next spring. Both short-term and long-term effects of neonicotinoids on colony performance were significantly influenced by the honeybees’ genetic background. Conclusions/Significance Sublethal neonicotinoid exposure did not provoke increased winter losses. Yet

  17. Synthesis, insecticidal activity, and QSAR of novel nitromethylene neonicotinoids with tetrahydropyridine fixed cis configuration and exo-ring ether modification.

    PubMed

    Tian, Zhongzhen; Shao, Xusheng; Li, Zhong; Qian, Xuhong; Huang, Qingchun

    2007-03-21

    To keep the nitro group in the cis position, a series of nitromethylene neonicotinoids containing a tetrahydropyridine ring with exo-ring ether modifications were designed and synthesized. All of the compounds were characterized and confirmed by 1H NMR, high-resolution mass spectroscopy, elemental analysis, and IR. The bioassay tests showed that some of them exhibited good insecticidal activities against pea aphids. On the basis of 10 nitromethylene derivatives, the quantitative structure-bioactivity relationship (QSAR) was analyzed and established. The results suggested that AlogP98 and Dipole_Mopac might be the important parameters related with biological activities.

  18. Neonicotinoid Insecticide Imidacloprid Causes Outbreaks of Spider Mites on Elm Trees in Urban Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Szczepaniec, Adrianna; Creary, Scott F.; Laskowski, Kate L.; Nyrop, Jan P.; Raupp, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Attempts to eradicate alien arthropods often require pesticide applications. An effort to remove an alien beetle from Central Park in New York City, USA, resulted in widespread treatments of trees with the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid. Imidacloprid's systemic activity and mode of entry via roots or trunk injections reduce risk of environmental contamination and limit exposure of non-target organisms to pesticide residues. However, unexpected outbreaks of a formerly innocuous herbivore, Tetranychus schoenei (Acari: Tetranychidae), followed imidacloprid applications to elms in Central Park. This undesirable outcome necessitated an assessment of imidacloprid's impact on communities of arthropods, its effects on predators, and enhancement of the performance of T. schoenei. Methodology/Principal Findings By sampling arthropods in elm canopies over three years in two locations, we document changes in the structure of communities following applications of imidacloprid. Differences in community structure were mostly attributable to increases in the abundance of T. schoenei on elms treated with imidacloprid. In laboratory experiments, predators of T. schoenei were poisoned through ingestion of prey exposed to imidacloprid. Imidacloprid's proclivity to elevate fecundity of T. schoenei also contributed to their elevated densities on treated elms. Conclusions/Significance This is the first study to report the effects of pesticide applications on the arthropod communities in urban landscapes and demonstrate that imidacloprid increases spider mite fecundity through a plant-mediated mechanism. Laboratory experiments provide evidence that imidacloprid debilitates insect predators of spider mites suggesting that relaxation of top-down regulation combined with enhanced reproduction promoted a non-target herbivore to pest status. With global commerce accelerating the incidence of arthropod invasions, prophylactic applications of pesticides play a major role in

  19. Neonicotinoid insecticide removal by prairie strips in row-cropped watersheds with historical seed coating use

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hladik, Michelle; Bradbury, Steven; Schulte, Lisa A.; Helmers, Matthew; Witte, Christopher; Kolpin, Dana W.; Garrett, Jessica D.; Harris, Mary

    2017-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are a widely used class of insecticides that are commonly applied as seed coatings for agricultural crops. Such neonicotinoid use may pose a risk to non-target insects, including pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests, and ecosystems. This study assessed neonicotinoid residues in groundwater, surface runoff water, soil, and native plants adjacent to corn and soybean crop fields with a history of being planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds from 2008-2013. Data from six sites with the same crop management history, three with and three without in-field prairie strips, were collected in 2015-2016, 2-3 years after neonicotinoid (clothianidin and imidacloprid) seed treatments were last used. Three of the six neonicotinoids analyzed were detected in at least one environmental matrix: the two applied as seed coatings on the fields (clothianidin and imidacloprid) and another widely used neonicotinoid (thiamethoxam). Sites with prairie strips generally had lower concentrations of neonicotinoids: groundwater and footslope soil neonicotinoid concentrations were significantly lower in the sites with prairie strips than those without; mean concentrations for groundwater were 11 and 20 ng/L (p = 0.048) and <1 and 6 ng/g (p = 0.0004) for soil, respectively. Surface runoff water concentrations were not significantly (p = 0.38) different for control sites (44 ng/L) or sites with prairie strips (140 ng/L). Consistent with the decreased inputs of neonicotinoids, concentrations tended to decrease over the sampling timeframe. Two sites recorded concentration increases, however, potentially due to disturbance of previous applications or influence from nearby fields where use of seed treatments continued. There were no detections (limit of detection: 1 ng/g) of neonicotinoids in the foliage or roots of plants comprising prairie strips, indicating a low likelihood of exposure to pollinators and other insects visiting these plants following the cessation of seed

  20. A critical review of neonicotinoid insecticides for developmental neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Sheets, Larry P; Li, Abby A; Minnema, Daniel J; Collier, Richard H; Creek, Moire R; Peffer, Richard C

    2016-02-01

    A comprehensive review of published and previously unpublished studies was performed to evaluate the neonicotinoid insecticides for evidence of developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). These insecticides have favorable safety profiles, due to their preferential affinity for nicotinic receptor (nAChR) subtypes in insects, poor penetration of the mammalian blood-brain barrier, and low application rates. Nevertheless, examination of this issue is warranted, due to their insecticidal mode of action and potential exposure with agricultural and residential uses. This review identified in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiology studies in the literature and studies performed in rats in accordance with GLP standards and EPA guidelines with imidacloprid, acetamiprid, thiacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, which are all the neonicotinoids currently registered in major markets. For the guideline-based studies, treatment was administered via the diet or gavage to primiparous female rats at three dose levels, plus a vehicle control (≥20/dose level), from gestation day 0 or 6 to lactation day 21. F1 males and females were evaluated using measures of motor activity, acoustic startle response, cognition, brain morphometry, and neuropathology. The principal effects in F1 animals were associated with decreased body weight (delayed sexual maturation, decreased brain weight, and morphometric measurements) and acute toxicity (decreased activity during exposure) at high doses, without neuropathology or impaired cognition. No common effects were identified among the neonicotinoids that were consistent with DNT or the neurodevelopmental effects associated with nicotine. Findings at high doses were associated with evidence of systemic toxicity, which indicates that these insecticides do not selectively affect the developing nervous system.

  1. A critical review of neonicotinoid insecticides for developmental neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Sheets, Larry P.; Li, Abby A.; Minnema, Daniel J.; Collier, Richard H.; Creek, Moire R.; Peffer, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A comprehensive review of published and previously unpublished studies was performed to evaluate the neonicotinoid insecticides for evidence of developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). These insecticides have favorable safety profiles, due to their preferential affinity for nicotinic receptor (nAChR) subtypes in insects, poor penetration of the mammalian blood–brain barrier, and low application rates. Nevertheless, examination of this issue is warranted, due to their insecticidal mode of action and potential exposure with agricultural and residential uses. This review identified in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiology studies in the literature and studies performed in rats in accordance with GLP standards and EPA guidelines with imidacloprid, acetamiprid, thiacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, which are all the neonicotinoids currently registered in major markets. For the guideline-based studies, treatment was administered via the diet or gavage to primiparous female rats at three dose levels, plus a vehicle control (≥20/dose level), from gestation day 0 or 6 to lactation day 21. F1 males and females were evaluated using measures of motor activity, acoustic startle response, cognition, brain morphometry, and neuropathology. The principal effects in F1 animals were associated with decreased body weight (delayed sexual maturation, decreased brain weight, and morphometric measurements) and acute toxicity (decreased activity during exposure) at high doses, without neuropathology or impaired cognition. No common effects were identified among the neonicotinoids that were consistent with DNT or the neurodevelopmental effects associated with nicotine. Findings at high doses were associated with evidence of systemic toxicity, which indicates that these insecticides do not selectively affect the developing nervous system. PMID:26513508

  2. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing.

    PubMed

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-07-30

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥ 3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication.

  3. Ecological and Landscape Drivers of Neonicotinoid Insecticide Detections and Concentrations in Canada's Prairie Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Main, Anson R; Michel, Nicole L; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Morrissey, Christy A

    2015-07-21

    Neonicotinoids are commonly used seed treatments on Canada's major prairie crops. Transported via surface and subsurface runoff into wetlands, their ultimate aquatic fate remains largely unknown. Biotic and abiotic wetland characteristics likely affect neonicotinoid presence and environmental persistence, but concentrations vary widely between wetlands that appear ecologically (e.g., plant composition) and physically (e.g., depth) similar for reasons that remain unclear. We conducted intensive surveys of 238 wetlands, and documented 59 wetland (e.g., dominant plant species) and landscape (e.g., surrounding crop) characteristics as part of a novel rapid wetland assessment system. We used boosted regression tree (BRT) analysis to predict both probability of neonicotinoid analytical detection and concentration. BRT models effectively predicted the deviance in neonicotinoid detection (62.4%) and concentration (74.7%) from 21 and 23 variables, respectively. Detection was best explained by shallow marsh plant species identity (34.8%) and surrounding crop (13.9%). Neonicotinoid concentration was best explained by shallow marsh plant species identity (14.9%) and wetland depth (14.2%). Our research revealed that plant composition is a key indicator and/or driver of neonicotinoid presence and concentration in Prairie wetlands. We recommend wetland buffers consisting of diverse native vegetation be retained or restored to minimize neonicotinoid transport and retention in wetlands, thereby limiting their potential effects on wetland-dependent organisms.

  4. First national-scale reconnaissance of neonicotinoid insecticides in streams across the USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hladik, Michelle; Kolpin, Dana W.

    2015-01-01

     To better understand the fate and transport of neonicotinoid insecticides, water samples were collected from streams across the United States. In a nationwide study, at least one neonicotinoid was detected in 53 % of the samples collected, with imidacloprid detected most frequently (37 %), followed by clothianidin (24 %), thiamethoxam (21 %), dinotefuran (13 %), acetamiprid (3 %) and thiacloprid (0 %). Clothianidin and thiamethoxam concentrations were positively related to the percentage of the land use in cultivated crop production and imidacloprid concentrations were positively related to the percentage of urban area within the basin. Additional sampling was also conducted in targeted research areas to complement these national-scale results, including determining: (1) neonicotinoid concentrations during elevated flow conditions in an intensely agricultural region; (2) temporal patterns of neonicotinoids in heavily urbanised basins; (3) neonicotinoid concentrations in agricultural basins in a nationally important ecosystem; and (4) in-stream transport of neonicotinoids near a wastewater treatment plant. Across all study areas, at least one neonicotinoid was detected in 63 % of the 48 streams sampled.

  5. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing

    PubMed Central

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-01-01

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication. PMID:26223214

  6. Insights from modeling the tertiary structure of human BACE2.

    PubMed

    Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2004-01-01

    BACE1, or beta-secretase, is a putative prime therapeutic target for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Mapping to the Down syndrome critical region (chromosome 21) and identified as a homologue of BACE1, BACE2 also cleaves amyloid precursor protein at the beta-site. Thus, BACE2, named also as Asp1 or Memapsin1, represents a second beta-secretase candidate. In this paper, the tertiary structure of the protease domain of BACE2 was developed. Although the overall structural topology between BACE1 and BACE2 protease domains is quite similar, the former contains 3 disulfide bonds but the latter only two. Particularly, a subtle structural difference around the DTG/DSG active site between the two structures has been observed that is useful for the in-depth selectivity study of BACE1 and BACE2 inhibitors, stimulating new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome as well.

  7. Structural insights into antibody recognition of mycobacterial polysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Murase, Tomohiko; Zheng, Ruixiang Blake; Joe, Maju; Bai, Yu; Marcus, Sandra L; Lowary, Todd L; Ng, Kenneth K S

    2009-09-18

    Mycobacteria are major human pathogens responsible for such serious and widespread diseases as tuberculosis and leprosy. Among the evolutionary adaptations essential for pathogenicity in mycobacteria is a complex carbohydrate-rich cell-wall structure that contains as a major immunomodulatory molecule the polysaccharide lipoarabinomannan (LAM). We report here crystal structures of three fragments from the non-reducing termini of LAM in complex with a murine antibody Fab fragment (CS-35Fab). These structures reveal for the first time the three-dimensional structures of key components of LAM and the molecular basis of LAM recognition at between 1.8- and 2.0-A resolution. The antigen-binding site of CS-35Fab forms three binding pockets that show a high degree of complementarity to the reducing end, the branch point and one of the non-reducing ends of the Y-shaped hexasaccharide moiety found at most of the non-reducing termini of LAM. Structures of CS-35Fab bound to two additional tetrasaccharides confirm the general mode of binding seen in the hexasaccharide and indicate how different parts of LAM are recognized. Altogether, these structures provide a rational basis for understanding the overall architecture of LAM and identify the key elements of an epitope that may be exploited for the development of novel and more effective anti-mycobacterial vaccines. Moreover, this study represents the first high-resolution X-ray crystallographic investigation of oligofuranoside-protein recognition.

  8. Widespread use and frequent detection of neonicotinoid insecticides in wetlands of Canada's Prairie Pothole Region.

    PubMed

    Main, Anson R; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Michel, Nicole L; Cessna, Allan J; Morrissey, Christy A

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids currently dominate the insecticide market as seed treatments on Canada's major Prairie crops (e.g., canola). The potential impact to ecologically significant wetlands in this dominantly agro-environment has largely been overlooked while the distribution of use, incidence and level of contamination remains unreported. We modelled the spatial distribution of neonicotinoid use across the three Prairie Provinces in combination with temporal assessments of water and sediment concentrations in wetlands to measure four active ingredients (clothianidin, thiamethoxam, imidacloprid and acetamiprid). From 2009 to 2012, neonicotinoid use was increasing; by 2012, applications covered an estimated ∼11 million hectares (44% of Prairie cropland) with >216,000 kg of active ingredients. Thiamethoxam, followed by clothianidin, were the dominant seed treatments by mass and area. Areas of high neonicotinoid use were identified as high density canola or soybean production. Water sampled four times from 136 wetlands (spring, summer, fall 2012 and spring 2013) across four rural municipalities in Saskatchewan similarly revealed clothianidin and thiamethoxam in the majority of samples. In spring 2012 prior to seeding, 36% of wetlands contained at least one neonicotinoid. Detections increased to 62% in summer 2012, declined to 16% in fall, and increased to 91% the following spring 2013 after ice-off. Peak concentrations were recorded during summer 2012 for both thiamethoxam (range: neonicotinoid concentrations (which did not exceed 20 ng/L). Wetlands situated in barley, canola and oat fields consistently contained higher mean concentrations of neonicotinoids than in grasslands, but no individual crop singularly influenced overall detections or concentrations. Distribution maps indicate neonicotinoid use is increasing and becoming

  9. Neonicotinoids in bees: a review on concentrations, side-effects and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Blacquière, Tjeerd; Smagghe, Guy; van Gestel, Cornelis A M; Mommaerts, Veerle

    2012-05-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are successfully applied to control pests in a variety of agricultural crops; however, they may not only affect pest insects but also non-target organisms such as pollinators. This review summarizes, for the first time, 15 years of research on the hazards of neonicotinoids to bees including honey bees, bumble bees and solitary bees. The focus of the paper is on three different key aspects determining the risks of neonicotinoid field concentrations for bee populations: (1) the environmental neonicotinoid residue levels in plants, bees and bee products in relation to pesticide application, (2) the reported side-effects with special attention for sublethal effects, and (3) the usefulness for the evaluation of neonicotinoids of an already existing risk assessment scheme for systemic compounds. Although environmental residue levels of neonicotinoids were found to be lower than acute/chronic toxicity levels, there is still a lack of reliable data as most analyses were conducted near the detection limit and for only few crops. Many laboratory studies described lethal and sublethal effects of neonicotinoids on the foraging behavior, and learning and memory abilities of bees, while no effects were observed in field studies at field-realistic dosages. The proposed risk assessment scheme for systemic compounds was shown to be applicable to assess the risk for side-effects of neonicotinoids as it considers the effect on different life stages and different levels of biological organization (organism versus colony). Future research studies should be conducted with field-realistic concentrations, relevant exposure and evaluation durations. Molecular markers may be used to improve risk assessment by a better understanding of the mode of action (interaction with receptors) of neonicotinoids in bees leading to the identification of environmentally safer compounds.

  10. Widespread Use and Frequent Detection of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada's Prairie Pothole Region

    PubMed Central

    Main, Anson R.; Headley, John V.; Peru, Kerry M.; Michel, Nicole L.; Cessna, Allan J.; Morrissey, Christy A.

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids currently dominate the insecticide market as seed treatments on Canada's major Prairie crops (e.g., canola). The potential impact to ecologically significant wetlands in this dominantly agro-environment has largely been overlooked while the distribution of use, incidence and level of contamination remains unreported. We modelled the spatial distribution of neonicotinoid use across the three Prairie Provinces in combination with temporal assessments of water and sediment concentrations in wetlands to measure four active ingredients (clothianidin, thiamethoxam, imidacloprid and acetamiprid). From 2009 to 2012, neonicotinoid use was increasing; by 2012, applications covered an estimated ∼11 million hectares (44% of Prairie cropland) with >216,000 kg of active ingredients. Thiamethoxam, followed by clothianidin, were the dominant seed treatments by mass and area. Areas of high neonicotinoid use were identified as high density canola or soybean production. Water sampled four times from 136 wetlands (spring, summer, fall 2012 and spring 2013) across four rural municipalities in Saskatchewan similarly revealed clothianidin and thiamethoxam in the majority of samples. In spring 2012 prior to seeding, 36% of wetlands contained at least one neonicotinoid. Detections increased to 62% in summer 2012, declined to 16% in fall, and increased to 91% the following spring 2013 after ice-off. Peak concentrations were recorded during summer 2012 for both thiamethoxam (range: neonicotinoid concentrations (which did not exceed 20 ng/L). Wetlands situated in barley, canola and oat fields consistently contained higher mean concentrations of neonicotinoids than in grasslands, but no individual crop singularly influenced overall detections or concentrations. Distribution maps indicate neonicotinoid use is increasing and

  11. Structural insights into bacterial flagellar hooks similarities and specificities

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Young-Ho; Barker, Clive S.; Bulieris, Paula V.; Matsunami, Hideyuki; Samatey, Fadel A.

    2016-01-01

    Across bacteria, the protein that makes the flagellar hook, FlgE, has a high variability in amino acid residue composition and sequence length. We hereby present the structure of two fragments of FlgE protein from Campylobacter jejuni and from Caulobacter crescentus, which were obtained by X-ray crystallography, and a high-resolution model of the hook from Caulobacter. By comparing these new structures of FlgE proteins, we show that bacterial hook can be divided in two distinct parts. The first part comprises domains that are found in all FlgE proteins and that will make the basic structure of the hook that is common to all flagellated bacteria. The second part, hyper-variable both in size and structure, will be bacteria dependent. To have a better understanding of the C. jejuni hook, we show that a special strain of Salmonella enterica, which was designed to encode a gene of flgE that has the extra domains found in FlgE from C. jejuni, is fully motile. It seems that no matter the size of the hook protein, the hook will always have a structure made of 11 protofilaments. PMID:27759043

  12. Insights into [FeFe]-hydrogenase structure, mechanism, and maturation.

    PubMed

    Mulder, David W; Shepard, Eric M; Meuser, Jonathan E; Joshi, Neelambari; King, Paul W; Posewitz, Matthew C; Broderick, Joan B; Peters, John W

    2011-08-10

    Hydrogenases are metalloenzymes that are key to energy metabolism in a variety of microbial communities. Divided into three classes based on their metal content, the [Fe]-, [FeFe]-, and [NiFe]-hydrogenases are evolutionarily unrelated but share similar nonprotein ligand assemblies at their active site metal centers that are not observed elsewhere in biology. These nonprotein ligands are critical in tuning enzyme reactivity, and their synthesis and incorporation into the active site clusters require a number of specific maturation enzymes. The wealth of structural information on different classes and different states of hydrogenase enzymes, biosynthetic intermediates, and maturation enzymes has contributed significantly to understanding the biochemistry of hydrogen metabolism. This review highlights the unique structural features of hydrogenases and emphasizes the recent biochemical and structural work that has created a clearer picture of the [FeFe]-hydrogenase maturation pathway.

  13. Insights to primitive replication derived from structures of small oligonucleotides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, G. K.; Fox, G. E.

    1995-01-01

    Available information on the structure of small oligonucleotides is surveyed. It is observed that even small oligomers typically exhibit defined structures over a wide range of pH and temperature. These structures rely on a plethora of non-standard base-base interactions in addition to the traditional Watson-Crick pairings. Stable duplexes, though typically antiparallel, can be parallel or staggered and perfect complementarity is not essential. These results imply that primitive template directed reactions do not require high fidelity. Hence, the extensive use of Watson-Crick complementarity in genes rather than being a direct consequence of the primitive condensation process, may instead reflect subsequent selection based on the advantage of accuracy in maintaining the primitive genetic machinery once it arose.

  14. Insights into molecular structure and digestion rate of oat starch.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jinchuan; Kuang, Qirong; Wang, Kai; Zhou, Sumei; Wang, Shuo; Liu, Xingxun; Wang, Shujun

    2017-04-01

    The in vitro digestibility of oat starch and its relationship with starch molecular structure was investigated. The in vitro digestion results showed that the first-order kinetic constant (k) of oat starches (OS-1 and OS-2) was lower than that of rice starch. The size of amylose chains, amylose content and degree of branching (DB) of amylopectin in oat starch were significantly higher than the corresponding parameters in rice starch. The larger molecular size of oat starch may account for its lower digestion rate. The fine structure of amylopectin showed that oat starch had less chains of DP 6-12 and DP>36, which may explain the small difference in digestion rate between oat and rice starch. The biosynthesis model from oat amylopectin fine structure data suggested a lower starch branching enzyme (SBE) activity and/or a higher starch synthase (SS) activity, which may decrease the DB of oat starch and increase its digestion rate.

  15. Structural Insights into Clostridium perfringens Delta Toxin Pore Formation.

    PubMed

    Huyet, Jessica; Naylor, Claire E; Savva, Christos G; Gibert, Maryse; Popoff, Michel R; Basak, Ajit K

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens Delta toxin is one of the three hemolysin-like proteins produced by C. perfringens type C and possibly type B strains. One of the others, NetB, has been shown to be the major cause of Avian Nectrotic Enteritis, which following the reduction in use of antibiotics as growth promoters, has become an emerging disease of industrial poultry. Delta toxin itself is cytotoxic to the wide range of human and animal macrophages and platelets that present GM2 ganglioside on their membranes. It has sequence similarity with Staphylococcus aureus β-pore forming toxins and is expected to heptamerize and form pores in the lipid bilayer of host cell membranes. Nevertheless, its exact mode of action remains undetermined. Here we report the 2.4 Å crystal structure of monomeric Delta toxin. The superposition of this structure with the structure of the phospholipid-bound F component of S. aureus leucocidin (LukF) revealed that the glycerol molecules bound to Delta toxin and the phospholipids in LukF are accommodated in the same hydrophobic clefts, corresponding to where the toxin is expected to latch onto the membrane, though the binding sites show significant differences. From structure-based sequence alignment with the known structure of staphylococcal α-hemolysin, a model of the Delta toxin pore form has been built. Using electron microscopy, we have validated our model and characterized the Delta toxin pore on liposomes. These results highlight both similarities and differences in the mechanism of Delta toxin (and by extension NetB) cytotoxicity from that of the staphylococcal pore-forming toxins.

  16. Improved prediction of RNA tertiary structure with insights into native state dynamics.

    PubMed

    Bida, John Paul; Maher, L James

    2012-03-01

    The importance of RNA tertiary structure is evident from the growing number of published high resolution NMR and X-ray crystallographic structures of RNA molecules. These structures provide insights into function and create a knowledge base that is leveraged by programs such as Assemble, ModeRNA, RNABuilder, NAST, FARNA, Mc-Sym, RNA2D3D, and iFoldRNA for tertiary structure prediction and design. While these methods sample native-like RNA structures during simulations, all struggle to capture the native RNA conformation after scoring. We propose RSIM, an improved RNA fragment assembly method that preserves RNA global secondary structure while sampling conformations. This approach enhances the quality of predicted RNA tertiary structure, provides insights into the native state dynamics, and generates a powerful visualization of the RNA conformational space. RSIM is available for download from http://www.github.com/jpbida/rsim.

  17. Dinotefuran: a potential neonicotinoid insecticide against resistant mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Corbel, Vincent; Duchon, Stephane; Zaim, Morteza; Hougard, Jean-Marc

    2004-07-01

    Because pyrethroid, organophosphate, and carbamate resistance is more and more developed in mosquitoes of medical importance, there is an urgent need for alternative insecticides for vector control. Dinotefuran, a new neonicotinoid insecticide commercialized by Mitsui Chemicals (Tokyo, Japan), could be a useful candidate in public health because it shows low mammalian toxicity and great insecticidal activity against a broad range of pests. In this study, the intrinsic toxicity of dinotefuran was evaluated by larval bioassay and topical application against different mosquito strains of Anopheles gambiae Giles, Culex quinquefasciatus Say, and Aedes aegypti L. having none, one, or several resistance mechanisms, respectively, to insecticides. The results showed that dinotefuran was less toxic than most of the commonly used insecticides (e.g., deltamethrin, carbosulfan, and temephos) against the susceptible mosquitoes tested (between 6- and 100-fold at the LD50 level). However, the toxicity of dinotefuran was not strongly affected by the presence of common resistance mechanism, i.e., kdr mutation and insensitive acetylcholinesterase (resistance ratio [RR] from 1.3 to 2.3). More interestingly, the carbamate-resistant strain of Cx. quinquefasciatus was significantly more affected by dinotefuran than the susceptible strain (RR = 0.70), probably because the insensitive acetylcholinesterase is less efficient to degrade nicotinic substrates than normal acetylcholinesterase. Despite the relatively low toxicity of dinotefuran against susceptible mosquitoes, the absence of cross-resistance with common insecticides (pyrethroids, carbamates, and organophosphates) makes neonicotinoids potential candidates for disease vector control, especially in area where mosquitoes are resistant to insecticides.

  18. Chemistry and biology of thiamethoxam: a second generation neonicotinoid.

    PubMed

    Maienfisch, P; Angst, M; Brandl, F; Fischer, W; Hofer, D; Kayser, H; Kobel, W; Rindlisbacher, A; Senn, R; Steinemann, A; Widmer, H

    2001-10-01

    Thiamethoxam is the first commercial neonicotinoid insecticide from the thianicotinyl subclass. It was discovered in the course of our optimisation program on neonicotinoids started in 1985. Novel variations of the nitroimino-heterocycle of imidacloprid led to 4-nitroimino-1,3,5-oxadiazinanes exhibiting high insecticidal activity. Among these, thiamethoxam (CGA 293433) was identified as the best compound and selected for worldwide development. The compound can be synthesised in only a few steps and high yield from easily accessible starting materials. Thiamethoxam acts by binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. It exhibits exceptional systemic characteristics and provides excellent control of a broad range of commercially important pests, such as aphids, jassids, whiteflies, thrips, rice hoppers, Colorado potato beetle, flea beetles and wireworms, as well as some lepidopteran species. In addition, a strong preventative effect on some virus transmissions has been demonstrated. Thiamethoxam is developed both for foliar/soil applications and as a seed treatment for use in most agricultural crops all over the world. Low use rates, flexible application methods, excellent efficacy, long-lasting residual activity and favourable safety profile make this new insecticide well-suited for modern integrated pest management programmes in many cropping systems.

  19. Some insights into stellar structure from nonlinear pulsations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goupil, M. J.

    1993-12-01

    Efficient tools of investigation of stellar pulsation are the integral relations which link oscillation frequencies to the static structure of stellar models, as provided by the linear theory of pulsation. Similarly, oscillation amplitudes and phases, which arise from nonlinear processes, can be related to the stellar structure by means of amplitude equation formalisms. For the simple case of a monoperiodic oscillation, involving only one unstable marginal mode, such a formalism shows that the (limit cycle) radius variations, at time t and mass level m, can be approximated, up to second order of approximation. The nonlinear, nonadiabatic coefficients, are integrals over mass of kernels which depend on eigenfrequencies, eigenfunctions, on second and third order Taylor quantities from the equations modelling the star. They can either be computed from static models (Klapp et al., 1985) or obtained by numerical fits of hydrodynamical results (Kovacs and Buchler, 1989).

  20. Structural Insights into Fibronectin Type III Domain Mediated Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bencharit, Sompop; Cui, Cai Bin; Siddiqui, Adnan; Howard-Williams, Escher L.; Sondek, John; Zuobi-Hasona, Kheir; Aukhil, Ikramuddin

    2007-01-01

    The alternatively spliced type-III extradomain B (EIIIB) of Fibronectin (FN) is only expressed during embryogenesis, wound healing and tumorigenesis. The biological function of this domain remains unclear. We describe here the first crystal structure of the interface between alternatively-spliced domain EIIIB and its adjacent FN type-III domain 8 (FN B-8). The opened CC′ loop of EIIIB and the rotation and tilt of EIIIB domain allows good access to the FG loop of FN-8 which is normally hindered by the CC′ loop of FN-7. In addition, the AGEGIP sequence of the CC′ loop of EIIIB replaces the NGQQGN sequence of the CC′ loop of FN-7. Finally, the CC” loop of EIIIB forms an acidic groove with FN-8. These structural findings warrant future studies directed at identifying potential binding partners for FN B-8 interface, linking EIIIB to skeletal and cartilagenous development, wound healing, and tumorigenesis, respectively. PMID:17261313

  1. The nuclear pore complex: understanding its function through structural insight.

    PubMed

    Beck, Martin; Hurt, Ed

    2017-02-01

    Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) fuse the inner and outer nuclear membranes to form channels across the nuclear envelope. They are large macromolecular assemblies with a complex composition and diverse functions. Apart from facilitating nucleocytoplasmic transport, NPCs are involved in chromatin organization, the regulation of gene expression and DNA repair. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying these functions has been hampered by a lack of structural knowledge about the NPC. The recent convergence of crystallographic and biochemical in vitro analysis of nucleoporins (NUPs), the components of the NPC, with cryo-electron microscopic imaging of the entire NPC in situ has provided first pseudo-atomic view of its central core and revealed that an unexpected network of short linear motifs is an important spatial organization principle. These breakthroughs have transformed the way we understand NPC structure, and they provide an important base for functional investigations, including the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying clinically manifested mutations of the nucleocytoplasmic transport system.

  2. Structural Insights into Ail-Mediated Adhesion in Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Yamashita, Satoshi; Lukacik, Petra; Barnard, Travis J.; Noinaj, Nicholas; Felek, Suleyman; Tsang, Tiffany M.; Krukonis, Eric S.; Hinnebusch, B. Joseph; Buchanan, Susan K.

    2012-01-30

    Ail is an outer membrane protein from Yersinia pestis that is highly expressed in a rodent model of bubonic plague, making it a good candidate for vaccine development. Ail is important for attaching to host cells and evading host immune responses, facilitating rapid progression of a plague infection. Binding to host cells is important for injection of cytotoxic Yersinia outer proteins. To learn more about how Ail mediates adhesion, we solved two high-resolution crystal structures of Ail, with no ligand bound and in complex with a heparin analog called sucrose octasulfate. We identified multiple adhesion targets, including laminin and heparin, and showed that a 40 kDa domain of laminin called LG4-5 specifically binds to Ail. We also evaluated the contribution of laminin to delivery of Yops to HEp-2 cells. This work constitutes a structural description of how a bacterial outer membrane protein uses a multivalent approach to bind host cells.

  3. Structural Insights into the Role of Mutations in Amyloidogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Baden, Elizabeth M.; Randles, Edward G.; Aboagye, Awo K.; Thompson, James R.; Ramirez-Alvarado, Marina

    2009-08-14

    Mechanisms of amyloidogenesis are not well understood, including potential structural contributions of mutations in the process. Our previous research indicated that the dimer interface of amyloidogenic immunoglobulin light chain protein AL-09 is twisted 90{sup o} relative to the protein from its germline sequence, {kappa}I O18/O8. Here we report a systematic restoration of AL-09 to its germline sequence by mutating the non-conservative somatic mutations located in the light chain dimer interface. Among these mutants, we find a correlation between increased thermodynamic stability and an increase in the lag time for fibril formation. The restorative mutant AL-09 H87{gamma} completes the trifecta and restores the dimer interface observed in ?I O18/O8, emphasizing the potential importance of the structural integrity of these proteins to protect against amyloidogenicity. We also find that adding amyloidogenic mutations into the germline protein illustrates mutational cooperativity in promoting amyloidogenesis.

  4. Structural insight for chain selection and stagger control in collagen

    PubMed Central

    Boudko, Sergei P.; Bächinger, Hans Peter

    2016-01-01

    Collagen plays a fundamental role in all known metazoans. In collagens three polypeptides form a unique triple-helical structure with a one-residue stagger to fit every third glycine residue in the inner core without disturbing the poly-proline type II helical conformation of each chain. There are homo- and hetero-trimeric types of collagen consisting of one, two or three distinct chains. Thus there must be mechanisms that control composition and stagger during collagen folding. Here, we uncover the structural basis for both chain selection and stagger formation of a collagen molecule. Three distinct chains (α1, α2 and α3) of the non-collagenous domain 2 (NC2) of type IX collagen are assembled to guide triple-helical sequences in the leading, middle and trailing positions. This unique domain opens the door for generating any fragment of collagen in its native composition and stagger. PMID:27897211

  5. Crustal structure of central Lake Baikal: Insights into intracontinental rifting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ten Brink, U.S.; Taylor, M.H.

    2002-01-01

    The Cenozoic rift system of Baikal, located in the interior of the largest continental mass on Earth, is thought to represent a potential analog of the early stage of breakup of supercontinents. We present a detailed P wave velocity structure of the crust and sediments beneath the Central Basin, the deepest basin in the Baikal rift system. The structure is characterized by a Moho depth of 39-42.5 km; an 8-km-thick, laterally continuous high-velocity (7.05-7.4 km/s) lower crust, normal upper mantle velocity (8 km/s), a sedimentary section reaching maximum depths of 9 km, and a gradual increase of sediment velocity with depth. We interpret the high-velocity lower crust to be part of the Siberian Platform that was not thinned or altered significantly during rifting. In comparison to published results from the Siberian Platform, Moho under the basin is elevated by <3 km. On the basis of these results we propose that the basin was formed by upper crustal extension, possibly reactivating structures in an ancient fold-and-thrust belt. The extent and location of upper mantle extension are not revealed by our data, and it may be offset from the rift. We believe that the Baikal rift structure is similar in many respects to the Mesozoic Atlantic rift system, the precursor to the formation of the North Atlantic Ocean. We also propose that the Central Baikal rift evolved by episodic fault propagation and basin enlargement, rather than by two-stage rift evolution as is commonly assumed.

  6. Structural insights into the evolution of an antibody combining site

    SciTech Connect

    Wedemayer, G.J.; Patten, P.A.; Wang, L.H.; Schultz, P.G.; Stevens, R.C. |

    1997-06-13

    The crystal structures of a germline antibody Fab fragment and its complex with hapten have been solved at 2.1 {angstrom} resolution. These structures are compared with the corresponding crystal structures of the affinity-matured antibody, 48G7, which has a 30,000 times higher affinity for hapten as a result of nine replacement somatic mutations. Significant changes in the configuration of the combining site occur upon binding of hapten to the germline antibody, whereas hapten binds to the mature antibody by a lock-and-key fit mechanism. The reorganization of the combining site that was nucleated by hapten binding is further optimized by somatic mutations that occur up to 15 {angstrom} from bound hapten. These results suggest that the binding potential of the primary antibody repertoire may be significantly expanded by the ability of germline antibodies to adopt more than one combining-site configuration, with both antigen binding and somatic mutation stabilizing the configuration with optimal hapten complementarily.

  7. Structural Insights Into the Evolutionary Paths of Oxylipin Biosynthetic Enzymes

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, D.-S.; Nioche, P.; Hamberg, M.; Raman, C.S.

    2009-05-20

    The oxylipin pathway generates not only prostaglandin-like jasmonates but also green leaf volatiles (GLVs), which confer characteristic aromas to fruits and vegetables. Although allene oxide synthase (AOS) and hydroperoxide lyase are atypical cytochrome P450 family members involved in the synthesis of jasmonates and GLVs, respectively, it is unknown how these enzymes rearrange their hydroperoxide substrates into different products. Here we present the crystal structures of Arabidopsis thaliana AOS, free and in complex with substrate or intermediate analogues. The structures reveal an unusual active site poised to control the reactivity of an epoxyallylic radical and its cation by means of interactions with an aromatic {pi}-system. Replacing the amino acid involved in these steps by a non-polar residue markedly reduces AOS activity and, unexpectedly, is both necessary and sufficient for converting AOS into a GLV biosynthetic enzyme. Furthermore, by combining our structural data with bioinformatic and biochemical analyses, we have discovered previously unknown hydroperoxide lyase in plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, AOS in coral, and epoxyalcohol synthase in amphioxus. These results indicate that oxylipin biosynthetic genes were present in the last common ancestor of plants and animals, but were subsequently lost in all metazoan lineages except Placozoa, Cnidaria and Cephalochordata.

  8. Structural insights into µ-opioid receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Weijiao; Manglik, Aashish; Venkatakrishnan, A J; Laeremans, Toon; Feinberg, Evan N; Sanborn, Adrian L; Kato, Hideaki E; Livingston, Kathryn E; Thorsen, Thor S; Kling, Ralf C; Granier, Sébastien; Gmeiner, Peter; Husbands, Stephen M; Traynor, John R; Weis, William I; Steyaert, Jan; Dror, Ron O; Kobilka, Brian K

    2015-08-20

    Activation of the μ-opioid receptor (μOR) is responsible for the efficacy of the most effective analgesics. To shed light on the structural basis for μOR activation, here we report a 2.1 Å X-ray crystal structure of the murine μOR bound to the morphinan agonist BU72 and a G protein mimetic camelid antibody fragment. The BU72-stabilized changes in the μOR binding pocket are subtle and differ from those observed for agonist-bound structures of the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) and the M2 muscarinic receptor. Comparison with active β2AR reveals a common rearrangement in the packing of three conserved amino acids in the core of the μOR, and molecular dynamics simulations illustrate how the ligand-binding pocket is conformationally linked to this conserved triad. Additionally, an extensive polar network between the ligand-binding pocket and the cytoplasmic domains appears to play a similar role in signal propagation for all three G-protein-coupled receptors.

  9. Structural insights into NusG regulating transcription elongation

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Bin; Steitz, Thomas A.

    2017-01-01

    NusG is an essential transcription factor that plays multiple key regulatory roles in transcription elongation, termination and coupling translation and transcription. The core role of NusG is to enhance transcription elongation and RNA polymerase processivity. Here, we present the structure of Escherichia coli RNA polymerase complexed with NusG. The structure shows that the NusG N-terminal domain (NGN) binds at the central cleft of RNA polymerase surrounded by the β' clamp helices, the β protrusion, and the β lobe domains to close the promoter DNA binding channel and constrain the β' clamp domain, but with an orientation that is different from the one observed in the archaeal β' clamp–Spt4/5 complex. The structure also allows us to construct a reliable model of the complete NusG-associated transcription elongation complex, suggesting that the NGN domain binds at the upstream fork junction of the transcription elongation complex, similar to σ2 in the transcription initiation complex, to stabilize the junction, and therefore enhances transcription processivity. PMID:27899640

  10. Structural insights into competitive antagonism in NMDA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Jespersen, Annie; Tajima, Nami; Fernandez-Cuervo, Gabriela; Garnier-Amblard, Ethel C.; Furukawa, Hiro

    2014-01-01

    Summary There has been a great level of enthusiasm to down-regulate overactive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors to protect neurons from excitotoxicity. NMDA receptors play pivotal roles in basic brain development and functions as well as in neurological disorders and diseases. However, mechanistic understanding of antagonism in NMDA receptors is limited due to complete lack of antagonist-bound structures for the l-glutamate-binding GluN2 subunits. Here we report the crystal structures of GluN1/GluN2A NMDA receptor ligand-binding domain (LBD) heterodimers in complex with GluN1- and GluN2-targeting antagonists. The crystal structures reveal that the antagonists, D-(−)-2-Amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (d-AP5) and 1-(Phenanthrene-2-carbonyl)piperazine-2,3-dicarboxylic acid (PPDA), have discrete binding modes and mechanisms for opening of the bilobed architecture of GluN2A LBD compared to the agonist-bound form. The current study shows distinct ways by which the conformations of NMDA receptor LBDs may be controlled and coupled to receptor inhibition and provides possible strategies to develop therapeutic compounds with higher subtype-specificity. PMID:24462099

  11. Molecular and structural insight into plasmodium falciparum RIO2 kinase.

    PubMed

    Chouhan, Devendra K; Sharon, Ashoke; Bal, Chandralata

    2013-02-01

    Among approximately 65 kinases of the malarial genome, RIO2 (right open reading frame) kinase belonging to the atypical class of kinase is unique because along with a kinase domain, it has a highly conserved N-terminal winged helix (wHTH) domain. The wHTH domain resembles the wing like domain found in DNA binding proteins and is situated near to the kinase domain. Ligand binding to this domain may reposition the kinase domain leading to inhibition of enzyme function and could be utilized as a novel allosteric site to design inhibitor. In the present study, we have generated a model of RIO2 kinase from Plasmodium falciparum utilizing multiple modeling, simulation approach. A novel putative DNA-binding site is identified for the first time in PfRIO2 kinase to understand the DNA binding events involving wHTH domain and flexible loop. Induced fit DNA docking followed by minimization, molecular dynamics simulation, energetic scoring and binding mode studies are used to reveal the structural basis of PfRIO2-ATP-DNA complex. Ser105 as a potential site of phosphorylation is revealed through the structural studies of ATP binding in PfRIO2. Overall the present study discloses the structural facets of unknown PfRIO2 complex and opens an avenue toward exploration of novel drug target.

  12. Amyloid Structure and Assembly: Insights from Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Goldsbury, C.; Wall, J.; Baxa, U.; Simon, M. N.; Steven, A. C.; Engel, A.; Aebi, U.; Muller, S. A.

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils are filamentous protein aggregates implicated in several common diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and type II diabetes. Similar structures are also the molecular principle of the infectious spongiform encephalopathies such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep, and of the so-called yeast prions, inherited non-chromosomal elements found in yeast and fungi. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is often used to delineate the assembly mechanism and structural properties of amyloid aggregates. In this review we consider specifically contributions and limitations of STEM for the investigation of amyloid assembly pathways, fibril polymorphisms and structural models of amyloid fibrils. This type of microscopy provides the only method to directly measure the mass-per-length (MPL) of individual filaments. Made on both in vitro assembled and ex vivo samples, STEM mass measurements have illuminated the hierarchical relationships between amyloid fibrils and revealed that polymorphic fibrils and various globular oligomers can assemble simultaneously from a single polypeptide. The MPLs also impose strong constraints on possible packing schemes, assisting in molecular model building when combined with high-resolution methods like solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR).

  13. Amyloid structure and assembly: insights from scanning transmission electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Goldsbury, Claire; Baxa, Ulrich; Simon, Martha N; Steven, Alasdair C; Engel, Andreas; Wall, Joseph S; Aebi, Ueli; Müller, Shirley A

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils are filamentous protein aggregates implicated in several common diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and type II diabetes. Similar structures are also the molecular principle of the infectious spongiform encephalopathies such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep, and of the so-called yeast prions, inherited non-chromosomal elements found in yeast and fungi. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is often used to delineate the assembly mechanism and structural properties of amyloid aggregates. In this review we consider specifically contributions and limitations of STEM for the investigation of amyloid assembly pathways, fibril polymorphisms and structural models of amyloid fibrils. This type of microscopy provides the only method to directly measure the mass-per-length (MPL) of individual filaments. Made on both in vitro assembled and ex vivo samples, STEM mass measurements have illuminated the hierarchical relationships between amyloid fibrils and revealed that polymorphic fibrils and various globular oligomers can assemble simultaneously from a single polypeptide. The MPLs also impose strong constraints on possible packing schemes, assisting in molecular model building when combined with high-resolution methods like solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR).

  14. Structural Insights into the Mechanism of Protein O-Fucosylation

    PubMed Central

    Lira-Navarrete, Erandi; Valero-González, Jessika; Villanueva, Raquel; Martínez-Júlvez, Marta; Tejero, Tomás; Merino, Pedro; Panjikar, Santosh; Hurtado-Guerrero, Ramon

    2011-01-01

    Protein O-fucosylation is an essential post-translational modification, involved in the folding of target proteins and in the role of these target proteins during embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis, among other things. Two different enzymes are responsible for this modification, Protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 and 2 (POFUT1 and POFUT2, respectively). Both proteins have been characterised biologically and enzymatically but nothing is known at the molecular or structural level. Here we describe the first crystal structure of a catalytically functional POFUT1 in an apo-form and in complex with GDP-fucose and GDP. The enzyme belongs to the GT-B family and is not dependent on manganese for activity. GDP-fucose/GDP is localised in a conserved cavity connected to a large solvent exposed pocket, which we show is the binding site of epidermal growth factor (EGF) repeats in the extracellular domain of the Notch Receptor. Through both mutational and kinetic studies we have identified which residues are involved in binding and catalysis and have determined that the Arg240 residue is a key catalytic residue. We also propose a novel SN1-like catalytic mechanism with formation of an intimate ion pair, in which the glycosidic bond is cleaved before the nucleophilic attack; and theoretical calculations at a DFT (B3LYP/6-31+G(d,p) support this mechanism. Thus, the crystal structure together with our mutagenesis studies explain the molecular mechanism of POFUT1 and provide a new starting point for the design of functional inhibitors to this critical enzyme in the future. PMID:21966509

  15. Structural insights into DNA replication without hydrogen bonds.

    PubMed

    Betz, Karin; Malyshev, Denis A; Lavergne, Thomas; Welte, Wolfram; Diederichs, Kay; Romesberg, Floyd E; Marx, Andreas

    2013-12-11

    The genetic alphabet is composed of two base pairs, and the development of a third, unnatural base pair would increase the genetic and chemical potential of DNA. d5SICS-dNaM is one of the most efficiently replicated unnatural base pairs identified to date, but its pairing is mediated by only hydrophobic and packing forces, and in free duplex DNA it forms a cross-strand intercalated structure that makes its efficient replication difficult to understand. Recent studies of the KlenTaq DNA polymerase revealed that the insertion of d5SICSTP opposite dNaM proceeds via a mutually induced-fit mechanism, where the presence of the triphosphate induces the polymerase to form the catalytically competent closed structure, which in turn induces the pairing nucleotides of the developing unnatural base pair to adopt a planar Watson-Crick-like structure. To understand the remaining steps of replication, we now report the characterization of the prechemistry complexes corresponding to the insertion of dNaMTP opposite d5SICS, as well as multiple postchemistry complexes in which the already formed unnatural base pair is positioned at the postinsertion site. Unlike with the insertion of d5SICSTP opposite dNaM, addition of dNaMTP does not fully induce the formation of the catalytically competent closed state. The data also reveal that once synthesized and translocated to the postinsertion position, the unnatural nucleobases again intercalate. Two modes of intercalation are observed, depending on the nature of the flanking nucleotides, and are each stabilized by different interactions with the polymerase, and each appear to reduce the affinity with which the next correct triphosphate binds. Thus, continued primer extension is limited by deintercalation and rearrangements with the polymerase active site that are required to populate the catalytically active, triphosphate bound conformation.

  16. Structural Insights into DNA Replication Without Hydrogen-Bonds

    PubMed Central

    Betz, Karin; Malyshev, Denis A.; Lavergne, Thomas; Welte, Wolfram; Diederichs, Kay; Romesberg, Floyd E.; Marx, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    The genetic alphabet is comprised of two base pairs, and the development of a third, unnatural base pair would increase the genetic and chemical potential of DNA. d5SICS-dNaM is one of the most efficiently replicated unnatural base pairs identified to date, but its pairing is mediated by only hydrophobic and packing forces, and in free duplex DNA it forms a cross-strand intercalated structure that makes its efficient replication difficult to understand. Recent studies of the KlenTaq polymerase revealed that the insertion of d5SICSTP opposite dNaM proceeds via a mutually induced-fit mechanism, where the presence of the triphosphate induces the polymerase to form the catalytically competent closed structure, which in turn induces the pairing nucleotides of the developing unnatural base pair to adopt a planar Watson-Crick-like structure. To understand the remaining steps of replication, we now report the characterization of the pre-chemistry complexes corresponding to the insertion of dNaMTP opposite d5SICS, as well as multiple post-chemistry complexes in which the already formed unnatural base pair is positioned at the post-insertion site. Unlike with the insertion of d5SICSTP opposite dNaM, addition of dNaMTP does not fully induce the formation of the catalytically competent closed state. The data also reveal that once synthesized and translocated to the post-insertion position, the unnatural nucleobases again intercalate. Two modes of intercalation are observed, depending on the nature of the flanking nucleotides, and are each stabilized by different interactions with the polymerase, and each appear to reduce the affinity with which the next correct triphosphate binds. Thus, continued primer extension is limited by de-intercalation and rearrangements with the polymerase active site that are required to populate the catalytically active, triphosphate bound conformation. PMID:24283923

  17. Structural Insight into Polymorphic ABO Glycan Binding by Helicobacter pylori

    PubMed Central

    Moonens, Kristof; Gideonsson, Pär; Subedi, Suresh; Bugaytsova, Jeanna; Romaõ, Ema; Mendez, Melissa; Nordén, Jenny; Fallah, Mahsa; Rakhimova, Lena; Shevtsova, Anna; Lahmann, Martina; Castaldo, Gaetano; Brännström, Kristoffer; Coppens, Fanny; Lo, Alvin W.; Ny, Tor; Solnick, Jay V.; Vandenbussche, Guy; Oscarson, Stefan; Hammarström, Lennart; Arnqvist, Anna; Berg, Douglas E.; Muyldermans, Serge; Borén, Thomas; Remaut, Han

    2016-01-01

    Summary The Helicobacter pylori adhesin BabA binds mucosal ABO/Leb blood group (bg) carbohydrates. BabA facilitates bacterial attachment to gastric surfaces, increasing strain virulence and forming a recognized risk factor for peptic ulcers and gastric cancer. High sequence variation causes BabA functional diversity, but the underlying structural-molecular determinants are unknown. We generated X-ray structures of representative BabA isoforms that reveal a polymorphic, three-pronged Leb binding site. Two diversity loops, DL1 and DL2, provide adaptive control to binding affinity, notably ABO versus O bg preference. H. pylori strains can switch bg preference with single DL1 amino acid substitutions, and can coexpress functionally divergent BabA isoforms. The anchor point for receptor binding is the embrace of an ABO fucose residue by a disulfide-clasped loop, which is inactivated by reduction. Treatment with the redox-active pharmaceutic N-acetylcysteine lowers gastric mucosal neutrophil infiltration in H. pylori-infected Leb-expressing mice, providing perspectives on possible H. pylori eradication therapies. PMID:26764597

  18. The Ccr4-Not Complex: Architecture and Structural Insights.

    PubMed

    Collart, Martine A; Panasenko, Olesya O

    2017-01-01

    The Ccr4-Not complex is an essential multi-subunit protein complex that plays a fundamental role in eukaryotic mRNA metabolism and has a multitude of different roles that impact eukaryotic gene expression . It has a conserved core of three Not proteins, the Ccr4 protein, and two Ccr4 associated factors, Caf1 and Caf40. A fourth Not protein, Not4, is conserved, but is only a stable subunit of the complex in yeast. Certain subunits have been duplicated during evolution, with functional divergence, such as Not3 in yeast, and Ccr4 or Caf1 in human. However the complex includes only one homolog for each protein. In addition, species-specific subunits are part of the complex, such as Caf130 in yeast or Not10 and Not11 in human. Two conserved catalytic functions are associated with the complex, deadenylation and ubiquitination . The complex adopts an L-shaped structure, in which different modules are bound to a large Not1 scaffold protein. In this chapter we will summarize our current knowledge of the architecture of the complex and of the structure of its constituents.

  19. Structural and mechanistic insights into Mps1 kinase activation

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Wei; Yang, Yuting; Gao, Yuefeng; Xu, Quanbin; Wang, Feng; Zhu, Songcheng; Old, William; Resing, Katheryn; Ahn, Natalie; Lei, Ming; Liu, Xuedong

    2010-11-05

    Mps1 is one of the several essential kinases whose activation is required for robust mitotic spindle checkpoint signalling. The activity of Mps1 is tightly regulated and increases dramatically during mitosis or in response to spindle damage. To understand the molecular mechanism underlying Mps1 regulation, we determined the crystal structure of the kinase domain of Mps1. The 2.7-{angstrom}-resolution crystal structure shows that the Mps1 kinase domain adopts a unique inactive conformation. Intramolecular interactions between the key Glu residue in the {alpha}C helix of the N-terminal lobe and the backbone amides in the catalytic loop lock the kinase in the inactive conformation. Autophosphorylation appears to be a priming event for kinase activation. We identified Mps1 autophosphorylation sites in the activation and the P+1 loops. Whereas activation loop autophosphorylation enhances kinase activity, autophosphorylation at the P+1 loop (T686) is associated with the active kinase. Mutation of T686 autophosphorylation site impairs both autophosphorylation and transphosphorylation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that phosphorylation of T676 may be a priming event for phosphorylation at T686. Finally, we identified two critical lysine residues in the loop between helices {alpha}EF and {alpha}F that are essential for substrate recruitment and maintaining high levels of kinase activity. Our studies reveal critical biochemical mechanisms for Mps1 kinase regulation.

  20. FRESH INSIGHTS ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE SOLAR CORE

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, Sarbani; Chaplin, William J.; Elsworth, Yvonne; New, Roger; Serenelli, Aldo M. E-mail: w.j.chaplin@bham.ac.uk E-mail: r.new@shu.ac.uk

    2009-07-10

    We present new results on the structure of the solar core, obtained with new sets of frequencies of solar low-degree p modes obtained from the BiSON network. We find that different methods used in extracting the different sets of frequencies cause shifts in frequencies, but the shifts are not large enough to affect solar structure results. We find that the BiSON frequencies show that the solar sound speed in the core is slightly larger than that inferred from data from Michelson Doppler Imager low-degree modes, and the uncertainties on the inversion results are smaller. Density results also change by a larger amount, and we find that solar models now tend to show smaller differences in density compared to the Sun. The result is seen at all radii, a result of the fact that conservation of mass implies that density differences in one region have to cancel out density differences in others, since our models are constructed to have the same mass as the Sun. The uncertainties on the density results are much smaller too. We attribute the change in results to having more, and lower frequency, low-degree mode frequencies available. These modes provide greater sensitivity to conditions in the core.

  1. Artemin Crystal Structure Reveals Insights into Heparan Sulfate Binding

    SciTech Connect

    Silvian,L.; Jin, P.; Carmillo, P.; Boriack-Sjodin, P.; Pelletier, C.; Rushe, M.; Gong, B.; Sah, D.; Pepinsky, B.; Rossomando, A.

    2006-01-01

    Artemin (ART) promotes the growth of developing peripheral neurons by signaling through a multicomponent receptor complex comprised of a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor (cRET) and a specific glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked co-receptor (GFR{alpha}3). Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) signals through a similar ternary complex but requires heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) for full activity. HSPG has not been demonstrated as a requirement for ART signaling. We crystallized ART in the presence of sulfate and solved its structure by isomorphous replacement. The structure reveals ordered sulfate anions bound to arginine residues in the pre-helix and amino-terminal regions that were organized in a triad arrangement characteristic of heparan sulfate. Three residues in the pre-helix were singly or triply substituted with glutamic acid, and the resulting proteins were shown to have reduced heparin-binding affinity that is partly reflected in their ability to activate cRET. This study suggests that ART binds HSPGs and identifies residues that may be involved in HSPG binding.

  2. Structural insights into RNA recognition by RIG-I

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Dahai; Ding, Steve C.; Vela, Adriana; Kohlway, Andrew; Lindenbach, Brett D.; Pyle, Anna Marie

    2011-01-01

    Summary Intracellular RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs, including RIG-I, MDA-5, and LGP-2) recognize viral RNAs as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and initiate an antiviral immune response. To understand the molecular basis of this process, we determined the crystal structure of RIG-I in complex with double-stranded RNA. The dsRNA is sheathed within a network of protein domains that include a conserved “helicase” domain (regions HEL1 and HEL2), a specialized insertion domain (HEL2i), and a C-terminal regulatory domain (CTD). A V-shaped pincer connects HEL2 and the CTD by gripping an α-helical shaft that extends from HEL1. In this way, the pincer coordinates functions of all the domains and couples RNA binding with ATP hydrolysis. RIG-I falls within the Dicer-RIG-I clade of super family 2 of helicases and this structure reveals complex interplay between motor domains, accessory mechanical domains and RNA that has implications for understanding the nanomechanical function this protein family and other ATPases more broadly. PMID:22000018

  3. Structural Insights into Substrate Recognition by Clostridium difficile Sortase

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Jui-Chieh; Fei, Chun-Hsien; Lo, Yen-Chen; Hsiao, Yu-Yuan; Chang, Jyun-Cyuan; Nix, Jay C.; Chang, Yuan-Yu; Yang, Lee-Wei; Huang, I-Hsiu; Wang, Shuying

    2016-01-01

    Sortases function as cysteine transpeptidases that catalyze the covalent attachment of virulence-associated surface proteins into the cell wall peptidoglycan in Gram-positive bacteria. The substrate proteins targeted by sortase enzymes have a cell wall sorting signal (CWSS) located at the C-terminus. Up to date, it is still not well understood how sortases with structural resemblance among different classes and diverse species of bacteria achieve substrate specificity. In this study, we focus on elucidating the molecular basis for specific recognition of peptide substrate PPKTG by Clostridium difficile sortase B (Cd-SrtB). Combining structural studies, biochemical assays and molecular dynamics simulations, we have constructed a computational model of Cd-SrtBΔN26–PPKTG complex and have validated the model by site-directed mutagensis studies and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based assay. Furthermore, we have revealed that the fourth amino acid in the N-terminal direction from cleavage site of PPKTG forms specific interaction with Cd-SrtB and plays an essential role in configuring the peptide to allow more efficient substrate-specific cleavage by Cd-SrtB. PMID:27921010

  4. Structural Insights into Polymorphic ABO Glycan Binding by Helicobacter pylori.

    PubMed

    Moonens, Kristof; Gideonsson, Pär; Subedi, Suresh; Bugaytsova, Jeanna; Romaõ, Ema; Mendez, Melissa; Nordén, Jenny; Fallah, Mahsa; Rakhimova, Lena; Shevtsova, Anna; Lahmann, Martina; Castaldo, Gaetano; Brännström, Kristoffer; Coppens, Fanny; Lo, Alvin W; Ny, Tor; Solnick, Jay V; Vandenbussche, Guy; Oscarson, Stefan; Hammarström, Lennart; Arnqvist, Anna; Berg, Douglas E; Muyldermans, Serge; Borén, Thomas; Remaut, Han

    2016-01-13

    The Helicobacter pylori adhesin BabA binds mucosal ABO/Le(b) blood group (bg) carbohydrates. BabA facilitates bacterial attachment to gastric surfaces, increasing strain virulence and forming a recognized risk factor for peptic ulcers and gastric cancer. High sequence variation causes BabA functional diversity, but the underlying structural-molecular determinants are unknown. We generated X-ray structures of representative BabA isoforms that reveal a polymorphic, three-pronged Le(b) binding site. Two diversity loops, DL1 and DL2, provide adaptive control to binding affinity, notably ABO versus O bg preference. H. pylori strains can switch bg preference with single DL1 amino acid substitutions, and can coexpress functionally divergent BabA isoforms. The anchor point for receptor binding is the embrace of an ABO fucose residue by a disulfide-clasped loop, which is inactivated by reduction. Treatment with the redox-active pharmaceutic N-acetylcysteine lowers gastric mucosal neutrophil infiltration in H. pylori-infected Le(b)-expressing mice, providing perspectives on possible H. pylori eradication therapies.

  5. Structural insights into the bacterial carbon-phosphorus lyase machinery

    PubMed Central

    Seweryn, Paulina; Van, Lan Bich; Kjeldgaard, Morten; Russo, Christopher J.; Passmore, Lori A.; Hove-Jensen, Bjarne; Jochimsen, Bjarne; Brodersen, Ditlev E.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Phosphorous is required for all life and microorganisms can extract it from their environment through several metabolic pathways. When phosphate is in limited supply, some bacteria are able to use organic phosphonate compounds, which require specialised enzymatic machinery for breaking the stable carbon-phosphorus (C-P) bond. Despite its importance, the details of how this machinery catabolises phosphonate remain unknown. Here we determine the crystal structure of the 240 kDa Escherichia coli C-P lyase core complex (PhnGHIJ) and show that it is a two-fold symmetric hetero-octamer comprising an intertwined network of subunits with unexpected self-homologies. It contains two potential active sites that likely couple organic phosphonate compounds to ATP and subsequently hydrolyse the C-P bond. We map the binding site of PhnK on the complex using electron microscopy and show that it binds to PhnJ via a conserved insertion domain. Our results provide a structural basis for understanding microbial phosphonate breakdown. PMID:26280334

  6. Structural insights into the bacterial carbon-phosphorus lyase machinery.

    PubMed

    Seweryn, Paulina; Van, Lan Bich; Kjeldgaard, Morten; Russo, Christopher J; Passmore, Lori A; Hove-Jensen, Bjarne; Jochimsen, Bjarne; Brodersen, Ditlev E

    2015-09-03

    Phosphorus is required for all life and microorganisms can extract it from their environment through several metabolic pathways. When phosphate is in limited supply, some bacteria are able to use phosphonate compounds, which require specialized enzymatic machinery to break the stable carbon-phosphorus (C-P) bond. Despite its importance, the details of how this machinery catabolizes phosphonates remain unknown. Here we determine the crystal structure of the 240-kilodalton Escherichia coli C-P lyase core complex (PhnG-PhnH-PhnI-PhnJ; PhnGHIJ), and show that it is a two-fold symmetric hetero-octamer comprising an intertwined network of subunits with unexpected self-homologies. It contains two potential active sites that probably couple phosphonate compounds to ATP and subsequently hydrolyse the C-P bond. We map the binding site of PhnK on the complex using electron microscopy, and show that it binds to a conserved insertion domain of PhnJ. Our results provide a structural basis for understanding microbial phosphonate breakdown.

  7. Microscopic insight into the structure of gallium isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verma, Preeti; Sharma, Chetan; Singh, Suram; Bharti, Arun; Khosa, S. K.

    2012-07-01

    Projected Shell Model technique has been applied to odd-A71-81Ga nuclei with the deformed single-particle states generated by the standard Nilsson potential. Various nuclear structure quantities have been calculated with this technique and compared with the available experimental data in the present work. The known experimental data of the yrast bands in these nuclei are persuasively described and the band diagrams obtained for these nuclei show that the yrast bands in these odd-A Ga isotopes don't belong to the single intrinsic state only but also have multi-particle states. The back-bending in moment of inertia and the electric quadrupole transitions are also calculated.

  8. Structural insights into the regulation of aromatic amino acid hydroxylation.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Paul F

    2015-12-01

    The aromatic amino acid hydroxylases phenylalanine hydroxylase, tyrosine hydroxylase, and tryptophan hydroxylase are homotetramers, with each subunit containing a homologous catalytic domain and a divergent regulatory domain. The solution structure of the regulatory domain of tyrosine hydroxylase establishes that it contains a core ACT domain similar to that in phenylalanine hydroxylase. The isolated regulatory domain of tyrosine hydroxylase forms a stable dimer, while that of phenylalanine hydroxylase undergoes a monomer-dimer equilibrium, with phenylalanine stabilizing the dimer. These solution properties are consistent with the regulatory mechanisms of the two enzymes, in that phenylalanine hydroxylase is activated by phenylalanine binding to an allosteric site, while tyrosine hydroxylase is regulated by binding of catecholamines in the active site.

  9. Structural Insights into Rab27 Recruitment by its Effectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    M. G. Chavas, Leonard; Ihara, Kentaro; Kawasaki, Masato; Wakatsuki, Soichi

    An increasing number of Rab GTPases associated with partial dysfunction has been linked to several human diseases characterized by a diminution in vesicle transport. Due to its direct implication in human disorders, the Rab27 subfamily is considered as a standard for vesicle docking studies. By which mechanism Rab27 effectors distinguish among the pool of Rab GTPases? What is the underneath machinery rendering the interaction of eleven distinct effectors specific of Rab27 when compared to other Rabs of the secretory pathway? By solving the X-ray structures of Rab27, both in its inactive form and active form bound to the effector protein Slp2-a, attempts have been given to unravel the molecular basis of regulation of the delivering process of vesicles to fusion by the Rab27 subfamily.

  10. Au-Based Catalysts: Electrochemical Characterization for Structural Insights.

    PubMed

    Pifferi, Valentina; Chan-Thaw, Carine E; Campisi, Sebastiano; Testolin, Anna; Villa, Alberto; Falciola, Luigi; Prati, Laura

    2016-02-25

    Au-based catalysts are widely used in important processes because of their peculiar characteristics. The catalyst performance depends strongly on the nature and structure of the metal nanoparticles, especially in the case of bimetallic catalysts where synergistic effects between the two metals can be occasionally seen. In this paper, it is shown that electrochemical characterisation (cyclovoltammetry CV and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy EIS) of AuPd systems can be used to determine the presence of an electronic interaction between the two metals, thus providing a strong support in the determination of the nature of the synergy between Au and Pd in the liquid phase oxidation of alcohols. However, it seems likely that the strong difference in the catalytic behavior between the single metals and the bimetallic system is connected not only to the redox behaviour, but also to the energetic balance between the different elementary steps of the reaction.

  11. Dynamic insight into protein structure utilizing red edge excitation shift.

    PubMed

    Chattopadhyay, Amitabha; Haldar, Sourav

    2014-01-21

    Proteins are considered the workhorses in the cellular machinery. They are often organized in a highly ordered conformation in the crowded cellular environment. These conformations display characteristic dynamics over a range of time scales. An emerging consensus is that protein function is critically dependent on its dynamics. The subtle interplay between structure and dynamics is a hallmark of protein organization and is essential for its function. Depending on the environmental context, proteins can adopt a range of conformations such as native, molten globule, unfolded (denatured), and misfolded states. Although protein crystallography is a well established technique, it is not always possible to characterize various protein conformations by X-ray crystallography due to transient nature of these states. Even in cases where structural characterization is possible, the information obtained lacks dynamic component, which is needed to understand protein function. In this overall scenario, approaches that reveal information on protein dynamics are much appreciated. Dynamics of confined water has interesting implications in protein folding. Interfacial hydration combines the motion of water molecules with the slow moving protein molecules. The red edge excitation shift (REES) approach becomes relevant in this context. REES is defined as the shift in the wavelength of maximum fluorescence emission toward higher wavelengths, caused by a shift in the excitation wavelength toward the red edge of absorption spectrum. REES arises due to slow rates (relative to fluorescence lifetime) of solvent relaxation (reorientation) around an excited state fluorophore in organized assemblies such as proteins. Consequently, REES depends on the environment-induced motional restriction imposed on the solvent molecules in the immediate vicinity of the fluorophore. In the case of a protein, the confined water in the protein creates a dipolar field that acts as the solvent for a fluorophore

  12. Structural insight into the sequence dependence of nucleosome positioning.

    PubMed

    Wu, Bin; Mohideen, Kareem; Vasudevan, Dileep; Davey, Curt A

    2010-03-14

    Nucleosome positioning displays sequence dependency and contributes to genomic regulation in a site-specific manner. We solved the structures of nucleosome core particle composed of strong positioning TTTAA elements flanking the nucleosome center. The positioning strength of the super flexible TA dinucleotide is consistent with its observed central location within minor groove inward regions, where it can contribute maximally to energetically challenging minor groove bending, kinking and compression. The marked preference for TTTAA and positioning power of the site 1.5 double helix turns from the nucleosome center relates to a unique histone protein motif at this location, which enforces a sustained, extremely narrow minor groove via a hydrophobic "sugar clamp." Our analysis sheds light on the basis of nucleosome positioning and indicates that the histone octamer has evolved not to fully minimize sequence discrimination in DNA binding.

  13. Ribonuclease revisited: structural insights into ribonuclease III family enzymes.

    PubMed

    MacRae, Ian J; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2007-02-01

    Ribonuclease III (RNase III) enzymes occur ubiquitously in biology and are responsible for processing RNA precursors into functional RNAs that participate in protein synthesis, RNA interference and a range of other cellular activities. Members of the RNase III enzyme family, including Escherichia coli RNase III, Rnt1, Dicer and Drosha, share the ability to recognize and cleave double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), typically at specific positions or sequences. Recent biochemical and structural data have shed new light on how RNase III enzymes catalyze dsRNA hydrolysis and how substrate specificity is achieved. A major theme emerging from these studies is that accessory domains present in different RNase III enzymes are the key determinants of substrate selectivity, which in turn dictates the specialized biological function of each type of RNase III protein.

  14. Structural insight into histone recognition by the ING PHD fingers.

    PubMed

    Champagne, Karen S; Kutateladze, Tatiana G

    2009-05-01

    The Inhibitor of Growth (ING) tumor suppressors are implicated in oncogenesis, control of DNA damage repair, cellular senescence and apoptosis. All members of the ING family contain unique amino-terminal regions and a carboxy-terminal plant homeodomain (PHD) finger. While the amino-terminal domains associate with a number of protein effectors including distinct components of histone deacetylase (HDAC) and histone acetyltransferase (HAT) complexes, the PHD finger binds strongly and specifically to histone H3 trimethylated at lysine 4 (H3K4me3). In this review we describe the molecular mechanism of H3K4me3 recognition by the ING1-5 PHD fingers, analyze the determinants of the histone specificity and compare the biological activities and structures within subsets of PHD fingers. The atomic-resolution structures of the ING PHD fingers in complex with a H3K4me3 peptide reveal that the histone tail is bound in a large and deep binding site encompassing nearly one-third of the protein surface. An extensive network of intermolecular hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic and cation-pi contacts, and complementary surface interactions coordinate the first six residues of the H3K4me3 peptide. The trimethylated Lys4 occupies an elongated groove, formed by the highly conserved aromatic and hydrophobic residues of the PHD finger, whereas the adjacent groove accommodates Arg2. The two grooves are connected by a narrow channel, the small size of which defines the PHD finger's specificity, excluding interactions with other modified histone peptides. Binding of the ING PHD fingers to H3K4me3 plays a critical role in regulating chromatin acetylation. The ING proteins function as tethering molecules that physically link the HDAC and HAT enzymatic complexes to chromatin. In this review we also highlight progress recently made in understanding the molecular basis underlying biological and tumorigenic activities of the ING tumor suppressors.

  15. Widespread occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in streams in a high corn and soybean producing region, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hladik, Michelle; Kolpin, Dana W.; Kuivila, Kathryn

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are of environmental concern, but little is known about their occurrence in surface water. An area of intense corn and soybean production in the Midwestern United States was chosen to study this issue because of the high agricultural use of neonicotinoids via both seed treatments and other forms of application. Water samples were collected from nine stream sites during the 2013 growing season. The results for the 79 water samples documented similar patterns among sites for both frequency of detection and concentration (maximum:median) with clothianidin (75%, 257 ng/L:8.2 ng/L) > thiamethoxam (47%, 185 ng/L: imidacloprid (23%, 42.7 ng/L: <2 ng/L). Neonicotinoids were detected at all nine sites sampled even though the basin areas spanned four orders of magnitude. Temporal patterns in concentrations reveal pulses of neonicotinoids associated with rainfall events during crop planting, suggesting seed treatments as their likely source.

  16. The neonicotinoid clothianidin interferes with navigation of the solitary bee Osmia cornuta in a laboratory test.

    PubMed

    Jin, Nanxiang; Klein, Simon; Leimig, Fabian; Bischoff, Gabriela; Menzel, Randolf

    2015-09-01

    Pollinating insects provide a vital ecosystem service to crops and wild plants. Exposure to low doses of neonicotinoid insecticides has sub-lethal effects on social pollinators such as bumblebees and honeybees, disturbing their navigation and interfering with their development. Solitary Hymenoptera are also very important ecosystem service providers, but the sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids have not yet been studied well in those animals. We analyzed the ability of walking Osmia to remember a feeding place in a small environment and found that Osmia remembers the feeding place well after 4 days of training. Uptake of field-realistic amounts of the neonicotinoid clothianidin (0.76 ng per bee) altered the animals' sensory responses to the visual environment and interfered with the retrieval of navigational memory. We conclude that the neonicotinoid clothianidin compromises visual guidance and the use of navigational memory in the solitary bee Osmia cornuta.

  17. Insights into G protein structure, function, and regulation.

    PubMed

    Cabrera-Vera, Theresa M; Vanhauwe, Jurgen; Thomas, Tarita O; Medkova, Martina; Preininger, Anita; Mazzoni, Maria R; Hamm, Heidi E

    2003-12-01

    In multicellular organisms from Caenorhabditis elegans to Homo sapiens, the maintenance of homeostasis is dependent on the continual flow and processing of information through a complex network of cells. Moreover, in order for the organism to respond to an ever-changing environment, intercellular signals must be transduced, amplified, and ultimately converted to the appropriate physiological response. The resolution of the molecular events underlying signal response and integration forms the basis of the signal transduction field of research. An evolutionarily highly conserved group of molecules known as heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) are key determinants of the specificity and temporal characteristics of many signaling processes and are the topic of this review. Numerous hormones, neurotransmitters, chemokines, local mediators, and sensory stimuli exert their effects on cells by binding to heptahelical membrane receptors coupled to heterotrimeric G proteins. These highly specialized transducers can modulate the activity of multiple signaling pathways leading to diverse biological responses. In vivo, specific combinations of G alpha- and G beta gamma-subunits are likely required for connecting individual receptors to signaling pathways. The structural determinants of receptor-G protein-effector specificity are not completely understood and, in addition to involving interaction domains of these primary acting proteins, also require the participation of scaffolding and regulatory proteins.

  18. Insight into SUCNR1 (GPR91) structure and function.

    PubMed

    Gilissen, Julie; Jouret, François; Pirotte, Bernard; Hanson, Julien

    2016-03-01

    SUCNR1 (or GPR91) belongs to the family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), which represents the largest group of membrane proteins in human genome. The majority of marketed drugs targets GPCRs, directly or indirectly. SUCNR1 has been classified as an orphan receptor until a landmark study paired it with succinate, a citric acid cycle intermediate. According to the current paradigm, succinate triggers SUCNR1 signaling pathways to indicate local stress that may affect cellular metabolism. SUCNR1 implication has been well documented in renin-induced hypertension, ischemia/reperfusion injury, inflammation and immune response, platelet aggregation and retinal angiogenesis. In addition, the SUCNR1-induced increase of blood pressure may contribute to diabetic nephropathy or cardiac hypertrophy. The understanding of SUCNR1 activation, signaling pathways and functions remains largely elusive, which calls for deeper investigations. SUCNR1 shows a high potential as an innovative drug target and is probably an important regulator of basic physiology. In order to achieve the full characterization of this receptor, more specific pharmacological tools such as small-molecules modulators will represent an important asset. In this review, we describe the structural features of SUCNR1, its current ligands and putative binding pocket. We give an exhaustive overview of the known and hypothetical signaling partners of the receptor in different in vitro and in vivo systems. The link between SUCNR1 intracellular pathways and its pathophysiological roles are also extensively discussed.

  19. Oxetanes in drug discovery: structural and synthetic insights.

    PubMed

    Wuitschik, Georg; Carreira, Erick M; Wagner, Björn; Fischer, Holger; Parrilla, Isabelle; Schuler, Franz; Rogers-Evans, Mark; Müller, Klaus

    2010-04-22

    An oxetane can trigger profound changes in aqueous solubility, lipophilicity, metabolic stability, and conformational preference when replacing commonly employed functionalities such as gem-dimethyl or carbonyl groups. The magnitude of these changes depends on the structural context. Thus, by substitution of a gem-dimethyl group with an oxetane, aqueous solubility may increase by a factor of 4 to more than 4000 while reducing the rate of metabolic degradation in most cases. The incorporation of an oxetane into an aliphatic chain can cause conformational changes favoring synclinal rather than antiplanar arrangements of the chain. Additionally spirocyclic oxetanes (e.g., 2-oxa-6-aza-spiro[3.3]heptane) bear remarkable analogies to commonly used fragments in drug discovery, such as morpholine, and are even able to supplant the latter in its solubilizing ability. A rich chemistry of oxetan-3-one and derived Michael acceptors provide venues for the preparation of a broad variety of novel oxetanes not previously documented, thus providing the foundation for their broad use in chemistry and drug discovery.

  20. Structures and functions in the crowded nucleus: new biophysical insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hancock, Ronald

    2014-09-01

    Concepts and methods from the physical sciences have catalysed remarkable progress in understanding the cell nucleus in recent years. To share this excitement with physicists and encourage their interest in this field, this review offers an overview of how the physics which underlies structures and functions in the nucleus is becoming more clear thanks to methods which have been developed to simulate and study macromolecules, polymers, and colloids. The environment in the nucleus is very crowded with macromolecules, making entropic (depletion) forces major determinants of interactions. Simulation and experiments are consistent with their key role in forming membraneless compartments such as nucleoli, PML and Cajal bodies, and discrete "territories" for chromosomes. The chromosomes, giant linear polyelectrolyte polymers, exist in vivo in a state like a polymer melt. Looped conformations are predicted in crowded conditions, and have been confirmed experimentally and are central to the regulation of gene expression. Polymer theory has revealed how the chromosomes are so highly compacted in the nucleus, forming a "crumpled globule" with fractal properties which avoids knots and entanglements in DNA while allowing facile accessibility for its replication and transcription. Entropic repulsion between looped polymers can explain the confinement of each chromosome to a discrete region of the nucleus. Crowding and looping are predicted to facilitate finding the specific targets of factors which modulate activities of DNA. Simulation shows that entropic effects contribute to finding and repairing potentially lethal double-strand breaks in DNA by increasing the mobility of the broken ends, favouring their juxtaposition for repair. Signaling pathways are strongly influenced by crowding, which favours a processive mode of response (consecutive reactions without releasing substrates). This new information contributes to understanding the sometimes counter-intuitive consequences.

  1. Evidence for pollinator cost and farming benefits of neonicotinoid seed coatings on oilseed rape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budge, G. E.; Garthwaite, D.; Crowe, A.; Boatman, N. D.; Delaplane, K. S.; Brown, M. A.; Thygesen, H. H.; Pietravalle, S.

    2015-08-01

    Chronic exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides has been linked to reduced survival of pollinating insects at both the individual and colony level, but so far only experimentally. Analyses of large-scale datasets to investigate the real-world links between the use of neonicotinoids and pollinator mortality are lacking. Moreover, the impacts of neonicotinoid seed coatings in reducing subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and increasing crop yield are not known, despite the supposed benefits of this practice driving widespread use. Here, we combine large-scale pesticide usage and yield observations from oilseed rape with those detailing honey bee colony losses over an 11 year period, and reveal a correlation between honey bee colony losses and national-scale imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid) usage patterns across England and Wales. We also provide the first evidence that farmers who use neonicotinoid seed coatings reduce the number of subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and may derive an economic return. Our results inform the societal discussion on the pollinator costs and farming benefits of prophylactic neonicotinoid usage on a mass flowering crop.

  2. Impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on natural enemies in greenhouse and interiorscape environments.

    PubMed

    Cloyd, Raymond A; Bethke, James A

    2011-01-01

    The neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid, acetamiprid, dinotefuran, thiamethoxam and clothianidin are commonly used in greenhouses and/or interiorscapes (plant interiorscapes and conservatories) to manage a wide range of plant-feeding insects such as aphids, mealybugs and whiteflies. However, these systemic insecticides may also be harmful to natural enemies, including predators and parasitoids. Predatory insects and mites may be adversely affected by neonicotinoid systemic insecticides when they: (1) feed on pollen, nectar or plant tissue contaminated with the active ingredient; (2) consume the active ingredient of neonicotinoid insecticides while ingesting plant fluids; (3) feed on hosts (prey) that have consumed leaves contaminated with the active ingredient. Parasitoids may be affected negatively by neonicotinoid insecticides because foliar, drench or granular applications may decrease host population levels so that there are not enough hosts to attack and thus sustain parasitoid populations. Furthermore, host quality may be unacceptable for egg laying by parasitoid females. In addition, female parasitoids that host feed may inadvertently ingest a lethal concentration of the active ingredient or a sublethal dose that inhibits foraging or egg laying. There are, however, issues that require further consideration, such as: the types of plant and flower that accumulate active ingredients, and the concentrations in which they are accumulated; the influence of flower age on the level of exposure of natural enemies to the active ingredient; the effect of neonicotinoid metabolites produced within the plant. As such, the application of neonicotinoid insecticides in conjunction with natural enemies in protected culture and interiorscape environments needs further investigation.

  3. Evidence for pollinator cost and farming benefits of neonicotinoid seed coatings on oilseed rape

    PubMed Central

    Budge, G. E.; Garthwaite, D.; Crowe, A.; Boatman, N. D.; Delaplane, K. S.; Brown, M. A.; Thygesen, H. H.; Pietravalle, S.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides has been linked to reduced survival of pollinating insects at both the individual and colony level, but so far only experimentally. Analyses of large-scale datasets to investigate the real-world links between the use of neonicotinoids and pollinator mortality are lacking. Moreover, the impacts of neonicotinoid seed coatings in reducing subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and increasing crop yield are not known, despite the supposed benefits of this practice driving widespread use. Here, we combine large-scale pesticide usage and yield observations from oilseed rape with those detailing honey bee colony losses over an 11 year period, and reveal a correlation between honey bee colony losses and national-scale imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid) usage patterns across England and Wales. We also provide the first evidence that farmers who use neonicotinoid seed coatings reduce the number of subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and may derive an economic return. Our results inform the societal discussion on the pollinator costs and farming benefits of prophylactic neonicotinoid usage on a mass flowering crop. PMID:26270806

  4. Evidence for pollinator cost and farming benefits of neonicotinoid seed coatings on oilseed rape.

    PubMed

    Budge, G E; Garthwaite, D; Crowe, A; Boatman, N D; Delaplane, K S; Brown, M A; Thygesen, H H; Pietravalle, S

    2015-08-13

    Chronic exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides has been linked to reduced survival of pollinating insects at both the individual and colony level, but so far only experimentally. Analyses of large-scale datasets to investigate the real-world links between the use of neonicotinoids and pollinator mortality are lacking. Moreover, the impacts of neonicotinoid seed coatings in reducing subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and increasing crop yield are not known, despite the supposed benefits of this practice driving widespread use. Here, we combine large-scale pesticide usage and yield observations from oilseed rape with those detailing honey bee colony losses over an 11 year period, and reveal a correlation between honey bee colony losses and national-scale imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid) usage patterns across England and Wales. We also provide the first evidence that farmers who use neonicotinoid seed coatings reduce the number of subsequent applications of foliar insecticide sprays and may derive an economic return. Our results inform the societal discussion on the pollinator costs and farming benefits of prophylactic neonicotinoid usage on a mass flowering crop.

  5. Acetylcholinesterase in honey bees (Apis mellifera) exposed to neonicotinoids, atrazine and glyphosate: laboratory and field experiments.

    PubMed

    Boily, Monique; Sarrasin, Benoit; Deblois, Christian; Aras, Philippe; Chagnon, Madeleine

    2013-08-01

    In Québec, as observed globally, abnormally high honey bee mortality rates have been reported recently. Several potential contributing factors have been identified, and exposure to pesticides is of increasing concern. In maize fields, foraging bees are exposed to residual concentrations of insecticides such as neonicotinoids used for seed coating. Highly toxic to bees, neonicotinoids are also reported to increase AChE activity in other invertebrates exposed to sub-lethal doses. The purpose of this study was therefore to test if the honey bee's AChE activity could be altered by neonicotinoid compounds and to explore possible effects of other common products used in maize fields: atrazine and glyphosate. One week prior to pollen shedding, beehives were placed near three different field types: certified organically grown maize, conventionally grown maize or non-cultivated. At the same time, caged bees were exposed to increasing sub-lethal doses of neonicotinoid insecticides (imidacloprid and clothianidin) and herbicides (atrazine and glyphosate) under controlled conditions. While increased AChE activity was found in all fields after 2 weeks of exposure, bees close to conventional maize crops showed values higher than those in both organic maize fields and non-cultivated areas. In caged bees, AChE activity increased in response to neonicotinoids, and a slight decrease was observed by glyphosate. These results are discussed with regard to AChE activity as a potential biomarker of exposure for neonicotinoids.

  6. Factors influencing the occurrence and distribution of neonicotinoid insecticides in surface waters of southern Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Struger, John; Grabuski, Josey; Cagampan, Steve; Sverko, Ed; McGoldrick, Daryl; Marvin, Christopher H

    2017-02-01

    The widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides and recent increased regulatory scrutiny requires the generation of monitoring data with sufficient scope and resolution to provide decision makers with a better understanding of occurrence and distribution in the environment. This study presents a wide-scale investigation of neonicotinoid insecticides used across the range of agricultural activities from fifteen surface water sites in southern Ontario. Using statistical analysis, the correlation of individual compounds with land use was investigated, and the relationship between neonicotinoid occurrence and hydrologic parameters in calibrated water courses was also assessed. Of the five neonicotinoids studied, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam exhibited detection rates above 90% at over half the sites sampled over a three year period (2012-2014). At two sites in southwestern Ontario, the Canadian Federal freshwater guideline value for imidacloprid (230 ng/L) was exceeded in roughly 75% of the samples collected. For some watersheds, there were correlations between the occurrence of neonicotinoids and precipitation and/or stream discharge. Some watersheds exhibited seasonal maxima in concentrations of neonicotinoids in spring and fall, particularly for those areas where row crop agriculture is predominant; these seasonal patterns were absent in some areas characterized by a broad range of agricultural activities.

  7. Exposure to neonicotinoids influences the motor function of adult worker honeybees.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Sally M; Willis, Sarah J; Wright, Geraldine A

    2014-10-01

    Systemic pesticides such as neonicotinoids are commonly used on flowering crops visited by pollinators, and their use has been implicated in the decline of insect pollinator populations in Europe and North America. Several studies show that neonicotinoids affect navigation and learning in bees but few studies have examined whether these substances influence their basic motor function. Here, we investigated how prolonged exposure to sublethal doses of four neonicotinoid pesticides (imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, dinotefuran) and the plant toxin, nicotine, affect basic motor function and postural control in foraging-age worker honeybees. We used doses of 10 nM for each neonicotinoid: field-relevant doses that we determined to be sublethal and willingly consumed by bees. The neonicotinoids were placed in food solutions given to bees for 24 h. After the exposure period, bees were more likely to lose postural control during the motor function assay and fail to right themselves if exposed to imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin. Bees exposed to thiamethoxam and nicotine also spent more time grooming. Other behaviours (walking, sitting and flying) were not significantly affected. Expression of changes in motor function after exposure to imidacloprid was dose-dependent and affected all measured behaviours. Our data illustrate that 24 h exposure to sublethal doses of neonicotinoid pesticides has a subtle influence on bee behaviour that is likely to affect normal function in a field setting.

  8. Cognitive Structures of the Gifted: Theoretical Perspectives, Factor Analysis, Triarchic Theories of Intelligence, and Insight Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shaughnessy, Michael F.

    The paper reviews research on the cognitive structures of gifted students. Theories of R. Sternberg and his triarchic model of intelligence are described. Sternberg asserts that three processes appear to account for insight: selective encoding, selective combination, and selective comparison. H. Gardner's perspective citing six types of…

  9. The Manifest Association Structure of the Single-Factor Model: Insights from Partial Correlations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salgueiro, Maria de Fatima; Smith, Peter W. F.; McDonald, John W.

    2008-01-01

    The association structure between manifest variables arising from the single-factor model is investigated using partial correlations. The additional insights to the practitioner provided by partial correlations for detecting a single-factor model are discussed. The parameter space for the partial correlations is presented, as are the patterns of…

  10. Structural and Mechanistic Insights into C-P Bond Hydrolysis by Phosphonoacetate Hydrolase

    SciTech Connect

    Agarwal, Vinayak; Borisova, Svetlana A.; Metcalf, William W.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.; Nair, Satish K.

    2011-12-22

    Bacteria have evolved pathways to metabolize phosphonates as a nutrient source for phosphorus. In Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021, 2-aminoethylphosphonate is catabolized to phosphonoacetate, which is converted to acetate and inorganic phosphate by phosphonoacetate hydrolase (PhnA). Here we present detailed biochemical and structural characterization of PhnA that provides insights into the mechanism of C-P bond cleavage. The 1.35 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure reveals a catalytic core similar to those of alkaline phosphatases and nucleotide pyrophosphatases but with notable differences, such as a longer metal-metal distance. Detailed structure-guided analysis of active site residues and four additional cocrystal structures with phosphonoacetate substrate, acetate, phosphonoformate inhibitor, and a covalently bound transition state mimic provide insight into active site features that may facilitate cleavage of the C-P bond. These studies expand upon the array of reactions that can be catalyzed by enzymes of the alkaline phosphatase superfamily.

  11. Structural and Mechanistic Insights into C-P Bond Hydrolysis by Phosphonoacetate Hydrolase

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Vinayak; Borisova, Svetlana A.; Metcalf, William W.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.; Nair, Satish K.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Bacteria have evolved pathways to metabolize phosphonates as a nutrient source for phosphorus. In Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021, 2-aminoethylphosphonate is catabolized to phosphonoacetate, which is converted to acetate and inorganic phosphate by phosphonoacetate hydrolase (PhnA). Here we present detailed biochemical and structural characterization of PhnA that provides insights into the mechanism of C-P bond cleavage. The 1.35 Å resolution crystal structure reveals a catalytic core similar to those of alkaline phosphatases and nucleotide pyrophosphatases, but with notable differences such as a longer metal-metal distance. Detailed structure-guided analysis of active site residues and four additional co-crystal structures with phosphonoacetate substrate, acetate, phosphonoformate inhibitor, and a covalently-bound transition state mimic, provide insight into active site features that may facilitate cleavage of the C-P bond. These studies expand upon the array of reactions that can be catalyzed by enzymes of the alkaline phosphatase superfamily. PMID:22035792

  12. Toxicity of a neonicotinoid insecticide, guadipyr, in earthworm (Eisenia fetida).

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Mu, Xiyan; Qi, Suzhen; Chai, Tingting; Pang, Sen; Yang, Yang; Wang, Chengju; Jiang, Jiazhen

    2015-04-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are new class of pesticides and it is very meaningful to evaluate the toxicity of guadipyr to earthworm (Eisenia fetida). In the present study, effects of guadipyr on reproduction, growth, catalase(CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and DNA damage in earthworm were assessed using an artificial soil medium. Guadipyr showed low toxicity to earthworms and did not elicit an effect on earthworm reproduction or growth in artificial soils at concentrations <100mg/kg. However, after exposure to guadipyr, the activity of SOD and CAT in earthworm increased and then decreased to control level. AChE activity decreased at day 3 at 50 and 100mg/kg and then increased to control level. Our data indicate that guadipyr did not induce DNA damage in earthworms at concentration of <100mg/kg.

  13. Planned Products of the Mars Structure Service for the InSight Mission to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panning, Mark P.; Lognonné, Philippe; Bruce Banerdt, W.; Garcia, Raphaël; Golombek, Matthew; Kedar, Sharon; Knapmeyer-Endrun, Brigitte; Mocquet, Antoine; Teanby, Nick A.; Tromp, Jeroen; Weber, Renee; Beucler, Eric; Blanchette-Guertin, Jean-Francois; Bozdağ, Ebru; Drilleau, Mélanie; Gudkova, Tamara; Hempel, Stefanie; Khan, Amir; Lekić, Vedran; Murdoch, Naomi; Plesa, Ana-Catalina; Rivoldini, Atillio; Schmerr, Nicholas; Ruan, Youyi; Verhoeven, Olivier; Gao, Chao; Christensen, Ulrich; Clinton, John; Dehant, Veronique; Giardini, Domenico; Mimoun, David; Thomas Pike, W.; Smrekar, Sue; Wieczorek, Mark; Knapmeyer, Martin; Wookey, James

    2016-11-01

    The InSight lander will deliver geophysical instruments to Mars in 2018, including seismometers installed directly on the surface (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, SEIS). Routine operations will be split into two services, the Mars Structure Service (MSS) and Marsquake Service (MQS), which will be responsible, respectively, for defining the structure models and seismicity catalogs from the mission. The MSS will deliver a series of products before the landing, during the operations, and finally to the Planetary Data System (PDS) archive. Prior to the mission, we assembled a suite of a priori models of Mars, based on estimates of bulk composition and thermal profiles. Initial models during the mission will rely on modeling surface waves and impact-generated body waves independent of prior knowledge of structure. Later modeling will include simultaneous inversion of seismic observations for source and structural parameters. We use Bayesian inversion techniques to obtain robust probability distribution functions of interior structure parameters. Shallow structure will be characterized using the hammering of the heatflow probe mole, as well as measurements of surface wave ellipticity. Crustal scale structure will be constrained by measurements of receiver function and broadband Rayleigh wave ellipticity measurements. Core interacting body wave phases should be observable above modeled martian noise levels, allowing us to constrain deep structure. Normal modes of Mars should also be observable and can be used to estimate the globally averaged 1D structure, while combination with results from the InSight radio science mission and orbital observations will allow for constraint of deeper structure.

  14. Insights into RNA structure and function from genome-wide studies.

    PubMed

    Mortimer, Stefanie A; Kidwell, Mary Anne; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2014-07-01

    A comprehensive understanding of RNA structure will provide fundamental insights into the cellular function of both coding and non-coding RNAs. Although many RNA structures have been analysed by traditional biophysical and biochemical methods, the low-throughput nature of these approaches has prevented investigation of the vast majority of cellular transcripts. Triggered by advances in sequencing technology, genome-wide approaches for probing the transcriptome are beginning to reveal how RNA structure affects each step of protein expression and RNA stability. In this Review, we discuss the emerging relationships between RNA structure and the regulation of gene expression.

  15. Functional, structural, and emotional correlates of impaired insight in cocaine addiction

    PubMed Central

    Moeller, Scott J.; Konova, Anna B.; Parvaz, Muhammad A.; Tomasi, Dardo; Lane, Richard D.; Fort, Carolyn; Goldstein, Rita Z.

    2014-01-01

    Context Individuals with cocaine use disorder (CUD) have difficulty monitoring ongoing behavior, possibly stemming from dysfunction of brain regions subserving insight and self-awareness [e.g., anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)]. Objective To test the hypothesis that CUD with impaired insight (iCUD) would show abnormal (A) ACC activity during error processing, assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging during a classic inhibitory control task; (B) ACC gray matter integrity assessed with voxel-based morphometry; and (C) awareness of one’s own emotional experiences, assessed with the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS). Using a previously validated probabilistic choice task, we grouped 33 CUD according to insight [iCUD: N=15; unimpaired insight CUD: N=18]; we also studied 20 healthy controls, all with unimpaired insight. Design Multimodal imaging design. Setting Clinical Research Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Participants Thirty-three CUD and 20 healthy controls. Main Outcome Measure Functional magnetic resonance imaging, voxel-based morphometry, LEAS, and drug use variables. Results Compared with the other two study groups, iCUD showed lower (A) error-induced rostral ACC (rACC) activity as associated with more frequent cocaine use; (B) gray matter within the rACC; and (C) LEAS scores. Conclusions These results point to rACC functional and structural abnormalities, and diminished emotional awareness, in a subpopulation of CUD characterized by impaired insight. Because the rACC has been implicated in appraising the affective/motivational significance of errors and other types of self-referential processing, functional and structural abnormalities in this region could result in lessened concern (frequently ascribed to minimization and denial) about behavioral outcomes that could potentially culminate in increased drug use. Treatments targeting this CUD subgroup could focus on enhancing the salience of errors (e.g., lapses). PMID:24258223

  16. Validation of a QuECheRS method for analysis of neonicotinoids in small volumes of blood and assessment of exposure in Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) nestlings.

    PubMed

    Taliansky-Chamudis, A; Gómez-Ramírez, P; León-Ortega, M; García-Fernández, A J

    2017-04-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides have gained great interest in the last years both for agricultural and domestic use. Since the information on their environmental distribution or the effects derived from exposure to ecosystems and biota is scarce, new analytical techniques are being developed for monitoring studies. In this sense, two extraction techniques based on QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe) methodology to detect the neonicotinoids authorised in Spain (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiacloprid, nitenpyram and thiamethoxam) were adapted and compared: a) using acetate buffer (AB); and b) using citrate buffer (CB). For detection and quantification, high performance liquid chromatography coupled with time of flight mass spectrometry (HPLC/TOF-MS) was used. The CB method provided a wide range of recoveries (68-134%) and accuracy (4-9%). The AB method provided good recoveries (59-76%, 59% corresponded to clothianidin) precision (4-11%) linearity (0.987-0.998%) and limit of quantification (2-10ng/mL) for all the compounds. To test the effectiveness of the technique, we analysed 30 blood samples of free-ranging nestlings of Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo). The only compound detected, in one nestling from a dry land farming area, was imidacloprid, with a concentration of 3.28ng/mL. To our knowledge, this is the first study of neonicotinoid pesticides in free-ranging birds of prey using non-destructive samples, providing the first insight for biomonitoring studies. Further studies, including toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics, are recommended to assess the risk for these species.

  17. New Insights about Enzyme Evolution from Large Scale Studies of Sequence and Structure Relationships*

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Shoshana D.; Babbitt, Patricia C.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfamilies, each representing a large set of sequences that evolved from a common ancestor and that retain conserved features of their structures and active sites. Using several examples, we describe the different structural strategies nature has used to evolve new reaction and substrate specificities in each unique superfamily. The results provide insight about enzyme evolution that is not easily obtained from studies of one or only a few enzymes. PMID:25210038

  18. New insights about enzyme evolution from large scale studies of sequence and structure relationships.

    PubMed

    Brown, Shoshana D; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2014-10-31

    Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfamilies, each representing a large set of sequences that evolved from a common ancestor and that retain conserved features of their structures and active sites. Using several examples, we describe the different structural strategies nature has used to evolve new reaction and substrate specificities in each unique superfamily. The results provide insight about enzyme evolution that is not easily obtained from studies of one or only a few enzymes.

  19. Evaluation of river pollution of neonicotinoids in Osaka City (Japan) by LC/MS with dopant-assisted photoionisation.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Atsushi; Terao, Tomoko; Hisatomi, Hirotaka; Kawasaki, Hideya; Arakawa, Ryuichi

    2012-08-01

    An atmospheric pressure photoionisation (APPI) source for liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) was applied to determine neonicotinoid pesticides in the aquatic environment. Dopant-assisted APPI was very effective in the ionisation of neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids generated protonated molecules in APPI with high sensitivity, while adduct ions, such as sodiated molecules, were predominantly generated in conventional electrospray ionisation. The ionisation of neonicotinoids was confirmed by ultra-high-resolution MS. An analytical method coupled with solid phase extraction was developed for acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, and thiamethoxam. Method detection limits were 0.47 to 2.1 ng L(-1) for six neonicotinoids. Dinotefuran was the most frequent and highest among the neonicotinoids examined in the aquatic environment in Osaka, Japan. The maximum concentration of dinotefuran was 220 ng L(-1). Given the toxicity of neonicotinoids for aquatic creatures, the concentrations observed here were substantially low. The change in concentrations was temporally coincident with the period of the neonicotinoid application. Although rapid photodegradation and some degradation products have been elucidated, the degradation products in the aquatic environment were not identified in the present study.

  20. Atomic Force Microscopy in Microbiology: New Structural and Functional Insights into the Microbial Cell Surface

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Microbial cells sense and respond to their environment using their surface constituents. Therefore, understanding the assembly and biophysical properties of cell surface molecules is an important research topic. With its ability to observe living microbial cells at nanometer resolution and to manipulate single-cell surface molecules, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has emerged as a powerful tool in microbiology. Here, we survey major breakthroughs made in cell surface microbiology using AFM techniques, emphasizing the most recent structural and functional insights. PMID:25053785

  1. Insight into DEG/ENaC channel gating from genetics and structure.

    PubMed

    Eastwood, Amy L; Goodman, Miriam B

    2012-10-01

    The founding members of the superfamily of DEG/ENaC ion channel proteins are C. elegans proteins that form mechanosensitive channels in touch and pain receptors. For more than a decade, the research community has used mutagenesis to identify motifs that regulate gating. This review integrates insight derived from unbiased in vivo mutagenesis screens with recent crystal structures to develop new models for activation of mechanically gated DEGs.

  2. Insights into Surface Structure and Performance of Fluorinated Silicates from Cohesive Energy Studies

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-03-17

    fluorinated silicates from cohesive energy studies 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Andrew J...Insights into surface structure and performance of fluorinated silicates from cohesive energy studies 17 March 2016 Andrew J. Guenthner,1 Timothy...distribution is unlimited. PA Clearance Number 16153 Comparison of Surface Energy Parameters for Fluorosilicates 5 • Typical Surface Energies : -CF3 = 6

  3. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials.

    PubMed

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads.

  4. Sublethal effects on wood frogs chronically exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of two neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Stacey A; Richardson, Sarah D; Dalton, Rebecca L; Maisonneuve, France; Trudeau, Vance L; Pauli, Bruce D; Lee-Jenkins, Stacey S Y

    2017-04-01

    Neonicotinoids are prophylactically used globally on a variety of crops, and there is concern for the potential impacts of neonicotinoids on aquatic ecosystems. The intensive use of pesticides on crops has been identified as a contributor to population declines of amphibians, but currently little is known regarding the sublethal effects of chronic neonicotinoid exposure on amphibians. The objective of the present study was to characterize the sublethal effect(s) of exposure to 3 environmentally relevant concentrations (1 μg/L, 10 μg/L, and 100 μg/L) of 2 neonicotinoids on larval wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) using outdoor mesocosms. We exposed tadpoles to solutions of 2 commercial formulations containing imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, and assessed survival, growth, and development. Exposure to imidacloprid at 10 μg/L and 100 μg/L increased survival and delayed completion of metamorphosis compared with controls. Exposure to thiamethoxam did not influence amphibian responses. There was no significant effect of any treatment on body mass or size of the metamorphs. The results suggest that current usage of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam does not pose a threat to wood frogs. However, further assessment of both direct and indirect effects on subtle sublethal endpoints, and the influence of multiple interacting stressors at various life stages, is needed to fully understand the effects of neonicotinoids on amphibians. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1101-1109. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.

  5. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials

    PubMed Central

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads. PMID:25993642

  6. Neonicotinoid Insecticides Alter the Gene Expression Profile of Neuron-Enriched Cultures from Neonatal Rat Cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Kimura-Kuroda, Junko; Nishito, Yasumasa; Yanagisawa, Hiroko; Kuroda, Yoichiro; Komuta, Yukari; Kawano, Hitoshi; Hayashi, Masaharu

    2016-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are considered safe because of their low affinities to mammalian nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) relative to insect nAChRs. However, because of importance of nAChRs in mammalian brain development, there remains a need to establish the safety of chronic neonicotinoid exposures with regards to children’s health. Here we examined the effects of long-term (14 days) and low dose (1 μM) exposure of neuron-enriched cultures from neonatal rat cerebellum to nicotine and two neonicotinoids: acetamiprid and imidacloprid. Immunocytochemistry revealed no differences in the number or morphology of immature neurons or glial cells in any group versus untreated control cultures. However, a slight disturbance in Purkinje cell dendritic arborization was observed in the exposed cultures. Next we performed transcriptome analysis on total RNAs using microarrays, and identified significant differential expression (p < 0.05, q < 0.05, ≥1.5 fold) between control cultures versus nicotine-, acetamiprid-, or imidacloprid-exposed cultures in 34, 48, and 67 genes, respectively. Common to all exposed groups were nine genes essential for neurodevelopment, suggesting that chronic neonicotinoid exposure alters the transcriptome of the developing mammalian brain in a similar way to nicotine exposure. Our results highlight the need for further careful investigations into the effects of neonicotinoids in the developing mammalian brain. PMID:27782041

  7. Sex allocation theory reveals a hidden cost of neonicotinoid exposure in a parasitoid wasp.

    PubMed

    Whitehorn, Penelope R; Cook, Nicola; Blackburn, Charlotte V; Gill, Sophie M; Green, Jade; Shuker, David M

    2015-05-22

    Sex allocation theory has proved to be one the most successful theories in evolutionary ecology. However, its role in more applied aspects of ecology has been limited. Here we show how sex allocation theory helps uncover an otherwise hidden cost of neonicotinoid exposure in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Female N. vitripennis allocate the sex of their offspring in line with Local Mate Competition (LMC) theory. Neonicotinoids are an economically important class of insecticides, but their deployment remains controversial, with evidence linking them to the decline of beneficial species. We demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge, that neonicotinoids disrupt the crucial reproductive behaviour of facultative sex allocation at sub-lethal, field-relevant doses in N. vitripennis. The quantitative predictions we can make from LMC theory show that females exposed to neonicotinoids are less able to allocate sex optimally and that this failure imposes a significant fitness cost. Our work highlights that understanding the ecological consequences of neonicotinoid deployment requires not just measures of mortality or even fecundity reduction among non-target species, but also measures that capture broader fitness costs, in this case offspring sex allocation. Our work also highlights new avenues for exploring how females obtain information when allocating sex under LMC.

  8. High Levels of Resistance in the Common Bed Bug, Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), to Neonicotinoid Insecticides.

    PubMed

    Romero, Alvaro; Anderson, Troy D

    2016-05-01

    The rapid increase of bed bug populations resistant to pyrethroids demands the development of novel control tactics. Products combining pyrethroids and neonicotinoids have become very popular for bed bug control in the United States, but there are concerns about evolution of resistance to these compounds. Laboratory assays were used to measure the toxicity of topical applications of four neonicotinoids to a susceptible population and three pyrethroid-resistant populations. Activity of esterases, glutathione S-transferases, and cytochrome P450s of all strains was also evaluated. High levels of resistance to four neonicotinoids, acetamiprid, imidacloprid, dinotefuran, and thiamethoxam, relative to the susceptible Fort Dix population, were detected in populations collected from human dwellings in Cincinnati and Michigan. Because activity of detoxifying enzymes was increased in these two populations, our results suggest that these enzymes have some involvement in neonicotinoid resistance, but other resistance mechanisms might be involved as well. Detection of high levels of resistance to neonicotinoids further limits the options for chemical control of bed bugs.

  9. The Neonicotinoid Insecticide Imidacloprid Repels Pollinating Flies and Beetles at Field-Realistic Concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Easton, Amy H.; Goulson, Dave

    2013-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are widely used systemic insecticides which, when applied to flowering crops, are translocated to the nectar and pollen where they may impact upon pollinators. Given global concerns over pollinator declines, this potential impact has recently received much attention. Field exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoids depends on the concentrations present in flowering crops and the degree to which pollinators choose to feed upon them. Here we describe a simple experiment using paired yellow pan traps with or without insecticide to assess whether the commonly used neonicotinoid imidacloprid repels or attracts flying insects. Both Diptera and Coleoptera exhibited marked avoidance of traps containing imidacloprid at a field-realistic dose of 1 µg L−1, with Diptera avoiding concentrations as low as 0.01 µg L−1. This is to our knowledge the first evidence for any biological activity at such low concentrations, which are below the limits of laboratory detection using most commonly available techniques. Catch of spiders in pan traps was also slightly reduced by the highest concentrations of imidacloprid used (1 µg L−1), but catch was increased by lower concentrations. It remains to be seen if the repellent effect on insects occurs when neonicotinoids are present in real flowers, but if so then this could have implications for exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoids and for crop pollination. PMID:23382980

  10. Selective toxicity of neonicotinoids attributable to specificity of insect and mammalian nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Tomizawa, Motohiro; Casida, John E

    2003-01-01

    Neonicotinoids, the most important new class of synthetic insecticides of the past three decades, are used to control sucking insects both on plants and on companion animals. Imidacloprid (the principal example), nitenpyram, acetamiprid, thiacloprid, thiamethoxam, and others act as agonists at the insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). The botanical insecticide nicotine acts at the same target without the neonicotinoid level of effectiveness or safety. Fundamental differences between the nAChRs of insects and mammals confer remarkable selectivity for the neonicotinoids. Whereas ionized nicotine binds at an anionic subsite in the mammalian nAChR, the negatively tipped ("magic" nitro or cyano) neonicotinoids interact with a proposed unique subsite consisting of cationic amino acid residue(s) in the insect nAChR. Knowledge reviewed here of the functional architecture and molecular aspects of the insect and mammalian nAChRs and their neonicotinoid-binding site lays the foundation for continued development and use of this new class of safe and effective insecticides.

  11. Neonicotinoid Insecticides Alter the Gene Expression Profile of Neuron-Enriched Cultures from Neonatal Rat Cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Kimura-Kuroda, Junko; Nishito, Yasumasa; Yanagisawa, Hiroko; Kuroda, Yoichiro; Komuta, Yukari; Kawano, Hitoshi; Hayashi, Masaharu

    2016-10-04

    Neonicotinoids are considered safe because of their low affinities to mammalian nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) relative to insect nAChRs. However, because of importance of nAChRs in mammalian brain development, there remains a need to establish the safety of chronic neonicotinoid exposures with regards to children's health. Here we examined the effects of longterm (14 days) and low dose (1 μM) exposure of neuron-enriched cultures from neonatal rat cerebellum to nicotine and two neonicotinoids: acetamiprid and imidacloprid. Immunocytochemistry revealed no differences in the number or morphology of immature neurons or glial cells in any group versus untreated control cultures. However, a slight disturbance in Purkinje cell dendritic arborization was observed in the exposed cultures. Next we performed transcriptome analysis on total RNAs using microarrays, and identified significant differential expression (p < 0.05, q < 0.05, ≥1.5 fold) between control cultures versus nicotine-, acetamiprid-, or imidacloprid-exposed cultures in 34, 48, and 67 genes, respectively. Common to all exposed groups were nine genes essential for neurodevelopment, suggesting that chronic neonicotinoid exposure alters the transcriptome of the developing mammalian brain in a similar way to nicotine exposure. Our results highlight the need for further careful investigations into the effects of neonicotinoids in the developing mammalian brain.

  12. Structural Insights into Intermediate Steps in the Sir2 Deacetylation Reaction

    SciTech Connect

    Hawse, William F.; Hoff, Kevin G.; Fatkins, David G.; Daines, Alison; Zubkova, Olga V.; Schramm, Vern L.; Zheng, Weiping; Wolberger, Cynthia

    2010-07-22

    Sirtuin enzymes comprise a unique class of NAD{sup +}-dependent protein deacetylases. Although structures of many sirtuin complexes have been determined, structural resolution of intermediate chemical steps are needed to understand the deacetylation mechanism. We report crystal structures of the bacterial sirtuin, Sir2Tm, in complex with an S-alkylamidate intermediate, analogous to the naturally occurring O-alkylamidate intermediate, and a Sir2Tm ternary complex containing a dissociated NAD{sup +} analog and acetylated peptide. The structures and biochemical studies reveal critical roles for the invariant active site histidine in positioning the reaction intermediate, and for a conserved phenylalanine residue in shielding reaction intermediates from base exchange with nicotinamide. The new structural and biochemical studies provide key mechanistic insight into intermediate steps of the Sir2 deacetylation reaction.

  13. New insights into RNA secondary structure in the alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yongfeng; Yang, Yun; Zhang, Peng

    2011-01-01

    Alternative splicing is an important mechanism in generating proteomic diversity, and RNA secondary structure is an important element in splicing regulation. The use of high-throughput sequencing and other approaches has increased the number of known pre-mRNA secondary structures by several orders of magnitude, and we now have new insights into the role of RNA secondary structure in alternative splicing and the mechanisms involved (e.g., physical competition, long-range RNA pairing, the structural splicing code, and co-transcriptional splicing). Furthermore, an RNA pairing-based mechanism ensures the selection of only one of several available exons (e.g., Dscam splicing). Here we review several recent discoveries related to the role of RNA secondary structure in alternative splicing and the underlying mechanisms.

  14. Extracellular regulation of type IIa receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases: mechanistic insights from structural analyses

    PubMed Central

    Coles, Charlotte H.; Jones, E. Yvonne; Aricescu, A. Radu

    2016-01-01

    The receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases (RPTPs) exhibit a wide repertoire of cellular signalling functions. In particular, type IIa RPTP family members have recently been highlighted as hubs for extracellular interactions in neurons, regulating neuronal extension and guidance, as well as synaptic organisation. In this review, we will discuss the recent progress of structural biology investigations into the architecture of type IIa RPTP ectodomains and their interactions with extracellular ligands. Structural insights, in combination with biophysical and cellular studies, allow us to begin to piece together molecular mechanisms for the transduction and integration of type IIa RPTP signals and to propose hypotheses for future experimental validation. PMID:25234613

  15. Increasing neonicotinoid use and the declining butterfly fauna of lowland California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forister, Matthew L.; Cousens, Bruce; Harrison, Joshua G.; Anderson, Kayce; Thorne, James H.; Waetjen, Dave; Nice, Chris C.; De Parsia, Matthew; Hladik, Michelle; Meese, Robert; van Vliet, Heidi; Shapiro, Arthur M.

    2016-01-01

    The butterfly fauna of lowland Northern California has exhibited a marked decline in recent years that previous studies have attributed in part to altered climatic conditions and changes in land use. Here, we ask if a shift in insecticide use towards neonicotinoids is associated with butterfly declines at four sites in the region that have been monitored for four decades. A negative association between butterfly populations and increasing neonicotinoid application is detectable while controlling for land use and other factors, and appears to be more severe for smaller-bodied species. These results suggest that neonicotinoids could influence non-target insect populations occurring in proximity to application locations, and highlights the need for mechanistic work to complement long-term observational data.

  16. Increasing neonicotinoid use and the declining butterfly fauna of lowland California.

    PubMed

    Forister, Matthew L; Cousens, Bruce; Harrison, Joshua G; Anderson, Kayce; Thorne, James H; Waetjen, Dave; Nice, Chris C; De Parsia, Matthew; Hladik, Michelle L; Meese, Robert; van Vliet, Heidi; Shapiro, Arthur M

    2016-08-01

    The butterfly fauna of lowland Northern California has exhibited a marked decline in recent years that previous studies have attributed in part to altered climatic conditions and changes in land use. Here, we ask if a shift in insecticide use towards neonicotinoids is associated with butterfly declines at four sites in the region that have been monitored for four decades. A negative association between butterfly populations and increasing neonicotinoid application is detectable while controlling for land use and other factors, and appears to be more severe for smaller-bodied species. These results suggest that neonicotinoids could influence non-target insect populations occurring in proximity to application locations, and highlights the need for mechanistic work to complement long-term observational data.

  17. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, Dara A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Wickens, Jennifer B.; Wickens, Victoria J.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sublethal effects on bees, affecting their foraging behaviour, homing ability and reproductive success. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants, but until now research on pesticide effects has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence to our knowledge that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Bumblebee colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly, these pesticide-exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds, demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also indicate that reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour, but most likely due to effects at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the functioning of natural ecosystems.

  18. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

    PubMed Central

    Stanley, Dara A.; Garratt, Michael P.D.; Wickens, Jennifer B.; Wickens, Victoria J.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees1-5. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sub-lethal effects on bees affecting their foraging behaviour1,6,7, homing ability8,9 and reproductive success2,5. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants10-12, but until now research on pesticide impacts has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly these pesticide exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also suggest reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour but most likely due to impacts at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the function of natural ecosystems. PMID:26580009

  19. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Dara A; Garratt, Michael P D; Wickens, Jennifer B; Wickens, Victoria J; Potts, Simon G; Raine, Nigel E

    2015-12-24

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sublethal effects on bees, affecting their foraging behaviour, homing ability and reproductive success. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants, but until now research on pesticide effects has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence to our knowledge that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Bumblebee colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly, these pesticide-exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds, demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also indicate that reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour, but most likely due to effects at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the functioning of natural ecosystems.

  20. Photodegradation of neonicotinoid insecticides in water by semiconductor oxides.

    PubMed

    Fenoll, José; Garrido, Isabel; Hellín, Pilar; Flores, Pilar; Navarro, Simón

    2015-10-01

    The photocatalytic degradation of three neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs), thiamethoxam (TH), imidacloprid (IM) and acetamiprid (AC), in pure water has been studied using zinc oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) as photocatalysts under natural sunlight and artificial light irradiation. Photocatalytic experiments showed that the addition of these chalcogenide oxides in tandem with the electron acceptor (Na2S2O8) strongly enhances the degradation rate of these compounds in comparison with those carried out with ZnO and TiO2 alone and photolytic tests. Comparison of catalysts showed that ZnO is the most efficient for the removal of such insecticides in optimal conditions and at constant volumetric rate of photon absorption. Thus, the complete disappearance of all the studied compounds was achieved after 10 and 30 min of artificial light irradiation, in the ZnO/Na2S2O8 and TiO2/Na2S2O8 systems, respectively. The highest degradation rate was noticed for IM, while the lowest rate constant was obtained for AC under artificial light irradiation. In addition, solar irradiation was more efficient compared to artificial light for the removal of these insecticides from water. The main photocatalytic intermediates detected during the degradation of NIs were identified.

  1. Reduction of neonicotinoid insecticide residues in Prairie wetlands by common wetland plants.

    PubMed

    Main, Anson R; Fehr, Jessica; Liber, Karsten; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Morrissey, Christy A

    2017-02-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are frequently detected in wetlands during the early to mid-growing period of the Canadian Prairie cropping season. These detections also overlap with the growth of macrophytes that commonly surround agricultural wetlands which we hypothesized may reduce neonicotinoid transport and retention in wetlands. We sampled 20 agricultural wetlands and 11 macrophyte species in central Saskatchewan, Canada, over eight weeks to investigate whether macrophytes were capable of reducing movement of neonicotinoids from cultivated fields and/or reducing concentrations in surface water by accumulating insecticide residues into their tissues. Study wetlands were surrounded by clothianidin-treated canola and selected based on the presence (n=10) or absence (n=10) of a zonal plant community. Neonicotinoids were positively detected in 43% of wetland plants, and quantified in 8% of all plant tissues sampled. Three plant species showed high rates of detection: 78% Equisetum arvense (clothianidin, range: neonicotinoid concentrations in Prairie wetlands over time using linear mixed-effects models. Clothianidin concentrations were significantly lower in wetlands surrounded by taller plants (β±S.E.: -0.57±0.12, P≤0.001). The results of this study suggest that macrophytes can play an important role in mitigating water contamination by accumulating neonicotinoids and possibly slowing transport to wetlands during the growing season.

  2. Crystal structure of glycogen debranching enzyme and insights into its catalysis and disease-causing mutations

    PubMed Central

    Zhai, Liting; Feng, Lingling; Xia, Lin; Yin, Huiyong; Xiang, Song

    2016-01-01

    Glycogen is a branched glucose polymer and serves as an important energy store. Its debranching is a critical step in its mobilization. In animals and fungi, the 170 kDa glycogen debranching enzyme (GDE) catalyses this reaction. GDE deficiencies in humans are associated with severe diseases collectively termed glycogen storage disease type III (GSDIII). We report crystal structures of GDE and its complex with oligosaccharides, and structure-guided mutagenesis and biochemical studies to assess the structural observations. These studies reveal that distinct domains in GDE catalyse sequential reactions in glycogen debranching, the mechanism of their catalysis and highly specific substrate recognition. The unique tertiary structure of GDE provides additional contacts to glycogen besides its active sites, and our biochemical experiments indicate that they mediate its recruitment to glycogen and regulate its activity. Combining the understanding of the GDE catalysis and functional characterizations of its disease-causing mutations provides molecular insights into GSDIII. PMID:27088557

  3. Structural insights into the assembly and regulation of distinct viral capsid complexes

    PubMed Central

    Sarker, Subir; Terrón, María C.; Khandokar, Yogesh; Aragão, David; Hardy, Joshua M.; Radjainia, Mazdak; Jiménez-Zaragoza, Manuel; de Pablo, Pedro J.; Coulibaly, Fasséli; Luque, Daniel; Raidal, Shane R.; Forwood, Jade K.

    2016-01-01

    The assembly and regulation of viral capsid proteins into highly ordered macromolecular complexes is essential for viral replication. Here, we utilize crystal structures of the capsid protein from the smallest and simplest known viruses capable of autonomously replicating in animal cells, circoviruses, to establish structural and mechanistic insights into capsid morphogenesis and regulation. The beak and feather disease virus, like many circoviruses, encode only two genes: a capsid protein and a replication initiation protein. The capsid protein forms distinct macromolecular assemblies during replication and here we elucidate these structures at high resolution, showing that these complexes reverse the exposure of the N-terminal arginine rich domain responsible for DNA binding and nuclear localization. We show that assembly of these complexes is regulated by single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), and provide a structural basis of capsid assembly around single-stranded DNA, highlighting novel binding interfaces distinct from the highly positively charged N-terminal ARM domain. PMID:27698405

  4. Crystal structure of Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumolysin provides key insights into early steps of pore formation

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Sara L.; Feil, Susanne C.; Morton, Craig J.; Farrand, Allison J.; Mulhern, Terrence D.; Gorman, Michael A.; Wade, Kristin R.; Tweten, Rodney K.; Parker, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Pore-forming proteins are weapons often used by bacterial pathogens to breach the membrane barrier of target cells. Despite their critical role in infection important structural aspects of the mechanism of how these proteins assemble into pores remain unknown. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the world’s leading cause of pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia and otitis media. Pneumolysin (PLY) is a major virulence factor of S. pneumoniae and a target for both small molecule drug development and vaccines. PLY is a member of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs), a family of pore-forming toxins that form gigantic pores in cell membranes. Here we present the structure of PLY determined by X-ray crystallography and, in solution, by small-angle X-ray scattering. The crystal structure reveals PLY assembles as a linear oligomer that provides key structural insights into the poorly understood early monomer-monomer interactions of CDCs at the membrane surface. PMID:26403197

  5. Structure of the Hantavirus Nucleoprotein Provides Insights into the Mechanism of RNA Encapsidation.

    PubMed

    Olal, Daniel; Daumke, Oliver

    2016-03-08

    Hantaviruses are etiological agents of life-threatening hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. The nucleoprotein (N) of hantavirus is essential for viral transcription and replication, thus representing an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. We have determined the crystal structure of hantavirus N to 3.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a two-lobed, mostly α-helical structure that is distantly related to that of orthobunyavirus Ns. A basic RNA binding pocket is located at the intersection between the two lobes. We provide evidence that oligomerization is mediated by amino- and C-terminal arms that bind to the adjacent monomers. Based on these findings, we suggest a model for the oligomeric ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex. Our structure provides mechanistic insights into RNA encapsidation in the genus Hantavirus and constitutes a template for drug discovery efforts aimed at combating hantavirus infections.

  6. Structural Insights into Functional Overlapping and Differentiation among Myosin V Motors*

    PubMed Central

    Nascimento, Andrey F. Z.; Trindade, Daniel M.; Tonoli, Celisa C. C.; de Giuseppe, Priscila O.; Assis, Leandro H. P.; Honorato, Rodrigo V.; de Oliveira, Paulo S. L.; Mahajan, Pravin; Burgess-Brown, Nicola A.; von Delft, Frank; Larson, Roy E.; Murakami, Mario T.

    2013-01-01

    Myosin V (MyoV) motors have been implicated in the intracellular transport of diverse cargoes including vesicles, organelles, RNA-protein complexes, and regulatory proteins. Here, we have solved the cargo-binding domain (CBD) structures of the three human MyoV paralogs (Va, Vb, and Vc), revealing subtle structural changes that drive functional differentiation and a novel redox mechanism controlling the CBD dimerization process, which is unique for the MyoVc subclass. Moreover, the cargo- and motor-binding sites were structurally assigned, indicating the conservation of residues involved in the recognition of adaptors for peroxisome transport and providing high resolution insights into motor domain inhibition by CBD. These results contribute to understanding the structural requirements for cargo transport, autoinhibition, and regulatory mechanisms in myosin V motors. PMID:24097982

  7. Structural insights into functional overlapping and differentiation among myosin V motors.

    PubMed

    Nascimento, Andrey F Z; Trindade, Daniel M; Tonoli, Celisa C C; de Giuseppe, Priscila O; Assis, Leandro H P; Honorato, Rodrigo V; de Oliveira, Paulo S L; Mahajan, Pravin; Burgess-Brown, Nicola A; von Delft, Frank; Larson, Roy E; Murakami, Mario T

    2013-11-22

    Myosin V (MyoV) motors have been implicated in the intracellular transport of diverse cargoes including vesicles, organelles, RNA-protein complexes, and regulatory proteins. Here, we have solved the cargo-binding domain (CBD) structures of the three human MyoV paralogs (Va, Vb, and Vc), revealing subtle structural changes that drive functional differentiation and a novel redox mechanism controlling the CBD dimerization process, which is unique for the MyoVc subclass. Moreover, the cargo- and motor-binding sites were structurally assigned, indicating the conservation of residues involved in the recognition of adaptors for peroxisome transport and providing high resolution insights into motor domain inhibition by CBD. These results contribute to understanding the structural requirements for cargo transport, autoinhibition, and regulatory mechanisms in myosin V motors.

  8. Structure of Human GIVD Cytosolic Phospholipase A2 Reveals Insights into Substrate Recognition.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Klein, Michael G; Snell, Gyorgy; Lane, Weston; Zou, Hua; Levin, Irena; Li, Ke; Sang, Bi-Ching

    2016-07-03

    Cytosolic phospholipases A2 (cPLA2s) consist of a family of calcium-sensitive enzymes that function to generate lipid second messengers through hydrolysis of membrane-associated glycerophospholipids. The GIVD cPLA2 (cPLA2δ) is a potential drug target for developing a selective therapeutic agent for the treatment of psoriasis. Here, we present two X-ray structures of human cPLA2δ, capturing an apo state, and in complex with a substrate-like inhibitor. Comparison of the apo and inhibitor-bound structures reveals conformational changes in a flexible cap that allows the substrate to access the relatively buried active site, providing new insight into the mechanism for substrate recognition. The cPLA2δ structure reveals an unexpected second C2 domain that was previously unrecognized from sequence alignments, placing cPLA2δ into the class of membrane-associated proteins that contain a tandem pair of C2 domains. Furthermore, our structures elucidate novel inter-domain interactions and define three potential calcium-binding sites that are likely important for regulation and activation of enzymatic activity. These findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms governing cPLA2's function in signal transduction.

  9. Structural and kinetic insights into the mechanism of 5-hydroxyisourate hydrolase from Klebsiella pneumoniae

    SciTech Connect

    French, Jarrod B.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2011-08-01

    The crystal structure of 5-hydroxyisourate hydrolase from K. pneumoniae and the steady-state kinetic parameters of the native enzyme as well as several mutants provide insights into the catalytic mechanism of this enzyme and the possible roles of the active-site residues. The stereospecific oxidative degradation of uric acid to (S)-allantoin has recently been demonstrated to proceed via two unstable intermediates and requires three separate enzymatic reactions. The second step of this reaction, the conversion of 5-hydroxyisourate (HIU) to 2-oxo-4-hydroxy-4-carboxy-5-ureidoimidazoline, is catalyzed by HIU hydrolase (HIUH). The high-resolution crystal structure of HIUH from the opportunistic pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae (KpHIUH) has been determined. KpHIUH is a homotetrameric protein that, based on sequence and structural similarity, belongs to the transthyretin-related protein family. In addition, the steady-state kinetic parameters for this enzyme and four active-site mutants have been measured. These data provide valuable insight into the functional roles of the active-site residues. Based upon the structural and kinetic data, a mechanism is proposed for the KpHIUH-catalyzed reaction.

  10. Structure of Human GIVD Cytosolic Phospholipase A2 Reveals Insights into Substrate Recognition

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Hui; Klein, Michael G.; Snell, Gyorgy; Lane, Weston; Zou, Hua; Levin, Irena; Li, Ke; Sang, Bi-Ching

    2016-07-01

    Cytosolic phospholipases A2 (cPLA2s) consist of a family of calcium-sensitive enzymes that function to generate lipid second messengers through hydrolysis of membrane-associated glycerophospholipids. The GIVD cPLA2 (cPLA2δ) is a potential drug target for developing a selective therapeutic agent for the treatment of psoriasis. Here, we present two X-ray structures of human cPLA2δ, capturing an apo state, and in complex with a substrate-like inhibitor. Comparison of the apo and inhibitor-bound structures reveals conformational changes in a flexible cap that allows the substrate to access the relatively buried active site, providing new insight into the mechanism for substrate recognition. The cPLA2δ structure reveals an unexpected second C2 domain that was previously unrecognized from sequence alignments, placing cPLA2δ into the class of membrane-associated proteins that contain a tandem pair of C2 domains. Furthermore, our structures elucidate novel inter-domain interactions and define three potential calcium-binding sites that are likely important for regulation and activation of enzymatic activity. These findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms governing cPLA2's function in signal transduction.

  11. Crystal Structure of Human Myotubularin-Related Protein 1 Provides Insight into the Structural Basis of Substrate Specificity.

    PubMed

    Bong, Seoung Min; Son, Kka-bi; Yang, Seung-Won; Park, Jae-Won; Cho, Jea-Won; Kim, Kyung-Tae; Kim, Hackyoung; Kim, Seung Jun; Kim, Young Jun; Lee, Byung Il

    2016-01-01

    Myotubularin-related protein 1 (MTMR1) is a phosphatase that belongs to the tyrosine/dual-specificity phosphatase superfamily. MTMR1 has been shown to use phosphatidylinositol 3-monophosphate (PI(3)P) and/or phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2) as substrates. Here, we determined the crystal structure of human MTMR1. The refined model consists of the Pleckstrin homology (PH)-GRAM and phosphatase (PTP) domains. The overall structure was highly similar to the previously reported MTMR2 structure. Interestingly, two phosphate molecules were coordinated by strictly conserved residues located in the C(X)5R motif of the active site. Additionally, our biochemical studies confirmed the substrate specificity of MTMR1 for PI(3)P and PI(3,5)P2 over other phosphatidylinositol phosphates. Our structural and enzymatic analyses provide insight into the catalytic mechanism and biochemical properties of MTMR1.

  12. Structural insight into dephosphorylation by trehalose 6-phosphate phosphatase (OtsB2) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Shan, Shan; Min, Haowei; Liu, Ting; Jiang, Dunquan; Rao, Zihe

    2016-12-01

    Trehalose serves as a key structural component in the cell wall of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase (MtbTPP), an essential enzyme in the trehalose biosynthesis OtsAB pathway, catalyzes the dephosphorylation of trehalose-6-phosphate (trehalose-6-P) to generate trehalose, and plays a critical role in M. tuberculosis survival-associated cell wall formation and permeability. Therefore, MtbTPP (OtsB2) is considered a promising potential target for discovery of antimicrobial drugs. However, the absence of structural information of MtbTPP restrains our understanding of its underlying catalytic mechanism. Here, we report the high-resolution crystal structures of apo active MtbTPP and its trehalose-6-P bound complex. The apo structure presents a canonical haloacid dehalogenase superfamily structural fold plus an extra N-terminal domain. The catalytic center is located in a positively charged cleft between the hydrolase domain and the cap domain, demonstrating a highly conserved substrate binding pocket. The role of residues interacting with the substrate in catalysis were probed by site-directed mutagenesis. Asp147, Asp149, Asp330, and Asp331 were found to be pivotal for the enzymatic activity of MtbTPP. The MtbTPP structures reported here provide insight into a key step in the biosynthesis of trehalose, which would facilitate future development of anti-TB therapeutics.-Shan, S., Min, H., Liu, T., Jiang, D., Rao, Z. Structural insight into dephosphorylation by trehalose 6-phosphate phosphatase (OtsB2) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

  13. Structural studies of Pseudomonas and Chromobacterium ω-aminotransferases provide insights into their differing substrate specificity

    SciTech Connect

    Sayer, Christopher; Isupov, Michail N.; Westlake, Aaron; Littlechild, Jennifer A.

    2013-04-01

    The X-ray structures of two ω-aminotransferases from P. aeruginosa and C. violaceum in complex with an inhibitor offer the first detailed insight into the structural basis of the substrate specificity of these industrially important enzymes. The crystal structures and inhibitor complexes of two industrially important ω-aminotransferase enzymes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum have been determined in order to understand the differences in their substrate specificity. The two enzymes share 30% sequence identity and use the same amino acceptor, pyruvate; however, the Pseudomonas enzyme shows activity towards the amino donor β-alanine, whilst the Chromobacterium enzyme does not. Both enzymes show activity towards S-α-methylbenzylamine (MBA), with the Chromobacterium enzyme having a broader substrate range. The crystal structure of the P. aeruginosa enzyme has been solved in the holo form and with the inhibitor gabaculine bound. The C. violaceum enzyme has been solved in the apo and holo forms and with gabaculine bound. The structures of the holo forms of both enzymes are quite similar. There is little conformational difference observed between the inhibitor complex and the holoenzyme for the P. aeruginosa aminotransferase. In comparison, the crystal structure of the C. violaceum gabaculine complex shows significant structural rearrangements from the structures of both the apo and holo forms of the enzyme. It appears that the different rigidity of the protein scaffold contributes to the substrate specificity observed for the two ω-aminotransferases.

  14. Structural and kinetic insights into the mechanism of 5-hydroxyisourate hydrolase from Klebsiella pneumoniae

    SciTech Connect

    French, Jarrod B.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2011-07-19

    The stereospecific oxidative degradation of uric acid to (S)-allantoin has recently been demonstrated to proceed via two unstable intermediates and requires three separate enzymatic reactions. The second step of this reaction, the conversion of 5-hydroxyisourate (HIU) to 2-oxo-4-hydroxy-4-carboxy-5-ureidoimidazoline, is catalyzed by HIU hydrolase (HIUH). The high-resolution crystal structure of HIUH from the opportunistic pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae (KpHIUH) has been determined. KpHIUH is a homotetrameric protein that, based on sequence and structural similarity, belongs to the transthyretin-related protein family. In addition, the steady-state kinetic parameters for this enzyme and four active-site mutants have been measured. These data provide valuable insight into the functional roles of the active-site residues. Based upon the structural and kinetic data, a mechanism is proposed for the KpHIUH-catalyzed reaction.

  15. Chemical Probes Allow Structural Insight into the Condensation Reaction of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetases.

    PubMed

    Bloudoff, Kristjan; Alonzo, Diego A; Schmeing, T Martin

    2016-03-17

    Nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) synthesize a vast variety of small molecules, including antibiotics, antitumors, and immunosuppressants. The NRPS condensation (C) domain catalyzes amide bond formation, the central chemical step in nonribosomal peptide synthesis. The catalytic mechanism and substrate determinants of the reaction are under debate. We developed chemical probes to structurally study the NRPS condensation reaction. These substrate analogs become covalently tethered to a cysteine introduced near the active site, to mimic covalent substrate delivery by carrier domains. They are competent substrates in the condensation reaction and behave similarly to native substrates. Co-crystal structures show C domain-substrate interactions, and suggest that the catalytic histidine's principle role is to position the α-amino group for nucleophilic attack. Structural insight provided by these co-complexes also allowed us to alter the substrate specificity profile of the reaction with a single point mutation.

  16. M2 protein from influenza A: from multiple structures to biophysical and functional insights.

    PubMed

    Cross, Timothy A; Dong, Hao; Sharma, Mukesh; Busath, David D; Zhou, Huan-Xiang

    2012-04-01

    The M2 protein from influenza A is a proton channel as a tetramer, with a single transmembrane helix from each monomer lining the pore. Val27 and Trp41 form gates at either end of the pore and His37 mediates the shuttling of protons across a central barrier between the N-terminal and C-terminal aqueous pore regions. Numerous structures of this transmembrane domain and of a longer construct that includes an amphipathic helix are now in the Protein Data Bank. Many structural differences are apparent from samples obtained in a variety of membrane mimetic environments. High-resolution structural results in lipid bilayers have provided novel insights into the functional mechanism of the unique HxxxW cluster in the M2 proton channel.

  17. Structure, dynamics, and function of the monooxygenase P450 BM-3: insights from computer simulations studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roccatano, Danilo

    2015-07-01

    The monooxygenase P450 BM-3 is a NADPH-dependent fatty acid hydroxylase enzyme isolated from soil bacterium Bacillus megaterium. As a pivotal member of cytochrome P450 superfamily, it has been intensely studied for the comprehension of structure-dynamics-function relationships in this class of enzymes. In addition, due to its peculiar properties, it is also a promising enzyme for biochemical and biomedical applications. However, despite the efforts, the full understanding of the enzyme structure and dynamics is not yet achieved. Computational studies, particularly molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, have importantly contributed to this endeavor by providing new insights at an atomic level regarding the correlations between structure, dynamics, and function of the protein. This topical review summarizes computational studies based on MD simulations of the cytochrome P450 BM-3 and gives an outlook on future directions.

  18. Structure of Protein Related to DAN and Cerberus (PRDC): Insights into the Mechanism of BMP Antagonism

    PubMed Central

    Nolan, Kristof; Kattamuri, Chandramohan; Luedeke, David M.; Deng, Andy; Jagpal, Amrita; Zhang, Fuming; Linhardt, Robert; Kenny, Alan P.; Zorn, Aaron M.; Thompson, Thomas B.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMP) are secreted ligands largely known for their functional roles in embryogenesis and tissue development. A number of structurally diverse extracellular antagonists inhibit BMP ligands to regulate signaling. The DAN family of antagonists represents the largest group of BMP inhibitors, however, little is known for how they mechanistically inhibit BMP ligands. Here, we present the structure of the DAN family member Protein Related to Dan and Cerberus (PRDC) solved by X-ray crystallography. The structure reveals an unexpected growth factor-like appearance with a novel dimerization mechanism that is formed through extensive β-strand contacts. Using site-directed mutagenesis coupled with in vitro and in vivo activity assays, we identified a BMP binding epitope on PRDC. We also determined that PRDC binds heparin with high affinity and that heparin binding to PRDC interferes with BMP antagonism. These results offer insight for how DAN family antagonists functionally inhibit BMP ligands. PMID:23850456

  19. The structure of phosphoinositide phosphatases: Insights into substrate specificity and catalysis.

    PubMed

    Hsu, FoSheng; Mao, Yuxin

    2015-06-01

    Phosphoinositides (PIs) are a group of key signaling and structural lipid molecules involved in a myriad of cellular processes. PI phosphatases, together with PI kinases, are responsible for the conversion of PIs between distinctive phosphorylation states. PI phosphatases are a large collection of enzymes that are evolved from at least two disparate ancestors. One group is distantly related to endonucleases, which apply divalent metal ions for phosphoryl transfer. The other group is related to protein tyrosine phosphatases, which contain a highly conserved active site motif Cys-X5-Arg (CX5R). In this review, we focus on structural insights to illustrate current understandings of the molecular mechanisms of each PI phosphatase family, with emphasis on their structural basis for substrate specificity determinants and catalytic mechanisms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Phosphoinositides.

  20. Structural insights into the role of domain flexibility in human DNA ligase IV.

    PubMed

    Ochi, Takashi; Wu, Qian; Chirgadze, Dimitri Y; Grossmann, J Günter; Bolanos-Garcia, Victor M; Blundell, Tom L

    2012-07-03

    Knowledge of the architecture of DNA ligase IV (LigIV) and interactions with XRCC4 and XLF-Cernunnos is necessary for understanding its role in the ligation of double-strand breaks during nonhomologous end joining. Here we report the structure of a subdomain of the nucleotidyltrasferase domain of human LigIV and provide insights into the residues associated with LIG4 syndrome. We use this structural information together with the known structures of the BRCT/XRCC4 complex and those of LigIV orthologs to interpret small-angle X-ray scattering of LigIV in complex with XRCC4 and size exclusion chromatography of LigIV, XRCC4, and XLF-Cernunnos. Our results suggest that the flexibility of the catalytic region is limited in a manner that affects the formation of the LigIV/XRCC4/XLF-Cernunnos complex.

  1. New insights into the evolution and structure of Colletotrichum plant-like subtilisins (CPLSs)

    PubMed Central

    Armijos Jaramillo, Vinicio D; Vargas, Walter A; Sukno, Serenella A; Thon, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    The Colletotrichum plant-like subtilisins (CPLSs) are a family of proteins found only in species of the phytopathogenic fungus Colletotrichum. CPLSs have high similarity to plant subtilisins and our previous work has shown that they were acquired by an ancient horizontal gene transfer event from plants. The rapid growth of sequence data in public databases enabled us to reexamine the structure and evolution of the CPLSs. A new plant subtilisin structural model aided us in refining the tertiary structure of CPLSs. Also, new information about protein interactions of plant subtilisin has provided new insights into the putative function of CPLSs. The availability of new genome sequences of members of the genus Colletotrichum gave us the opportunity to further validate our hypothesis that the CPLSs are unique to the Colletotrichum lineage. Together, this information furthers our knowledge of the potential role of the CPLSs in pathogenicity and the role of HGT in the genome evolution of plant pathogenic fungi. PMID:24563701

  2. The core structure of Mars as expected to be seen by InSight's VBB seismometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hempel, Stefanie; Garcia, Raphael; Wieczorek, Mark; Murdoch, Naomi

    2016-04-01

    The question of the Martian core concerns our basic understanding of the planet's thermal evolution, dynamo models for the past and present, the composition of the Martian mantle, especially in regards to its iron content and prevalent phase transitions, which in turn constrain possible regimes of mantle convection. So far the (outer) core radius of Mars is uncertain to about 250 kilometers (Sohl et al., 2005), and evidence neither supports nor falsifies the existence of an inner core (Defraigne et al., 2003). We apply our extensions of the ray tracing toolbox TauP (Crotwell et al., 1999) to compute amplitude loss, ellipticity, crustal and topography corrections in combination with existing models of seismic activity on Mars (Golombek, 1992, Knapmeyer et al., 2006), crustal thickness models (Wieczorek, 2007) and structure models (e.g. Okal and Anderson, 1978, Zharkov and Gudkova, 2000, Rivoldini et al., 2011). In preparation for NASA's discovery mission InSight, we simulate the detected relative travel-time curves at a single seismic station in Elysium Planitia for several models of Martian structure, seismicity, environmental and instrumental noise. We discuss possibilities and difficulties of considering the effects of Martian ellipticity and topography up to degree 8 and 30, respectively. Furthermore, we demonstrate the effect of low velocity layers, as well as the relevance of modeling the effects of ellipticity and crustal thickness during the interpretation of seismic data acquired by InSight's SEIS instrument on Mars, especially concerning seismic phases which provide direct evidence on the core structure of Mars.

  3. Splitsville: structural and functional insights into the dynamic bacterial Z ring.

    PubMed

    Haeusser, Daniel P; Margolin, William

    2016-04-01

    Bacteria must divide to increase in number and colonize their niche. Binary fission is the most widespread means of bacterial cell division, but even this relatively simple mechanism has many variations on a theme. In most bacteria, the tubulin homologue FtsZ assembles into a ring structure, termed the Z ring, at the site of cytokinesis and recruits additional proteins to form a large protein machine - the divisome - that spans the membrane. In this Review, we discuss current insights into the regulation of the assembly of the Z ring and how the divisome drives membrane invagination and septal cell wall growth while flexibly responding to various cellular inputs.

  4. Splitsville: structural and functional insights into the dynamic bacterial Z ring

    PubMed Central

    Haeusser, Daniel P.; Margolin, William

    2017-01-01

    Preface Bacteria must divide in order to increase in number and colonize their niche. Binary fission is the most widespread means of bacterial cell division, but even this relatively simple mechanism displays many variations on a theme. In most bacteria, the tubulin homolog FtsZ assembles into a ring structure (Z ring) at the site of cytokinesis and recruits additional proteins to form a large protein machine (divisome) that spans the membrane. Here we discuss current insights into the regulation of Z ring assembly and how the divisome drives membrane invagination and septal cell wall growth while still flexibly responding to various cellular inputs. PMID:27040757

  5. Structural insights into the nucleotide base specificity of P2X receptors

    PubMed Central

    Kasuya, Go; Fujiwara, Yuichiro; Tsukamoto, Hisao; Morinaga, Satoshi; Ryu, Satoshi; Touhara, Kazushige; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Furutani, Yuji; Hattori, Motoyuki; Nureki, Osamu

    2017-01-01

    P2X receptors are trimeric ATP-gated cation channels involved in diverse physiological processes, ranging from muscle contraction to nociception. Despite the recent structure determination of the ATP-bound P2X receptors, the molecular mechanism of the nucleotide base specificity has remained elusive. Here, we present the crystal structure of zebrafish P2X4 in complex with a weak affinity agonist, CTP, together with structure-based electrophysiological and spectroscopic analyses. The CTP-bound structure revealed a hydrogen bond, between the cytosine base and the side chain of the basic residue in the agonist binding site, which mediates the weak but significant affinity for CTP. The cytosine base is further recognized by two main chain atoms, as in the ATP-bound structure, but their bond lengths seem to be extended in the CTP-bound structure, also possibly contributing to the weaker affinity for CTP over ATP. This work provides the structural insights for the nucleotide base specificity of P2X receptors. PMID:28332633

  6. Structural and compositional heterogeneities in liquid aluminosilicate: insight from a grain structure model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Nguyen, Hong; Tran, Duong Thuy; Pham, Hung Khac

    2017-02-01

    Network structure as well as structural and compositional heterogeneities in aluminosilicate (Al2O3-2SiO2) under compression is investigated by analysis and visualization of simulation data. Structural and compositional heterogeneities are clarified through analysis of topology structure and size distribution of TO x -clusters ( T = Si, Al; x = 3, 4, 5, 6) as well as O T y -clusters ( y = 2, 3, 4). The TO x -cluster can be considered as TO x -grains. It appears that the structure of aluminosilicate is the mixture of TO x -grains with a different short-range order structure and this is the origin of structural heterogeneity. Regarding their composition, the OSi y - and OAl y -clusters can be considered as silica- and alumina-grains respectively, and the structure of aluminosilicate can thus be considered to be formed from silica- and alumina-grains. This results in compositional heterogeneity. Moreover, the degree of polymerization and polyamorphism as well as dynamic heterogeneity is also discussed in detail.

  7. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    SciTech Connect

    Sidhu, Navdeep S.; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M.; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that typically manifests itself in childhood and is caused by mutations in the gene for the lysosomal enzyme sulfamidase. The first structure of this enzyme is presented, which provides insight into the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations, and the enzymatic mechanism is proposed. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  8. The neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin affect the immunocompetence of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Brandt, Annely; Gorenflo, Anna; Siede, Reinhold; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph

    2016-03-01

    A strong immune defense is vital for honey bee health and colony survival. This defense can be weakened by environmental factors that may render honey bees more vulnerable to parasites and pathogens. Honey bees are frequently exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are being discussed as one of the stress factors that may lead to colony failure. We investigated the sublethal effects of the neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin on individual immunity, by studying three major aspects of immunocompetence in worker bees: total hemocyte number, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity of the hemolymph. In laboratory experiments, we found a strong impact of all three neonicotinoids. Thiacloprid (24h oral exposure, 200 μg/l or 2000 μg/l) and imidacloprid (1 μg/l or 10 μg/l) reduced hemocyte density, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity even at field realistic concentrations. Clothianidin had an effect on these immune parameters only at higher than field realistic concentrations (50-200 μg/l). These results suggest that neonicotinoids affect the individual immunocompetence of honey bees, possibly leading to an impaired disease resistance capacity.

  9. Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moffat, Christopher; Buckland, Stephen T.; Samson, Andrew J.; McArthur, Robin; Chamosa Pino, Victor; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey T.-J.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2016-04-01

    There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species.

  10. Alternatives to neonicotinoid insecticides for pest control: case studies in agriculture and forestry.

    PubMed

    Furlan, Lorenzo; Kreutzweiser, David

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely used for control of insect pests around the world and are especially pervasive in agricultural pest management. There is a growing body of evidence indicating that the broad-scale and prophylactic uses of neonicotinoids pose serious risks of harm to beneficial organisms and their ecological function. This provides the impetus for exploring alternatives to neonicotinoid insecticides for controlling insect pests. We draw from examples of alternative pest control options in Italian maize production and Canadian forestry to illustrate the principles of applying alternatives to neonicotinoids under an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy. An IPM approach considers all relevant and available information to make informed management decisions, providing pest control options based on actual need. We explore the benefits and challenges of several options for management of three insect pests in maize crops and an invasive insect pest in forests, including diversifying crop rotations, altering the timing of planting, tillage and irrigation, using less sensitive crops in infested areas, applying biological control agents, and turning to alternative reduced risk insecticides. Continued research into alternatives is warranted, but equally pressing is the need for information transfer and training for farmers and pest managers and the need for policies and regulations to encourage the adoption of IPM strategies and their alternative pest control options.

  11. Compatibility of Two Systematic Neonicotinoids, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam with various Natural Enemies of Agricultural Pests.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two systemic neonicotinoids, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, are widely used for residual control of a number of insect pests in cotton, vegetables, and citrus. We evaluated their impact on six species of beneficial arthropods including four parasitoid species, Aphytis melinus Gonatocerus ashmeadi, ...

  12. Neonicotinoid Residues in Wildflowers, a Potential Route of Chronic Exposure for Bees.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; David, Arthur; Horwood, Julia; Abdul-Sada, Alaa; Nicholls, Elizabeth; Hill, Elizabeth; Goulson, Dave

    2015-11-03

    In recent years, an intense debate about the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoids, a group of widely used, neurotoxic insecticides, has been joined. When these systemic compounds are applied to seeds, low concentrations are subsequently found in the nectar and pollen of the crop, which are then collected and consumed by bees. Here we demonstrate that the current focus on exposure to pesticides via the crop overlooks an important factor: throughout spring and summer, mixtures of neonicotinoids are also found in the pollen and nectar of wildflowers growing in arable field margins, at concentrations that are sometimes even higher than those found in the crop. Indeed, the large majority (97%) of neonicotinoids brought back in pollen to honey bee hives in arable landscapes was from wildflowers, not crops. Both previous and ongoing field studies have been based on the premise that exposure to neonicotinoids would occur only during the blooming period of flowering crops and that it may be diluted by bees also foraging on untreated wildflowers. Here, we show that exposure is likely to be higher and more prolonged than currently recognized because of widespread contamination of wild plants growing near treated crops.

  13. Enantioselective absorption and transformation of a novel chiral neonicotinoid [(14)C]-cycloxaprid in rats.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chengchen; Huang, Lei; Tang, Shenghua; Li, Zhong; Ye, Qingfu

    2016-06-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides caused hazardous effects on pollinators and aquatic ecosystem. The new developed chiral cis-neonicotinoid cycloxaprid(CYC) is a highly potent substitute for low toxicity to bees and high efficiency on target-insects, but little is known about the metabolic dynamics of racemic CYC and its 2 enantiomers(SR and RS) in animal models. In this study, chiral separation of (14)C-labeled racemic CYC was performed in high-performance liquid chromatography under optimal conditions. For the first time that the stereoselectivity of the chiral neonicotinoid insecticide CYC was exhibited in rats after single dose oral administration using (14)C-labeled isotope trace technique. Enantioselective behaviors of racemic CYC, SR and RS were observed in blood metabolism, tissue distribution and excretion. The major deposition of (14)C were found in liver, lung, kidney and heart. After 24 h, skin and fat showed a strong bioaccumulation effect, and total excreted urine and feces of CYC, SR and RS were 50.4%, 59.7% and 74.5%, respectively. Enantiomer RS had the fastest absorption and elimination rates, and it was least bioaccumulated in rats. The results provide scientific basis and practical techniques for environmental risk assessment of chiral pesticides, especially neonicotinoids.

  14. Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees

    PubMed Central

    Moffat, Christopher; Buckland, Stephen T.; Samson, Andrew J.; McArthur, Robin; Chamosa Pino, Victor; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey T.-J.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2016-01-01

    There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species. PMID:27124107

  15. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

    PubMed Central

    Moffat, Christopher; Pacheco, Joao Goncalves; Sharp, Sheila; Samson, Andrew J.; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey; Buckland, Stephen T.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2015-01-01

    The global decline in the abundance and diversity of insect pollinators could result from habitat loss, disease, and pesticide exposure. The contribution of the neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g., clothianidin and imidacloprid) to this decline is controversial, and key to understanding their risk is whether the astonishingly low levels found in the nectar and pollen of plants is sufficient to deliver neuroactive levels to their site of action: the bee brain. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax) fed field levels [10 nM, 2.1 ppb (w/w)] of neonicotinoid accumulate between 4 and 10 nM in their brains within 3 days. Acute (minutes) exposure of cultured neurons to 10 nM clothianidin, but not imidacloprid, causes a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-dependent rapid mitochondrial depolarization. However, a chronic (2 days) exposure to 1 nM imidacloprid leads to a receptor-dependent increased sensitivity to a normally innocuous level of acetylcholine, which now also causes rapid mitochondrial depolarization in neurons. Finally, colonies exposed to this level of imidacloprid show deficits in colony growth and nest condition compared with untreated colonies. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the poor navigation and foraging observed in neonicotinoid treated bumblebee colonies.—Moffat, C., Pacheco, J. G., Sharp, S., Samson, A. J., Bollan, K. A., Huang, J., Buckland, S. T., Connolly, C. N. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). PMID:25634958

  16. Activity of selected neonicotinoids and dicrotophos on nontarget arthropods in cotton: implications in insect management.

    PubMed

    Kilpatrick, A L; Hagerty, A M; Turnipseed, S G; Sullivan, M J; Bridges, W C

    2005-06-01

    Certain neonicotinoids are used in cotton, Gossypium hirsutum (L.), to control various piercing-sucking pests. We conducted field studies using three neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, thiamethoxam, and imidacloprid) and an organophosphate (dicrotophos) to assess the activity of these insecticides against nontarget arthropods, particularly predators, and to determine the potential economic consequences of such activity. Mortality among populations of the big-eyed bug, Geocoris punctipes (Say), and the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, was highest after thiamethoxam and dicrotophos treatments. Numbers of arachnids were consistently lower after dicrotophos treatments, whereas none of the neonicotinoids caused appreciable mortality. Total predators in pooled data from five separate studies revealed that numbers, compared with untreated plots, were reduced by -75% in dicrotophos, 55-60% in thiamethoxam, and only 30% in both acetamiprid and imidacloprid plots. Acetamiprid and thiamethoxam exhibited significant mortality against field-deposited eggs of bollworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). Both thiamethoxam and dicrotophos plots exhibited bollworm numbers that were approximately three times higher than treatment thresholds (three per 100 plants), whereas numbers in untreated plots were below threshold levels. In one study on Bt cotton, a significant negative correlation was observed between numbers of predators and bollworm larvae. Results demonstrated that neonicotinoids differ in activity against predaceous arthropods and bollworm eggs and that high predator mortality can result in resurgence of bollworm larvae and additional insecticide costs.

  17. Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Moffat, Christopher; Buckland, Stephen T; Samson, Andrew J; McArthur, Robin; Chamosa Pino, Victor; Bollan, Karen A; Huang, Jeffrey T-J; Connolly, Christopher N

    2016-04-28

    There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species.

  18. Field-Evolved Resistance of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) to Carbodiimide and Neonicotinoids in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Mushtaq; Khan, Rashid A

    2017-03-03

    The evolution of resistance to carbodiimide (a toxic metabolite of diafenthiuron) and four neonicotinoids imidacloprid, acetamiprid, thiamethoxam, and thiacloprid in the Pakistani populations of sweetpotato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci Gennadius) was monitored from 1996 to 2015 using a leaf-dip bioassay. Diafenthiuron, imidacloprid, and acetamiprid were introduced into Pakistani agriculture in mid-1990s and heavily used since then, because B. tabaci resistance and consequently control failures to conventional insecticides such as organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids were widespread during the 1990s. According to the current studies, resistance to carbodiimide, imidacloprid, and acetamiprid during 1996-2010 and to thiamethoxam during 1999-2007 remained very low, but then it rose sharply, and by the year 2015, the B. tabaci resistance increased to very high levels. Among neonicotinoids, thiacloprid was the latest introduction in Pakistan in 2002. There was no thiacloprid resistance in 2002 and 2003, a low to moderate resistance during 2004-2006, and a very high resistance during 2007-2010 that even exceeded resistance to previous neonicotinoids. We may conclude that diafenthiuron and neonicotinoids remained effective against B. tabaci for 15 yr following their intensive use under field conditions, before a significant resistance, leading to their field failures, occurred in Pakistan.

  19. Rapid analysis of neonicotinoid insecticides in guttation drops of corn seedlings obtained from coated seeds.

    PubMed

    Tapparo, Andrea; Giorio, Chiara; Marzaro, Matteo; Marton, Daniele; Soldà, Lidia; Girolami, Vincenzo

    2011-06-01

    Regarding the hypothesis that neonicotinoid insecticides used for seed coating of agricultural crops - mainly corn, sunflower and seed rape - are related to the extensive death of honey bees, the phenomenon of corn seedling guttation has been recently considered as a possible route of exposure of bees to these systemic insecticides. In the present study, guttation drops of corn plants obtained from commercial seeds coated with thiamethoxam, clothianidin, imidacloprid and fipronil have been analyzed by an optimized fast UHPLC-DAD procedure showing excellent detection limits and accuracy, both adequate for the purpose. The young plants grown both in pots - in greenhouse - and in open field from coated seeds, produced guttation solutions containing high levels of the neonicotinoid insecticides (up to 346 mg L(-1) for imidacloprid, 102 mg L(-1) for clothianidin and 146 mg L(-1) for thiamethoxam). These concentration levels may represent lethal doses for bees that use guttation drops as a source of water. The neonicotinoid concentrations in guttation drops progressively decrease during the first 10-15 days after the emergence of the plant from the soil. Otherwise fipronil, which is a non-systemic phenylpyrazole insecticide, was never detected into guttation drops. Current results confirm that the physiological fluids of the corn plant can effectively transfer neonicotinoid insecticides from the seed onto the surface of the leaves, where guttation drops may expose bees and other insects to elevated doses of neurotoxic insecticides.

  20. Effects of Neonicotinoids and Crop Rotation for Managing Wireworms in Wheat Crops.

    PubMed

    Esser, Aaron D; Milosavljević, Ivan; Crowder, David W

    2015-08-01

    Soil-dwelling insects are severe pests in many agroecosystems. These pests have cryptic life cycles, making sampling difficult and damage hard to anticipate. The management of soil insects is therefore often based on preventative insecticides applied at planting or cultural practices. Wireworms, the subterranean larvae of click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae), have re-emerged as problematic pests in cereal crops in the Pacific Northwestern United States. Here, we evaluated two management strategies for wireworms in long-term field experiments: 1) treating spring wheat seed with the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam and 2) replacing continuous spring wheat with a summer fallow and winter wheat rotation. Separate experiments were conducted for two wireworm species--Limonius californicus (Mannerheim) and Limonius infuscatus (Motschulsky). In the experiment with L. californicus, spring wheat yields and economic returns increased by 24-30% with neonicotinoid treatments. In contrast, in the experiment with L. infuscatus, spring wheat yields and economic returns did not increase with neonicotinoids despite an 80% reduction in wireworms. Thus, the usefulness of seed-applied neonicotinoids differed based on the wireworm species present. In experiments with both species, we detected significantly fewer wireworms with a no-till summer fallow and winter wheat rotation compared with continuous spring wheat. This suggests that switching from continuous spring wheat to a winter wheat and summer fallow rotation may aid in wireworm management. More generally, our results show that integrated management of soil-dwelling pests such as wireworms may require both preventative insecticide treatments and cultural practices.

  1. Design, multicomponent synthesis, and bioactivities of novel neonicotinoid analogues with 1,4-dihydropyridine scaffold.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenwen; Yang, Xiaobao; Chen, Weidong; Xu, Xiaoyong; Li, Lu; Zhai, Hongbin; Li, Zhong

    2010-03-10

    Novel neonicotinoid analogues bearing a 1,4-dihydropridine scaffold were designed and synthesized by multicomponent reactions (MCRs) to enhance pi-pi stacking. The synthesized compounds were identified by (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, high-resolution mass spectroscopy, and elemental analysis. Bioassay tests showed that some of them exhibited high insecticidal activities against pea aphid ( Aphis craccivora ).

  2. Widespread occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in streams in a high corn and soybean producing region, USA.

    PubMed

    Hladik, Michelle L; Kolpin, Dana W; Kuivila, Kathryn M

    2014-10-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are of environmental concern, but little is known about their occurrence in surface water. An area of intense corn and soybean production in the Midwestern United States was chosen to study this issue because of the high agricultural use of neonicotinoids via both seed treatments and other forms of application. Water samples were collected from nine stream sites during the 2013 growing season. The results for the 79 water samples documented similar patterns among sites for both frequency of detection and concentration (maximum:median) with clothianidin (75%, 257 ng/L:8.2 ng/L) > thiamethoxam (47%, 185 ng/L:<2 ng/L) > imidacloprid (23%, 42.7 ng/L: <2 ng/L). Neonicotinoids were detected at all nine sites sampled even though the basin areas spanned four orders of magnitude. Temporal patterns in concentrations reveal pulses of neonicotinoids associated with rainfall events during crop planting, suggesting seed treatments as their likely source.

  3. Structural and Functional Insights into Small, Glutamine-Rich, Tetratricopeptide Repeat Protein Alpha

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Joanna D.; Thapaliya, Arjun; Martínez-Lumbreras, Santiago; Krysztofinska, Ewelina M.; Isaacson, Rivka L.

    2015-01-01

    The small glutamine-rich, tetratricopeptide repeat-containing protein alpha (SGTA) is an emerging player in the quality control of secretory and membrane proteins mislocalized to the cytosol, with established roles in tail-anchored (TA) membrane protein biogenesis. SGTA consists of three structural domains with individual functions, an N-terminal dimerization domain that assists protein sorting pathways, a central tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain that mediates interactions with heat-shock proteins, proteasomal, and hormonal receptors, and viral proteins, and a C-terminal glutamine rich region that binds hydrophobic substrates. SGTA has been linked to viral lifecycles and hormone receptor signaling, with implications in the pathogenesis of various disease states. Thus far, a range of biophysical techniques have been employed to characterize SGTA structure in some detail, and to investigate its interactions with binding partners in different biological contexts. A complete description of SGTA structure, together with further investigation into its function as a co-chaperone involved quality control, could provide us with useful insights into its role in maintaining cellular proteostasis, and broaden our understanding of mechanisms underlying associated pathologies. This review describes how some structural features of SGTA have been elucidated, and what this has uncovered about its cellular functions. A brief background on the structure and function of SGTA is given, highlighting its importance to biomedicine and related fields. The current level of knowledge and what remains to be understood about the structure and function of SGTA is summarized, discussing the potential direction of future research. PMID:26734616

  4. Insights into the role of protein molecule size and structure on interfacial properties using designed sequences

    PubMed Central

    Dwyer, Mirjana Dimitrijev; He, Lizhong; James, Michael; Nelson, Andrew; Middelberg, Anton P. J.

    2013-01-01

    Mixtures of a large, structured protein with a smaller, unstructured component are inherently complex and hard to characterize at interfaces, leading to difficulties in understanding their interfacial behaviours and, therefore, formulation optimization. Here, we investigated interfacial properties of such a mixed system. Simplicity was achieved using designed sequences in which chemical differences had been eliminated to isolate the effect of molecular size and structure, namely a short unstructured peptide (DAMP1) and its longer structured protein concatamer (DAMP4). Interfacial tension measurements suggested that the size and bulk structuring of the larger molecule led to much slower adsorption kinetics. Neutron reflectometry at equilibrium revealed that both molecules adsorbed as a monolayer to the air–water interface (indicating unfolding of DAMP4 to give a chain of four connected DAMP1 molecules), with a concentration ratio equal to that in the bulk. This suggests the overall free energy of adsorption is equal despite differences in size and bulk structure. At small interfacial extensional strains, only molecule packing influenced the stress response. At larger strains, the effect of size became apparent, with DAMP4 registering a higher stress response and interfacial elasticity. When both components were present at the interface, most stress-dissipating movement was achieved by DAMP1. This work thus provides insights into the role of proteins' molecular size and structure on their interfacial properties, and the designed sequences introduced here can serve as effective tools for interfacial studies of proteins and polymers. PMID:23303222

  5. Insights into Medium-chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Structure by Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Bonito, Cátia A; Leandro, Paula; Ventura, Fátima V; Guedes, Rita C

    2016-08-01

    The medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) is a mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes the first step of mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation (mFAO) pathway. Its deficiency is the most common genetic disorder of mFAO. Many of the MCAD disease-causing variants, including the most common p.K304E variant, show loss of function due to protein misfolding. Herein, we used molecular dynamics simulations to provide insights into the structural stability and dynamic behavior of MCAD wild-type (MCADwt) and validate a structure that would allow reliable new studies on its variants. Our results revealed that in both proteins the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) has an important structural role on the tetramer stability and also in maintaining the volume of the enzyme catalytic pockets. We confirmed that the presence of substrate changes the dynamics of the catalytic pockets and increases FAD affinity. A comparison between the porcine MCADwt (pMCADwt) and human MCADwt (hMCADwt) structures revealed that both proteins are essentially similar and that the reversion of the double mutant E376G/T255E of hMCAD enzyme does not affect the structure of the protein neither its behavior in simulation. Our validated hMCADwt structure is crucial for complementing and accelerating the experimental studies aiming for the discovery and development of potential stabilizers of MCAD variants as candidates for the treatment of MCAD deficiency (MCADD).

  6. Mesophile versus thermophile: insights into the structural mechanisms of kinetic stability.

    PubMed

    Kelch, Brian A; Agard, David A

    2007-07-20

    Obtaining detailed knowledge of folding intermediate and transition state (TS) structures is critical for understanding protein folding mechanisms. Comparisons between proteins adapted to survive extreme temperatures with their mesophilic homologs are likely to provide valuable information on the interactions relevant to the unfolding transition. For kinetically stable proteins such as alpha-lytic protease (alphaLP) and its family members, their large free energy barrier to unfolding is central to their biological function. To gain new insights into the mechanisms that underlie kinetic stability, we have determined the structure and high temperature unfolding kinetics of a thermophilic homolog, Thermobifida fusca protease A (TFPA). These studies led to the identification of a specific structural element bridging the N and C-terminal domains of the protease (the "domain bridge") proposed to be associated with the enhanced high temperature kinetic stability in TFPA. Mutagenesis experiments exchanging the TFPA domain bridge into alphaLP validate this hypothesis and illustrate key structural details that contribute to TFPA's increased kinetic thermostability. These results lead to an updated model for the unfolding transition state structure for this important class of proteases in which domain bridge undocking and unfolding occurs at or before the TS. The domain bridge appears to be a structural element that can modulate the degree of kinetic stability of the different members of this class of proteases.

  7. Protein Fibrillar Nanopolymers: Molecular-Level Insights into Their Structural, Physical and Mechanical Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trusova, Valeriya M.

    2015-09-01

    Amyloid fibrils represent a generic class of mechanically strong and stable biomaterials with extremely advantageous properties. Although amyloids were initially associated only with severe neurological disorders, the role of these structures nowadays is shifting from health debilitating to highly beneficial both in biomedical and technological aspects. Intensive involvement of fibrillar assemblies into the wide range of pathogenic and functional processes strongly necessitate the molecular level characterization of the structural, physical and elastic features of protein nanofibrils. In the present contribution, we made an attempt to highlight the up-to-date progress in the understanding of amyloid properties from the polymer physics standpoint. The fundamental insights into protein fibril behavior are essential not only for development of therapeutic strategies to combat the protein misfolding disorders but also for rational and precise design of novel biodegradable protein-based nanopolymers.

  8. Structural insight into the TRIAP1/PRELI-like domain family of mitochondrial phospholipid transfer complexes.

    PubMed

    Miliara, Xeni; Garnett, James A; Tatsuta, Takashi; Abid Ali, Ferdos; Baldie, Heather; Pérez-Dorado, Inmaculada; Simpson, Peter; Yague, Ernesto; Langer, Thomas; Matthews, Stephen

    2015-07-01

    The composition of the mitochondrial membrane is important for its architecture and proper function. Mitochondria depend on a tightly regulated supply of phospholipid via intra-mitochondrial synthesis and by direct import from the endoplasmic reticulum. The Ups1/PRELI-like family together with its mitochondrial chaperones (TRIAP1/Mdm35) represent a unique heterodimeric lipid transfer system that is evolutionary conserved from yeast to man. Work presented here provides new atomic resolution insight into the function of a human member of this system. Crystal structures of free TRIAP1 and the TRIAP1-SLMO1 complex reveal how the PRELI domain is chaperoned during import into the intermembrane mitochondrial space. The structural resemblance of PRELI-like domain of SLMO1 with that of mammalian phoshatidylinositol transfer proteins (PITPs) suggest that they share similar lipid transfer mechanisms, in which access to a buried phospholipid-binding cavity is regulated by conformationally adaptable loops.

  9. New insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

    PubMed

    Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Prions are the etiological agent of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders. Prions are due to post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein leading to the formation of a β-sheet enriched conformer with altered biochemical properties. The molecular events causing prion formation in sporadic prion diseases are still elusive. Recently, we published a research elucidating the contribution of major structural determinants and environmental factors in prion protein folding and stability. Our study highlighted the crucial role of octarepeats in stabilizing prion protein; the presence of a highly enthalpically stable intermediate state in prion-susceptible species; and the role of disulfide bridge in preserving native fold thus avoiding the misfolding to a β-sheet enriched isoform. Taking advantage from these findings, in this work we present new insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

  10. Structural insights on two hypothetical secretion chaperones from Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri.

    PubMed

    Fattori, Juliana; Prando, Alessandra; Assis, Leandro H P; Aparicio, Ricardo; Tasic, Ljubica

    2011-06-01

    Several Gram-negative bacterial pathogens have developed type III secretion systems (T3SSs) to deliver virulence proteins directly into eukaryotic cells in a process essential for many diseases. The type III secretion processes require customized chaperones with high specificity for binding partners, thus providing the secretion to occur. Due to the very low sequence similarities among secretion chaperones, annotation and discrimination of a great majority of them is extremely difficult and a task with low scores even if genes are encountered that codify for small (<20 kDa) proteins with low pI and a tendency to dimerise. Concerning about this, herein, we present structural features on two hypothetical T3SSs chaperones belonging to plant pathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri and suggest how low resolution models based on Small Angle X-ray Scattering patterns can provide new structural insights that could be very helpful in their analysis and posterior classification.

  11. Experimental Insights into the Origin of Defect-Structured Hibonites Found in Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Han. J.; Keller, L. P.; Danielson, L. R.

    2016-01-01

    Hibonite (CaAl12O19) is a primary, highly refractory phase occurring in many Ca-Al-rich inclusions (CAIs). Previous microstructural studies of hibonite in CAIs and their Wark-Lovering (WL) rims showed the presence of numerous stacking defects in hibonites. These defects are interpreted as the modification of the stacking sequences of spinel and Ca-containing blocks within the ideal hexagonal hibonite structure due to the presence of wider spinel blocks [3], as shown by experimental studies of reaction-sintered compounds in the CaO-Al2O3 system. We performed a series of experiments in the CaO-Al2O3-MgO system in order to provide additional in-sights into the formation processes and conditions of defect-structured hibonites found in meteorites.

  12. Structural Insights into the Anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Activity of Ceftobiprole*

    PubMed Central

    Lovering, Andrew L.; Gretes, Michael C.; Safadi, Susan S.; Danel, Franck; de Castro, Liza; Page, Malcolm G. P.; Strynadka, Natalie C. J.

    2012-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an antibiotic-resistant strain of S. aureus afflicting hospitals and communities worldwide. Of greatest concern is its development of resistance to current last-line-of-defense antibiotics; new therapeutics are urgently needed to combat this pathogen. Ceftobiprole is a recently developed, latest generation cephalosporin and has been the first to show activity against MRSA by inhibiting essential peptidoglycan transpeptidases, including the β-lactam resistance determinant PBP2a, from MRSA. Here we present the structure of the complex of ceftobiprole bound to PBP2a. This structure provides the first look at the molecular details of an effective β-lactam-resistant PBP interaction, leading to new insights into the mechanism of ceftobiprole efficacy against MRSA. PMID:22815485

  13. Crystal Structures of Human and Staphylococcus aureus Pyruvate Carboxylase and Molecular Insights into the Carboxyltransfer Reaction

    SciTech Connect

    Xiang,S.; Tong, L.

    2008-01-01

    Pyruvate carboxylase (PC) catalyzes the biotin-dependent production of oxaloacetate and has important roles in gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, insulin secretion and other cellular processes. PC contains the biotin carboxylase (BC), carboxyltransferase (CT) and biotin-carboxyl carrier protein (BCCP) domains. We report here the crystal structures at 2.8-Angstroms resolution of full-length PC from Staphylococcus aureus and the C-terminal region (missing only the BC domain) of human PC. A conserved tetrameric association is observed for both enzymes, and our structural and mutagenesis studies reveal a previously uncharacterized domain, the PC tetramerization (PT) domain, which is important for oligomerization. A BCCP domain is located in the active site of the CT domain, providing the first molecular insights into how biotin participates in the carboxyltransfer reaction. There are dramatic differences in domain positions in the monomer and the organization of the tetramer between these enzymes and the PC from Rhizobium etli.

  14. Structural insight into the TRIAP1/PRELI-like domain family of mitochondrial phospholipid transfer complexes

    PubMed Central

    Miliara, Xeni; Garnett, James A; Tatsuta, Takashi; Abid Ali, Ferdos; Baldie, Heather; Pérez-Dorado, Inmaculada; Simpson, Peter; Yague, Ernesto; Langer, Thomas; Matthews, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    The composition of the mitochondrial membrane is important for its architecture and proper function. Mitochondria depend on a tightly regulated supply of phospholipid via intra-mitochondrial synthesis and by direct import from the endoplasmic reticulum. The Ups1/PRELI-like family together with its mitochondrial chaperones (TRIAP1/Mdm35) represent a unique heterodimeric lipid transfer system that is evolutionary conserved from yeast to man. Work presented here provides new atomic resolution insight into the function of a human member of this system. Crystal structures of free TRIAP1 and the TRIAP1–SLMO1 complex reveal how the PRELI domain is chaperoned during import into the intermembrane mitochondrial space. The structural resemblance of PRELI-like domain of SLMO1 with that of mammalian phoshatidylinositol transfer proteins (PITPs) suggest that they share similar lipid transfer mechanisms, in which access to a buried phospholipid-binding cavity is regulated by conformationally adaptable loops. PMID:26071602

  15. Structural insight into the transglycosylation step of bacterial cell-wall biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Lovering, Andrew L; de Castro, Liza H; Lim, Daniel; Strynadka, Natalie C J

    2007-03-09

    Peptidoglycan glycosyltransferases (GTs) catalyze the polymerization step of cell-wall biosynthesis, are membrane-bound, and are highly conserved across all bacteria. Long considered the "holy grail" of antibiotic research, they represent an essential and easily accessible drug target for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. We have determined the 2.8 angstrom structure of a bifunctional cell-wall cross-linking enzyme, including its transpeptidase and GT domains, both unliganded and complexed with the substrate analog moenomycin. The peptidoglycan GTs adopt a fold distinct from those of other GT classes. The structures give insight into critical features of the catalytic mechanism and key interactions required for enzyme inhibition.

  16. Neonicotinoid contamination of global surface waters and associated risk to aquatic invertebrates: a review.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Christy A; Mineau, Pierre; Devries, James H; Sanchez-Bayo, Francisco; Liess, Matthias; Cavallaro, Michael C; Liber, Karsten

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoids, broad-spectrum systemic insecticides, are the fastest growing class of insecticides worldwide and are now registered for use on hundreds of field crops in over 120 different countries. The environmental profile of this class of pesticides indicate that they are persistent, have high leaching and runoff potential, and are highly toxic to a wide range of invertebrates. Therefore, neonicotinoids represent a significant risk to surface waters and the diverse aquatic and terrestrial fauna that these ecosystems support. This review synthesizes the current state of knowledge on the reported concentrations of neonicotinoids in surface waters from 29 studies in 9 countries world-wide in tandem with published data on their acute and chronic toxicity to 49 species of aquatic insects and crustaceans spanning 12 invertebrate orders. Strong evidence exists that water-borne neonicotinoid exposures are frequent, long-term and at levels (geometric means=0.13μg/L (averages) and 0.63μg/L (maxima)) which commonly exceed several existing water quality guidelines. Imidacloprid is by far the most widely studied neonicotinoid (66% of the 214 toxicity tests reviewed) with differences in sensitivity among aquatic invertebrate species ranging several orders of magnitude; other neonicotinoids display analogous modes of action and similar toxicities, although comparative data are limited. Of the species evaluated, insects belonging to the orders Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera and Diptera appear to be the most sensitive, while those of Crustacea (although not universally so) are less sensitive. In particular, the standard test species Daphnia magna appears to be very tolerant, with 24-96hour LC50 values exceeding 100,000μg/L (geometric mean>44,000μg/L), which is at least 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than the geometric mean of all other invertebrate species tested. Overall, neonicotinoids can exert adverse effects on survival, growth, emergence, mobility, and behavior of many

  17. Structural Insights into Dissimilatory Sulfite Reductases: Structure of Desulforubidin from Desulfomicrobium Norvegicum

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Tânia F.; Franklin, Edward; Afonso, José P.; Khan, Amir R.; Oldham, Neil J.; Pereira, Inês A. C.; Archer, Margarida

    2011-01-01

    Dissimilatory sulfite reductases (dSiRs) are crucial enzymes in bacterial sulfur-based energy metabolism, which are likely to have been present in some of the earliest life forms on Earth. Several classes of dSiRs have been proposed on the basis of different biochemical and spectroscopic properties, but it is not clear whether this corresponds to actual physiological or structural differences. Here, we describe the first structure of a dSiR from the desulforubidin class isolated from Desulfomicrobium norvegicum. The desulforubidin (Drub) structure is assembled as α2β2γ2, in which two DsrC proteins are bound to the core [DsrA]2[DsrB]2 unit, as reported for the desulfoviridin (Dvir) structure from Desulfovibrio vulgaris. Unlike Dvir, four sirohemes and eight [4Fe–4S] clusters are present in Drub. However, the structure indicates that only two of the Drub coupled siroheme-[4Fe–4S] cofactors are catalytically active. Mass spectrometry studies of purified Drub and Dvir show that both proteins present different oligomeric complex forms that bind two, one, or no DsrC proteins, providing an explanation for conflicting spectroscopic and biochemical results in the literature, and further indicating that DsrC is not a subunit of dSiR, but rather a protein with which it interacts. PMID:21833321

  18. Neonicotinoid-contaminated puddles of water represent a risk of intoxication for honey bees.

    PubMed

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Chagnon, Madeleine; Fournier, Valérie

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, populations of honey bees and other pollinators have been reported to be in decline worldwide. A number of stressors have been identified as potential contributing factors, including the extensive prophylactic use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are highly toxic to bees, in agriculture. While multiple routes of exposure to these systemic insecticides have been documented for honey bees, contamination from puddle water has not been investigated. In this study, we used a multi-residue method based on LC-MS/MS to analyze samples of puddle water taken in the field during the planting of treated corn and one month later. If honey bees were to collect and drink water from these puddles, our results showed that they would be exposed to various agricultural pesticides. All water samples collected from corn fields were contaminated with at least one neonicotinoid compound, although most contained more than one systemic insecticide. Concentrations of neonicotinoids were higher in early spring, indicating that emission and drifting of contaminated dust during sowing raises contamination levels of puddles. Although the overall average acute risk of drinking water from puddles was relatively low, concentrations of neonicotinoids ranged from 0.01 to 63 µg/L and were sufficient to potentially elicit a wide array of sublethal effects in individuals and colony alike. Our results also suggest that risk assessment of honey bee water resources underestimates the foragers' exposure and consequently miscalculates the risk. In fact, our data shows that honey bees and native pollinators are facing unprecedented cumulative exposure to these insecticides from combined residues in pollen, nectar and water. These findings not only document the impact of this route of exposure for honey bees, they also have implications for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops for which the extensive use of neonicotinoids is currently promoted.

  19. Sensitivity of the early-life stages of freshwater mollusks to neonicotinoid and butenolide insecticides.

    PubMed

    Prosser, R S; de Solla, S R; Holman, E A M; Osborne, R; Robinson, S A; Bartlett, A J; Maisonneuve, F J; Gillis, P L

    2016-11-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides can be transported from agricultural fields, where they are used as foliar sprays or seed treatments, to surface waters by surface or sub-surface runoff. Few studies have investigated the toxicity of neonicotinoid or the related butenolide insecticides to freshwater mollusk species. The current study examined the effect of neonicotinoid and butenolide exposures to the early-life stages of the ramshorn snail, Planorbella pilsbryi, and the wavy-rayed lampmussel, Lampsilis fasciola. Juvenile P. pilsbryi were exposed to imidacloprid, clothianidin, or thiamethoxam for 7 or 28 d and mortality, growth, and biomass production were measured. The viability of larval (glochidia) L. fasciola was monitored during a 48 h exposure to six neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, acetamiprid, thiacloprid, or dinotefuran), or a butenolide (flupyradifurone). The 7-d LC50s of P. pilsbryi for imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam were ≥4000 μg/L and the 28-d LC50s were ≥182 μg/L. Growth and biomass production were considerably more sensitive endpoints than mortality with EC50s ranging from 33.2 to 122.0 μg/L. The 48-h LC50s for the viability of glochidia were ≥456 μg/L for all seven insecticides tested. Our data indicate that neonicotinoid and butenolide insecticides pose less of a hazard with respect to mortality of the two species of mollusk compared to the potential hazard to other non-target aquatic insects.

  20. Monitoring changes in Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) susceptibility to neonicotinoid insecticides in Arizona and California.

    PubMed

    Castle, S J; Prabhaker, N

    2013-06-01

    Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) biotype B is a highly prolific and polyphagous whitefly that established in much of North America during the 1980s. Neonicotinoid insecticides have been fundamental in regaining control over outbreak populations of B. tabaci, but resistance threatens their sustainability. Susceptibility of B. tabaci in the southwestern United States to four neonicotinoid insecticides varied considerably across populations within each year over a 3 yr period. Using a variability ratio of highest LC50 to lowest LC50 in field-collected whitefly adults from Arizona and California, the ranges of LC50(s) across all tests within compounds were highest to imidacloprid and lowest to thiamethoxam. Patterns of susceptibility were similar among all four neonicotinoid insecticides, but the greater variability in responses to imidacloprid and significantly higher LC50(s) attained indicated higher resistance levels to imidacloprid in all field populations. Further evidence of differential toxicities of neonicotinoids was observed in multiple tests of dinotefuran against imidacloprid-resistant lab strains that yielded significant differences in the LC50(s) of dinotefuran and imidacloprid in simultaneous bioassays. To test the possibility that resistance expression in field-collected insects was sometimes masked by stressful conditions, field strains cultured in a greenhouse without insecticide exposure produced significantly higher LC50(s) to all neonicotinoids compared with LC50(s) attained directly from the field. In harsh climates such as the American southwest, resistance expression in field-collected test insects may be strongly influenced by environmental stresses such as high temperatures, overcrowding, and declining host plant quality.

  1. Insect nicotinic receptor interactions in vivo with neonicotinoid, organophosphorus, and methylcarbamate insecticides and a synergist

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Xusheng; Xia, Shanshan; Durkin, Kathleen A.; Casida, John E.

    2013-01-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor (nAChR) is the principal insecticide target. Nearly half of the insecticides by number and world market value are neonicotinoids acting as nAChR agonists or organophosphorus (OP) and methylcarbamate (MC) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors. There was no previous evidence for in vivo interactions of the nAChR agonists and AChE inhibitors. The nitromethyleneimidazole (NMI) analog of imidacloprid, a highly potent neonicotinoid, was used here as a radioligand, uniquely allowing for direct measurements of house fly (Musca domestica) head nAChR in vivo interactions with various nicotinic agents. Nine neonicotinoids inhibited house fly brain nAChR [3H]NMI binding in vivo, corresponding to their in vitro potency and the poisoning signs or toxicity they produced in intrathoracically treated house flies. Interestingly, nine topically applied OP or MC insecticides or analogs also gave similar results relative to in vivo nAChR binding inhibition and toxicity, but now also correlating with in vivo brain AChE inhibition, indicating that ACh is the ultimate OP- or MC-induced nAChR active agent. These findings on [3H]NMI binding in house fly brain membranes validate the nAChR in vivo target for the neonicotinoids, OPs and MCs. As an exception, the remarkably potent OP neonicotinoid synergist, O-propyl O-(2-propynyl) phenylphosphonate, inhibited nAChR in vivo without the corresponding AChE inhibition, possibly via a reactive ketene metabolite reacting with a critical nucleophile in the cytochrome P450 active site and the nAChR NMI binding site. PMID:24108354

  2. Neonicotinoid-Contaminated Puddles of Water Represent a Risk of Intoxication for Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Chagnon, Madeleine; Fournier, Valérie

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, populations of honey bees and other pollinators have been reported to be in decline worldwide. A number of stressors have been identified as potential contributing factors, including the extensive prophylactic use of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are highly toxic to bees, in agriculture. While multiple routes of exposure to these systemic insecticides have been documented for honey bees, contamination from puddle water has not been investigated. In this study, we used a multi-residue method based on LC-MS/MS to analyze samples of puddle water taken in the field during the planting of treated corn and one month later. If honey bees were to collect and drink water from these puddles, our results showed that they would be exposed to various agricultural pesticides. All water samples collected from corn fields were contaminated with at least one neonicotinoid compound, although most contained more than one systemic insecticide. Concentrations of neonicotinoids were higher in early spring, indicating that emission and drifting of contaminated dust during sowing raises contamination levels of puddles. Although the overall average acute risk of drinking water from puddles was relatively low, concentrations of neonicotinoids ranged from 0.01 to 63 µg/L and were sufficient to potentially elicit a wide array of sublethal effects in individuals and colony alike. Our results also suggest that risk assessment of honey bee water resources underestimates the foragers' exposure and consequently miscalculates the risk. In fact, our data shows that honey bees and native pollinators are facing unprecedented cumulative exposure to these insecticides from combined residues in pollen, nectar and water. These findings not only document the impact of this route of exposure for honey bees, they also have implications for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops for which the extensive use of neonicotinoids is currently promoted. PMID:25438051

  3. Structural insights into 5' flap DNA unwinding and incision by the human FAN1 dimer.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qi; Xue, Xiaoyu; Longerich, Simonne; Sung, Patrick; Xiong, Yong

    2014-12-11

    Human FANCD2-associated nuclease 1 (FAN1) is a DNA structure-specific nuclease involved in the processing of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). FAN1 maintains genomic stability and prevents tissue decline in multiple organs, yet it confers ICL-induced anti-cancer drug resistance in several cancer subtypes. Here we report three crystal structures of human FAN1 in complex with a 5' flap DNA substrate, showing that two FAN1 molecules form a head-to-tail dimer to locate the lesion, orient the DNA and unwind a 5' flap for subsequent incision. Biochemical experiments further validate our model for FAN1 action, as structure-informed mutations that disrupt protein dimerization, substrate orientation or flap unwinding impair the structure-specific nuclease activity. Our work elucidates essential aspects of FAN1-DNA lesion recognition and a unique mechanism of incision. These structural insights shed light on the cellular mechanisms underlying organ degeneration protection and cancer drug resistance mediated by FAN1.

  4. Insights into the Mechanism of Type I Dehydroquinate Dehydratases from Structures of Reaction Intermediates

    SciTech Connect

    Light, Samuel H.; Minasov, George; Shuvalova, Ludmilla; Duban, Mark-Eugene; Caffrey, Michael; Anderson, Wayne F.; Lavie, Arnon

    2012-02-27

    The biosynthetic shikimate pathway consists of seven enzymes that catalyze sequential reactions to generate chorismate, a critical branch point in the synthesis of the aromatic amino acids. The third enzyme in the pathway, dehydroquinate dehydratase (DHQD), catalyzes the dehydration of 3-dehydroquinate to 3-dehydroshikimate. We present three crystal structures of the type I DHQD from the intestinal pathogens Clostridium difficile and Salmonella enterica. Structures of the enzyme with substrate and covalent pre- and post-dehydration reaction intermediates provide snapshots of successive steps along the type I DHQD-catalyzed reaction coordinate. These structures reveal that the position of the substrate within the active site does not appreciably change upon Schiff base formation. The intermediate state structures reveal a reaction state-dependent behavior of His-143 in which the residue adopts a conformation proximal to the site of catalytic dehydration only when the leaving group is present. We speculate that His-143 is likely to assume differing catalytic roles in each of its observed conformations. One conformation of His-143 positions the residue for the formation/hydrolysis of the covalent Schiff base intermediates, whereas the other conformation positions the residue for a role in the catalytic dehydration event. The fact that the shikimate pathway is absent from humans makes the enzymes of the pathway potential targets for the development of non-toxic antimicrobials. The structures and mechanistic insight presented here may inform the design of type I DHQD enzyme inhibitors.

  5. Structural insights into 5‧ flap DNA unwinding and incision by the human FAN1 dimer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Qi; Xue, Xiaoyu; Longerich, Simonne; Sung, Patrick; Xiong, Yong

    2014-12-01

    Human FANCD2-associated nuclease 1 (FAN1) is a DNA structure-specific nuclease involved in the processing of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). FAN1 maintains genomic stability and prevents tissue decline in multiple organs, yet it confers ICL-induced anti-cancer drug resistance in several cancer subtypes. Here we report three crystal structures of human FAN1 in complex with a 5‧ flap DNA substrate, showing that two FAN1 molecules form a head-to-tail dimer to locate the lesion, orient the DNA and unwind a 5‧ flap for subsequent incision. Biochemical experiments further validate our model for FAN1 action, as structure-informed mutations that disrupt protein dimerization, substrate orientation or flap unwinding impair the structure-specific nuclease activity. Our work elucidates essential aspects of FAN1-DNA lesion recognition and a unique mechanism of incision. These structural insights shed light on the cellular mechanisms underlying organ degeneration protection and cancer drug resistance mediated by FAN1.

  6. An Insight into the Pharmacophores of Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors from Synthetic and Crystal Structural Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Chen,G.; Wang, H.; Robinson, H.; Cai, J.; Wan, Y.; Ke, H.

    2008-01-01

    Selective inhibitors of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) have been used as drugs for treatment of male erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension. An insight into the pharmacophores of PDE5 inhibitors is essential for development of second generation of PDE5 inhibitors, but has not been completely illustrated. Here we report the synthesis of a new class of the sildenafil derivatives and a crystal structure of the PDE5 catalytic domain in complex with 5-(2-ethoxy-5-(sulfamoyl)-3-thienyl)-1-methyl-3-propyl-1, 6-dihydro-7H-pyrazolo[4, 3-d]pyrimidin-7-one (12). Inhibitor 12 induces conformational change of the H-loop (residues 660-683), which is different from any of the known PDE5 structures. The pyrazolopyrimidinone groups of 12 and sildenafil are well superimposed, but their sulfonamide groups show a positional difference of as much as 1.5 Angstroms . The structure-activity analysis suggests that a small hydrophobic pocket and the H-loop of PDE5 are important for the inhibitor affinity, in addition to two common elements for binding of almost all the PDE inhibitors: the stack against the phenylalanine and the hydrogen bond with the invariant glutamine. However, the PDE5-12 structure does not provide a full explanation to affinity changes of the inhibitors. Thus alternatives such as conformational change of the M-loop are open and further structural study is required.

  7. Crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana provides insights into its product specificity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weiwei; Wang, Wenhe; Liu, Zihe; Xie, Yongchao; Wang, Hao; Mu, Yajuan; Huang, Yao; Feng, Yue

    2016-09-16

    Specifier proteins are important components of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system, which mediate plant defense against herbivory and pathogen attacks. Upon tissue disruption, glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to instable aglucones by myrosinases, and then aglucones will rearrange to form defensive isothiocyanates. Specifier proteins can redirect this reaction to form other products, such as simple nitriles, epithionitriles and organic thiocyanates instead of isothiocyanates based on the side chain structure of glucosinolate and the type of the specifier proteins. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism underlying the different product spectrums of various specifier proteins was not fully understood. Here in this study, we solved the crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtESP) at 2.3 Å resolution. Structural comparisons with the previously solved structure of thiocyanate forming protein, TFP from Thlaspi arvense (TaTFP) reveal that AtESP shows a dimerization pattern different from TaTFP. Moreover, AtESP harbors a slightly larger active site pocket than TaTFP and several residues around the active site are different between the two proteins, which might account for the different product spectrums of the two proteins. Together, our structural study provides important insights into the molecular mechanisms of specifier proteins and shed light on the basis of their different product spectrums.

  8. Structural insights into the reaction mechanism of S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine hydrolase

    PubMed Central

    Kusakabe, Yoshio; Ishihara, Masaaki; Umeda, Tomonobu; Kuroda, Daisuke; Nakanishi, Masayuki; Kitade, Yukio; Gouda, Hiroaki; Nakamura, Kazuo T.; Tanaka, Nobutada

    2015-01-01

    S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine hydrolase (SAH hydrolase or SAHH) is a highly conserved enzyme that catalyses the reversible hydrolysis of SAH to L-homocysteine (HCY) and adenosine (ADO). High-resolution crystal structures have been reported for bacterial and plant SAHHs, but not mammalian SAHHs. Here, we report the first high-resolution crystal structure of mammalian SAHH (mouse SAHH) in complex with a reaction product (ADO) and with two reaction intermediate analogues—3’-keto-aristeromycin (3KA) and noraristeromycin (NRN)—at resolutions of 1.55, 1.55, and 1.65 Å. Each of the three structures constitutes a structural snapshot of one of the last three steps of the five-step process of SAH hydrolysis by SAHH. In the NRN complex, a water molecule, which is an essential substrate for ADO formation, is structurally identified for the first time as the candidate donor in a Michael addition by SAHH to the 3’-keto-4’,5’-didehydroadenosine reaction intermediate. The presence of the water molecule is consistent with the reaction mechanism proposed by Palmer & Abeles in 1979. These results provide insights into the reaction mechanism of the SAHH enzyme. PMID:26573329

  9. Structural Insight into the Dioxygenation of Nitroarene Compounds: the Crystal Structure of Nitrobenzene Dioxygenase

    SciTech Connect

    Friemann, Rosmarie; Ivkovic-Jensen, Maja M.; Lessner, Daniel J.; Yu, Chi-Li; Gibson, David T.; Parales, Rebecca E.; Eklund, Hans; Ramaswamy, S.

    2010-07-19

    Nitroaromatic compounds are used extensively in many industrial processes and have been released into the environment where they are considered environmental pollutants. Nitroaromatic compounds, in general, are resistant to oxidative attack due to the electron-withdrawing nature of the nitro groups and the stability of the benzene ring. However, the bacterium Comamonas sp. strain JS765 can grow with nitrobenzene as a sole source of carbon, nitrogen and energy. Biodegradation is initiated by the nitrobenzene dioxygenase (NBDO) system. We have determined the structure of NBDO, which has a hetero-hexameric structure similar to that of several other Rieske non-heme iron dioxygenases. The catalytic subunit contains a Rieske iron-sulfur center and an active-site mononuclear iron atom. The structures of complexes with substrates nitrobenzene and 3-nitrotoluene reveal the structural basis for its activity with nitroarenes. The substrate pocket contains an asparagine residue that forms a hydrogen bond to the nitro-group of the substrate, and orients the substrate in relation to the active-site mononuclear iron atom, positioning the molecule for oxidation at the nitro-substituted carbon.

  10. Further insights on the French WISC-IV factor structure through Bayesian structural equation modeling.

    PubMed

    Golay, Philippe; Reverte, Isabelle; Rossier, Jérôme; Favez, Nicolas; Lecerf, Thierry

    2013-06-01

    The interpretation of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children--Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) is based on a 4-factor model, which is only partially compatible with the mainstream Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) model of intelligence measurement. The structure of cognitive batteries is frequently analyzed via exploratory factor analysis and/or confirmatory factor analysis. With classical confirmatory factor analysis, almost all cross-loadings between latent variables and measures are fixed to zero in order to allow the model to be identified. However, inappropriate zero cross-loadings can contribute to poor model fit, distorted factors, and biased factor correlations; most important, they do not necessarily faithfully reflect theory. To deal with these methodological and theoretical limitations, we used a new statistical approach, Bayesian structural equation modeling (BSEM), among a sample of 249 French-speaking Swiss children (8-12 years). With BSEM, zero-fixed cross-loadings between latent variables and measures are replaced by approximate zeros, based on informative, small-variance priors. Results indicated that a direct hierarchical CHC-based model with 5 factors plus a general intelligence factor better represented the structure of the WISC-IV than did the 4-factor structure and the higher order models. Because a direct hierarchical CHC model was more adequate, it was concluded that the general factor should be considered as a breadth rather than a superordinate factor. Because it was possible for us to estimate the influence of each of the latent variables on the 15 subtest scores, BSEM allowed improvement of the understanding of the structure of intelligence tests and the clinical interpretation of the subtest scores.

  11. Understanding the structural setting in the Southern Apennines (Italy): insight from Gravity Gradient Tensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedi, Maurizio; Ferranti, Luigi; Florio, Giovanni; Giori, Italiano; Italiano, Francesco

    2005-03-01

    The Lucania Apennines form the frontal part of the Apennines in Southern Italy. This orogenic belt was formed in response to late Miocene-Early Pleistocene shortening and allochthon emplacement toward the northeast, and was subsequently affected by extensional faulting which migrated to northeast ahead of the thrust system. As a result, contraction structures are found associated to Pliocene-Early Pleistocene thrust-top basins in the NE part of the area, whereas extensional faults shape Middle Pleistocene-Holocene basin on the SW sector. The main structural grain of the belt is NW-SE, but E-W structures are widespread in the area as a result of phases of non-coaxial thrusting and strike-slip faulting. The analysis, one by one, of the components of the Gravity Gradient Tensor (GGT) has proved to yield a fine image of the structural setting of the investigated area. GGT is a second rank tensor containing the second spatial derivatives of the gravity potential and in this paper is used instead than the more traditional gravity data. The Tzz component allows an accurate description of the location and of the shape of basins and other structures, but different components of the GGT provide even more detailed insights for such structures. In particular, we found that the Tzy and Tyy locate well those structures trending closer to the E-W direction for both thrust-top and extensional basins, and their termination against the main NW-SE structures. The combined use of components of GGT provides a finer definition of the anomaly sources particularly if a good knowledge of their strike and depth is independently estimated with other geological and geophysical investigations.

  12. Structural Insights into Viral Determinants of Nematode Mediated Grapevine fanleaf virus Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Schellenberger, Pascale; Sauter, Claude; Lorber, Bernard; Bron, Patrick; Trapani, Stefano; Bergdoll, Marc; Marmonier, Aurélie; Schmitt-Keichinger, Corinne; Lemaire, Olivier; Demangeat, Gérard; Ritzenthaler, Christophe

    2011-01-01

    Many animal and plant viruses rely on vectors for their transmission from host to host. Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV), a picorna-like virus from plants, is transmitted specifically by the ectoparasitic nematode Xiphinema index. The icosahedral capsid of GFLV, which consists of 60 identical coat protein subunits (CP), carries the determinants of this specificity. Here, we provide novel insight into GFLV transmission by nematodes through a comparative structural and functional analysis of two GFLV variants. We isolated a mutant GFLV strain (GFLV-TD) poorly transmissible by nematodes, and showed that the transmission defect is due to a glycine to aspartate mutation at position 297 (Gly297Asp) in the CP. We next determined the crystal structures of the wild-type GFLV strain F13 at 3.0 Å and of GFLV-TD at 2.7 Å resolution. The Gly297Asp mutation mapped to an exposed loop at the outer surface of the capsid and did not affect the conformation of the assembled capsid, nor of individual CP molecules. The loop is part of a positively charged pocket that includes a previously identified determinant of transmission. We propose that this pocket is a ligand-binding site with essential function in GFLV transmission by X. index. Our data suggest that perturbation of the electrostatic landscape of this pocket affects the interaction of the virion with specific receptors of the nematode's feeding apparatus, and thereby severely diminishes its transmission efficiency. These data provide a first structural insight into the interactions between a plant virus and a nematode vector. PMID:21625570

  13. Structural Insight into Anaphase Promoting Complex 3 Structure and Docking with a Natural Inhibitory Compound

    PubMed Central

    Rahimi, Hamzeh; Shokrgozar, Mohammad Ali; Madadkar-Sobhani, Armin; Mahdian, Reza; Foroumadi, Alireza; Karimipoor, Morteza

    2017-01-01

    Background: Anaphase promoting complex (APC) is the biggest Cullin-RING E3 ligase and is very important in cell cycle control; many anti-cancer agents target this. APC controls the onset of chromosome separation and mitotic exit through securin and cyclin B degradation, respectively. Its APC3 subunit identifies the APC activators-Cdh1 and Cdc20. Materials and Methods: The structural model of the APC3 subunit of APC was developed by means of computational techniques; the binding of a natural inhibitory compound to APC3 was also investigated. Results: It was found that APC3 structure consists of numerous helices organized in anti-parallel and the overall model is superhelical of tetratrico-peptide repeat (TPR) domains. Furthermore, binding pocket of the natural inhibitory compound as APC3 inhibitor was shown. Conclusion: The findings are beneficial to understand the mechanism of the APC activation and design inhibitory compounds.

  14. Crystal structures of Ophiostoma piceae sterol esterase: structural insights into activation mechanism and product release.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Fernández, Javier; Vaquero, María Eugenia; Prieto, Alicia; Barriuso, Jorge; Martínez, María Jesús; Hermoso, Juan A

    2014-09-01

    Sterol esterases are able to efficiently hydrolyze both sterol esters and triglycerides and to carry out synthesis reactions in the presence of organic solvents. Their high versatility makes them excellent candidates for biotechnological purposes. Sterol esterase from fungus Ophiostoma piceae (OPE) belongs to the family abH03.01 of the Candida rugosa lipase-like proteins. Crystal structures of OPE were solved in this study for the closed and open conformations. Enzyme activation involves a large displacement of the conserved lid, structural rearrangements of loop α16-α17, and formation of a dimer with a large opening. Three PEG molecules are placed in the active site, mimicking chains of the triglyceride substrate, demonstrating the position of the oxyanion hole and the three pockets that accommodate the sn-1, sn-2 and sn-3 fatty acids chains. One of them is an internal tunnel, connecting the active center with the outer surface of the enzyme 30 Å far from the catalytic Ser220. Based on our structural and biochemical results we propose a mechanism by which a great variety of different substrates can be hydrolyzed in OPE paving the way for the construction of new variants to improve the catalytic properties of these enzymes and their biotechnological applications.

  15. Structural conversion of the transformer protein RfaH: new insights derived from protein structure prediction and molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Balasco, Nicole; Barone, Daniela; Vitagliano, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    Recent structural investigations have shown that the C-terminal domain (CTD) of the transcription factor RfaH undergoes unique structural modifications that have a profound impact into its functional properties. These modifications cause a complete change in RfaH(CTD) topology that converts from an α-hairpin to a β-barrel fold. To gain insights into the determinants of this major structural conversion, we here performed computational studies (protein structure prediction and molecular dynamics simulations) on RfaH(CTD). Although these analyses, in line with literature data, suggest that the isolated RfaH(CTD) has a strong preference for the β-barrel fold, they also highlight that a specific region of the protein is endowed with a chameleon conformational behavior. In particular, the Leu-rich region (residues 141-145) has a good propensity to adopt both α-helical and β-structured states. Intriguingly, in the RfaH homolog NusG, whose CTD uniquely adopts the β-barrel fold, the corresponding region is rich in residues as Val or Ile that present a strong preference for the β-structure. On this basis, we suggest that the presence of this Leu-rich element in RfaH(CTD) may be responsible for the peculiar structural behavior of the domain. The analysis of the sequences of RfaH family (PfamA code PF02357) unraveled that other members potentially share the structural properties of RfaH(CTD). These observations suggest that the unusual conformational behavior of RfaH(CTD) may be rare but not unique.

  16. Crystal structure of a TSH receptor monoclonal antibody: insight into Graves' disease pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Rong; Hubbard, Paul A; Salazar, Larry M; McLachlan, Sandra M; Murali, Ramachandran; Rapoport, Basil

    2015-01-01

    The TSH receptor (TSHR) A-subunit is more effective than the holoreceptor in inducing thyroid-stimulating antibodies (TSAb) that cause Graves' disease. A puzzling phenomenon is that 2 recombinant, eukaryotic forms of A-subunits (residues 22-289), termed active and inactive, are recognized mutually exclusively by pathogenic TSAb and mouse monoclonal antibody 3BD10, respectively. Understanding the structural difference between these TSHR A-subunit forms could provide insight into Graves' disease pathogenesis. The 3-dimensional structure of the active A-subunit (in complex with a human TSAb Fab, M22) is known, but the structural difference with inactive A-subunits is unknown. We solved the 3BD10 Fab 3-dimensional crystal structure. Guided by prior knowledge of a portion of its epitope, 3BD10 docked in silico with the known active TSHR-289 monomeric structure. Because both TSAb and 3BD10 recognize the active TSHR A-subunit monomer, this form of the molecule can be excluded as the basis for the active-inactive dichotomy, suggesting, instead a role for A-subunit quaternary structure. Indeed, in silico analysis revealed that M22, but not 3BD10, bound to a TSHR-289 trimer. In contrast, 3BD10, but not M22, bound to a TSHR-289 dimer. The validity of these models is supported experimentally by the temperature-dependent balance between active and inactive TSHR-289. In summary, we provide evidence for a structural basis to explain the conformational heterogeneity of TSHR A-subunits (TSHR-289). The pathophysiologic importance of these findings is that affinity maturation of pathogenic TSAb in Graves' disease is likely to involve a trimer of the shed TSHR A-subunit.

  17. Structure and Mechanism of Isopropylmalate Dehydrogenase from Arabidopsis thaliana: INSIGHTS ON LEUCINE AND ALIPHATIC GLUCOSINOLATE BIOSYNTHESIS.

    PubMed

    Lee, Soon Goo; Nwumeh, Ronald; Jez, Joseph M

    2016-06-24

    Isopropylmalate dehydrogenase (IPMDH) and 3-(2'-methylthio)ethylmalate dehydrogenase catalyze the oxidative decarboxylation of different β-hydroxyacids in the leucine- and methionine-derived glucosinolate biosynthesis pathways, respectively, in plants. Evolution of the glucosinolate biosynthetic enzyme from IPMDH results from a single amino acid substitution that alters substrate specificity. Here, we present the x-ray crystal structures of Arabidopsis thaliana IPMDH2 (AtIPMDH2) in complex with either isopropylmalate and Mg(2+) or NAD(+) These structures reveal conformational changes that occur upon ligand binding and provide insight on the active site of the enzyme. The x-ray structures and kinetic analysis of site-directed mutants are consistent with a chemical mechanism in which Lys-232 activates a water molecule for catalysis. Structural analysis of the AtIPMDH2 K232M mutant and isothermal titration calorimetry supports a key role of Lys-232 in the reaction mechanism. This study suggests that IPMDH-like enzymes in both leucine and glucosinolate biosynthesis pathways use a common mechanism and that members of the β-hydroxyacid reductive decarboxylase family employ different active site features for similar reactions.

  18. Biophysical studies suggest a new structural arrangement of crotoxin and provide insights into its toxic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Carlos A H; Pazin, Wallance M; Dreyer, Thiago R; Bicev, Renata N; Cavalcante, Walter L G; Fortes-Dias, Consuelo L; Ito, Amando S; Oliveira, Cristiano L P; Fernandez, Roberto Morato; Fontes, Marcos R M

    2017-03-03

    Crotoxin (CTX) is the main neurotoxin found in Crotalus durissus rattlesnake venoms being composed by a nontoxic and non-enzymatic component (CA) and a toxic phospholipase A2 (CB). Previous crystallographic structures of CTX and CB provided relevant insights: (i) CTX structure showed a 1:1 molecular ratio between CA and CB, presenting three tryptophan residues in the CA/CB interface and one exposed to solvent; (ii) CB structure displayed a tetrameric conformation. This study aims to provide further information on the CTX mechanism of action by several biophysical methods. Our data show that isolated CB can in fact form tetramers in solution; however, these tetramers can be dissociated by CA titration. Furthermore, CTX exhibits a strong reduction in fluorescence intensity and lifetime compared with isolated CA and CB, suggesting that all tryptophan residues in CTX may be hidden by the CA/CB interface. By companying spectroscopy fluorescence and SAXS data, we obtained a new structural model for the CTX heterodimer in which all tryptophans are located in the interface, and the N-terminal region of CB is largely exposed to the solvent. Based on this model, we propose a toxic mechanism of action for CTX, involving the interaction of N-terminal region of CB with the target before CA dissociation.

  19. Structural insights into xenobiotic and inhibitor binding to human aldehyde oxidase.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Catarina; Foti, Alessandro; Hartmann, Tobias; Santos-Silva, Teresa; Leimkühler, Silke; Romão, Maria João

    2015-10-01

    Aldehyde oxidase (AOX) is a xanthine oxidase (XO)-related enzyme with emerging importance due to its role in the metabolism of drugs and xenobiotics. We report the first crystal structures of human AOX1, substrate free (2.6-Å resolution) and in complex with the substrate phthalazine and the inhibitor thioridazine (2.7-Å resolution). Analysis of the protein active site combined with steady-state kinetic studies highlight the unique features, including binding and substrate orientation at the active site, that characterize human AOX1 as an important drug-metabolizing enzyme. Structural analysis of the complex with the noncompetitive inhibitor thioridazine revealed a new, unexpected and fully occupied inhibitor-binding site that is structurally conserved among mammalian AOXs and XO. The new structural insights into the catalytic and inhibition mechanisms of human AOX that we now report will be of great value for the rational analysis of clinical drug interactions involving inhibition of AOX1 and for the prediction and design of AOX-stable putative drugs.

  20. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Navdeep S; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph; Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  1. Crystal structure of Manduca sexta prophenoloxidase provides insights into the mechanism of type 3 copper enzymes

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yongchao; Wang, Yang; Jiang, Haobo; Deng, Junpeng

    2010-02-22

    Arthropod phenoloxidase (PO) generates quinones and other toxic compounds to sequester and kill pathogens during innate immune responses. It is also involved in wound healing and other physiological processes. Insect PO is activated from its inactive precursor, prophenoloxidase (PPO), by specific proteolysis via a serine protease cascade. Here, we report the crystal structure of PPO from a lepidopteran insect at a resolution of 1.97 {angstrom}, which is the initial structure for a PPO from the type 3 copper protein family. Manduca sexta PPO is a heterodimer consisting of 2 homologous polypeptide chains, PPO1 and PPO2. The active site of each subunit contains a canonical type 3 di-nuclear copper center, with each copper ion coordinated with 3 structurally conserved histidines. The acidic residue Glu-395 located at the active site of PPO2 may serve as a general base for deprotonation of monophenolic substrates, which is key to the ortho-hydroxylase activity of PO. The structure provides unique insights into the mechanism by which type 3 copper proteins differ in their enzymatic activities, albeit sharing a common active center. A drastic change in electrostatic surface induced on cleavage at Arg-51 allows us to propose a model for localized PPO activation in insects.

  2. Structural insight into nucleotide recognition by human death-associated protein kinase

    SciTech Connect

    McNamara, Laurie K.; Watterson, D.M.; Brunzelle, Joseph S.

    2009-06-01

    Death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) is a member of the Ca{sup 2+}/calmodulin-regulated family of serine/threonine protein kinases. The role of the kinase activity of DAPK in eukaryotic cell apoptosis and the ability of bioavailable DAPK inhibitors to rescue neuronal death after brain injury have made it a drug-discovery target for neurodegenerative disorders. In order to understand the recognition of nucleotides by DAPK and to gain insight into DAPK catalysis, the crystal structure of human DAPK was solved in complex with ADP and Mg{sup 2+} at 1.85 {angstrom} resolution. ADP is a product of the kinase reaction and product release is considered to be the rate-limiting step of protein kinase catalytic cycles. The structure of DAPK-ADP-Mg{sup 2+} was compared with a newly determined DAPK-AMP-PNP-Mg{sup 2+} structure and the previously determined apo DAPK structure (PDB code 1 jks). The comparison shows that nucleotide-induced changes are localized to the glycine-rich loop region of DAPK.

  3. Biophysical studies suggest a new structural arrangement of crotoxin and provide insights into its toxic mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Carlos A. H.; Pazin, Wallance M.; Dreyer, Thiago R.; Bicev, Renata N.; Cavalcante, Walter L. G.; Fortes-Dias, Consuelo L.; Ito, Amando S.; Oliveira, Cristiano L. P.; Fernandez, Roberto Morato; Fontes, Marcos R. M.

    2017-01-01

    Crotoxin (CTX) is the main neurotoxin found in Crotalus durissus rattlesnake venoms being composed by a nontoxic and non-enzymatic component (CA) and a toxic phospholipase A2 (CB). Previous crystallographic structures of CTX and CB provided relevant insights: (i) CTX structure showed a 1:1 molecular ratio between CA and CB, presenting three tryptophan residues in the CA/CB interface and one exposed to solvent; (ii) CB structure displayed a tetrameric conformation. This study aims to provide further information on the CTX mechanism of action by several biophysical methods. Our data show that isolated CB can in fact form tetramers in solution; however, these tetramers can be dissociated by CA titration. Furthermore, CTX exhibits a strong reduction in fluorescence intensity and lifetime compared with isolated CA and CB, suggesting that all tryptophan residues in CTX may be hidden by the CA/CB interface. By companying spectroscopy fluorescence and SAXS data, we obtained a new structural model for the CTX heterodimer in which all tryptophans are located in the interface, and the N-terminal region of CB is largely exposed to the solvent. Based on this model, we propose a toxic mechanism of action for CTX, involving the interaction of N-terminal region of CB with the target before CA dissociation. PMID:28256632

  4. Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Their Impacts on Bees: A Systematic Review of Research Approaches and Identification of Knowledge Gaps.

    PubMed

    Lundin, Ola; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Fries, Ingemar; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that the widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides threatens bees, but research on this topic has been surrounded by controversy. In order to synthesize which research approaches have been used to examine the effect of neonicotinoids on bees and to identify knowledge gaps, we systematically reviewed research on this subject that was available on the Web of Science and PubMed in June 2015. Most of the 216 primary research studies were conducted in Europe or North America (82%), involved the neonicotinoid imidacloprid (78%), and concerned the western honey bee Apis mellifera (75%). Thus, little seems to be known about neonicotinoids and bees in areas outside Europe and North America. Furthermore, because there is considerable variation in ecological traits among bee taxa, studies on honey bees are not likely to fully predict impacts of neonicotinoids on other species. Studies on crops were dominated by seed-treated maize, oilseed rape (canola) and sunflower, whereas less is known about potential side effects on bees from the use of other application methods on insect pollinated fruit and vegetable crops, or on lawns and ornamental plants. Laboratory approaches were most common, and we suggest that their capability to infer real-world consequences are improved when combined with information from field studies about realistic exposures to neonicotinoids. Studies using field approaches often examined only bee exposure to neonicotinoids and more field studies are needed that measure impacts of exposure. Most studies measured effects on individual bees. We suggest that effects on the individual bee should be linked to both mechanisms at the sub-individual level and also to the consequences for the colony and wider bee populations. As bees are increasingly facing multiple interacting pressures future research needs to clarify the role of neonicotinoids in relative to other drivers of bee declines.

  5. Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Their Impacts on Bees: A Systematic Review of Research Approaches and Identification of Knowledge Gaps

    PubMed Central

    Lundin, Ola; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G.; Fries, Ingemar; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that the widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides threatens bees, but research on this topic has been surrounded by controversy. In order to synthesize which research approaches have been used to examine the effect of neonicotinoids on bees and to identify knowledge gaps, we systematically reviewed research on this subject that was available on the Web of Science and PubMed in June 2015. Most of the 216 primary research studies were conducted in Europe or North America (82%), involved the neonicotinoid imidacloprid (78%), and concerned the western honey bee Apis mellifera (75%). Thus, little seems to be known about neonicotinoids and bees in areas outside Europe and North America. Furthermore, because there is considerable variation in ecological traits among bee taxa, studies on honey bees are not likely to fully predict impacts of neonicotinoids on other species. Studies on crops were dominated by seed-treated maize, oilseed rape (canola) and sunflower, whereas less is known about potential side effects on bees from the use of other application methods on insect pollinated fruit and vegetable crops, or on lawns and ornamental plants. Laboratory approaches were most common, and we suggest that their capability to infer real-world consequences are improved when combined with information from field studies about realistic exposures to neonicotinoids. Studies using field approaches often examined only bee exposure to neonicotinoids and more field studies are needed that measure impacts of exposure. Most studies measured effects on individual bees. We suggest that effects on the individual bee should be linked to both mechanisms at the sub-individual level and also to the consequences for the colony and wider bee populations. As bees are increasingly facing multiple interacting pressures future research needs to clarify the role of neonicotinoids in relative to other drivers of bee declines. PMID:26313444

  6. Genetic, structural, and molecular insights into the function of ras of complex proteins domains.

    PubMed

    Civiero, Laura; Dihanich, Sybille; Lewis, Patrick A; Greggio, Elisa

    2014-07-17

    Ras of complex proteins (ROC) domains were identified in 2003 as GTP binding modules in large multidomain proteins from Dictyostelium discoideum. Research into the function of these domains exploded with their identification in a number of proteins linked to human disease, including leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) and death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) in Parkinson's disease and cancer, respectively. This surge in research has resulted in a growing body of data revealing the role that ROC domains play in regulating protein function and signaling pathways. In this review, recent advances in the structural information available for proteins containing ROC domains, along with insights into enzymatic function and the integration of ROC domains as molecular switches in a cellular and organismal context, are explored.

  7. Insights from the DNA databases: approaches to the phylogenetic structure of Acanthamoeba.

    PubMed

    Fuerst, Paul A

    2014-11-01

    Species of Acanthamoeba have been traditionally described using morphology (primarily cyst structure), or cytology of nuclear division (used by Pussard and Pons, 1977). Twenty-plus putative species were proposed based on such criteria. Morphology, however, is often plastic, dependent upon culture conditions. DNA sequences of the nuclear small subunit (18S) rRNA that can be used for the study of the phylogeny of Acanthamoeba have increased from a single sequence in 1986 to more than 1800 in 2013. Some of the patterns of the sequence data for Acanthamoeba are reviewed, and some of the insights that this data illuminates are illustrated. In particular, the data suggest the existence of 20 or more genotypic types, a number not dissimilar to the number of named species of Acanthamoeba. However, molecular studies make clear that the relationship between phylogenetic relatedness and species names as we know them for Acanthamoeba is tenuous at best.

  8. Splitting up the powerhouse: structural insights into the mechanism of mitochondrial fission.

    PubMed

    Richter, Viviane; Singh, Abeer P; Kvansakul, Marc; Ryan, Michael T; Osellame, Laura D

    2015-10-01

    Mitochondria are dynamic organelles whose shape is regulated by the opposing processes of fission and fusion, operating in conjunction with organelle distribution along the cytoskeleton. The importance of fission and fusion homeostasis has been highlighted by a number of disease states linked to mutations in proteins involved in regulating mitochondrial morphology, in addition to changes in mitochondrial dynamics in Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases. While a number of mitochondrial morphology proteins have been identified, how they co-ordinate to assemble the fission apparatus is not clear. In addition, while the master mediator of mitochondrial fission, dynamin-related protein 1, is conserved throughout evolution, the adaptor proteins involved in its mitochondrial recruitment are not. This review focuses on our current understanding of mitochondrial fission and the proteins that regulate this process in cell homeostasis, with a particular focus on the recent mechanistic insights based on protein structures.

  9. Structural insight into the role of the Ton complex in energy transduction

    PubMed Central

    Celia, Hervé; Noinaj, Nicholas; Zakharov, Stanislav D.; Bordignon, Enrica; Botos, Istvan; Santamaria, Monica; Barnard, Travis J.; Cramer, William A.; Lloubes, Roland; Buchanan, Susan K.

    2016-01-01

    Summary In Gram-negative bacteria, outer membrane (OM) transporters import nutrients by coupling to an inner membrane (IM) protein complex called the Ton complex. The Ton complex consists of TonB, ExbB, and ExbD, and uses the proton motive force (pmf) at the IM to transduce energy to the OM via TonB. Here, we structurally characterize the Ton complex from E. coli using X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, DEER spectroscopy, and crosslinking, revealing a stoichiometry consisting of a pentamer of ExbB, a dimer of ExbD, and at least one TonB. Electrophysiology studies show that the Ton subcomplex forms pH-sensitive cation-selective channels, providing insight to the mechanism by which it may harness the pmf for energy production. PMID:27654919

  10. Structure of the vacuolar H+-ATPase rotary motor reveals new mechanistic insights.

    PubMed

    Rawson, Shaun; Phillips, Clair; Huss, Markus; Tiburcy, Felix; Wieczorek, Helmut; Trinick, John; Harrison, Michael A; Muench, Stephen P

    2015-03-03

    Vacuolar H(+)-ATPases are multisubunit complexes that operate with rotary mechanics and are essential for membrane proton transport throughout eukaryotes. Here we report a ∼ 1 nm resolution reconstruction of a V-ATPase in a different conformational state from that previously reported for a lower-resolution yeast model. The stator network of the V-ATPase (and by implication that of other rotary ATPases) does not change conformation in different catalytic states, and hence must be relatively rigid. We also demonstrate that a conserved bearing in the catalytic domain is electrostatic, contributing to the extraordinarily high efficiency of rotary ATPases. Analysis of the rotor axle/membrane pump interface suggests how rotary ATPases accommodate different c ring stoichiometries while maintaining high efficiency. The model provides evidence for a half channel in the proton pump, supporting theoretical models of ion translocation. Our refined model therefore provides new insights into the structure and mechanics of the V-ATPases.

  11. Recent Insights into the Structure, Regulation and Function of the V-ATPases

    PubMed Central

    Cotter, Kristina; Stransky, Laura; McGuire, Christina; Forgac, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The V-ATPases are ATP-dependent proton pumps that acidify intracellular compartments and are also present at the plasma membrane. They function in such processes as membrane traffic, protein degradation, viral and toxin entry, bone resorption, pH homeostasis and tumor cell invasion. V-ATPases are large, multi-subunit complexes composed of an ATP-hydrolytic domain (V1) and proton translocation domain (V0) and operate by a rotary mechanism. This review focuses on recent insights into their structure and mechanism, the mechanisms that regulate V-ATPase activity (particularly regulated assembly and trafficking) and the role of V-ATPases in such processes as cell signaling and cancer. These developments have highlighted the potential of V-ATPases as a therapeutic target for a variety of human diseases. PMID:26410601

  12. Group-theoretic insights on the vibration of symmetric structures in engineering

    PubMed Central

    Zingoni, Alphose

    2014-01-01

    Group theory has been used to study various problems in physics and chemistry for many years. Relatively recently, applications have emerged in engineering, where problems of the vibration, bifurcation and stability of systems exhibiting symmetry have been studied. From an engineering perspective, the main attraction of group-theoretic methods has been their potential to reduce computational effort in the analysis of large-scale problems. In this paper, we focus on vibration problems in structural mechanics and reveal some of the insights and qualitative benefits that group theory affords. These include an appreciation of all the possible symmetries of modes of vibration, the prediction of the number of modes of a given symmetry type, the identification of modes associated with the same frequencies, the prediction of nodal lines and stationary points of a vibrating system, and the untangling of clustered frequencies. PMID:24379427

  13. Neonicotinoids impact bumblebee colony fitness in the field; a reanalysis of the UK's Food & Environment Research Agency 2012 experiment.

    PubMed

    Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    The causes of bee declines remain hotly debated, particularly the contribution of neonicotinoid insecticides. In 2013 the UK's Food & Environment Research Agency made public a study of the impacts of exposure of bumblebee colonies to neonicotinoids. The study concluded that there was no clear relationship between colony performance and pesticide exposure, and the study was subsequently cited by the UK government in a policy paper in support of their vote against a proposed moratorium on some uses of neonicotinoids. Here I present a simple re-analysis of this data set. It demonstrates that these data in fact do show a negative relationship between both colony growth and queen production and the levels of neonicotinoids in the food stores collected by the bees. Indeed, this is the first study describing substantial negative impacts of neonicotinoids on colony performance of any bee species with free-flying bees in a field realistic situation where pesticide exposure is provided only as part of normal farming practices. It strongly suggests that wild bumblebee colonies in farmland can be expected to be adversely affected by exposure to neonicotinoids.

  14. Structural Insights into High Density Lipoprotein: Old Models and New Facts

    PubMed Central

    Gogonea, Valentin

    2016-01-01

    The physiological link between circulating high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels and cardiovascular disease is well-documented, albeit its intricacies are not well-understood. An improved appreciation of HDL function and overall role in vascular health and disease requires at its foundation a better understanding of the lipoprotein's molecular structure, its formation, and its process of maturation through interactions with various plasma enzymes and cell receptors that intervene along the pathway of reverse cholesterol transport. This review focuses on summarizing recent developments in the field of lipid free apoA-I and HDL structure, with emphasis on new insights revealed by newly published nascent and spherical HDL models constructed by combining low resolution structures obtained from small angle neutron scattering (SANS) with contrast variation and geometrical constraints derived from hydrogen–deuterium exchange (HDX), crosslinking mass spectrometry, electron microscopy, Förster resonance energy transfer, and electron spin resonance. Recently published low resolution structures of nascent and spherical HDL obtained from SANS with contrast variation and isotopic labeling of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) will be critically reviewed and discussed in terms of how they accommodate existing biophysical structural data from alternative approaches. The new low resolution structures revealed and also provided some answers to long standing questions concerning lipid organization and particle maturation of lipoproteins. The review will discuss the merits of newly proposed SANS based all atom models for nascent and spherical HDL, and compare them with accepted models. Finally, naturally occurring and bioengineered mutations in apoA-I, and their impact on HDL phenotype, are reviewed and discuss together with new therapeutics employed for restoring HDL function. PMID:26793109

  15. Insight toward epithelial Na+ channel mechanism revealed by the acid-sensing ion channel 1 structure.

    PubMed

    Stockand, James D; Staruschenko, Alexander; Pochynyuk, Oleh; Booth, Rachell E; Silverthorn, Dee U

    2008-09-01

    The epithelial Na(+) channel/degenerin (ENaC/DEG) protein family includes a diverse group of ion channels, including nonvoltage-gated Na(+) channels of epithelia and neurons, and the acid-sensing ion channel 1 (ASIC1). In mammalian epithelia, ENaC helps regulate Na(+) and associated water transport, making it a critical determinant of systemic blood pressure and pulmonary mucosal fluidity. In the nervous system, ENaC/DEG proteins are related to sensory transduction. While the importance and physiological function of these ion channels are established, less is known about their structure. One hallmark of the ENaC/DEG channel family is that each channel subunit has only two transmembrane domains connected by an exceedingly large extracellular loop. This subunit structure was recently confirmed when Jasti and colleagues determined the crystal structure of chicken ASIC1, a neuronal acid-sensing ENaC/DEG channel. By mapping ENaC to the structural coordinates of cASIC1, as we do here, we hope to provide insight toward ENaC structure. ENaC, like ASIC1, appears to be a trimeric channel containing 1alpha, 1beta, and 1gamma subunit. Heterotrimeric ENaC and monomeric ENaC subunits within the trimer possibly contain many of the major secondary, tertiary, and quaternary features identified in cASIC1 with a few subtle but critical differences. These differences are expected to have profound effects on channel behavior. In particular, they may contribute to ENaC insensitivity to acid and to its constitutive activity in the absence of time- and ligand-dependent inactivation. Experiments resulting from this comparison of cASIC1 and ENaC may help clarify unresolved issues related to ENaC architecture, and may help identify secondary structures and residues critical to ENaC function.

  16. Computation Sheds Insight into Iron Porphyrin Carbenes' Electronic Structure, Formation, and N-H Insertion Reactivity.

    PubMed

    Sharon, Dina A; Mallick, Dibyendu; Wang, Binju; Shaik, Sason

    2016-08-03

    Iron porphyrin carbenes constitute a new frontier of species with considerable synthetic potential. Exquisitely engineered myoglobin and cytochrome P450 enzymes can generate these complexes and facilitate the transformations they mediate. The current work harnesses density functional theoretical methods to provide insight into the electronic structure, formation, and N-H insertion reactivity of an iron porphyrin carbene, [Fe(Por)(SCH3)(CHCO2Et)](-), a model of a complex believed to exist in an experimentally studied artificial metalloenzyme. The ground state electronic structure of the terminal form of this complex is an open-shell singlet, with two antiferromagnetically coupled electrons residing on the iron center and carbene ligand. As we shall reveal, the bonding properties of [Fe(Por)(SCH3)(CHCO2Et)](-) are remarkably analogous to those of ferric heme superoxide complexes. The carbene forms by dinitrogen loss from ethyl diazoacetate. This reaction occurs preferentially through an open-shell singlet transition state: iron donates electron density to weaken the C-N bond undergoing cleavage. Once formed, the iron porphyrin carbene accomplishes N-H insertion via nucleophilic attack. The resulting ylide then rearranges, using an internal carbonyl base, to form an enol that leads to the product. The findings rationalize experimentally observed reactivity trends reported in artificial metalloenzymes employing iron porphyrin carbenes. Furthermore, these results suggest a possible expansion of enzymatic substrate scope, to include aliphatic amines. Thus, this work, among the first several computational explorations of these species, contributes insights and predictions to the surging interest in iron porphyrin carbenes and their synthetic potential.

  17. Structural and mechanistic insights into an archaeal DNA-guided Argonaute protein.

    PubMed

    Willkomm, Sarah; Oellig, Christine A; Zander, Adrian; Restle, Tobias; Keegan, Ronan; Grohmann, Dina; Schneider, Sabine

    2017-03-20

    Argonaute (Ago) proteins in eukaryotes are known as key players in post-transcriptional gene silencing(1), while recent studies on prokaryotic Agos hint at their role in the protection against invading DNA(2,3). Here, we present crystal structures of the apo enzyme and a binary Ago-guide complex of the archaeal Methanocaldococcus jannaschii (Mj) Ago. Binding of a guide DNA leads to large structural rearrangements. This includes the structural transformation of a hinge region containing a switch helix, which has been shown for human Ago2 to be critical for the dynamic target search process(4-6). To identify key residues crucial for MjAgo function, we analysed the effect of several MjAgo mutants. We observe that the nature of the 3' and 5' nucleotides in particular, as well as the switch helix, appear to impact MjAgo cleavage activity. In summary, we provide insights into the molecular mechanisms that drive DNA-guided DNA silencing by an archaeal Ago.

  18. Structural Insights into SraP-Mediated Staphylococcus aureus Adhesion to Host Cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Juan; Wang, Lei; Bai, Xiao-Hui; Zhang, Shi-Jie; Ren, Yan-Min; Li, Na; Zhang, Yong-Hui; Zhang, Zhiyong; Gong, Qingguo; Mei, Yide; Xue, Ting; Zhang, Jing-Ren; Chen, Yuxing; Zhou, Cong-Zhao

    2014-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus, a Gram-positive bacterium causes a number of devastating human diseases, such as infective endocarditis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis and sepsis. S. aureus SraP, a surface-exposed serine-rich repeat glycoprotein (SRRP), is required for the pathogenesis of human infective endocarditis via its ligand-binding region (BR) adhering to human platelets. It remains unclear how SraP interacts with human host. Here we report the 2.05 Å crystal structure of the BR of SraP, revealing an extended rod-like architecture of four discrete modules. The N-terminal legume lectin-like module specifically binds to N-acetylneuraminic acid. The second module adopts a β-grasp fold similar to Ig-binding proteins, whereas the last two tandem repetitive modules resemble eukaryotic cadherins but differ in calcium coordination pattern. Under the conditions tested, small-angle X-ray scattering and molecular dynamic simulation indicated that the three C-terminal modules function as a relatively rigid stem to extend the N-terminal lectin module outwards. Structure-guided mutagenesis analyses, in addition to a recently identified trisaccharide ligand of SraP, enabled us to elucidate that SraP binding to sialylated receptors promotes S. aureus adhesion to and invasion into host epithelial cells. Our findings have thus provided novel structural and functional insights into the SraP-mediated host-pathogen interaction of S. aureus. PMID:24901708

  19. Functional and structural insight into properdin control of complement alternative pathway amplification.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Dennis V; Roumenina, Lubka; Jensen, Rasmus K; Gadeberg, Trine Af; Marinozzi, Chiara; Picard, Capucine; Rybkine, Tania; Thiel, Steffen; Sørensen, Uffe Bs; Stover, Cordula; Fremeaux-Bacchi, Veronique; Andersen, Gregers R

    2017-03-06

    Properdin (FP) is an essential positive regulator of the complement alternative pathway (AP) providing stabilization of the C3 and C5 convertases, but its oligomeric nature challenges structural analysis. We describe here a novel FP deficiency (E244K) caused by a single point mutation which results in a very low level of AP activity. Recombinant FP E244K is monomeric, fails to support bacteriolysis, and binds weakly to C3 products. We compare this to a monomeric unit excised from oligomeric FP, which is also dysfunctional in bacteriolysis but binds the AP proconvertase, C3 convertase, C3 products and partially stabilizes the convertase. The crystal structure of such a FP-convertase complex suggests that the major contact between FP and the AP convertase is mediated by a single FP thrombospondin repeat and a small region in C3b. Small angle X-ray scattering indicates that FP E244K is trapped in a compact conformation preventing its oligomerization. Our studies demonstrate an essential role of FP oligomerization in vivo while our monomers enable detailed structural insight paving the way for novel modulators of complement.

  20. Crystal structures of enterovirus 71 (EV71) recombinant virus particles provide insights into vaccine design.

    PubMed

    Lyu, Ke; Wang, Guang-Chuan; He, Ya-Ling; Han, Jian-Feng; Ye, Qing; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Chen, Rong

    2015-02-06

    Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) remains a major health concern in the Asia-Pacific regions, and its major causative agents include human enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16. A desirable vaccine against HFMD would be multivalent and able to elicit protective responses against multiple HFMD causative agents. Previously, we have demonstrated that a thermostable recombinant EV71 vaccine candidate can be produced by the insertion of a foreign peptide into the BC loop of VP1 without affecting viral replication. Here we present crystal structures of two different naturally occurring empty particles, one from a clinical C4 strain EV71 and the other from its recombinant virus containing an insertion in the VP1 BC loop. Crystal structure analysis demonstrated that the inserted foreign peptide is well exposed on the particle surface without significant structural changes in the capsid. Importantly, such insertions do not seem to affect the virus uncoating process as illustrated by the conformational similarity between an uncoating intermediate of another recombinant virus and that of EV71. Especially, at least 18 residues from the N terminus of VP1 are transiently externalized. Altogether, our study provides insights into vaccine development against HFMD.

  1. Molecular and evolutionary insights into the structural organization of cation chloride cotransporters

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Anna-Maria; Nothwang, Hans Gerd

    2015-01-01

    Cation chloride cotransporters (CCC) play an essential role for neuronal chloride homeostasis. K+-Cl− cotransporter (KCC2), is the principal Cl−-extruder, whereas Na+-K+-Cl− cotransporter (NKCC1), is the major Cl−-uptake mechanism in many neurons. As a consequence, the action of the inhibitory neurotransmitters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine strongly depend on the activity of these two transporters. Knowledge of the mechanisms involved in ion transport and regulation is thus of great importance to better understand normal and disturbed brain function. Although no overall 3-dimensional crystal structures are yet available, recent molecular and phylogenetic studies and modeling have provided new and exciting insights into structure-function relationships of CCC. Here, we will summarize our current knowledge of the gross structural organization of the proteins, their functional domains, ion binding and translocation sites, and the established role of individual amino acids (aa). A major focus will be laid on the delineation of shared and distinct organizational principles between KCC2 and NKCC1. Exploiting the richness of recently generated genome data across the tree of life, we will also explore the molecular evolution of these features. PMID:25653592

  2. Structural insights into human Kif7, a kinesin involved in Hedgehog signalling

    SciTech Connect

    Klejnot, Marta Kozielski, Frank

    2012-02-01

    The human Kif7 motor domain structure provides insights into a kinesin of medical significance. Kif7, a member of the kinesin 4 superfamily, is implicated in a variety of diseases including Joubert, hydrolethalus and acrocallosal syndromes. It is also involved in primary cilium formation and the Hedgehog signalling pathway and may play a role in cancer. Its activity is crucial for embryonic development. Kif7 and Kif27, a closely related kinesin in the same subfamily, are orthologues of the Drosophila melano@@gaster kinesin-like protein Costal-2 (Cos2). In vertebrates, they work together to fulfil the role of the single Cos2 gene in Drosophila. Here, the high-resolution structure of the human Kif7 motor domain is reported and is compared with that of conventional kinesin, the founding member of the kinesin superfamily. These data are a first step towards structural characterization of a kinesin-4 family member and of this interesting molecular motor of medical significance.

  3. GPCR engineering yields high-resolution structural insights into beta2-adrenergic receptor function.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Daniel M; Cherezov, Vadim; Hanson, Michael A; Rasmussen, Søren G F; Thian, Foon Sun; Kobilka, Tong Sun; Choi, Hee-Jung; Yao, Xiao-Jie; Weis, William I; Stevens, Raymond C; Kobilka, Brian K

    2007-11-23

    The beta2-adrenergic receptor (beta2AR) is a well-studied prototype for heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that respond to diffusible hormones and neurotransmitters. To overcome the structural flexibility of the beta2AR and to facilitate its crystallization, we engineered a beta2AR fusion protein in which T4 lysozyme (T4L) replaces most of the third intracellular loop of the GPCR ("beta2AR-T4L") and showed that this protein retains near-native pharmacologic properties. Analysis of adrenergic receptor ligand-binding mutants within the context of the reported high-resolution structure of beta2AR-T4L provides insights into inverse-agonist binding and the structural changes required to accommodate catecholamine agonists. Amino acids known to regulate receptor function are linked through packing interactions and a network of hydrogen bonds, suggesting a conformational pathway from the ligand-binding pocket to regions that interact with G proteins.

  4. Structural Insight into Caenorhabditis elegans Sex-determining Protein FEM-2*♦

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yi; Zhao, Haifeng; Wang, Jia; Ge, Jingpeng; Li, Yang; Gu, Jinke; Li, Peng; Feng, Yue; Yang, Maojun

    2013-01-01

    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, fem-1, fem-2, and fem-3 play crucial roles in male sexual development. Among these three genes, fem-2 encodes a PP2C (serine/threonine phosphatase type 2C)-like protein, whose activity promotes the development of masculinity. Different from the canonical PP2Cs, FEM-2 consists of an additional N-terminal domain (NTD) apart from its C-terminal catalytic domain. Interestingly, genetic studies have indicated indispensable roles for both of these two domains of FEM-2 in promoting male development, but the underlying mechanism remains unknown. In the present study, we solved the crystal structure of full-length FEM-2, which revealed a novel structural fold formed by its NTD. Structural and functional analyses demonstrated that the NTD did not directly regulate the in vitro dephosphorylation activity of FEM-2, but instead functioned as a scaffold domain in the assembly of the FEM-1/2/3 complex, the executioner in the final step of the sex determination pathway. Biochemical studies further identified the regions in the NTD involved in FEM-1 and FEM-3 interactions. Our results not only identified a novel fold formed by the extra domain of a noncanonical PP2C enzyme, but also provided important insights into the molecular mechanism of how the NTD works in mediating the sex-determining role of FEM-1/2/3 complex. PMID:23760267

  5. Structural insights into the functional versatility of WW domain-containing oxidoreductase tumor suppressor

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Recent work on WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) tumor suppressor is beginning to shed new light on both the molecular mechanism of action of its WW domains as well as the contiguous catalytic domain. Herein, the structural basis underlying the ability of WW1 domain to bind to various physiological ligands and how the orphan WW2 tandem partner synergizes its ligand binding in the context of WW1–WW2 tandem module of WWOX is discussed. Notably, the WW domains within the WW1–WW2 tandem module physically associate so as to adopt a fixed spatial orientation relative to each other. In this manner, the association of WW2 domain with WW1 hinders ligand binding to the latter. Consequently, ligand binding to WW1 domain not only results in the displacement of WW2 lid but also disrupts the fixed orientation of WW domains in the liganded conformation. Equally importantly, structure-guided functional approach suggests that the catalytic domain of WWOX likely serves as a retinal oxidoreductase that catalyzes the reversible oxidation and reduction of all-trans-retinal. Collectively, this review provides structural insights into the functional versatility of a key signaling protein with important implications on its biology. PMID:25662954

  6. Structural insights into the functional versatility of WW domain-containing oxidoreductase tumor suppressor.

    PubMed

    Farooq, Amjad

    2015-03-01

    Recent work on WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) tumor suppressor is beginning to shed new light on both the molecular mechanism of action of its WW domains as well as the contiguous catalytic domain. Herein, the structural basis underlying the ability of WW1 domain to bind to various physiological ligands and how the orphan WW2 tandem partner synergizes its ligand binding in the context of WW1-WW2 tandem module of WWOX is discussed. Notably, the WW domains within the WW1-WW2 tandem module physically associate so as to adopt a fixed spatial orientation relative to each other. In this manner, the association of WW2 domain with WW1 hinders ligand binding to the latter. Consequently, ligand binding to WW1 domain not only results in the displacement of WW2 lid but also disrupts the fixed orientation of WW domains in the liganded conformation. Equally importantly, structure-guided functional approach suggests that the catalytic domain of WWOX likely serves as a retinal oxidoreductase that catalyzes the reversible oxidation and reduction of all-trans-retinal. Collectively, this review provides structural insights into the functional versatility of a key signaling protein with important implications on its biology.

  7. Structural Insights into Amyloid Oligomers of the Parkinson Disease-related Protein α-Synuclein*

    PubMed Central

    Gallea, J. Ignacio; Celej, M. Soledad

    2014-01-01

    The presence of intraneuronal deposits mainly formed by amyloid fibrils of the presynaptic protein α-synuclein (AS) is a hallmark of Parkinson disease. Currently, neurotoxicity is attributed to prefibrillar oligomeric species rather than the insoluble aggregates, although their mechanisms of toxicity remain elusive. Structural details of the supramolecular organization of AS oligomers are critically needed to decipher the structure-toxicity relationship underlying their pathogenicity. In this study, we employed site-specific fluorescence to get a deeper insight into the internal architecture of AS oligomeric intermediates. We demonstrate that AS oligomers are ordered assemblies possessing a well defined pattern of intermolecular contacts. Some of these contacts involve regions that form the β-sheet core in the fibrillar state, although their spatial arrangement may differ in the two aggregated forms. However, even though the two termini are excluded from the fibrillar core, they are engaged in a number of intermolecular interactions within the oligomer. Therefore, substantial structural remodeling of early oligomeric interactions is essential for fibril growth. The intermolecular contacts identified in AS oligomers can serve as targets for the rational design of anti-amyloid compounds directed at preventing oligomeric interactions/reorganizations. PMID:25143382

  8. Structural and dynamic insights into the energetics of activation loop rearrangement in FGFR1 kinase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Tobias; Vajpai, Navratna; Phillips, Jonathan J.; Davies, Gareth; Holdgate, Geoffrey A.; Phillips, Chris; Tucker, Julie A.; Norman, Richard A.; Scott, Andrew D.; Higazi, Daniel R.; Lowe, David; Thompson, Gary S.; Breeze, Alexander L.

    2015-07-01

    Protein tyrosine kinases differ widely in their propensity to undergo rearrangements of the N-terminal Asp-Phe-Gly (DFG) motif of the activation loop, with some, including FGFR1 kinase, appearing refractory to this so-called `DFG flip'. Recent inhibitor-bound structures have unexpectedly revealed FGFR1 for the first time in a `DFG-out' state. Here we use conformationally selective inhibitors as chemical probes for interrogation of the structural and dynamic features that appear to govern the DFG flip in FGFR1. Our detailed structural and biophysical insights identify contributions from altered dynamics in distal elements, including the αH helix, towards the outstanding stability of the DFG-out complex with the inhibitor ponatinib. We conclude that the αC-β4 loop and `molecular brake' regions together impose a high energy barrier for this conformational rearrangement, and that this may have significance for maintaining autoinhibition in the non-phosphorylated basal state of FGFR1.

  9. New insights into Hoogsteen base pairs in DNA duplexes from a structure-based survey

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Huiqing; Hintze, Bradley J.; Kimsey, Isaac J.; Sathyamoorthy, Bharathwaj; Yang, Shan; Richardson, Jane S.; Al-Hashimi, Hashim M.

    2015-01-01

    Hoogsteen (HG) base pairs (bps) provide an alternative pairing geometry to Watson–Crick (WC) bps and can play unique functional roles in duplex DNA. Here, we use structural features unique to HG bps (syn purine base, HG hydrogen bonds and constricted C1′–C1′ distance across the bp) to search for HG bps in X-ray structures of DNA duplexes in the Protein Data Bank. The survey identifies 106 A•T and 34 G•C HG bps in DNA duplexes, many of which are undocumented in the literature. It also uncovers HG-like bps with syn purines lacking HG hydrogen bonds or constricted C1′–C1′ distances that are analogous to conformations that have been proposed to populate the WC-to-HG transition pathway. The survey reveals HG preferences similar to those observed for transient HG bps in solution by nuclear magnetic resonance, including stronger preferences for A•T versus G•C bps, TA versus GG steps, and also suggests enrichment at terminal ends with a preference for 5′-purine. HG bps induce small local perturbations in neighboring bps and, surprisingly, a small but significant degree of DNA bending (∼14°) directed toward the major groove. The survey provides insights into the preferences and structural consequences of HG bps in duplex DNA. PMID:25813047

  10. The narrative structure as a way to gain insight into peoples' experiences: one methodological approach.

    PubMed

    Rejnö, Åsa; Berg, Linda; Danielson, Ella

    2014-09-01

    The narrative method is used in healthcare research, mostly in data collection but also in the analysis. Narrative approaches draw attention to how people tell about and create meaning of experiences. The aim of the article was to examine the narrative structure, the elements in the structure and their function and how these can be used in research to gain insights into experiences. Examples are taken from a material of narratives from a study where next of kin were asked to narrate their experiences of sudden and unexpected death from stroke. The narratives had a clear beginning, midpoint and ending. In the beginning, orientation of the narrated events was given. The narrated events were told to have a turning point constituted of complicating actions that lead to a resolution that solved the narrated event. The narratives were built up by multiple recaps into the narrated events and also consisted of asides - side narratives and flashbacks - events back in time. Use of a narrative structure can contribute with valuable information that might be missed with other analysis. The analysis can be used on its own, as a complement to other narrative analysis or even as a complement to other qualitative analysis.

  11. Structural and functional insights into caseinolytic proteases reveal an unprecedented regulation principle of their catalytic triad.

    PubMed

    Zeiler, Evelyn; List, Anja; Alte, Ferdinand; Gersch, Malte; Wachtel, Rudolf; Poreba, Marcin; Drag, Marcin; Groll, Michael; Sieber, Stephan A

    2013-07-09

    Caseinolytic proteases (ClpPs) are large oligomeric protein complexes that contribute to cell homeostasis as well as virulence regulation in bacteria. Although most organisms possess a single ClpP protein, some organisms encode two or more ClpP isoforms. Here, we elucidated the crystal structures of ClpP1 and ClpP2 from pathogenic Listeria monocytogenes and observe an unprecedented regulation principle by the catalytic triad. Whereas L. monocytogenes (Lm)ClpP2 is both structurally and functionally similar to previously studied tetradecameric ClpP proteins from Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, heptameric LmClpP1 features an asparagine in its catalytic triad. Mutation of this asparagine to aspartate increased the reactivity of the active site and led to the assembly of a tetradecameric complex. We analyzed the heterooligomeric complex of LmClpP1 and LmClpP2 via coexpression and subsequent labeling studies with natural product-derived probes. Notably, the LmClpP1 peptidase activity is stimulated 75-fold in the complex providing insights into heterooligomerization as a regulatory mechanism. Collectively, our data point toward different preferences for substrates and inhibitors of the two ClpP enzymes and highlight their structural and functional characteristics.

  12. Structures of parasite calreticulins provide insights into their flexibility and dual carbohydrate/peptide-binding properties

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Christophe; Cioci, Gianluca; Iannello, Marina; Laffly, Emmanuelle; Chouquet, Anne; Ferreira, Arturo; Thielens, Nicole M.; Gaboriaud, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Calreticulin (CRT) is a multifaceted protein, initially discovered as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone protein, that is essential in calcium metabolism. Various implications in cancer, early development and immunology have been discovered more recently for CRT, as well as its role as a dominant ‘eat-me’ prophagocytic signal. Intriguingly, cell-surface exposure/secretion of CRT is among the infective strategies used by parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Entamoeba histolytica, Taenia solium, Leishmania donovani and Schistosoma mansoni. Because of the inherent flexibility of CRTs, their analysis by X-ray crystallography requires the design of recombinant constructs suitable for crystallization, and thus only the structures of two very similar mammalian CRT lectin domains are known. With the X-ray structures of two distant parasite CRTs, insights into species structural determinants that might be harnessed to fight against the parasites without affecting the functions of the host CRT are now provided. Moreover, although the hypothesis that CRT can exhibit both open and closed conformations has been proposed in relation to its chaperone function, only the open conformation has so far been observed in crystal structures. The first evidence is now provided of a complex conformational transition with the junction reoriented towards P-domain closure. SAXS experiments also provided additional information about the flexibility of T. cruzi CRT in solution, thus complementing crystallographic data on the open conformation. Finally, regarding the conserved lectin-domain structure and chaperone function, evidence is provided of its dual carbohydrate/protein specificity and a new scheme is proposed to interpret such unusual substrate-binding properties. These fascinating features are fully consistent with previous experimental observations, as discussed considering the broad spectrum of CRT sequence conservations and differences. PMID:27840680

  13. Structural insight into nucleotide recognition by human death-associated protein kinase

    SciTech Connect

    McNamara, Laurie K.; Watterson, D. Martin; Brunzelle, Joseph S.

    2009-03-01

    The crystal structures of DAPK–ADP–Mg{sup 2+} and DAPK–AMP-PNP–Mg{sup 2+} complexes were determined at 1.85 and 2.00 Å resolution, respectively. Comparison of the two nucleotide-bound states with apo DAPK revealed localized changes in the glycine-rich loop region that were indicative of a transition from a more open state to a more closed state on binding of the nucleotide substrate and to an intermediate state with the bound nucleotide product. Death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) is a member of the Ca{sup 2+}/calmodulin-regulated family of serine/threonine protein kinases. The role of the kinase activity of DAPK in eukaryotic cell apoptosis and the ability of bioavailable DAPK inhibitors to rescue neuronal death after brain injury have made it a drug-discovery target for neurodegenerative disorders. In order to understand the recognition of nucleotides by DAPK and to gain insight into DAPK catalysis, the crystal structure of human DAPK was solved in complex with ADP and Mg{sup 2+} at 1.85 Å resolution. ADP is a product of the kinase reaction and product release is considered to be the rate-limiting step of protein kinase catalytic cycles. The structure of DAPK–ADP–Mg{sup 2+} was compared with a newly determined DAPK–AMP-PNP–Mg{sup 2+} structure and the previously determined apo DAPK structure (PDB code http://scripts.iucr.org/cgi-bin/cr.cgi?rm). The comparison shows that nucleotide-induced changes are localized to the glycine-rich loop region of DAPK.

  14. Structural insights into lipid-dependent reversible dimerization of human GLTP

    SciTech Connect

    Samygina, Valeria R.; Ochoa-Lizarralde, Borja; Popov, Alexander N.; Cabo-Bilbao, Aintzane; Goni-de-Cerio, Felipe; Molotkovsky, Julian G.; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Brown, Rhoderick E.; Malinina, Lucy

    2013-04-01

    It is shown that dimerization is promoted by glycolipid binding to human GLTP. The importance of dimer flexibility in wild-type protein is manifested by point mutation that ‘locks’ the dimer while diversifying ligand/protein adaptations. Human glycolipid transfer protein (hsGLTP) forms the prototypical GLTP fold and is characterized by a broad transfer selectivity for glycosphingolipids (GSLs). The GLTP mutation D48V near the ‘portal entrance’ of the glycolipid binding site has recently been shown to enhance selectivity for sulfatides (SFs) containing a long acyl chain. Here, nine novel crystal structures of hsGLTP and the SF-selective mutant complexed with short-acyl-chain monoSF and diSF in different crystal forms are reported in order to elucidate the potential functional roles of lipid-mediated homodimerization. In all crystal forms, the hsGLTP–SF complexes displayed homodimeric structures supported by similarly organized intermolecular interactions. The dimerization interface always involved the lipid sphingosine chain, the protein C-terminus (C-end) and α-helices 6 and 2, but the D48V mutant displayed a ‘locked’ dimer conformation compared with the hinge-like flexibility of wild-type dimers. Differences in contact angles, areas and residues at the dimer interfaces in the ‘flexible’ and ‘locked’ dimers revealed a potentially important role of the dimeric structure in the C-end conformation of hsGLTP and in the precise positioning of the key residue of the glycolipid recognition centre, His140. ΔY207 and ΔC-end deletion mutants, in which the C-end is shifted or truncated, showed an almost complete loss of transfer activity. The new structural insights suggest that ligand-dependent reversible dimerization plays a role in the function of human GLTP.

  15. Structural insights into methanol-stable variants of lipase T6 from Geobacillus stearothermophilus.

    PubMed

    Dror, Adi; Kanteev, Margarita; Kagan, Irit; Gihaz, Shalev; Shahar, Anat; Fishman, Ayelet

    2015-11-01

    Enzymatic production of biodiesel by transesterification of triglycerides and alcohol, catalyzed by lipases, offers an environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to the chemically catalyzed process while using low-grade feedstocks. Methanol is utilized frequently as the alcohol in the reaction due to its reactivity and low cost. However, one of the major drawbacks of the enzymatic system is the presence of high methanol concentrations which leads to methanol-induced unfolding and inactivation of the biocatalyst. Therefore, a methanol-stable lipase is of great interest for the biodiesel industry. In this study, protein engineering was applied to substitute charged surface residues with hydrophobic ones to enhance the stability in methanol of a lipase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus T6. We identified a methanol-stable variant, R374W, and combined it with a variant found previously, H86Y/A269T. The triple mutant, H86Y/A269T/R374W, had a half-life value at 70 % methanol of 324 min which reflects an 87-fold enhanced stability compared to the wild type together with elevated thermostability in buffer and in 50 % methanol. This variant also exhibited an improved biodiesel yield from waste chicken oil compared to commercial Lipolase 100L® and Novozyme® CALB. Crystal structures of the wild type and the methanol-stable variants provided insights regarding structure-stability correlations. The most prominent features were the extensive formation of new hydrogen bonds between surface residues directly or mediated by structural water molecules and the stabilization of Zn and Ca binding sites. Mutation sites were also characterized by lower B-factor values calculated from the X-ray structures indicating improved rigidity.

  16. Alpine fold and thrust structures: insight from the Säntis area (Switzerland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sala, P.; Pfiffner, O. A.; Frehner, M.

    2012-04-01

    The Säntis area offers one of the most spectacular insights into the fold-and-thrust belt of the Helvetics nappes. The nearly perfect outcrop conditions, combined with the exemplary intersection of formation boundaries with topography, make it a natural laboratory for structural geology. Since the pioneering work of Heim (1905) at the beginning of 20th century, the area was mapped in detail (Eugster et al., 1982) and investigated in terms of deformation mechanisms (e.g. Groshong et al., 1984), structural evolution and fold-thrust interaction (Funk et al. 2000, Pfiffner 1982, 1993 & 2011). The proposed restorations are mostly 2 dimensional palinspastic reconstructions, either in map or in cross sectional view. The main goal of this research is to better understand the geometrical relationships between folding and thrust faulting, investigating for example fault-propagation folds and analyzing the lateral changes of folds and thrust structures along strike. A three-dimensional model of the area is built using 3D MOVE, combining cross-sections from Pfiffner (2000 & 2011), the geological map 1:25.000 by Eugster et al (1982) and a digital elevation model (DEM) with a regular grid of 20X20 m. Seven main horizons are reconstructed, corresponding to the base of the Palfris Shale, Öhrli and Betlis Limestones, the Helvetic Kieselkalk, Schrattenkalk and Garschella Fm and the Seewen Limestone. The main structural elements in the Säntis area, such as the Säntis Thrust or the Sax-Schwende Fault, were also implemented in the model. The 3-D model obtained highlights the shape of the main anticline-syncline pairs (e.g. Altmann-Wildseeli, Schafberg-Moor, Roslenfirst-Mutschen, Gulmen etc…); such fold trains vary in amplitude and wavelength. The model also shows clearly the lateral extension and the trends of the principal faults. A restoration of the horizons is presented and discussed.

  17. Structure of Ostertagia ostertagi ASP-1: insights into disulfide-mediated cyclization and dimerization.

    PubMed

    Borloo, Jimmy; Geldhof, Peter; Peelaers, Iris; Van Meulder, Frederik; Ameloot, Paul; Callewaert, Nico; Vercruysse, Jozef; Claerebout, Edwin; Strelkov, Sergei V; Weeks, Stephen D

    2013-04-01

    The cysteine-rich secretory/antigen 5/pathogenesis-related 1 (CAP) protein superfamily is composed of a functionally diverse group of members that are found in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. The excretome/secretome of numerous helminths (parasitic nematodes) contains abundant amounts of CAP members termed activation-associated secreted proteins (ASPs). Although ASPs are necessary for the parasitic life cycle in the host, the current lack of structural and functional information limits both understanding of their actual role in host-parasite interactions and the development of new routes in controlling parasitic infections and diseases. Alleviating this knowledge gap, a 1.85 Å resolution structure of recombinantly produced Oo-ASP-1 from Ostertagia ostertagi, which is one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal parasites in cattle worldwide, was solved. Overall, Oo-ASP-1 displays the common hallmark architecture shared by all CAP-superfamily members, including the N-terminal CAP and C-terminal cysteine-rich domains, but it also reveals a number of highly peculiar features. In agreement with studies of the natively produced protein, the crystal structure shows that Oo-ASP-1 forms a stable dimer that has been found to be primarily maintained via an intermolecular disulfide bridge, hence the small interaction surface of only 306.8 Å(2). Moreover, unlike any other ASP described to date, an additional intramolecular disulfide bridge links the N- and C-termini of each monomer, thereby yielding a quasi-cyclic molecule. Taken together, the insights presented here form an initial step towards a better understanding of the actual biological role(s) that this ASP plays in host-parasite interactions. The structure is also essential to help to define the key regions of the protein suitable for development of ASP-based vaccines, which would enable the current issues surrounding anthelmintic resistance in the treatment of parasitic infections and diseases to be circumvented.

  18. Structural insights into gene repression by the orphan nuclear receptor SHP

    PubMed Central

    Zhi, Xiaoyong; Zhou, X. Edward; He, Yuanzheng; Zechner, Christoph; Suino-Powell, Kelly M.; Kliewer, Steven A.; Melcher, Karsten; Mangelsdorf, David J.; Xu, H. Eric

    2014-01-01

    Small heterodimer partner (SHP) is an orphan nuclear receptor that functions as a transcriptional repressor to regulate bile acid and cholesterol homeostasis. Although the precise mechanism whereby SHP represses transcription is not known, E1A-like inhibitor of differentiation (EID1) was isolated as a SHP-interacting protein and implicated in SHP repression. Here we present the crystal structure of SHP in complex with EID1, which reveals an unexpected EID1-binding site on SHP. Unlike the classical cofactor-binding site near the C-terminal helix H12, the EID1-binding site is located at the N terminus of the receptor, where EID1 mimics helix H1 of the nuclear receptor ligand-binding domain. The residues composing the SHP–EID1 interface are highly conserved. Their mutation diminishes SHP–EID1 interactions and affects SHP repressor activity. Together, these results provide important structural insights into SHP cofactor recruitment and repressor function and reveal a conserved protein interface that is likely to have broad implications for transcriptional repression by orphan nuclear receptors. PMID:24379397

  19. Structural insights into gene repression by the orphan nuclear receptor SHP.

    PubMed

    Zhi, Xiaoyong; Zhou, X Edward; He, Yuanzheng; Zechner, Christoph; Suino-Powell, Kelly M; Kliewer, Steven A; Melcher, Karsten; Mangelsdorf, David J; Xu, H Eric

    2014-01-14

    Small heterodimer partner (SHP) is an orphan nuclear receptor that functions as a transcriptional repressor to regulate bile acid and cholesterol homeostasis. Although the precise mechanism whereby SHP represses transcription is not known, E1A-like inhibitor of differentiation (EID1) was isolated as a SHP-interacting protein and implicated in SHP repression. Here we present the crystal structure of SHP in complex with EID1, which reveals an unexpected EID1-binding site on SHP. Unlike the classical cofactor-binding site near the C-terminal helix H12, the EID1-binding site is located at the N terminus of the receptor, where EID1 mimics helix H1 of the nuclear receptor ligand-binding domain. The residues composing the SHP-EID1 interface are highly conserved. Their mutation diminishes SHP-EID1 interactions and affects SHP repressor activity. Together, these results provide important structural insights into SHP cofactor recruitment and repressor function and reveal a conserved protein interface that is likely to have broad implications for transcriptional repression by orphan nuclear receptors.

  20. Structural and Functional Insights into the Unwinding Mechanism of Bacteroides sp Pif1.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xianglian; Ren, Wendan; Bharath, Sakshibeedu R; Tang, Xuhua; He, Yang; Chen, Chen; Liu, Zhou; Li, Dewang; Song, Haiwei

    2016-03-01

    Pif1 is a conserved SF1B DNA helicase involved in maintaining genome stability through unwinding double-stranded DNAs (dsDNAs), DNA/RNA hybrids, and G quadruplex (G4) structures. Here, we report the structures of the helicase domain of human Pif1 and Bacteroides sp Pif1 (BaPif1) in complex with ADP-AlF4(-) and two different single-stranded DNAs (ssDNAs). The wedge region equivalent to the β hairpin in other SF1B DNA helicases folds into an extended loop followed by an α helix. The Pif1 signature motif of BaPif1 interacts with the wedge region and a short helix in order to stabilize these ssDNA binding elements, therefore indirectly exerting its functional role. Domain 2B of BaPif1 undergoes a large conformational change upon concomitant binding of ATP and ssDNA, which is critical for Pif1's activities. BaPif1 cocrystallized with a tailed dsDNA and ADP-AlF4(-), resulting in a bound ssDNA bent nearly 90° at the ssDNA/dsDNA junction. The conformational snapshots of BaPif1 provide insights into the mechanism governing the helicase activity of Pif1.

  1. Genetic Population Structure in the Antarctic Benthos: Insights from the Widespread Amphipod, Orchomenella franklini

    PubMed Central

    Baird, Helena Phoenix; Miller, Karen Joy; Stark, Jonathan Sean

    2012-01-01

    Currently there is very limited understanding of genetic population structure in the Antarctic benthos. We conducted one of the first studies of microsatellite variation in an Antarctic benthic invertebrate, using the ubiquitous amphipod Orchomenella franklini (Walker, 1903). Seven microsatellite loci were used to assess genetic structure on three spatial scales: sites (100 s of metres), locations (1–10 kilometres) and regions (1000 s of kilometres) sampled in East Antarctica at Casey and Davis stations. Considerable genetic diversity was revealed, which varied between the two regions and also between polluted and unpolluted sites. Genetic differentiation among all populations was highly significant (FST = 0.086, RST = 0.139, p<0.001) consistent with the brooding mode of development in O. franklini. Hierarchical AMOVA revealed that the majority of the genetic subdivision occurred across the largest geographical scale, with Nem≈1 suggesting insufficient gene flow to prevent independent evolution of the two regions, i.e., Casey and Davis are effectively isolated. Isolation by distance was detected at smaller scales and indicates that gene flow in O. franklini occurs primarily through stepping-stone dispersal. Three of the microsatellite loci showed signs of selection, providing evidence that localised adaptation may occur within the Antarctic benthos. These results provide insights into processes of speciation in Antarctic brooders, and will help inform the design of spatial management initiatives recently endorsed for the Antarctic benthos. PMID:22479613

  2. Structure-function analysis of peroxidasin provides insight into the mechanism of collagen IV crosslinking.

    PubMed

    Lázár, Enikő; Péterfi, Zalán; Sirokmány, Gábor; Kovács, Hajnal A; Klement, Eva; Medzihradszky, Katalin F; Geiszt, Miklós

    2015-06-01

    Basement membranes provide structural support and convey regulatory signals to cells in diverse tissues. Assembly of collagen IV into a sheet-like network is a fundamental mechanism during the formation of basement membranes. Peroxidasin (PXDN) was recently described to catalyze crosslinking of collagen IV through the formation of sulfilimine bonds. Despite the significance of this pathway in tissue genesis, our understanding of PXDN function is far from complete. In this work we demonstrate that collagen IV crosslinking is a physiological function of mammalian PXDN. Moreover, we carried out structure-function analysis of PXDN to gain a better insight into its role in collagen IV synthesis. We identify conserved cysteines in PXDN that mediate the oligomerization of the protein into a trimeric complex. We also demonstrate that oligomerization is not an absolute requirement for enzymatic activity, but optimal collagen IV coupling is only catalyzed by the PXDN trimers. Localization experiments of different PXDN mutants in two different cell models revealed that PXDN oligomers, but not monomers, adhere on the cell surface in "hot spots," which represent previously unknown locations of collagen IV crosslinking.

  3. Insight into asphaltene nanoaggregate structure inferred by small angle neutron and X-ray scattering.

    PubMed

    Eyssautier, Joëlle; Levitz, Pierre; Espinat, Didier; Jestin, Jacques; Gummel, Jérémie; Grillo, Isabelle; Barré, Loïc

    2011-06-02

    Complementary neutron and X-ray small angle scattering results give prominent information on the asphaltene nanostructure. Precise SANS and SAXS measurements on a large q-scale were performed on the same dilute asphaltene-toluene solution, and absolute intensity scaling was carried out. Direct comparison of neutron and X-ray spectra enables description of a fractal organization made from the aggregation of small entities of 16 kDa, exhibiting an internal fine structure. Neutron contrast variation experiments enhance the description of this nanoaggregate in terms of core-shell disk organization, giving insight into core and shell dimensions and chemical compositions. The nanoaggregates are best described by a disk of total radius 32 Å with 30% polydispersity and a height of 6.7 Å. Composition and density calculations show that the core is a dense and aromatic structure, contrary to the shell, which is highly aliphatic. These results show a good agreement with the general view of the Yen model (Yen, T. F.; et al. Anal. Chem.1961, 33, 1587-1594) and as for the modified Yen model (Mullins, O. C. Energy Fuels2010, 24, 2179-2207), provide characteristic dimensions of the asphaltene nanoaggregate in good solvent.

  4. Structure of a Bimodular Botulinum Neurotoxin Complex Provides Insights into Its Oral Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Lei; Le, Thi Tuc Nghi; Cheng, Luisa W.; Strotmeier, Jasmin; Kruel, Anna Magdalena; Yao, Guorui; Perry, Kay; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by Clostridium botulinum and cause the fatal disease botulism, a flaccid paralysis of the muscle. BoNTs are released together with several auxiliary proteins as progenitor toxin complexes (PTCs) to become highly potent oral poisons. Here, we report the structure of a ∼760 kDa 14-subunit large PTC of serotype A (L-PTC/A) and reveal insight into its absorption mechanism. Using a combination of X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and functional studies, we found that L-PTC/A consists of two structurally and functionally independent sub-complexes. A hetero-dimeric 290 kDa complex protects BoNT, while a hetero-dodecameric 470 kDa complex facilitates its absorption in the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract. BoNT absorption is mediated by nine glycan-binding sites on the dodecameric sub-complex that forms multivalent interactions with carbohydrate receptors on intestinal epithelial cells. We identified monosaccharides that blocked oral BoNT intoxication in mice, which suggests a new strategy for the development of preventive countermeasures for BoNTs based on carbohydrate receptor mimicry. PMID:24130488

  5. Structural Insights into Drug Processing by Human Carboxylesterase 1: Tamoxifen, Mevastatin, and Inhibition by Benzil

    SciTech Connect

    Fleming, Christopher D.; Bencharit, Sompop; Edwards, Carol C.; Hyatt, Janice L.; Tsurkan, Lyudmila; Bai, Feng; Fraga, Charles; Morton, Christopher L.; Howard-Williams, Escher L.; Potter, Philip M.; Redinbo, Matthew R.

    2010-07-19

    Human carboxylesterase 1 (hCE1) exhibits broad substrate specificity and is involved in xenobiotic processing and endobiotic metabolism. We present and analyze crystal structures of hCE1 in complexes with the cholesterol-lowering drug mevastatin, the breast cancer drug tamoxifen, the fatty acyl ethyl ester (FAEE) analogue ethyl acetate, and the novel hCE1 inhibitor benzil. We find that mevastatin does not appear to be a substrate for hCE1, and instead acts as a partially non-competitive inhibitor of the enzyme. Similarly, we show that tamoxifen is a low micromolar, partially non-competitive inhibitor of hCE1. Further, we describe the structural basis for the inhibition of hCE1 by the nanomolar-affinity dione benzil, which acts by forming both covalent and non-covalent complexes with the enzyme. Our results provide detailed insights into the catalytic and non-catalytic processing of small molecules by hCE1, and suggest that the efficacy of clinical drugs may be modulated by targeted hCE1 inhibitors.

  6. Structural insights into the mechanism of the DEAH-box RNA helicase Prp43

    PubMed Central

    Tauchert, Marcel J; Fourmann, Jean-Baptiste; Lührmann, Reinhard; Ficner, Ralf

    2017-01-01

    The DEAH-box helicase Prp43 is a key player in pre-mRNA splicing as well as the maturation of rRNAs. The exact modus operandi of Prp43 and of all other spliceosomal DEAH-box RNA helicases is still elusive. Here, we report crystal structures of Prp43 complexes in different functional states and the analysis of structure-based mutants providing insights into the unwinding and loading mechanism of RNAs. The Prp43•ATP-analog•RNA complex shows the localization of the RNA inside a tunnel formed by the two RecA-like and C-terminal domains. In the ATP-bound state this tunnel can be transformed into a groove prone for RNA binding by large rearrangements of the C-terminal domains. Several conformational changes between the ATP- and ADP-bound states explain the coupling of ATP hydrolysis to RNA translocation, mainly mediated by a β-turn of the RecA1 domain containing the newly identified RF motif. This mechanism is clearly different to those of other RNA helicases. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21510.001 PMID:28092261

  7. Structural insights into HetR−PatS interaction involved in cyanobacterial pattern formation

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Hai-Xi; Jiang, Yong-Liang; Zhao, Meng-Xi; Cai, Kun; Liu, Sanling; Wen, Bin; Lv, Pei; Zhang, Yonghui; Peng, Junhui; Zhong, Hui; Yu, Hong-Mei; Ren, Yan-Min; Zhang, Zhiyong; Tian, Changlin; Wu, Qingfa; Oliveberg, Mikael; Zhang, Cheng-Cai; Chen, Yuxing; Zhou, Cong-Zhao

    2015-01-01

    The one-dimensional pattern of heterocyst in the model cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 is coordinated by the transcription factor HetR and PatS peptide. Here we report the complex structures of HetR binding to DNA, and its hood domain (HetRHood) binding to a PatS-derived hexapeptide (PatS6) at 2.80 and 2.10 Å, respectively. The intertwined HetR dimer possesses a couple of novel HTH motifs, each of which consists of two canonical α-helices in the DNA-binding domain and an auxiliary α-helix from the flap domain of the neighboring subunit. Two PatS6 peptides bind to the lateral clefts of HetRHood, and trigger significant conformational changes of the flap domain, resulting in dissociation of the auxiliary α-helix and eventually release of HetR from the DNA major grove. These findings provide the structural insights into a prokaryotic example of Turing model. PMID:26576507

  8. Human acid sphingomyelinase structures provide insight to molecular basis of Niemann–Pick disease

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yan-Feng; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Garman, Scott C.; Edmunds, Tim; Qiu, Huawei; Wei, Ronnie R.

    2016-01-01

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine, essential components of myelin in neurons. Genetic alterations in ASM lead to ASM deficiency (ASMD) and have been linked to Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Olipudase alfa, a recombinant form of human ASM, is being developed as enzyme replacement therapy to treat the non-neurological manifestations of ASMD. Here we present the human ASM holoenzyme and product bound structures encompassing all of the functional domains. The catalytic domain has a metallophosphatase fold, and two zinc ions and one reaction product phosphocholine are identified in a histidine-rich active site. The structures reveal the underlying catalytic mechanism, in which two zinc ions activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the phosphodiester bond. Docking of sphingomyelin provides a model that allows insight into the selectivity of the enzyme and how the ASM domains collaborate to complete hydrolysis. Mapping of known mutations provides a basic understanding on correlations between enzyme dysfunction and phenotypes observed in ASMD patients. PMID:27725636

  9. Genetic population structure in the Antarctic benthos: insights from the widespread amphipod, Orchomenella franklini.

    PubMed

    Baird, Helena Phoenix; Miller, Karen Joy; Stark, Jonathan Sean

    2012-01-01

    Currently there is very limited understanding of genetic population structure in the Antarctic benthos. We conducted one of the first studies of microsatellite variation in an Antarctic benthic invertebrate, using the ubiquitous amphipod Orchomenella franklini (Walker, 1903). Seven microsatellite loci were used to assess genetic structure on three spatial scales: sites (100 s of metres), locations (1-10 kilometres) and regions (1000 s of kilometres) sampled in East Antarctica at Casey and Davis stations. Considerable genetic diversity was revealed, which varied between the two regions and also between polluted and unpolluted sites. Genetic differentiation among all populations was highly significant (F(ST) = 0.086, R(ST) = 0.139, p<0.001) consistent with the brooding mode of development in O. franklini. Hierarchical AMOVA revealed that the majority of the genetic subdivision occurred across the largest geographical scale, with N(e)m≈1 suggesting insufficient gene flow to prevent independent evolution of the two regions, i.e., Casey and Davis are effectively isolated. Isolation by distance was detected at smaller scales and indicates that gene flow in O. franklini occurs primarily through stepping-stone dispersal. Three of the microsatellite loci showed signs of selection, providing evidence that localised adaptation may occur within the Antarctic benthos. These results provide insights into processes of speciation in Antarctic brooders, and will help inform the design of spatial management initiatives recently endorsed for the Antarctic benthos.

  10. Structural insights into the dynamic process of β2-adrenergic receptor signaling

    PubMed Central

    Manglik, Aashish; Kim, Tae Hun; Masureel, Matthieu; Altenbach, Christian; Yang, Zhongyu; Hilger, Daniel; Lerch, Michael T.; Kobilka, Tong Sun; Thian, Foon Sun; Hubbell, Wayne L.; Prosser, R. Scott; Kobilka, Brian K.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) transduce signals from the extracellular environment to intracellular proteins. To gain structural insight into the regulation of receptor cytoplasmic conformations by extracellular ligands during signaling, we examine the structural dynamics of the cytoplasmic domain of the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) using 19F-fluorine NMR and double electron-electron resonance spectroscopy. These studies show that unliganded and inverse-agonist-bound β2AR exists predominantly in two inactive conformations that exchange within hundreds of microseconds. Although agonists shift the equilibrium towards a conformation capable of engaging cytoplasmic G proteins, they do so incompletely, resulting in increased conformational heterogeneity and the coexistence of inactive, intermediate and active states. Complete transition to the active conformation requires subsequent interaction with a G-protein or an intracellular G protein mimetic. These studies demonstrate a loose allosteric coupling of the agonist-binding site and G protein-coupling interface that may generally be responsible for the complex signaling behavior observed for many GPCRs. PMID:25981665

  11. Structure of promoter-bound TFIID and insight into human PIC assembly

    PubMed Central

    Louder, Robert K.; He, Yuan; López-Blanco, José Ramón; Fang, Jie; Chacón, Pablo; Nogales, Eva

    2016-01-01

    The general transcription factor IID (TFIID) plays a central role in the initiation of RNA polymerase II-dependent transcription by nucleating pre-initiation complex (PIC) assembly at the core promoter. TFIID comprises the TATA-binding protein (TBP) and 13 TBP-associated factors (TAF1-13), which specifically interact with a variety of core promoter DNA sequences. Here we present the structure of human TFIID in complex with TFIIA and core promoter DNA, determined by single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) at sub-nanometer resolution. All core promoter elements are contacted by subunits of TFIID, with TAF1 and TAF2 mediating major interactions with the downstream promoter. TFIIA bridges the TBP-TATA complex with lobe B of TFIID. We also present the cryo-EM reconstruction of a fully-assembled human TAF-less PIC. Superposition of common elements between the two structures provides novel insights into the general role of TFIID in promoter recognition, PIC assembly, and transcription initiation. PMID:27007846

  12. Structural insights into the affinity of Cel7A carbohydrate-binding module for lignin.

    PubMed

    Strobel, Kathryn L; Pfeiffer, Katherine A; Blanch, Harvey W; Clark, Douglas S

    2015-09-11

    The high cost of hydrolytic enzymes impedes the commercial production of lignocellulosic biofuels. High enzyme loadings are required in part due to their non-productive adsorption to lignin, a major component of biomass. Despite numerous studies documenting cellulase adsorption to lignin, few attempts have been made to engineer enzymes to reduce lignin binding. In this work, we used alanine-scanning mutagenesis to elucidate the structural basis for the lignin affinity of Trichoderma reesei Cel7A carbohydrate binding module (CBM). T. reesei Cel7A CBM mutants were produced with a Talaromyces emersonii Cel7A catalytic domain and screened for their binding to cellulose and lignin. Mutation of aromatic and polar residues on the planar face of the CBM greatly decreased binding to both cellulose and lignin, supporting the hypothesis that the cellulose-binding face is also responsible for lignin affinity. Cellulose and lignin affinity of the 31 mutants were highly correlated, although several mutants displayed selective reductions in lignin or cellulose affinity. Four mutants with increased cellulose selectivity (Q2A, H4A, V18A, and P30A) did not exhibit improved hydrolysis of cellulose in the presence of lignin. Further reduction in lignin affinity while maintaining a high level of cellulose affinity is thus necessary to generate an enzyme with improved hydrolysis capability. This work provides insights into the structural underpinnings of lignin affinity, identifies residues amenable to mutation without compromising cellulose affinity, and informs engineering strategies for family one CBMs.

  13. Structural Insights into Bunyavirus Replication and Its Regulation by the vRNA Promoter

    PubMed Central

    Gerlach, Piotr; Malet, Hélène; Cusack, Stephen; Reguera, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Summary Segmented negative-strand RNA virus (sNSV) polymerases transcribe and replicate the viral RNA (vRNA) within a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP). We present cryo-EM and X-ray structures of, respectively, apo- and vRNA bound La Crosse orthobunyavirus (LACV) polymerase that give atomic-resolution insight into how such RNPs perform RNA synthesis. The complementary 3′ and 5′ vRNA extremities are sequence specifically bound in separate sites on the polymerase. The 5′ end binds as a stem-loop, allosterically structuring functionally important polymerase active site loops. Identification of distinct template and product exit tunnels allows proposal of a detailed model for template-directed replication with minimal disruption to the circularised RNP. The similar overall architecture and vRNA binding of monomeric LACV to heterotrimeric influenza polymerase, despite high sequence divergence, suggests that all sNSV polymerases have a common evolutionary origin and mechanism of RNA synthesis. These results will aid development of replication inhibitors of diverse, serious human pathogenic viruses. PMID:26004069

  14. Insights into the structure of mixed CO2/CH4 in gas hydrates

    DOE PAGES

    Everett, S. Michelle; Rawn, Claudia J.; Chakoumakos, Bryan C.; ...

    2015-05-12

    The exchange of carbon dioxide for methane in natural gas hydrates is an attractive approach to harvesting CH4 for energy production while simultaneously sequestering CO2. In addition to the energy and environmental implications, the solid solution of clathrate hydrate (CH4)1-x(CO2)x·5.75H2O provides a model system to study how the distinct bonding and shapes of CH4 and CO2 influence the structure and properties of the compound. In this paper, high-resolution neutron diffraction was used to examine mixed CO2/CH4 gas hydrates. CO2-rich hydrates had smaller lattice parameters, which were attributed to the higher affinity of the CO2 molecule interacting with H2O molecules thatmore » form the surrounding cages, and resulted in a reduction in the unit-cell volume. Experimental nuclear scattering densities illustrate how the cage occupants and energy landscape change with composition. Finally, these results provide important insights on the impact and mechanisms for the structure of mixed CH4/CO2 gas hydrate.« less

  15. Crystal structures of nitric oxide reductases provide key insights into functional conversion of respiratory enzymes.

    PubMed

    Tosha, Takehiko; Shiro, Yoshitsugu

    2013-03-01

    Respiration is an essential biological process to get bioenergy, ATP, for all kingdoms of life. Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) plays central role in aerobic respiration, catalyzing the reduction of O(2) coupled with pumping proton across the biological membrane. Nitric oxide reductase (NOR) involved in anaerobic nitrate respiration is suggested to be evolutionary related to COX and share the same progenitor with COX, on the basis of the amino acid sequence homology. Contrary to COX, NOR catalyzes the reduction of nitric oxide and shows no proton pumping ability. Thus, the respiratory enzyme acquires (or loses) proton pumping ability in addition to the conversion of the catalytic property along with the environmental change on earth. Recently, we solved the structures of two types of NORs, which provides novel insights into the functional conversion of the respiratory enzymes. In this review, we focus on the structural similarities and differences between COXs and NORs and discuss possible mechanism for the functional conversion of these enzymes during molecular evolution.

  16. Structural insights into mRNA recognition from a PIWI domain-siRNA guide complex.

    PubMed

    Parker, James S; Roe, S Mark; Barford, David

    2005-03-31

    RNA interference and related RNA silencing phenomena use short antisense guide RNA molecules to repress the expression of target genes. Argonaute proteins, containing amino-terminal PAZ (for PIWI/Argonaute/Zwille) domains and carboxy-terminal PIWI domains, are core components of these mechanisms. Here we show the crystal structure of a Piwi protein from Archaeoglobus fulgidus (AfPiwi) in complex with a small interfering RNA (siRNA)-like duplex, which mimics the 5' end of a guide RNA strand bound to an overhanging target messenger RNA. The structure contains a highly conserved metal-binding site that anchors the 5' nucleotide of the guide RNA. The first base pair of the duplex is unwound, separating the 5' nucleotide of the guide from the complementary nucleotide on the target strand, which exits with the 3' overhang through a short channel. The remaining base-paired nucleotides assume an A-form helix, accommodated within a channel in the PIWI domain, which can be extended to place the scissile phosphate of the target strand adjacent to the putative slicer catalytic site. This study provides insights into mechanisms of target mRNA recognition and cleavage by an Argonaute-siRNA guide complex.

  17. Structural insights into the histidine trimethylation activity of EgtD from Mycobacterium smegmatis.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Jae-Hee; Cha, Hyung Jin; Ha, Sung-Chul; Rojviriya, Catleya; Kim, Yeon-Gil

    2014-10-03

    EgtD is an S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM)-dependent histidine N,N,N-methyltransferase that catalyzes the formation of hercynine from histidine in the ergothioneine biosynthetic process of Mycobacterium smegmatis. Ergothioneine is a secreted antioxidant that protects mycobacterium from oxidative stress. Here, we present three crystal structures of EgtD in the apo form, the histidine-bound form, and the S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine (SAH)/histidine-bound form. The study revealed that EgtD consists of two distinct domains: a typical methyltransferase domain and a unique substrate binding domain. The histidine binding pocket of the substrate binding domain primarily recognizes the imidazole ring and carboxylate group of histidine rather than the amino group, explaining the high selectivity for histidine and/or (mono-, di-) methylated histidine as substrates. In addition, SAM binding to the MTase domain induced a conformational change in EgtD to facilitate the methyl transfer reaction. The structural analysis provides insights into the putative catalytic mechanism of EgtD in a processive trimethylation reaction.

  18. Role of cilia in structural birth defects: insights from ciliopathy mutant mouse models.

    PubMed

    Rao Damerla, Rama; Gabriel, George C; Li, You; Klena, Nikolai T; Liu, Xiaoqin; Chen, Yu; Cui, Cheng; Pazour, Gregory J; Lo, Cecilia W

    2014-06-01

    Structural birth defect (SBD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the newborn period. Although the etiology of SBD is diverse, a wide spectrum of SBD associated with ciliopathies points to the cilium as having a central role in the pathogenesis of SBDs. Ciliopathies are human diseases arising from disruption of cilia structure and/or function. They are associated with developmental anomalies in one or more organ systems and can involve defects in motile cilia, such as those in the airway epithelia or from defects in nonmotile (primary cilia) that have sensory and cell signaling function. Availability of low cost next generation sequencing has allowed for explosion of new knowledge in genetic etiology of ciliopathies. This has led to the appreciation that many genes are shared in common between otherwise clinically distinct ciliopathies. Further insights into the relevance of the cilium in SBD has come from recovery of pathogenic mutations in cilia-related genes from many large-scale mouse forward genetic screens with differing developmental phenotyping focus. Our mouse mutagenesis screen for congenital heart disease (CHD) using noninvasive fetal echocardiography has yielded a marked enrichment for pathogenic mutations in genes required for motile or primary cilia function. These novel mutant mouse models will be invaluable for modeling human ciliopathies and further interrogating the role of the cilium in the pathogenesis of SBD and CHD. Overall, these findings suggest a central role for the cilium in the pathogenesis of a wide spectrum of developmental anomalies associated with CHD and SBDs.

  19. Human acid sphingomyelinase structures provide insight to molecular basis of Niemann–Pick disease

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Yan-Feng; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Garman, Scott C.; Edmunds, Tim; Qiu, Huawei; Wei, Ronnie R.

    2016-10-26

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine, essential components of myelin in neurons. Genetic alterations in ASM lead to ASM deficiency (ASMD) and have been linked to Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Olipudase alfa, a recombinant form of human ASM, is being developed as enzyme replacement therapy to treat the non-neurological manifestations of ASMD. Here we present the human ASM holoenzyme and product bound structures encompassing all of the functional domains. The catalytic domain has a metallophosphatase fold, and two zinc ions and one reaction product phosphocholine are identified in a histidine-rich active site. The structures reveal the underlying catalytic mechanism, in which two zinc ions activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the phosphodiester bond. Docking of sphingomyelin provides a model that allows insight into the selectivity of the enzyme and how the ASM domains collaborate to complete hydrolysis. Mapping of known mutations provides a basic understanding on correlations between enzyme dysfunction and phenotypes observed in ASMD patients.

  20. Base pairing and structural insights into the 5-formylcytosine in RNA duplex

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rui; Luo, Zhipu; He, Kaizhang; Delaney, Michael O.; Chen, Doris; Sheng, Jia

    2016-01-01

    5-Formylcytidine (f5C), a previously discovered natural nucleotide in the mitochondrial tRNA of many species including human, has been recently detected as the oxidative product of 5-methylcytidine (m5C) through 5-hydroxymethylcytidine (hm5C) in total RNA of mammalian cells. The discovery indicated that these cytosine derivatives in RNA might also play important epigenetic roles similar as in DNA, which has been intensively investigated in the past few years. In this paper, we studied the base pairing specificity of f5C in different RNA duplex contexts. We found that the 5-formyl group could increase duplex thermal stability and enhance base pairing specificity. We present three high-resolution crystal structures of an octamer RNA duplex [5′-GUA(f5C)GUAC-3′]2 that have been solved under three crystallization conditions with different buffers and pH values. Our results showed that the 5-formyl group is located in the same plane as the cytosine base and forms an intra-residue hydrogen bond with the amino group in the N4 position. In addition, this modification increases the base stacking between the f5C and the neighboring bases while not causing significant global and local structure perturbations. This work provides insights into the effects of 5-formylcytosine on RNA duplex. PMID:27079978

  1. Structural Insights into the Affinity of Cel7A Carbohydrate-binding Module for Lignin*

    PubMed Central

    Strobel, Kathryn L.; Pfeiffer, Katherine A.; Blanch, Harvey W.; Clark, Douglas S.

    2015-01-01

    The high cost of hydrolytic enzymes impedes the commercial production of lignocellulosic biofuels. High enzyme loadings are required in part due to their non-productive adsorption to lignin, a major component of biomass. Despite numerous studies documenting cellulase adsorption to lignin, few attempts have been made to engineer enzymes to reduce lignin binding. In this work, we used alanine-scanning mutagenesis to elucidate the structural basis for the lignin affinity of Trichoderma reesei Cel7A carbohydrate binding module (CBM). T. reesei Cel7A CBM mutants were produced with a Talaromyces emersonii Cel7A catalytic domain and screened for their binding to cellulose and lignin. Mutation of aromatic and polar residues on the planar face of the CBM greatly decreased binding to both cellulose and lignin, supporting the hypothesis that the cellulose-binding face is also responsible for lignin affinity. Cellulose and lignin affinity of the 31 mutants were highly correlated, although several mutants displayed selective reductions in lignin or cellulose affinity. Four mutants with increased cellulose selectivity (Q2A, H4A, V18A, and P30A) did not exhibit improved hydrolysis of cellulose in the presence of lignin. Further reduction in lignin affinity while maintaining a high level of cellulose affinity is thus necessary to generate an enzyme with improved hydrolysis capability. This work provides insights into the structural underpinnings of lignin affinity, identifies residues amenable to mutation without compromising cellulose affinity, and informs engineering strategies for family one CBMs. PMID:26209638

  2. Structural insights into the broad substrate specificity of carboxypeptidase T from Thermoactinomyces vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Akparov, Valery Kh; Timofeev, Vladimir I; Khaliullin, Ilyas G; Švedas, Vytas; Chestukhina, Galina G; Kuranova, Inna P

    2015-04-01

    The crystal structures of carboxypeptidase T (CpT) complexes with phenylalanine and arginine substrate analogs - benzylsuccinic acid and (2-guanidinoethylmercapto)succinic acid - were determined by the molecular replacement method at resolutions of 1.57 Å and 1.62 Å to clarify the broad substrate specificity profile of the enzyme. The conservative Leu211 and Leu254 residues (also present in both carboxypeptidase A and carboxypeptidase B) were shown to be structural determinants for recognition of hydrophobic substrates, whereas Asp263 was for recognition of positively charged substrates. Mutations of these determinants modify the substrate profile: the CpT variant Leu211Gln acquires carboxypeptidase B-like properties, and the CpT variant Asp263Asn the carboxypeptidase A-like selectivity. The Pro248-Asp258 loop interacting with Leu254 and Tyr255 was shown to be responsible for recognition of the substrate's C-terminal residue. Substrate binding at the S1' subsite leads to the ligand-dependent shift of this loop, and Leu254 side chain movement induces the conformation rearrangement of the Glu277 residue crucial for catalysis. This is a novel insight into the substrate selectivity of metallocarboxypeptidases that demonstrates the importance of interactions between the S1' subsite and the catalytic center.

  3. Structures of CD6 and Its Ligand CD166 Give Insight into Their Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Chappell, Paul E.; Garner, Lee I.; Yan, Jun; Metcalfe, Clive; Hatherley, Deborah; Johnson, Steven; Robinson, Carol V.; Lea, Susan M.; Brown, Marion H.

    2015-01-01

    Summary CD6 is a transmembrane protein with an extracellular region containing three scavenger receptor cysteine rich (SRCR) domains. The membrane proximal domain of CD6 binds the N-terminal immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) domain of another cell surface receptor, CD166, which also engages in homophilic interactions. CD6 expression is mainly restricted to T cells, and the interaction between CD6 and CD166 regulates T-cell activation. We have solved the X-ray crystal structures of the three SRCR domains of CD6 and two N-terminal domains of CD166. This first structure of consecutive SRCR domains reveals a nonlinear organization. We characterized the binding sites on CD6 and CD166 and showed that a SNP in CD6 causes glycosylation that hinders the CD6/CD166 interaction. Native mass spectrometry analysis showed that there is competition between the heterophilic and homophilic interactions. These data give insight into how interactions of consecutive SRCR domains are perturbed by SNPs and potential therapeutic reagents. PMID:26146185

  4. Crystal Structures of the Histidine Acid Phosphatase from Francisella tularensis Provide Insight into Substrate Recognition

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Harkewal; Felts, Richard L.; Schuermann, Jonathan P.; Reilly, Thomas J.; Tanner, John J.

    2009-12-01

    Histidine acid phosphatases catalyze the transfer of a phosphoryl group from phosphomonoesters to water at acidic pH using an active-site histidine. The histidine acid phosphatase from the category A pathogen Francisella tularensis (FtHAP) has been implicated in intramacrophage survival and virulence, motivating interest in understanding the structure and mechanism of this enzyme. Here, we report a structure-based study of ligand recognition by FtHAP. The 1.70-{angstrom}-resolution structure of FtHAP complexed with the competitive inhibitor L(+)-tartrate was solved using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction phasing. Structures of the ligand-free enzyme and the complex with inorganic phosphate were determined at resolutions of 1.85 and 1.70 {angstrom}, respectively. The structure of the Asp261Ala mutant enzyme complexed with the substrate 3'-AMP was determined at 1.50 {angstrom} resolution to gain insight into substrate recognition. FtHAP exhibits a two-domain fold similar to that of human prostatic acid phosphatase, consisting of an {alpha}/{beta} core domain and a smaller domain that caps the core domain. The structures show that the core domain supplies the phosphoryl binding site, catalytic histidine (His17), and an aspartic acid residue (Asp261) that protonates the leaving group, while the cap domain contributes residues that enforce substrate preference. FtHAP and human prostatic acid phosphatase differ in the orientation of the crucial first helix of the cap domain, implying differences in the substrate preferences of the two enzymes. 3'-AMP binds in one end of a 15-{angstrom}-long tunnel, with the adenine clamped between Phe23 and Tyr135, and the ribose 2'-hydroxyl interacting with Gln132. The importance of the clamp is confirmed with site-directed mutagenesis; mutation of Phe23 and Tyr135 individually to Ala increases K{sub m} by factors of 7 and 10, respectively. The structural data are consistent with a role for FtHAP in scavenging phosphate from small

  5. Structural Insight into How Bacteria Prevent Interference between Multiple Divergent Type IV Secretion Systems

    PubMed Central

    Phan, Isabelle Q. H.; Scheib, Holger; Subramanian, Sandhya; Edwards, Thomas E.; Lehman, Stephanie S.; Piitulainen, Hanna; Sayeedur Rahman, M.; Rennoll-Bankert, Kristen E.; Staker, Bart L.; Taira, Suvi; Stacy, Robin; Myler, Peter J.; Azad, Abdu F.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Prokaryotes use type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) to translocate substrates (e.g., nucleoprotein, DNA, and protein) and/or elaborate surface structures (i.e., pili or adhesins). Bacterial genomes may encode multiple T4SSs, e.g., there are three functionally divergent T4SSs in some Bartonella species (vir, vbh, and trw). In a unique case, most rickettsial species encode a T4SS (rvh) enriched with gene duplication. Within single genomes, the evolutionary and functional implications of cross-system interchangeability of analogous T4SS protein components remains poorly understood. To lend insight into cross-system interchangeability, we analyzed the VirB8 family of T4SS channel proteins. Crystal structures of three VirB8 and two TrwG Bartonella proteins revealed highly conserved C-terminal periplasmic domain folds and dimerization interfaces, despite tremendous sequence divergence. This implies remarkable structural constraints for VirB8 components in the assembly of a functional T4SS. VirB8/TrwG heterodimers, determined via bacterial two-hybrid assays and molecular modeling, indicate that differential expression of trw and vir systems is the likely barrier to VirB8-TrwG interchangeability. We also determined the crystal structure of Rickettsia typhi RvhB8-II and modeled its coexpressed divergent paralog RvhB8-I. Remarkably, while RvhB8-I dimerizes and is structurally similar to other VirB8 proteins, the RvhB8-II dimer interface deviates substantially from other VirB8 structures, potentially preventing RvhB8-I/RvhB8-II heterodimerization. For the rvh T4SS, the evolution of divergent VirB8 paralogs implies a functional diversification that is unknown in other T4SSs. Collectively, our data identify two different constraints (spatiotemporal for Bartonella trw and vir T4SSs and structural for rvh T4SSs) that mediate the functionality of multiple divergent T4SSs within a single bacterium. PMID:26646013

  6. A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Godfray, H. Charles J.; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Field, Linda M.; Hails, Rosemary S.; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.; Vanbergen, Adam J.; McLean, Angela R.

    2014-01-01

    There is evidence that in Europe and North America many species of pollinators are in decline, both in abundance and distribution. Although there is a long list of potential causes of this decline, there is concern that neonicotinoid insecticides, in particular through their use as seed treatments are, at least in part, responsible. This paper describes a project that set out to summarize the natural science evidence base relevant to neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators in as policy-neutral terms as possible. A series of evidence statements are listed and categorized according to the nature of the underlying information. The evidence summary forms the appendix to this paper and an annotated bibliography is provided in the electronic supplementary material. PMID:24850927

  7. A facile graphene oxide based sensor for electrochemical detection of neonicotinoids.

    PubMed

    Urbanová, Veronika; Bakandritsos, Aristides; Jakubec, Petr; Szambó, Tamás; Zbořil, Radek

    2017-03-15

    The increasing use of neonicotinoids in systematic seed treatment to crops is a serious cause of pollution of water resources and environment. Consequently, food sources can get eventually contaminated. To this end, it is desirable to develop suitable and effective platforms in order to obtain low-cost and sensitive sensors for neonicotinoids detection. In this work, graphene oxide modified electrodes were used as highly efficient electrochemical sensors for detection of two common insecticides - thiamethoxam and imidacloprid. The proposed sensor responded linearly in the concentration range of 10-200µmolL(-1) for both analytes and the detection limits were determined as low as 8.3µmolL(-1) and 7.9µmolL(-1) for thiamethoxam and imidacloprid, respectively. Analytical performance was also evaluated on spiked water and honey samples.

  8. A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators.

    PubMed

    Godfray, H Charles J; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Field, Linda M; Hails, Rosemary S; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Potts, Simon G; Raine, Nigel E; Vanbergen, Adam J; McLean, Angela R

    2014-07-07

    There is evidence that in Europe and North America many species of pollinators are in decline, both in abundance and distribution. Although there is a long list of potential causes of this decline, there is concern that neonicotinoid insecticides, in particular through their use as seed treatments are, at least in part, responsible. This paper describes a project that set out to summarize the natural science evidence base relevant to neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators in as policy-neutral terms as possible. A series of evidence statements are listed and categorized according to the nature of the underlying information. The evidence summary forms the appendix to this paper and an annotated bibliography is provided in the electronic supplementary material.

  9. Effect of light on the degradation of two neonicotinoids viz acetamiprid and thiacloprid in soil.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Suman; Gajbhiye, V T; Gupta, R K

    2008-08-01

    Persistence of two neonicotinoids viz thiacloprid and acetamiprid in soil as affected by UV and sunlight exposure was studied. Treated soil was placed in petri-plates, brought to field capacity moisture and then exposed to UV and sunlight. Dissipation for both the pesticides followed monophasic first order kinetics under sunlight, however under UV-light biphasic dissipation was recorded. Residues of acetamiprid and thiacloprid in soil dissipated with half-lives of 11.1 and 12.8 days under UV light and 25.1 and 19.1 days under sunlight, respectively. Residues of both the neonicotinoids dissipated quickly under UV light as compared to sunlight. Exposure of thin film of acetamiprid and thiacloprid to UV and sunlight revealed that acetamiprid is more photo labile than thiacloprid. More than 95% acetamiprid dissipated within 24 h as compared to approximately 70% dissipation observed for thiacloprid.

  10. Neonicotinoids and bees: The case of the European regulatory risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Domenica, Auteri; Maria, Arena; Stefania, Barmaz; Alessio, Ippolito; Alberto, Linguadoca; Tunde, Molnar; Rachel, Sharp; Csaba, Szentes; Benedicte, Vagenende; Alessia, Verani

    2017-02-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are systemic pesticides authorised in Europe since 1991. From their introduction on the market, they have received significant attention from the scientific community, particularly regarding the assessment of lethal and sublethal effects on bees. The availability of scientific evidence alongside some concerns raised on the bee health led to the development of more articulate risk assessment methodologies for pesticides. To support the European Commission in its decision-making process, since 2012 EFSA has been requested to evaluate the risk to bees posed by the exposure to neonicotinoids. The outcome of the EFSA evaluations has been used by risk managers to revise the approval conditions of the substances clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and to impose severe restrictions on their use. Meanwhile, a number of new studies have been carried out. EFSA is evaluating these data in order to further support the decision-making process with updated scientific assessments.

  11. Population variation in and selection for resistance to pyrethroid-neonicotinoid insecticides in the bed bug

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Jennifer R.; Goodman, Mark H.; Potter, Michael F.; Haynes, Kenneth F.

    2014-01-01

    Pyrethroid resistance in bed bugs, Cimex lectularius, has prompted a change to combination products that include a pyrethroid and a neonicotinoid. Ten populations of bed bugs were challenged with two combination products (Temprid SC and Transport GHP). Susceptibility of these populations varied, with the correlated response of the two products indicating cross resistance. We imposed selection on three populations using label rate Temprid, and then reared progeny from unselected and selected strains. All selected strains were significantly less susceptible to Temprid SC than unselected strains. Temprid selected strains were also less susceptible to Transport. The pyrethroid component of Temprid showed a significantly higher LD50 in selected strains, but susceptibility to the neonicotinoid remained unchanged. Taken together these results indicate resistance to combination insecticides is present in field populations at levels that should be of concern, and that short-term selection affecting existing variance in susceptibility can quickly increase resistance. PMID:24452337

  12. Systemic insecticides (neonicotinoids and fipronil): trends, uses, mode of action and metabolites.

    PubMed

    Simon-Delso, N; Amaral-Rogers, V; Belzunces, L P; Bonmatin, J M; Chagnon, M; Downs, C; Furlan, L; Gibbons, D W; Giorio, C; Girolami, V; Goulson, D; Kreutzweiser, D P; Krupke, C H; Liess, M; Long, E; McField, M; Mineau, P; Mitchell, E A D; Morrissey, C A; Noome, D A; Pisa, L; Settele, J; Stark, J D; Tapparo, A; Van Dyck, H; Van Praagh, J; Van der Sluijs, J P; Whitehorn, P R; Wiemers, M

    2015-01-01

    Since their discovery in the late 1980s, neonicotinoid pesticides have become the most widely used class of insecticides worldwide, with large-scale applications ranging from plant protection (crops, vegetables, fruits), veterinary products, and biocides to invertebrate pest control in fish farming. In this review, we address the phenyl-pyrazole fipronil together with neonicotinoids because of similarities in their toxicity, physicochemical profiles, and presence in the environment. Neonicotinoids and fipronil currently account for approximately one third of the world insecticide market; the annual world production of the archetype neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, was estimated to be ca. 20,000 tonnes active substance in 2010. There were several reasons for the initial success of neonicotinoids and fipronil: (1) there was no known pesticide resistance in target pests, mainly because of their recent development, (2) their physicochemical properties included many advantages over previous generations of insecticides (i.e., organophosphates, carbamates, pyrethroids, etc.), and (3) they shared an assumed reduced operator and consumer risk. Due to their systemic nature, they are taken up by the roots or leaves and translocated to all parts of the plant, which, in turn, makes them effectively toxic to herbivorous insects. The toxicity persists for a variable period of time-depending on the plant, its growth stage, and the amount of pesticide applied. A wide variety of applications are available, including the most common prophylactic non-Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) application by seed coating. As a result of their extensive use and physicochemical properties, these substances can be found in all environmental compartments including soil, water, and air. Neonicotinoids and fipronil operate by disrupting neural transmission in the central nervous system of invertebrates. Neonicotinoids mimic the action of neurotransmitters, while fipronil inhibits neuronal receptors. In

  13. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-11-12

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture.

  14. Neonicotinoid Insecticides Alter Induced Defenses and Increase Susceptibility to Spider Mites in Distantly Related Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Szczepaniec, Adrianna; Raupp, Michael J.; Parker, Roy D.; Kerns, David; Eubanks, Micky D.

    2013-01-01

    Background Chemical suppression of arthropod herbivores is the most common approach to plant protection. Insecticides, however, can cause unintended, adverse consequences for non-target organisms. Previous studies focused on the effects of pesticides on target and non-target pests, predatory arthropods, and concomitant ecological disruptions. Little research, however, has focused on the direct effects of insecticides on plants. Here we demonstrate that applications of neonicotinoid insecticides, one of the most important insecticide classes worldwide, suppress expression of important plant defense genes, alter levels of phytohormones involved in plant defense, and decrease plant resistance to unsusceptible herbivores, spider mites Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae), in multiple, distantly related crop plants. Methodology/Principal Findings Using cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), corn (Zea mays) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants, we show that transcription of phenylalanine amonia lyase, coenzyme A ligase, trypsin protease inhibitor and chitinase are suppressed and concentrations of the phytohormone OPDA and salicylic acid were altered by neonicotinoid insecticides. Consequently, the population growth of spider mites increased from 30% to over 100% on neonicotinoid-treated plants in the greenhouse and by nearly 200% in the field experiment. Conclusions/Significance Our findings are important because applications of neonicotinoid insecticides have been associated with outbreaks of spider mites in several unrelated plant species. More importantly, this is the first study to document insecticide-mediated disruption of plant defenses and link it to increased population growth of a non-target herbivore. This study adds to growing evidence that bioactive agrochemicals can have unanticipated ecological effects and suggests that the direct effects of insecticides on plant defenses should be considered when the ecological costs of insecticides are evaluated. PMID

  15. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture. PMID:24145453

  16. Effects of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid pesticide, on reproduction in worker bumble bees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Laycock, Ian; Lenthall, Kate M; Barratt, Andrew T; Cresswell, James E

    2012-10-01

    Bumble bees are important pollinators whose populations have declined over recent years, raising widespread concern. One conspicuous threat to bumble bees is their unintended exposure to trace residues of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides, such as imidacloprid, which are ingested when bees forage on the nectar and pollen of treated crops. However, the demographic consequences for bumble bees of exposure to dietary neonicotinoids have yet to be fully established. To determine whether environmentally realistic levels of imidacloprid are capable of making a demographic impact on bumble bees, we exposed queenless microcolonies of worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris, to a range of dosages of dietary imidacloprid between zero and 125 μg L(-1) and examined the effects on ovary development and fecundity. Microcolonies showed a dose-dependent decline in fecundity, with environmentally realistic dosages in the range of 1 μg L(-1) capable of reducing brood production by one third. In contrast, ovary development was unimpaired by dietary imidacloprid except at the highest dosage. Imidacloprid reduced feeding on both syrup and pollen but, after controlling statistically for dosage, microcolonies that consumed more syrup and pollen produced more brood. We therefore speculate that the detrimental effects of imidacloprid on fecundity emerge principally from nutrient limitation imposed by the failure of individuals to feed. Our findings raise concern about the impact of neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations. However, we recognize that to fully evaluate impacts on wild colonies it will be necessary to establish the effect of dietary neonicotinoids on the fecundity of bumble bee queens.

  17. Effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide on thermoregulation of African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata).

    PubMed

    Tosi, Simone; Démares, Fabien J; Nicolson, Susan W; Medrzycki, Piotr; Pirk, Christian W W; Human, Hannelie

    Thiamethoxam is a widely used neonicotinoid pesticide that, as agonist of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, has been shown to elicit a variety of sublethal effects in honey bees. However, information concerning neonicotinoid effects on honey bee thermoregulation is lacking. Thermoregulation is an essential ability for the honey bee that guarantees the success of foraging and many in-hive tasks, especially brood rearing. We tested the effects of acute exposure to thiamethoxam (0.2, 1, 2ng/bee) on the thorax temperatures of foragers exposed to low (22°C) and high (33°C) temperature environments. Thiamethoxam significantly altered honey bee thorax temperature at all doses tested; the effects elicited varied depending on the environmental temperature and pesticide dose to which individuals were exposed. When bees were exposed to the high temperature environment, the high dose of thiamethoxam increased their thorax temperature 1-2h after exposure. When bees were exposed to the low temperature, the higher doses of the neonicotinoid reduced bee thorax temperatures 60-90min after treatment. In both experiments, the neonicotinoid decreased the temperature of bees the day following the exposure. After a cold shock (5min at 4°C), the two higher doses elicited a decrease of the thorax temperature, while the lower dose caused an increase, compared to the control. These alterations in thermoregulation caused by thiamethoxam may affect bee foraging activity and a variety of in-hive tasks, likely leading to negative consequences at the colony level. Our results shed light on sublethal effect of pesticides which our bees have to deal with.

  18. Structure of coronavirus hemagglutinin-esterase offers insight into corona and influenza virus evolution.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Qinghong; Langereis, Martijn A; van Vliet, Arno L W; Huizinga, Eric G; de Groot, Raoul J

    2008-07-01

    The hemagglutinin-esterases (HEs) are a family of viral envelope glycoproteins that mediate reversible attachment to O-acetylated sialic acids by acting both as lectins and as receptor-destroying enzymes (RDEs). Related HEs occur in influenza C, toro-, and coronaviruses, apparently as a result of relatively recent lateral gene transfer events. Here, we report the crystal structure of a coronavirus (CoV) HE in complex with its receptor. We show that CoV HE arose from an influenza C-like HE fusion protein (HEF). In the process, HE was transformed from a trimer into a dimer, whereas remnants of the fusion domain were adapted to establish novel monomer-monomer contacts. Whereas the structural design of the RDE-acetylesterase domain remained unaltered, the HE receptor-binding domain underwent remodeling to such extent that the ligand is now bound in opposite orientation. This is surprising, because the architecture of the HEF site was preserved in influenza A HA over a much larger evolutionary distance, a switch in receptor specificity and extensive antigenic variation notwithstanding. Apparently, HA and HEF are under more stringent selective constraints than HE, limiting their exploration of alternative binding-site topologies. We attribute the plasticity of the CoV HE receptor-binding site to evolutionary flexibility conferred by functional redundancy between HE and its companion spike protein S. Our findings offer unique insights into the structural and functional consequences of independent protein evolution after interviral gene exchange and open potential avenues to broad-spectrum antiviral drug design.

  19. Structure and rheology of colloidal particle gels: insight from computer simulation.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Eric

    2013-11-01

    A particle gel is a network of aggregated colloidal particles with soft solid-like mechanical properties. Its structural and rheological properties, and the kinetics of its formation, are dependent on the sizes and shapes of the constituent particles, the volume fraction of the particles, and the nature of the interactions between the particles before, during and after gelation. Particle gels may be permanent or transient depending on whether the colloidal forces between the aggregating particles lead to irreversible bonding or weak reversible interactions. With short-range reversible interactions, network formation is typically associated with phase separation or kinetic arrest due to particle crowding. Much existing knowledge has been derived from computer simulations of idealized model systems containing spherical particles interacting with well-defined pair potentials. The status of current progress is reviewed here by summarizing the underlying methodology and key findings from a range of simulation approaches: Monte Carlo, molecular dynamics, Brownian dynamics, Stokesian dynamics, dissipative particle dynamics, multiparticle collision dynamics, and fluid particle dynamics. Then it is described how the technique of Brownian dynamics simulation, in particular, has provided detailed insight into how different kinds of bonding and weak reversible interactions can affect the aggregate fractal structure, the percolation behaviour, and the small-deformation rheological properties of network-forming colloidal systems. A significant ongoing development has been the establishment and testing of efficient algorithms that are able to capture the subtle dynamic structuring effects that arise from effects of interparticle hydrodynamic interactions. This has led to an appreciation recently of the potentially important role of these particle-particle hydrodynamic effects in controlling the evolving morphology of simulated colloidal aggregates and in defining the location of

  20. Trehalulose synthase native and carbohydrate complexed structures provide insights into sucrose isomerization.

    PubMed

    Ravaud, Stéphanie; Robert, Xavier; Watzlawick, Hildegard; Haser, Richard; Mattes, Ralf; Aghajari, Nushin

    2007-09-21

    Various diseases related to the overconsumption of sugar make a growing need for sugar substitutes. Because sucrose is an inexpensive and readily available d-glucose donor, the industrial potential for enzymatic synthesis of the sucrose isomers trehalulose and/or isomaltulose from sucrose is large. The product specificity of sucrose isomerases that catalyze this reaction depends essentially on the possibility for tautomerization of sucrose, which is required for trehalulose formation. For optimal use of the enzyme, targeting controlled synthesis of these functional isomers, it is necessary to minimize the side reactions. This requires an extensive analysis of substrate binding modes and of the specificity-determining sites in the structure. The 1.6-2.2-A resolution three-dimensional structures of native and mutant complexes of a trehalulose synthase from Pseudomonas mesoacidophila MX-45 mimic successive states of the enzyme reaction. Combined with mutagenesis studies they give for the first time thorough insights into substrate recognition and processing and reaction specificities of these enzymes. Among the important outcomes of this study is the revelation of an aromatic clamp defined by Phe(256) and Phe(280) playing an essential role in substrate recognition and in controlling the reaction specificity, which is further supported by mutagenesis studies. Furthermore, this study highlights essential residues for binding the glucosyl and fructosyl moieties. The introduction of subtle changes informed by comparative three-dimensional structural data observed within our study can lead to fundamental modifications in the mode of action of sucrose isomerases and hence provide a template for industrial catalysts.

  1. Structural insights into inhibition of Lipid I production in bacterial cell wall synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Tanino, Tetsuya; Kim, Mijung; Matsuda, Akira; Hong, Jiyong; Ichikawa, Satoshi; Lee, Seok-Yong

    2016-01-01

    Summary Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection is a serious threat to public health. Peptidoglycan biosynthesis is a well-established target for antibiotic development. MraY (phospho-MurNAc-pentapeptide translocase) catalyzes the first and an essential membrane step of peptidoglycan biosynthesis. It is considered a very promising target for the development of new antibiotics, as many naturally occuring nucleoside inhibitors with antibacterial activity target this enzyme1-4. However, antibiotics targeting MraY have not been developed for clinical use mainly due to a lack of structural insight into inhibition of this enzyme. Here we present the crystal structure of MraY from Aquifex aeolicus (MraYAA) in complex with its naturally occurring inhibitor, muraymycin D2 (MD2). Upon binding MD2, MraYAA undergoes remarkably large conformational rearrangements near the active site, which lead to the formation of a nucleoside-binding pocket and a peptide-binding site. MD2 binds the nucleoside-binding pocket like a two-pronged plug inserting into a socket. Additional interactions it makes in the adjacent peptide-binding site anchor MD2 to and enhance its affinity for MraYAA. Surprisingly, MD2 does not interact with three acidic residues or the Mg2+ cofactor required for catalysis, suggesting that MD2 binds to MraYAA in a manner that overlaps with, but is distinct from its natural substrate, UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide. We have deciphered the chemical logic of MD2 binding to MraYAA, including how it avoids the need for pyrophosphate and sugar moieties, which are essential features for substrate binding. The conformational plasticity of MraY could be the reason that it is the target of many structurally distinct inhibitors. These findings can inform the design of new inhibitors targeting MraY as well as its paralogs, WecA and TarO. PMID:27088606

  2. RBR E3 ubiquitin ligases: new structures, new insights, new questions

    PubMed Central

    Spratt, Donald E.; Walden, Helen; Shaw, Gary S.

    2014-01-01

    The RBR (RING-BetweenRING-RING) or TRIAD [two RING fingers and a DRIL (double RING finger linked)] E3 ubiquitin ligases comprise a group of 12 complex multidomain enzymes. This unique family of E3 ligases includes parkin, whose dysfunction is linked to the pathogenesis of early-onset Parkinson's disease, and HOIP (HOIL-1-interacting protein) and HOIL-1 (haem-oxidized IRP2 ubiquitin ligase 1), members of the LUBAC (linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex). The RBR E3 ligases share common features with both the larger RING and HECT (homologous with E6-associated protein C-terminus) E3 ligase families, directly catalysing ubiquitin transfer from an intrinsic catalytic cysteine housed in the C-terminal domain, as well as recruiting thioester-bound E2 enzymes via a RING domain. Recent three-dimensional structures and biochemical findings of the RBRs have revealed novel protein domain folds not previously envisioned and some surprising modes of regulation that have raised many questions. This has required renaming two of the domains in the RBR E3 ligases to more accurately reflect their structures and functions: the C-terminal Rcat (required-for-catalysis) domain, essential for catalytic activity, and a central BRcat (benign-catalytic) domain that adopts the same fold as the Rcat, but lacks a catalytic cysteine residue and ubiquitination activity. The present review discusses how three-dimensional structures of RBR (RING1-BRcat-Rcat) E3 ligases have provided new insights into our understanding of the biochemical mechanisms of these important enzymes in ubiquitin biology. PMID:24576094

  3. Crystal Structures of the Tetratricopeptide Repeat Domains of Kinesin Light Chains: Insight into Cargo Recognition Mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Haizhong; Lee, Han Youl; Tong, Yufeng; Hong, Bum-Soo; Kim, Kyung-Phil; Shen, Yang; Lim, Kyung Jik; Mackenzie, Farrell; Tempel, Wolfram; Park, Hee-Won

    2012-10-23

    Kinesin-1 transports various cargos along the axon by interacting with the cargos through its light chain subunit. Kinesin light chains (KLC) utilize its tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain to interact with over 10 different cargos. Despite a high sequence identity between their TPR domains (87%), KLC1 and KLC2 isoforms exhibit differential binding properties towards some cargos. We determined the structures of human KLC1 and KLC2 tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domains using X-ray crystallography and investigated the different mechanisms by which KLCs interact with their cargos. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, we attributed the specific interaction between KLC1 and JNK-interacting protein 1 (JIP1) cargo to residue N343 in the fourth TRP repeat. Structurally, the N343 residue is adjacent to other asparagines and lysines, creating a positively charged polar patch within the groove of the TPR domain. Whereas, KLC2 with the corresponding residue S328 did not interact with JIP1. Based on these finding, we propose that N343 of KLC1 can form 'a carboxylate clamp' with its neighboring asparagine to interact with JIP1, similar to that of HSP70/HSP90 organizing protein-1's (HOP1) interaction with heat shock proteins. For the binding of cargos shared by KLC1 and KLC2, we propose a different site located within the groove but not involving N343. We further propose a third binding site on KLC1 which involves a stretch of polar residues along the inter-TPR loops that may form a network of hydrogen bonds to JIP3 and JIP4. Together, these results provide structural insights into possible mechanisms of interaction between KLC TPR domains and various cargo proteins.

  4. Liver δ-Aminolevulinate Dehydratase Activity is Inhibited by Neonicotinoids and Restored by Antioxidant Agents

    PubMed Central

    Sauer, Elisa; Moro, Angela M.; Brucker, Natália; Nascimento, Sabrina; Gauer, Bruna; Fracasso, Rafael; Gioda, Adriana; Beck, Ruy; Moreira, José C. F.; Eifler-Lima, Vera Lucia; Garcia, Solange Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids represent the most used class of insecticides worldwide, and their precursor, imidacloprid, is the most widely marketed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of imidacloprid on the activity of hepatic δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase (δ-ALA-D), protective effect of potential antioxidants against this potential effect and presence of chemical elements in the constitution of this pesticide. We observed that δ-ALA-D activity was significantly inhibited by imidacloprid at all concentrations tested in a dose-dependent manner. The IC50 value was obtained and used to evaluate the restoration of the enzymatic activity. δ-ALA-D inhibition was completely restored by addition of dithiotreitol (DTT) and partly by ZnCl2, demonstrating that the inhibition occurs by oxidation of thiol groups and by displacement of the Zn (II), which can be explained by the presence of chemical elements found in the constitution of pesticides. Reduced glutathione (GSH) had the best antioxidant effect against to δ-ALA-D inhibition caused by imidacloprid, followed by curcumin and resveratrol. It is well known that inhibition of the enzyme δ-ALA-D may result in accumulation of its neurotoxic substrate (δ-ALA), in this line, our results suggest that further studies are needed to investigate the possible neurotoxicity induced by neonicotinoids and the involvement of antioxidants in cases of poisoning by neonicotinoids. PMID:25402564

  5. Chronic exposure to a neonicotinoid increases expression of antimicrobial peptide genes in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, William R.; Angelini, David R.

    2017-01-01

    Bumblebees are important pollinators in wild and agricultural settings. In recent decades pollinator declines have been linked to the effects of increased pesticide use and the spread of disease. Synergy between these factors has been suggested, but no physiological mechanism has been identified. This study examines the connection between neonicotinoid exposure and innate immune function in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens, which is an important wild and commercial pollinator in eastern North America. Experimental colonies in the field were enclosed and provided pollen and sugar syrup containing an agriculturally relevant range of imidacloprid concentrations. Bumblebees were collected from colonies over four weeks, and the expression of antimicrobial peptides was measured using multiplex quantitative real time PCR. Significant increases in the expression of abaecin, apidaecin and hymenoptaecin were found over time in treatments receiving moderate to high concentrations of the pesticide. Responses were dependent on time of exposure and dose. These results indicate that immune function in bumblebees is affected by neonicotinoid exposure and suggest a physiological mechanism by which neonicotinoids may impact the innate immune function of bumblebee pollinators in wild and agricultural habitats. PMID:28322347

  6. Chronic exposure to a neonicotinoid increases expression of antimicrobial peptide genes in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens.

    PubMed

    Simmons, William R; Angelini, David R

    2017-03-21

    Bumblebees are important pollinators in wild and agricultural settings. In recent decades pollinator declines have been linked to the effects of increased pesticide use and the spread of disease. Synergy between these factors has been suggested, but no physiological mechanism has been identified. This study examines the connection between neonicotinoid exposure and innate immune function in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens, which is an important wild and commercial pollinator in eastern North America. Experimental colonies in the field were enclosed and provided pollen and sugar syrup containing an agriculturally relevant range of imidacloprid concentrations. Bumblebees were collected from colonies over four weeks, and the expression of antimicrobial peptides was measured using multiplex quantitative real time PCR. Significant increases in the expression of abaecin, apidaecin and hymenoptaecin were found over time in treatments receiving moderate to high concentrations of the pesticide. Responses were dependent on time of exposure and dose. These results indicate that immune function in bumblebees is affected by neonicotinoid exposure and suggest a physiological mechanism by which neonicotinoids may impact the innate immune function of bumblebee pollinators in wild and agricultural habitats.

  7. Dynamics of resistance to the neonicotinoids acetamiprid and thiamethoxam in Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae).

    PubMed

    Horowitz, A Rami; Kontsedalov, Svetlana; Ishaaya, Isaac

    2004-12-01

    The dynamics of resistance in the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), to the neonicotinoids acetamiprid and thiamethoxam was studied extensively in cotton fields in Israel during the cotton-growing seasons 1999-2003. Whitefly strains were collected in early and late seasons mainly in three locations in northern, central, and southern Israel. The whiteflies were assayed under laboratory conditions for susceptibility to neonicotinoids, as part of the Israeli cotton insecticide resistance management strategy. Selections to both acetamiprid and thiamethoxam and cross-resistance between them also were conducted in the laboratory. Although no appreciable resistance to acetamiprid was observed up to 2001, a slight increase of approximately five-fold resistance was detected during 2002 and 2003. However, from 2001 to 2003 thiamethoxam resistance increased >100-fold in the Ayalon Valley and Carmel Coast cotton fields. In cross-resistance assays with both neonicotinoids, the strain that had been selected with thiamethoxam for 12 generations demonstrated almost no cross-resistance to acetamiprid, whereas the acetamiprid-selected strain exhibited high cross-resistance of >500-fold to thiamethoxam.

  8. Compatibility of two systemic neonicotinoids, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, with various natural enemies of agricultural pests.

    PubMed

    Prabhaker, Nilima; Castle, Steven J; Naranjo, Steven E; Toscano, Nick C; Morse, Joseph G

    2011-06-01

    Two systemic neonicotinoids, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, are widely used for residual control of several insect pests in cotton (Gossypium spp.), vegetables, and citrus (Citrus spp.). We evaluated their impact on six species of beneficial arthropods, including four parasitoid species--Aphytis melinus Debach, Gonatocerus ashmeadi Girault, Eretmocerus eremicus Rose & Zolnerowich, and Encarsia formosa Gahan--and two generalist predators--Geocoris punctipes (Say) and Orius insidiosus (Say)--in the laboratory by using a systemic uptake bioassay. Exposure to systemically treated leaves of both neonicotinoids had negative effects on adult survival in all four parasitoids, with higher potency against A. melinus as indicated by a low LC50. Mortality was also high for G. ashmeadi, E. eremicus, and E. formosa after exposure to both compounds but only after 48 h posttreatment. The two predators G. punctipes and O. insidiosus were variably susceptible to imidacloprid and thiamethoxam after 96-h exposure. However, toxicity to these predators may be related to their feeding on foliage and not just contact with surface residues. Our laboratory results contradict suggestions of little impact of these systemic neonicotinoids on parasitoids or predators but field studies will be needed to better quantify the levels of such impacts under natural conditions.

  9. Liver δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase activity is inhibited by neonicotinoids and restored by antioxidant agents.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Elisa; Moro, Angela M; Brucker, Natália; Nascimento, Sabrina; Gauer, Bruna; Fracasso, Rafael; Gioda, Adriana; Beck, Ruy; Moreira, José C F; Eifler-Lima, Vera Lucia; Garcia, Solange Cristina

    2014-11-13

    Neonicotinoids represent the most used class of insecticides worldwide, and their precursor, imidacloprid, is the most widely marketed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of imidacloprid on the activity of hepatic δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase (δ-ALA-D), protective effect of potential antioxidants against this potential effect and presence of chemical elements in the constitution of this pesticide. We observed that δ-ALA-D activity was significantly inhibited by imidacloprid at all concentrations tested in a dose-dependent manner. The IC50 value was obtained and used to evaluate the restoration of the enzymatic activity. δ-ALA-D inhibition was completely restored by addition of dithiotreitol (DTT) and partly by ZnCl2, demonstrating that the inhibition occurs by oxidation of thiol groups and by displacement of the Zn (II), which can be explained by the presence of chemical elements found in the constitution of pesticides. Reduced glutathione (GSH) had the best antioxidant effect against to δ-ALA-D inhibition caused by imidacloprid, followed by curcumin and resveratrol. It is well known that inhibition of the enzyme δ-ALA-D may result in accumulation of its neurotoxic substrate (δ-ALA), in this line, our results suggest that further studies are needed to investigate the possible neurotoxicity induced by neonicotinoids and the involvement of antioxidants in cases of poisoning by neonicotinoids.

  10. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Moffat, Christopher; Pacheco, Joao Goncalves; Sharp, Sheila; Samson, Andrew J; Bollan, Karen A; Huang, Jeffrey; Buckland, Stephen T; Connolly, Christopher N

    2015-05-01

    The global decline in the abundance and diversity of insect pollinators could result from habitat loss, disease, and pesticide exposure. The contribution of the neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g., clothianidin and imidacloprid) to this decline is controversial, and key to understanding their risk is whether the astonishingly low levels found in the nectar and pollen of plants is sufficient to deliver neuroactive levels to their site of action: the bee brain. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax) fed field levels [10 nM, 2.1 ppb (w/w)] of neonicotinoid accumulate between 4 and 10 nM in their brains within 3 days. Acute (minutes) exposure of cultured neurons to 10 nM clothianidin, but not imidacloprid, causes a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-dependent rapid mitochondrial depolarization. However, a chronic (2 days) exposure to 1 nM imidacloprid leads to a receptor-dependent increased sensitivity to a normally innocuous level of acetylcholine, which now also causes rapid mitochondrial depolarization in neurons. Finally, colonies exposed to this level of imidacloprid show deficits in colony growth and nest condition compared with untreated colonies. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the poor navigation and foraging observed in neonicotinoid treated bumblebee colonies.

  11. The Neonicotinoid Insecticide Thiacloprid Impacts upon Bumblebee Colony Development under Field Conditions.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Ciaran; Park, Kirsty J; Whitehorn, Penelope; David, Arthur; Goulson, Dave

    2017-02-07

    The impacts of pesticides, and in particular of neonicotinoids, on bee health remain much debated. Many studies describing negative effects have been criticized as the experimental protocol did not perfectly simulate real-life field scenarios. Here, we placed free-flying bumblebee colonies next to raspberry crops that were either untreated or treated with the neonicotinoid thiacloprid as part of normal farming practice. Colonies were exposed to the raspberry crops for a two week period before being relocated to either a flower-rich or flower-poor site. Overall, exposed colonies were more likely to die prematurely, and those that survived reached a lower final weight and produced 46% fewer reproductives than colonies placed at control farms. The impact was more marked at the flower-rich site (all colonies performed poorly at the flower poor site). Analysis of nectar and pollen stores from bumblebee colonies placed at the same raspberry farms revealed thiacloprid residues of up to 771 ppb in pollen and up to 561 ppb in nectar. The image of thiacloprid as a relatively benign neonicotinoid should now be questioned.

  12. Chiral 1,5-disubstituted 1,3,5-hexahydrotriazine-2-N-nitroimine analogues as novel potent neonicotinoids: Synthesis, insecticidal evaluation and molecular docking studies.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chuanwen; Zhu, Jun; Wang, Haifeng; Jin, Jia; Xing, Jiahua; Yang, Dingrong

    2011-01-01

    A new series of 1,5-disubstituted 1,3,5-hexahydrotriazine-2-N-nitroimines (4a-4x) were designed and synthesized as novel chiral neonicotinoid analogues. The single-crystal structure of 4n was further determined by X-ray diffraction, and its S configuration was confirmed. Preliminary bioassay showed that compound 4e, 4k, 4u, 4v exhibited excellent insecticidal activities at 100 mg/L, while 4k had >90% mortality at 10 mg/L, which suggested it could be used as a lead for future development. Modeling the inhibitor-nAChR complexes by molecular docking studies explained the structure-activity relationships observed in vitro, and revealed an intriguing molecular binding mode at the active site of nAChR, which raised the possibility that these analogues may arbitrate their insecticidal activity through a mechanism other than imidacloprid.

  13. New insights into the determination of HDL structure by apolipoproteins: Thematic review series: high density lipoprotein structure, function, and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Michael C

    2013-08-01

    Apolipoprotein (apo)A-I is the principal protein component of HDL, and because of its conformational adaptability, it can stabilize all HDL subclasses. The amphipathic α-helix is the structural motif that enables apoA-I to achieve this functionality. In the lipid-free state, the helical segments unfold and refold in seconds and are located in the N-terminal two thirds of the molecule where they are loosely packed as a dynamic, four-helix bundle. The C-terminal third of the protein forms an intrinsically disordered domain that mediates initial binding to phospholipid surfaces, which occurs with coupled α-helix formation. The lipid affinity of apoA-I confers detergent-like properties; it can solubilize vesicular phospholipids to create discoidal HDL particles with diameters of approximately 10 nm. Such particles contain a segment of phospholipid bilayer and are stabilized by two apoA-I molecules that are arranged in an anti-parallel, double-belt conformation around the edge of the disc, shielding the hydrophobic phospholipid acyl chains from exposure to water. The apoA-I molecules are in a highly dynamic state, and they stabilize discoidal particles of different sizes by certain segments forming loops that detach reversibly from the particle surface. The flexible apoA-I molecule adapts to the surface of spherical HDL particles by bending and forming a stabilizing trefoil scaffold structure. The above characteristics of apoA-I enable it to partner with ABCA1 in mediating efflux of cellular phospholipid and cholesterol and formation of a heterogeneous population of nascent HDL particles. Novel insights into the structure-function relationships of apoA-I should help reveal mechanisms by which HDL subclass distribution can be manipulated.

  14. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Charreton, Mercédès; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël; Rodet, Guy; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee's locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…), before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence) since (i) few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii) in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48 h), three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee), tetramethrin (70 ng/bee), tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee) and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee) caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee) had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field, the case of

  15. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Charreton, Mercédès; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël; Rodet, Guy; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee’s locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…), before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence) since (i) few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii) in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48h), three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee), tetramethrin (70 ng/bee), tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee) and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee) caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee) had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field, the case

  16. Toward a model of cognitive insight in first-episode psychosis: verbal memory and hippocampal structure.

    PubMed

    Buchy, L; Czechowska, Y; Chochol, C; Malla, A; Joober, R; Pruessner, J; Lepage, M

    2010-09-01

    Our previous work has linked verbal learning and memory with cognitive insight, but not clinical insight, in individuals with a first-episode psychosis (FEP). The current study reassessed the neurocognitive basis of cognitive and clinical insight and explored their neural basis in 61 FEP patients. Cognitive insight was measured with the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS) and clinical insight with the Scale to assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder (SUMD). Global measures for 7 domains of cognition were examined. Hippocampi were manually segmented in to 3 parts: the body, head, and tail. Verbal learning and memory significantly correlated with the BCIS composite index. Composite index scores were significantly associated with total left hippocampal (HC) volume; partial correlations, however, revealed that this relationship was attributable largely to verbal memory performance. The BCIS self-certainty subscale significantly and inversely correlated with bilateral HC volumes, and these associations were independent of verbal learning and memory performance. The BCIS self-reflectiveness subscale significantly correlated with verbal learning and memory but not with HC volume. No significant correlations emerged between the SUMD and verbal memory or HC volume. These results strengthen our previous assertion that in individuals with an FEP cognitive insight may rely on memory whereby current experiences are appraised based on previous ones. The HC may be a viable location among others for the brain system that underlies aspects of cognitive insight in individuals with an FEP.

  17. Mechanistic Insights from Structural Analyses of Ran-GTPase-Driven Nuclear Export of Proteins and RNAs.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, Yoshiyuki

    2016-05-22

    Understanding how macromolecules are rapidly exchanged between the nucleus and the cytoplasm through nuclear pore complexes is a fundamental problem in biology. Exportins are Ran-GTPase-dependent nuclear transport factors that belong to the karyopherin-β family and mediate nuclear export of a plethora of proteins and RNAs, except for bulk mRNA nuclear export. Exportins bind cargo macromolecules in a Ran-GTP-dependent manner in the nucleus, forming exportin-cargo-Ran-GTP complexes (nuclear export complexes). Transient weak interactions between exportins and nucleoporins containing characteristic FG (phenylalanine-glycine) repeat motifs facilitate nuclear pore complex passage of nuclear export complexes. In the cytoplasm, nuclear export complexes are disassembled, thereby releasing the cargo. GTP hydrolysis by Ran promoted in the cytoplasm makes the disassembly reaction virtually irreversible and provides thermodynamic driving force for the overall export reaction. In the past decade, X-ray crystallography of some of the exportins in various functional states coupled with functional analyses, single-particle electron microscopy, molecular dynamics simulations, and small-angle solution X-ray scattering has provided rich insights into the mechanism of cargo binding and release and also begins to elucidate how exportins interact with the FG repeat motifs. The knowledge gained from structural analyses of nuclear export is being translated into development of clinically useful inhibitors of nuclear export to treat human diseases such as cancer and influenza.

  18. Structural insight into the mutual recognition and regulation between Suppressor of Fused and Gli/Ci

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yan; Fu, Lin; Qi, Xiaolong; Zhang, Zhenyi; Xia, Yuanxin; Jia, Jianhang; Jiang, Jin; Zhao, Yun; Wu, Geng

    2013-11-01

    Hedgehog (Hh) signalling regulates embryonic development and adult tissue homoeostasis. Mutations of its pathway components including Suppressor of Fused (Sufu) and Gli/Ci predispose to cancers and congenital anomalies. The Sufu-Gli protein complex occupies a central position in the vertebrate Hh signalling pathway, especially in mammals. Here structures of full-length human and Drosophila Sufu, the human Sufu-Gli complex, along with normal mode analysis and FRET measurement results, reveal that Sufu alternates between ‘open’ and ‘closed’ conformations. The ‘closed’ form of Sufu is stabilized by Gli binding and inhibited by Hh treatment, whereas the ‘open’ state of Sufu is promoted by Gli-dissociation and Hh signalling. Mutations of critical interface residues disrupt the Sufu-Gli complex and prevent Sufu from repressing Gli-mediated transcription, tethering Gli in the cytoplasm and protecting Gli from the 26S proteasome-mediated degradation. Our study thus provides mechanistic insight into the mutual recognition and regulation between Sufu and Gli/Ci.

  19. Structural insights into trapping and dissociation of small molecules in K⁺ channels.

    PubMed

    Linder, Tobias; Saxena, Priyanka; Timin, Eugen; Hering, Steffen; Stary-Weinzinger, Anna

    2014-11-24

    K(+) channels play a critical role in numerous physiological and pathophysiological processes rendering them an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. However, the hERG K(+) channel poses a special challenge in drug discovery, since block of this channel by a plethora of diverse chemical entities can lead to long QT syndrome and sudden death. Of particular interest is the so-called trapping phenomenon, characterized by capture of a drug behind closed channel gates, which harbors an increased pro-arrhythmic risk. In this study we investigated the influence of trapped blockers on the gating dynamics and probed the state dependence of dissociation in K(+) channels by making use of the quaternary tetrabutylammonium. By applying essential dynamics simulations and two-electrode voltage clamp we obtained detailed insights into the dynamics of trapping in KcsA and hERG. Our simulations suggest that the trapped TBA influences the F656 flexibility during gate closure. Based on these findings, we provide a structural hypothesis for drug trapping. Further our simulations reveal the extent of gate opening necessary for drug dissociation.

  20. Structural Insights into and Activity Analysis of the Antimicrobial Peptide Myxinidin

    PubMed Central

    Cantisani, Marco; Finamore, Emiliana; Mignogna, Eleonora; Falanga, Annarita; Nicoletti, Giovanni Francesco; Pedone, Carlo; Morelli, Giancarlo; Leone, Marilisa

    2014-01-01

    The marine environment has been poorly explored in terms of potential new molecules possessing antibacterial activity. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) offer a new potential class of pharmaceuticals; however, further optimization is needed if AMPs are to find broad use as antibiotics. We focused our studies on a peptide derived from the epidermal mucus of hagfish (Myxine glutinosa L.), which was previously characterized and showed high antimicrobial activity against human and fish pathogens. In the present work, the activities of myxinidin peptide analogues were analyzed with the aim of widening the original spectrum of action of myxinidin by suitable changes in the peptide primary structure. The analysis of key residues by alanine scanning allowed for the design of novel peptides with increased activity. We identified the amino acids that are of the utmost importance for the observed antimicrobial activities against a set of pathogens comprising both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Overall, optimized bactericidal potency was achieved by adding a tryptophan residue at the N terminus and by the simultaneous substitution of residues present in positions 3, 4, and 11 with arginine. These results indicate that the myxinidin analogues emerge as an attractive alternative for treating drug-resistant infectious diseases and provide key insights into a rational design for novel agents against these pathogens. PMID:24957834

  1. Structural and functional insights into the conductive pili of Geobacter sulfurreducens revealed in molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Feliciano, G T; Steidl, R J; Reguera, G

    2015-09-14

    Geobacter sulfurreducens (GS) electronically connects with extracellular electron acceptors using conductive protein filaments or pili. To gain insights into their role as biological nanowires, we investigated the structural dynamics of the GS pilus in solution via molecular dynamics simulations. In the model, all of the pilin's aromatics clustered as a right-handed helical band along the pilus, maintaining inter-aromatic distances and dimer configurations optimal for multistep hopping. The aromatics were interspersed within the regions of highest negative potential, which influenced the type and configuration of the aromatic contacts and the rates of electron transfer. Small foci of positive potential were also present but were neutralized within uncharged regions, thus minimizing charge trapping. Consistent with the model predictions, mutant strains with reduced aromatic contacts or negative potentials had defects in pili functions such as the reduction of Fe(III) oxides and electrodes. The results therefore support the notion of a pilus fiber evolved to function as an electronic conduit between the cell and extracellular electron acceptors.

  2. Insights into Protein Structure and Dynamics by Ultraviolet and Visible Resonance Raman Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    López-Peña, Ignacio; Leigh, Brian S; Schlamadinger, Diana E; Kim, Judy E

    2015-08-11

    Raman spectroscopy is a form of vibrational spectroscopy based on inelastic scattering of light. In resonance Raman spectroscopy, the wavelength of the incident light falls within an absorption band of a chromophore, and this overlap of excitation and absorption energy greatly enhances the Raman scattering efficiency of the absorbing species. The ability to probe vibrational spectra of select chromophores within a complex mixture of molecules makes resonance Raman spectroscopy an excellent tool for studies of biomolecules. In this Current Topic, we discuss the type of molecular insights obtained from steady-state and time-resolved resonance Raman studies of a prototypical photoactive protein, rhodopsin. We also review recent efforts in ultraviolet resonance Raman investigations of soluble and membrane-associated biomolecules, including integral membrane proteins and antimicrobial peptides. These examples illustrate that resonance Raman is a sensitive, selective, and practical method for studying the structures of biological molecules, and the molecular bonding, geometry, and environments of protein cofactors, the backbone, and side chains.

  3. Structural insights into the functions of the FANCM-FAAP24 complex in DNA repair.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hui; Zhang, Tianlong; Tao, Ye; Wang, Fang; Tong, Liang; Ding, Jianping

    2013-12-01

    Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder associated with deficiencies in the FA complementation group network. FA complementation group M (FANCM) and FA-associated protein 24 kDa (FAAP24) form a stable complex to anchor the FA core complex to chromatin in repairing DNA interstrand crosslinks. Here, we report the first crystal structure of the C-terminal segment of FANCM in complex with FAAP24. The C-terminal segment of FANCM and FAAP24 both consist of a nuclease domain at the N-terminus and a tandem helix-hairpin-helix (HhH)2 domain at the C-terminus. The FANCM-FAAP24 complex exhibits a similar architecture as that of ApXPF. However, the variations of several key residues and the electrostatic property at the active-site region render a catalytically inactive nuclease domain of FANCM, accounting for the lack of nuclease activity. We also show that the first HhH motif of FAAP24 is a potential binding site for DNA, which plays a critical role in targeting FANCM-FAAP24 to chromatin. These results reveal the mechanistic insights into the functions of FANCM-FAAP24 in DNA repair.

  4. Structural insights into diversity and n-alkane biodegradation mechanisms of alkane hydroxylases

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Yurui; Mao, Guannan; Wang, Yingying; Bartlam, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Environmental microbes utilize four degradation pathways for the oxidation of n-alkanes. Although the enzymes degrading n-alkanes in different microbes may vary, enzymes functioning in the first step in the aerobic degradation of alkanes all belong to the alkane hydroxylases. Alkane hydroxylases are a class of enzymes that insert oxygen atoms derived from molecular oxygen into different sites of the alkane terminus (or termini) depending on the type of enzymes. In this review, we summarize the different types of alkane hydroxylases, their degrading steps, and compare typical enzymes from various classes with regard to their three-dimensional structures, in order to provide insights into how the enzymes mediate their different roles in the degradation of n-alkanes and what determines their different substrate ranges. Through the above analyzes, the degrading mechanisms of enzymes can be elucidated and molecular biological methods can be utilized to expand their catalytic roles in the petrochemical industry or in bioremediation of oil-contaminated environments. PMID:23519435

  5. Mechanistic insights into the Structure and Dynamics of Entangled and Hydrated Lambda-Phage DNA

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Sandipan; Uematsu, Takashi; Svanberg, Christer; Jacobsson, Per; Swenson, Jan; Zäch, Michael; Trehan, Rajendar; Armstrong, George; Sengupta, Bidisha

    2012-01-01

    Intrinsic dynamics of DNA plays crucial role in DNA-protein interactions and has been emphasized as a possible key component for in vivo chromatin organization. We have prepared entangled DNA micro tube above the overlap concentration by exploiting the complementary cohesive ends of λ-phage DNA, which is confirmed by atomic force microscopy and agarose gel electrophoresis. Photon correlation spectroscopy further confirmed that the entangled solutions are found to exhibit the classical hydrodynamics of a single chain segment on length scales smaller than the hydrodynamic length scale of single λ-phage DNA molecule. We also observed that in 41.6% (gm water/gm DNA) hydrated state, λ-phage DNA exhibits a dynamic transition temperature (Tdt) at 187 K and a crossover temperature (Tc) at 246 K. Computational insight reveals that the observed structure and dynamics of entangled λ-phage DNA are distinctively different from the behavior of the corresponding unentangled DNA with open cohesive ends, which is reminiscent with our experimental observation. PMID:22515820

  6. Structural, mechanistic and functional insight into gliotoxin bis-thiomethylation in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Stephen K.; Bock, Tobias; Hering, Vanessa; Owens, Rebecca A.; Jones, Gary W.

    2017-01-01

    Gliotoxin is an epipolythiodioxopiperazine (ETP) class toxin, contains a disulfide bridge that mediates its toxic effects via redox cycling and is produced by the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Self-resistance against gliotoxin is effected by the gliotoxin oxidase GliT, and attenuation of gliotoxin biosynthesis is catalysed by gliotoxin S-methyltransferase GtmA. Here we describe the X-ray crystal structures of GtmA-apo (1.66 Å), GtmA complexed to S-adenosylhomocysteine (1.33 Å) and GtmA complexed to S-adenosylmethionine (2.28 Å), providing mechanistic insights into this important biotransformation. We further reveal that simultaneous elimination of the ability of A. fumigatus to dissipate highly reactive dithiol gliotoxin, via deletion of GliT and GtmA, results in the most significant hypersensitivity to exogenous gliotoxin observed to date. Indeed, quantitative proteomic analysis of ΔgliT::ΔgtmA reveals an uncontrolled over-activation of the gli-cluster upon gliotoxin exposure. The data presented herein reveal, for the first time, the extreme risk associated with intracellular dithiol gliotoxin biosynthesis—in the absence of an efficient dismutation capacity. Significantly, a previously concealed protective role for GtmA and functionality of ETP bis-thiomethylation as an ancestral protection strategy against dithiol compounds is now evident. PMID:28179499

  7. Dissecting the molecular structure of the Orion B cloud: insight from principal component analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gratier, Pierre; Bron, Emeric; Gerin, Maryvonne; Pety, Jérôme; Guzman, Viviana V.; Orkisz, Jan; Bardeau, Sébastien; Goicoechea, Javier R.; Le Petit, Franck; Liszt, Harvey; Öberg, Karin; Peretto, Nicolas; Roueff, Evelyne; Sievers, Albrech; Tremblin, Pascal

    2017-03-01

    Context. The combination of wideband receivers and spectrometers currently available in (sub-)millimeter observatories deliver wide-field hyperspectral imaging of the interstellar medium. Tens of spectral lines can be observed over degree wide fields in about 50 h. This wealth of data calls for restating the physical questions about the interstellar medium in statistical terms. Aims: We aim to gain information on the physical structure of the interstellar medium from a statistical analysis of many lines from different species over a large field of view, without requiring detailed radiative transfer or astrochemical modeling. Methods: We coupled a non-linear rescaling of the data with one of the simplest multivariate analysis methods, namely the principal component analysis, to decompose the observed signal into components that we interpret first qualitatively and then quantitatively based on our deep knowledge of the observed region and of the astrochemistry at play. Results: We identify three principal components, linear compositions of line brightness temperatures, that are correlated at various levels with the column density, the volume density and the UV radiation field. Conclusions: When sampling a sufficiently diverse mixture of physical parameters, it is possible to decompose the molecular emission in order to gain physical insight on the observed interstellar medium. This opens a new avenue for future studies of the interstellar medium. Based on observations carried out at the IRAM-30 m single-dish telescope. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain).

  8. Subsurface architecture of a strike-slip collapse structure: insights from Ilopango caldera, El Salvador

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saxby, Jennifer; Gottsmann, Joachim; Cashman, Katherine; Gutierrez, Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    While most calderas are created by roof collapse along ring-like faults into an emptying magma reservoir during a large and violent explosive eruption, an additional condition for caldera formation may be tectonically induced extensional stresses. Here we provide geophysical insights into the shallow sub-volcanic plumbing system of a collapse caldera in a major strike-slip tectonic setting by inverting Bouguer gravity data from the Ilopango caldera in El Salvador. Despite a long history of catastrophic eruptions with the most recent in 500 A.D., the internal architecture of the caldera has not been investigated, although studies of the most recent eruption have not identified the ring faults commonly associated with caldera collapse. The gravity data show that low-density material aligned along the principal stress orientations of the El Salvador Fault Zone (ESFZ) forms a pronounced gravity low beneath the caldera. Extending to around 6 km depth, the low density structure likely maps a complex stacked shallow plumbing system composed of magmatic and fractured hydrothermal reservoirs. A substantial volume of the plumbing system must be composed of a vapour phase to explain the modeled negative density contrasts. We use these constraints to map the possible multi-phase parameter space contributing to the subsurface architecture of the caldera and propose that the local extension along the complex ESFZ controls accumulation, ascent and eruption of magma at Ilopango. The data further suggest that future eruptions at Ilopango could be facilitated by rapid rise of magma along conjugate fault damage zones through a mechanically weak crust under tension. This may explain the absence of clear ring fault structures at the caldera.

  9. Single Amino Acid Repeats in the Proteome World: Structural, Functional, and Evolutionary Insights

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Amitha Sampath; Sowpati, Divya Tej; Mishra, Rakesh K.

    2016-01-01

    Microsatellites or simple sequence repeats (SSR) are abundant, highly diverse stretches of short DNA repeats present in all genomes. Tandem mono/tri/hexanucleotide repeats in the coding regions contribute to single amino acids repeats (SAARs) in the proteome. While SSRs in the coding region always result in amino acid repeats, a majority of SAARs arise due to a combination of various codons representing the same amino acid and not as a consequence of SSR events. Certain amino acids are abundant in repeat regions indicating a positive selection pressure behind the accumulation of SAARs. By analysing 22 proteomes including the human proteome, we explored the functional and structural relationship of amino acid repeats in an evolutionary context. Only ~15% of repeats are present in any known functional domain, while ~74% of repeats are present in the disordered regions, suggesting that SAARs add to the functionality of proteins by providing flexibility, stability and act as linker elements between domains. Comparison of SAAR containing proteins across species reveals that while shorter repeats are conserved among orthologs, proteins with longer repeats, >15 amino acids, are unique to the respective organism. Lysine repeats are well conserved among orthologs with respect to their length and number of occurrences in a protein. Other amino acids such as glutamic acid, proline, serine and alanine repeats are generally conserved among the orthologs with varying repeat lengths. These findings suggest that SAARs have accumulated in the proteome under positive selection pressure and that they provide flexibility for optimal folding of functional/structural domains of proteins. The insights gained from our observations can help in effective designing and engineering of proteins with novel features. PMID:27893794

  10. Dispersing perylene diimide/SWCNT hybrids: structural insights at the molecular level and fabricating advanced materials.

    PubMed

    Tsarfati, Yael; Strauss, Volker; Kuhri, Susanne; Krieg, Elisha; Weissman, Haim; Shimoni, Eyal; Baram, Jonathan; Guldi, Dirk M; Rybtchinski, Boris

    2015-06-17

    The unique properties of carbon nanotubes (CNT) are advantageous for emerging applications. Yet, the CNT insolubility hampers their potential. Approaches based on covalent and noncovalent methodologies have been tested to realize stable dispersions of CNTs. Noncovalent approaches are of particular interest as they preserve the CNT's structures and properties. We report on hybrids, in which perylene diimide (PDI) amphiphiles are noncovalently immobilized onto single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT). The resulting hybrids were dispersed and exfoliated both in water and organic solvents in the presence of two different PDI derivatives, PP2b and PP3a. The dispersions were investigated using cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), providing unique structural insights into the exfoliation. A helical arrangement of PP2b assemblies on SWCNTs dominates in aqueous dispersions, while a single layer of PP2b and PP3a was found on SWCNTs in organic dispersions. The dispersions were probed by steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopies, revealing appreciable charge redistribution in the ground state, and an efficient electron transfer from SWCNTs to PDIs in the excited state. We also fabricated hybrid materials from the PP2b/SWCNT dispersions. A supramolecular membrane was prepared from aqueous dispersions and used for size-selective separation of gold nanoparticles. Hybrid buckypaper films were prepared from the organic dispersions. In the latter, high conductivity results from enhanced electronic communication and favorable morphology within the hybrid material. Our findings shed light onto SWCNT/dispersant molecular interactions, and introduce a versatile approach toward universal solution processing of SWCNT-based materials.

  11. Crustal Structure and Deformation of the Yakutat Microplate: New Insights From STEEP Marine Seismic Reflection Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowe, L. A.; Gulick, S. P.; Christeson, G.; van Avendonk, H.; Reece, R.; Elmore, R.; Pavlis, T.

    2008-12-01

    In fall 2008, we will conduct an active source marine seismic experiment of the offshore Yakutat microplate in the northern Gulf of Alaska. The survey will be conducted aboard the academic research vessel, R/V Marcus Langseth, collecting deep-penetrating multi-channel seismic reflection survey using an 8-km, 640 channel hydrophone streamer and a 6600 cu. in., 36 airgun array. The survey is the concluding data acquisition phase for the ST. Elias Erosion and tectonics Project (STEEP), a multi-institution NSF-Continental Dynamics project investigating the interplay of climate and tectonics in the Chugach-St. Elias Mountains in southern Alaska. The experiment will also provide important site survey information for possible future Integrated Ocean Drilling Program investigations. Two profiles coincident with wide-angle refraction data (see Christeson, et al., this session) will image structural changes across the Dangerous River Zone from east to west and the Transition Fault from south to north. We will also image the western portion of the Transition Fault to determine the nature of faulting along this boundary including whether or not the Pacific Plate is underthrusting beneath the Yakutat microplate as part of this collision. Our westernmost profile will image the Kayak Island Zone, typically described as the northern extension of the Aleutian megathrust but which may be a forming suture acting as a deformation backstop for the converging Yakutat and North American plates. Profiles across the Pamplona Zone, the current Yakutat-North America deformation front, will further constrain relative timing of structural development and the depth of deformation on the broad folds and thrust faults that comprise the area. This new dataset will allow further insight into regional tectonics of the St. Elias region as well as provide more detail regarding the development of the south Alaskan margin during major Plio-Pleistocene glacial- interglacial periods.

  12. Structural and mechanistic insights into Mcm2-7 double-hexamer assembly and function

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Jingchuan; Li, Huilin; Fernandez-Cid, Alejandra; Riera, Alberto; Tognetti, Sivia; Yuan, Zuanning; Stillman, Bruce; Speck, Christian

    2014-10-15

    Eukaryotic cells license each DNA replication origin during G1 phase by assembling a prereplication complex that contains a Mcm2–7 (minichromosome maintenance proteins 2–7) double hexamer. During S phase, each Mcm2–7 hexamer forms the core of a replicative DNA helicase. However, the mechanisms of origin licensing and helicase activation are poorly understood. The helicase loaders ORC–Cdc6 function to recruit a single Cdt1–Mcm2–7 heptamer to replication origins prior to Cdt1 release and ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7 complex formation, but how the second Mcm2–7 hexamer is recruited to promote double-hexamer formation is not well understood. Here, structural evidence for intermediates consisting of an ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7 complex and an ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7–Mcm2–7 complex are reported, which together provide new insights into DNA licensing. Detailed structural analysis of the loaded Mcm2–7 double-hexamer complex demonstrates that the two hexamers are interlocked and misaligned along the DNA axis and lack ATP hydrolysis activity that is essential for DNA helicase activity. Moreover, we show that the head-to-head juxtaposition of the Mcm2–7 double hexamer generates a new protein interaction surface that creates a multisubunit-binding site for an S-phase protein kinase that is known to activate DNA replication. The data suggest how the double hexamer is assembled and how helicase activity is regulated during DNA licensing, with implications for cell cycle control of DNA replication and genome stability.

  13. New insights into bacterial chemoreceptor array structure and assembly from electron cryotomography.

    PubMed

    Briegel, Ariane; Wong, Margaret L; Hodges, Heather L; Oikonomou, Catherine M; Piasta, Kene N; Harris, Michael J; Fowler, Daniel J; Thompson, Lynmarie K; Falke, Joseph J; Kiessling, Laura L; Jensen, Grant J

    2014-03-18

    Bacterial chemoreceptors cluster in highly ordered, cooperative, extended arrays with a conserved architecture, but the principles that govern array assembly remain unclear. Here we show images of cellular arrays as well as selected chemoreceptor complexes reconstituted in vitro that reveal new principles of array structure and assembly. First, in every case, receptors clustered in a trimers-of-dimers configuration, suggesting this is a highly favored fundamental building block. Second, these trimers-of-receptor dimers exhibited great versatility in the kinds of contacts they formed with each other and with other components of the signaling pathway, although only one architectural type occurred in native arrays. Third, the membrane, while it likely accelerates the formation of arrays, was neither necessary nor sufficient for lattice formation. Molecular crowding substituted for the stabilizing effect of the membrane and allowed cytoplasmic receptor fragments to form sandwiched lattices that strongly resemble the cytoplasmic chemoreceptor arrays found in some bacterial species. Finally, the effective determinant of array structure seemed to be CheA and CheW, which formed a "superlattice" of alternating CheA-filled and CheA-empty rings that linked receptor trimers-of-dimer units into their native hexagonal lattice. While concomitant overexpression of receptors, CheA, and CheW yielded arrays with native spacing, the CheA occupancy was lower and less ordered, suggesting that temporal and spatial coordination of gene expression driven by a single transcription factor may be vital for full order, or that array overgrowth may trigger a disassembly process. The results described here provide new insights into the assembly intermediates and assembly mechanism of this massive macromolecular complex.

  14. Structural and mechanistic insights into Mcm2-7 double-hexamer assembly and function

    DOE PAGES

    Sun, Jingchuan; Li, Huilin; Fernandez-Cid, Alejandra; ...

    2014-10-15

    Eukaryotic cells license each DNA replication origin during G1 phase by assembling a prereplication complex that contains a Mcm2–7 (minichromosome maintenance proteins 2–7) double hexamer. During S phase, each Mcm2–7 hexamer forms the core of a replicative DNA helicase. However, the mechanisms of origin licensing and helicase activation are poorly understood. The helicase loaders ORC–Cdc6 function to recruit a single Cdt1–Mcm2–7 heptamer to replication origins prior to Cdt1 release and ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7 complex formation, but how the second Mcm2–7 hexamer is recruited to promote double-hexamer formation is not well understood. Here, structural evidence for intermediates consisting of an ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7 complex andmore » an ORC–Cdc6–Mcm2–7–Mcm2–7 complex are reported, which together provide new insights into DNA licensing. Detailed structural analysis of the loaded Mcm2–7 double-hexamer complex demonstrates that the two hexamers are interlocked and misaligned along the DNA axis and lack ATP hydrolysis activity that is essential for DNA helicase activity. Moreover, we show that the head-to-head juxtaposition of the Mcm2–7 double hexamer generates a new protein interaction surface that creates a multisubunit-binding site for an S-phase protein kinase that is known to activate DNA replication. The data suggest how the double hexamer is assembled and how helicase activity is regulated during DNA licensing, with implications for cell cycle control of DNA replication and genome stability.« less

  15. The effect of application method on the temporal and spatial distribution of neonicotinoid insecticides in greenhouse zinnia and impact on aphid populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Greenhouse trials were designed to evaluate the effect the application technique would have on temporal and spatial movement of neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam through plant tissue. Mature Zinnia elegans plants were treated by either a soil drench of neonicotinoid insectici...

  16. Honeybees Produce Millimolar Concentrations of Non-Neuronal Acetylcholine for Breeding: Possible Adverse Effects of Neonicotinoids

    PubMed Central

    Wessler, Ignaz; Gärtner, Hedwig-Annabel; Michel-Schmidt, Rosmarie; Brochhausen, Christoph; Schmitz, Luise; Anspach, Laura; Grünewald, Bernd; Kirkpatrick, Charles James

    2016-01-01

    The worldwide use of neonicotinoid pesticides has caused concern on account of their involvement in the decline of bee populations, which are key pollinators in most ecosystems. Here we describe a role of non-neuronal acetylcholine (ACh) for breeding of Apis mellifera carnica and a so far unknown effect of neonicotinoids on non-target insects. Royal jelly or larval food are produced by the hypopharyngeal gland of nursing bees and contain unusually high ACh concentrations (4–8 mM). ACh is extremely well conserved in royal jelly or brood food because of the acidic pH of 4.0. This condition protects ACh from degradation thus ensuring delivery of intact ACh to larvae. Raising the pH to ≥5.5 and applying cholinesterase reduced the content of ACh substantially (by 75–90%) in larval food. When this manipulated brood was tested in artificial larval breeding experiments, the survival rate was higher with food supplemented by 100% with ACh (6 mM) than with food not supplemented with ACh. ACh release from the hypopharyngeal gland and its content in brood food declined by 80%, when honeybee colonies were exposed for 4 weeks to high concentrations of the neonicotinoids clothianidin (100 parts per billion [ppb]) or thiacloprid (8,800 ppb). Under these conditions the secretory cells of the gland were markedly damaged and brood development was severely compromised. Even field-relevant low concentrations of thiacloprid (200 ppb) or clothianidin (1 and 10 ppb) reduced ACh level in the brood food and showed initial adverse effects on brood development. Our findings indicate a hitherto unknown target of neonicotinoids to induce adverse effects on non-neuronal ACh which should be considered when re-assessing the environmental risks of these compounds. To our knowledge this is a new biological mechanism, and we suggest that, in addition to their well documented neurotoxic effects, neonicotinoids may contribute to honeybee colony losses consecutive to a reduction of the ACh content

  17. Effects of clothianidin on aquatic communities: Evaluating the impacts of lethal and sublethal exposure to neonicotinoids.

    PubMed

    Miles, Jesse C; Hua, Jessica; Sepulveda, Maria S; Krupke, Christian H; Hoverman, Jason T

    2017-01-01

    The widespread usage of neonicotinoid insecticides has sparked concern over their effects on non-target organisms. While research has largely focused on terrestrial systems, the low soil binding and high water solubility of neonicotinoids, paired with their extensive use on the landscape, puts aquatic environments at high risk for contamination via runoff events. We assessed the potential threat of these compounds to wetland communities using a combination of field surveys and experimental exposures including concentrations that are representative of what invertebrates experience in the field. In laboratory toxicity experiments, LC50 values ranged from 0.002 ppm to 1.2 ppm for aquatic invertebrates exposed to clothianidin. However, freshwater snails and amphibian larvae showed high tolerance to the chemical with no mortality observed at the highest dissolvable concentration of the insecticide. We also observed behavioral effects of clothianidin. Water bugs, Belostoma flumineum, displayed a dose-dependent reduction in feeding rate following exposure to clothianidin. Similarly, crayfish, Orconectes propinquus, exhibited reduced responsiveness to stimulus with increasing clothianidin concentration. Using a semi-natural mesocosm experiment, we manipulated clothianidin concentration (0.6, 5, and 352 ppb) and the presence of predatory invertebrates to explore community-level effects. We observed high invertebrate predator mortality with increases in clothianidin concentration. With increased predator mortality, prey survival increased by 50% at the highest clothianidin concentration. Thus, clothianidin contamination can result in a top-down trophic cascade in a community dominated by invertebrate predators. In our Indiana field study, we detected clothianidin (max = 176 ppb), imidacloprid (max = 141 ppb), and acetamiprid (max = 7 ppb) in soil samples. In water samples, we detected clothianidin (max = 0.67 ppb), imidacloprid (max = 0.18 ppb), and thiamethoxam (max = 2

  18. Honeybees Produce Millimolar Concentrations of Non-Neuronal Acetylcholine for Breeding: Possible Adverse Effects of Neonicotinoids.

    PubMed

    Wessler, Ignaz; Gärtner, Hedwig-Annabel; Michel-Schmidt, Rosmarie; Brochhausen, Christoph; Schmitz, Luise; Anspach, Laura; Grünewald, Bernd; Kirkpatrick, Charles James

    2016-01-01

    The worldwide use of neonicotinoid pesticides has caused concern on account of their involvement in the decline of bee populations, which are key pollinators in most ecosystems. Here we describe a role of non-neuronal acetylcholine (ACh) for breeding of Apis mellifera carnica and a so far unknown effect of neonicotinoids on non-target insects. Royal jelly or larval food are produced by the hypopharyngeal gland of nursing bees and contain unusually high ACh concentrations (4-8 mM). ACh is extremely well conserved in royal jelly or brood food because of the acidic pH of 4.0. This condition protects ACh from degradation thus ensuring delivery of intact ACh to larvae. Raising the pH to ≥5.5 and applying cholinesterase reduced the content of ACh substantially (by 75-90%) in larval food. When this manipulated brood was tested in artificial larval breeding experiments, the survival rate was higher with food supplemented by 100% with ACh (6 mM) than with food not supplemented with ACh. ACh release from the hypopharyngeal gland and its content in brood food declined by 80%, when honeybee colonies were exposed for 4 weeks to high concentrations of the neonicotinoids clothianidin (100 parts per billion [ppb]) or thiacloprid (8,800 ppb). Under these conditions the secretory cells of the gland were markedly damaged and brood development was severely compromised. Even field-relevant low concentrations of thiacloprid (200 ppb) or clothianidin (1 and 10 ppb) reduced ACh level in the brood food and showed initial adverse effects on brood development. Our findings indicate a hitherto unknown target of neonicotinoids to induce adverse effects on non-neuronal ACh which should be considered when re-assessing the environmental risks of these compounds. To our knowledge this is a new biological mechanism, and we suggest that, in addition to their well documented neurotoxic effects, neonicotinoids may contribute to honeybee colony losses consecutive to a reduction of the ACh content in

  19. Effects of clothianidin on aquatic communities: Evaluating the impacts of lethal and sublethal exposure to neonicotinoids

    PubMed Central

    Miles, Jesse C.; Hua, Jessica; Sepulveda, Maria S.; Krupke, Christian H.

    2017-01-01

    The widespread usage of neonicotinoid insecticides has sparked concern over their effects on non-target organisms. While research has largely focused on terrestrial systems, the low soil binding and high water solubility of neonicotinoids, paired with their extensive use on the landscape, puts aquatic environments at high risk for contamination via runoff events. We assessed the potential threat of these compounds to wetland communities using a combination of field surveys and experimental exposures including concentrations that are representative of what invertebrates experience in the field. In laboratory toxicity experiments, LC50 values ranged from 0.002 ppm to 1.2 ppm for aquatic invertebrates exposed to clothianidin. However, freshwater snails and amphibian larvae showed high tolerance to the chemical with no mortality observed at the highest dissolvable concentration of the insecticide. We also observed behavioral effects of clothianidin. Water bugs, Belostoma flumineum, displayed a dose-dependent reduction in feeding rate following exposure to clothianidin. Similarly, crayfish, Orconectes propinquus, exhibited reduced responsiveness to stimulus with increasing clothianidin concentration. Using a semi-natural mesocosm experiment, we manipulated clothianidin concentration (0.6, 5, and 352 ppb) and the presence of predatory invertebrates to explore community-level effects. We observed high invertebrate predator mortality with increases in clothianidin concentration. With increased predator mortality, prey survival increased by 50% at the highest clothianidin concentration. Thus, clothianidin contamination can result in a top-down trophic cascade in a community dominated by invertebrate predators. In our Indiana field study, we detected clothianidin (max = 176 ppb), imidacloprid (max = 141 ppb), and acetamiprid (max = 7 ppb) in soil samples. In water samples, we detected clothianidin (max = 0.67 ppb), imidacloprid (max = 0.18 ppb), and thiamethoxam (max = 2

  20. Insights into Silicate and Oxide Melt Structure from Amorphous, Non-Glass-Forming Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stebbins, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Many silicate and oxide liquids of interest in the Earth sciences and in technology cannot readily be quenched to glasses, either because of low silica contents (and hence low viscosity at the melting point and accompanying liquid 'fragility') or because of liquid-liquid unmixing at high temperature. Although in-situ, high temperature structural tools have been in use for decades and are rapidly developing, many methods are still most informative for glass samples quenched to ambient pressure and temperature, e.g. high-resolution solid-state NMR. Amorphous oxides, including alumina and silicate compositions, have widespread technological applications. These are generally deposited by a variety of high-energy sputtering methods, as films of thicknesses of 10's to 100's of nm. Using Al-27, Si-29, and O-17 NMR, we have recently shown that for such films, very similar short-range structure is seen in materials made by very different kinetic pathways, such as sol-gel synthesis vs. ion-beam sputtering. This path-independent structure suggests that these materials pass through transient equilibrium states during their formation, probably that of deeply supercooled liquids just above glass transition temperatures. In the HfO2-SiO2 and ZrO2-SiO2 systems, for example, samples have well-resolved O-17 NMR spectra, allowing quantitation of O sites with only Hf(Zr) neighbors (so-called "free" oxide ions), with mixed Hf(Zr) and Si neighbors, and Si only. The observed oxygen speciation agrees well with a simple thermodynamic model of one of the most fundamental equilibria in silicate systems, namely the reaction of bridging (Si-O-Si) and "free" (e.g. OHf3 and OHf4) oxide ions to produce "non-bridging" oxygens (e.g. Si-OHf2). This new approach to sampling such structural equilibria in compositions far outside the range of normal glass-forming liquids may provide new insights into more geological compositions as well, as well as in more general models of silicate melt chemistry.

  1. Structural and Dynamical Insights into the Membrane-Bound α-Synuclein

    PubMed Central

    Mukhopadhyay, Samrat

    2013-01-01

    Membrane-induced disorder-to-helix transition of α-synuclein, a presynaptic protein, has been implicated in a number of important neuronal functions as well as in the etiology of Parkinson’s disease. In order to obtain structural insights of membrane-bound α-synuclein at the residue-specific resolution, we took advantage of the fact that the protein is devoid of tryptophan and incorporated single tryptophan at various residue positions along the sequence. These tryptophans were used as site-specific markers to characterize the structural and dynamical aspects of α-synuclein on the negatively charged small unilamellar lipid vesicles. An array of site-specific fluorescence readouts, such as the spectral-shift, quenching efficiency and anisotropy, allowed us to discern various features of the conformational rearrangements occurring at different locations of α-synuclein on the lipid membrane. In order to define the spatial localization of various regions of the protein near the membrane surface, we utilized a unique and sensitive indicator, namely, red-edge excitation shift (REES), which originates when a fluorophore is located in a highly ordered micro-environment. The extent of REES observed at different residue positions allowed us to directly identify the residues that are localized at the membrane-water interface comprising a thin (∼ 15 Å) layer of motionally restrained water molecules and enabled us to construct a dynamic hydration map of the protein. The combination of site-specific fluorescence readouts allowed us to unravel the intriguing molecular details of α-synuclein on the lipid membrane in a direct model-free fashion. Additionally, the combination of methodologies described here are capable of distinguishing subtle but important structural alterations of α-synuclein bound to different negatively charged lipids with varied head-group chemistry. We believe that the structural modulations of α-synuclein on the membrane could potentially be

  2. Sub-lethal effects of dietary neonicotinoid insecticide exposure on honey bee queen fecundity and colony development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu-Smart, Judy; Spivak, Marla

    2016-08-01

    Many factors can negatively affect honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) health including the pervasive use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides. Through direct consumption of contaminated nectar and pollen from treated plants, neonicotinoids can affect foraging, learning, and memory in worker bees. Less well studied are the potential effects of neonicotinoids on queen bees, which may be exposed indirectly through trophallaxis, or food-sharing. To assess effects on queen productivity, small colonies of different sizes (1500, 3000, and 7000 bees) were fed imidacloprid (0, 10, 20, 50, and 100 ppb) in syrup for three weeks. We found adverse effects of imidacloprid on queens (egg-laying and locomotor activity), worker bees (foraging and hygienic activities), and colony development (brood production and pollen stores) in all treated colonies. Some effects were less evident as colony size increased, suggesting that larger colony populations may act as a buffer to pesticide exposure. This study is the first to show adverse effects of imidacloprid on queen bee fecundity and behavior and improves our understanding of how neonicotinoids may impair short-term colony functioning. These data indicate that risk-mitigation efforts should focus on reducing neonicotinoid exposure in the early spring when colonies are smallest and queens are most vulnerable to exposure.

  3. Sub-lethal effects of dietary neonicotinoid insecticide exposure on honey bee queen fecundity and colony development

    PubMed Central

    Wu-Smart, Judy; Spivak, Marla

    2016-01-01

    Many factors can negatively affect honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) health including the pervasive use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides. Through direct consumption of contaminated nectar and pollen from treated plants, neonicotinoids can affect foraging, learning, and memory in worker bees. Less well studied are the potential effects of neonicotinoids on queen bees, which may be exposed indirectly through trophallaxis, or food-sharing. To assess effects on queen productivity, small colonies of different sizes (1500, 3000, and 7000 bees) were fed imidacloprid (0, 10, 20, 50, and 100 ppb) in syrup for three weeks. We found adverse effects of imidacloprid on queens (egg-laying and locomotor activity), worker bees (foraging and hygienic activities), and colony development (brood production and pollen stores) in all treated colonies. Some effects were less evident as colony size increased, suggesting that larger colony populations may act as a buffer to pesticide exposure. This study is the first to show adverse effects of imidacloprid on queen bee fecundity and behavior and improves our understanding of how neonicotinoids may impair short-term colony functioning. These data indicate that risk-mitigation efforts should focus on reducing neonicotinoid exposure in the early spring when colonies are smallest and queens are most vulnerable to exposure. PMID:27562025

  4. Modeling Remobilization of Neonicotinoid Residues from Tree Foliage in Streams-A Relevant Exposure Pathway in Risk Assessment?

    PubMed

    Englert, Dominic; Bakanov, Nikita; Zubrod, Jochen P; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco

    2017-02-07

    Systemic neonicotinoid insecticides are increasingly used as a crop protection measure to suppress insect pests on trees. However, senescent foliage falling from treated trees represents a rarely studied pathway through which neonicotinoids may enter nontarget environments, e.g., surface waters. To estimate risk posed by this pathway, neonicotinoid residues were analyzed in foliage from black alder trees treated with one of three neonicotinoid insecticides (imidacloprid, thiacloprid, or acetamiprid) at five concentrations, each ranging from 0.0375-9.6 g active ingredient/cm trunk diameter at breast height (n = 3). Foliar residues measured at the time of leaf fall were used as input parameters for a model predicting imidacloprid water concentrations over a 100-m-long stream stretch as a consequence of remobilization from introduced foliage (input: 600 g foliage/m(2) containing 80 μg imidacloprid/g). The water concentration (up to ∼250 ng/L) predicted by the model exceeded the recently proposed Maximum Permissible Concentration of 8.3 ng/L for ∼6.5 days. Moreover, dietary uptake was identified as an additional exposure route for aquatic organisms. The alternative pathway (i.e., introduction via leaf fall) and exposure route (i.e., dietary uptake) associated with the systemic nature of neonicotinoids should be accounted for during their registration process in order to safeguard ecosystem integrity.

  5. Sub-lethal effects of dietary neonicotinoid insecticide exposure on honey bee queen fecundity and colony development.

    PubMed

    Wu-Smart, Judy; Spivak, Marla

    2016-08-26

    Many factors can negatively affect honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) health including the pervasive use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides. Through direct consumption of contaminated nectar and pollen from treated plants, neonicotinoids can affect foraging, learning, and memory in worker bees. Less well studied are the potential effects of neonicotinoids on queen bees, which may be exposed indirectly through trophallaxis, or food-sharing. To assess effects on queen productivity, small colonies of different sizes (1500, 3000, and 7000 bees) were fed imidacloprid (0, 10, 20, 50, and 100 ppb) in syrup for three weeks. We found adverse effects of imidacloprid on queens (egg-laying and locomotor activity), worker bees (foraging and hygienic activities), and colony development (brood production and pollen stores) in all treated colonies. Some effects were less evident as colony size increased, suggesting that larger colony populations may act as a buffer to pesticide exposure. This study is the first to show adverse effects of imidacloprid on queen bee fecundity and behavior and improves our understanding of how neonicotinoids may impair short-term colony functioning. These data indicate that risk-mitigation efforts should focus on reducing neonicotinoid exposure in the early spring when colonies are smallest and queens are most vulnerable to exposure.

  6. Multi Length Scale Imaging of Flocculated Estuarine Sediments; Insights into their Complex 3D Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheatland, Jonathan; Bushby, Andy; Droppo, Ian; Carr, Simon; Spencer, Kate

    2015-04-01

    Suspended estuarine sediments form flocs that are compositionally complex, fragile and irregularly shaped. The fate and transport of suspended particulate matter (SPM) is determined by the size, shape, density, porosity and stability of these flocs and prediction of SPM transport requires accurate measurements of these three-dimensional (3D) physical properties. However, the multi-scaled nature of flocs in addition to their fragility makes their characterisation in 3D problematic. Correlative microscopy is a strategy involving the spatial registration of information collected at different scales using several imaging modalities. Previously, conventional optical microscopy (COM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) have enabled 2-dimensional (2D) floc characterisation at the gross (> 1 µm) and sub-micron scales respectively. Whilst this has proven insightful there remains a critical spatial and dimensional gap preventing the accurate measurement of geometric properties and an understanding of how structures at different scales are related. Within life sciences volumetric imaging techniques such as 3D micro-computed tomography (3D µCT) and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy [FIB-SEM (or FIB-tomography)] have been combined to characterise materials at the centimetre to micron scale. Combining these techniques with TEM enables an advanced correlative study, allowing material properties across multiple spatial and dimensional scales to be visualised. The aims of this study are; 1) to formulate an advanced correlative imaging strategy combining 3D µCT, FIB-tomography and TEM; 2) to acquire 3D datasets; 3) to produce a model allowing their co-visualisation; 4) to interpret 3D floc structure. To reduce the chance of structural alterations during analysis samples were first 'fixed' in 2.5% glutaraldehyde/2% formaldehyde before being embedding in Durcupan resin. Intermediate steps were implemented to improve contrast and remove pore water, achieved by the

  7. How oblique extension and structural inheritance control rift segment linkage: Insights from 4D analogue models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwaan, Frank; Schreurs, Guido

    2016-04-01

    the extension direction. This occurs when rifts are laterally sufficiently far apart and local effects probably overrule the far-field stresses. Our CT- and PIV-analyses will reveal this surprising effect in more detail. The influence of rift-connecting seeds (model series 1) on rift interaction is limited. Only when they are oriented some 30° or more oblique to the extension direction, can they be activated. In most of these cases oblique-slip fault zones (transfer zones) form along the rift-connecting weak zone, linking the rift segments. Transfer zone structures depend on the angle between the seed orientation and extension direction: the higher the angle, the wider the fault zone. However, these observations are only valid under dextral oblique extension conditions; none of our rift-connecting weak zones (connecting right-stepping rift segments) are activated when sinistral oblique extension is applied. Still our models show how structural inheritance can control the orientation and structuration of transfer zones between rift segments that later on might evolve into oceanic transform faults. REFERENCE Zwaan, F., Schreurs, G., Naliboff, J., Buiter, S.J.H. (in revision) Insights into the effects of oblique extension on continental rift interaction from 3D analogue and numerical models.

  8. Photocatalytic degradation with immobilised TiO(2) of three selected neonicotinoid insecticides: imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin.

    PubMed

    Zabar, Romina; Komel, Tilen; Fabjan, Jure; Kralj, Mojca Bavcon; Trebše, Polonca

    2012-09-01

    This research focused on photocatalytic degradation of imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin employing a tailor-made photoreactor with six polychromatic fluorescent UVA (broad maximum at 355 nm) lamps and immobilised titanium dioxide (TiO(2)) on glass slides. The disappearance was followed by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC-DAD) analyses, wherein the efficiency of mineralization was monitored by measurements of total organic carbon (TOC). Within 2h of photocatalysis, all three neonicotinoids were degraded following first order kinetics with rate constants k=0.035 ± 0.001 min(-1) for imidacloprid, k=0.019 ± 0.001 min(-1) for thiamethoxam and k=0.021 ± 0.000 min(-1) for clothianidin. However, the rate of mineralization was low, i.e. 19.1 ± 0.2% for imidacloprid, 14.4 ± 2.9% for thiamethoxam and 14.1 ± 0.4% for clothianidin. This indicates that several transformation products were formed instead. Some of them were observed within HPLC-DAD analyses and structures were proposed according to the liquid chromatography-electro spray ionization tandem mass spectrometry analyses (LC-ESI-MS/MS). The formation of clothianidin, as thiamethoxam transformation product, was reported for the first time.

  9. The InSight VBB Seismometer: From Signal and Noise to Internal Structure.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lognonne, P.; Banerdt, W. B.; Giardini, D.; Christensen, U.; Mimoun, D.; de Raucourt, S.; Spiga, A.; Garcia, R.; Mocquet, A.; Panning, M.; Beucler, E.; Boschi, L.; Goetz, W.; Pike, T.; Johnson, C.; Weber, R.; Wieczorek, M.; Larmat, K.; Kobayashi, N.; Tromp, J.

    2012-04-01

    The InSight Mission is one of three NASA down-selected projects in competition for the 2010 Discovery AO. The goal of SEIS (a very-broad-band (VBB) seismometer), the mission's core instrument, is to determine the interior structure and seismic activity of the planet. If selected by NASA in mid 2012, the mission will be launched in 2016 and will operate on the Martian surface during two earth years after landing. We present modeling of both seismic amplitudes and seismic noise, in the later case by advance modeling of the interaction of the atmosphere with the Martian ground or seismic waves modeling fully taken into account the expected 3D structure of the crust, and use the later estimations to determine the detection threshold of the VBB seismometer. Both quakes and impacts are considered, and in the later case, impacts data and associated seismic responses of the Apollo seismic experiment are used to better model the seismic efficiency of the impacts and the associated source functions. For quakes, amplitudes of the core phases are estimated and discussed, as well as the dependence of signal amplitudes to attenuation and the associated importance of broad band seismology. As only one seismic station is available, structure in-version will be performed using: - Secondary seismic data which do not depend on the event location: e.g., free oscillation frequencies for the largest quakes constraining the interior down to 200 km and receiver functions constraining the crust-mantle discontinuity below the landing site ; - Seismic impact data from impacts post-located by a Mars orbiter; - Seismic data associated with events with more than 3 different wave arrival time determinations (for Vs in-version with constant Vp/Vs) or more than 4 (for full Vp, Vs inversions). We estimate that about 35 events will be detected with both P and S waves ( and for most R1-Lg surface waves) and about 10 with P, S and R1/R2/R3 surface waves and core phases (e.g., PcP, ScP) with high

  10. X-ray Raman Scattering at Extreme Conditions: Insights to Local Structure, Oxidation and Spin state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilke, M.; Sternemann, C.; Sahle, C.; Spiekermann, G.; Nyrow, A.; Weis, C.; Cerantola, V.; Schmidt, C.; Yavas, H.

    2015-12-01

    In the last decades, X-ray spectroscopic techniques using very intense synchrotron radiation (SR) have become indispensable tools for studying geomaterials. Due to the rather low absorption of hard X-rays, SR opens up the possibility to perform measurements in high-pressure, high temperature cells. The range of elements accessible by X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAFS) techniques in these cells is limited by the absorption of X-rays due to the sample environment, i.e. the diamond windows. The indirect measurement of XAFS spectra by inelastic X-ray Raman scattering (XRS) provides a workaround to access absorption edges at low energies (e.g. low Z elements). Therefore, XRS enables measurements that are similar to electron energy loss spectroscopy but offer to measure at in-situ conditions and not just in vacuum. Measurements of the O K-edge of H2O from ambient to supercritical PT-conditions (up to 600°C @ 134 MPa; 400°C @ 371 MPa) were used to trace structural changes of the hydrogen-bonded network, which controls many physical and chemical properties of H2O [1]. The Fe M3,2-edge measured by XRS were used to characterize the oxidation state and local structure in crystalline compounds and glasses [2]. Furthermore, the M3,2 yields detailed insight to the crystal-field splitting and electronic spin state. In a reconnaissance study, the pressure-induced high-spin to low-spin transition of Fe in FeS between 6 and 8 GPa was measured. By multiplet calculations of the spectra for octahedral Fe2+, a difference in crystal field splitting between the two states of ca. 1.7 eV was estimated [3]. Finally, we successfully assessed the electronic structure of Fe in siderite by measurements of M and L-edge up to 50 GPa, covering the spin transition between 40 and 45 GPa. [1] Sahle et al. (2013) PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1220301110.. [2] Nyrow et al. (2014) Contrib Mineral Petrol 167, 1012. [3] Nyrow et al. (2014) Appl Phys Lett 104, 262408.

  11. Electric Field Effects on the Intermolecular Interactions in Water Whiskers: Insight from Structures, Energetics, and Properties

    DOE PAGES

    Bai, Yang; He, Hui-Min; Li, Ying; ...

    2015-02-19

    Modulation of intermolecular interactions in response to external electric fields could be fundamental to the formation of unusual forms of water, such as water whiskers. However, a detailed understanding of the nature of intermolecular interactions in such systems is lacking. In this study, we present novel theoretical results based on electron correlation calculations regarding the nature of H-bonds in water whiskers, which is revealed by studying their evolution under external electric fields with various field strengths. We find that the water whiskers consisting of 2-7 water molecules all have a chain-length dependent critical electric field. Under the critical electric field,more » the most compact chain structures are obtained, featuring very strong H-bonds, herein referred to as covalent H-bonds. In the case of a water dimer whisker, the bond length of the novel covalent H-bond shortens by 25%, the covalent bond order increases by 9 times, and accordingly the H-bond energy is strengthened by 5 times compared to the normal H-bond in a (H2O)2 cluster. Below the critical electric field, it is observed that with increasing field strength, H-bonding orbitals display gradual evolutions in the orbital energy, orbital ordering, and orbital nature (i.e., from typical -style orbital to unusual -style double H-bonding orbital). We also show that beyond the critical electric field, a single water whisker may disintegrate to form a loosely bound zwitterionic chain due to a relay-style proton transfer, whereas two water whiskers may undergo intermolecular cross-linking to form a quasi-two-dimensional water network. In conclusion, these results help shed new insight on the effects of electric fields on water whisker formation.« less

  12. Electric Field Effects on the Intermolecular Interactions in Water Whiskers: Insight from Structures, Energetics, and Properties

    SciTech Connect

    Bai, Yang; He, Hui-Min; Li, Ying; Zhou, Zhong-Jun; Wang, Jia-Jun; Wu, Di; Chen, Wei; Gu, Feng-Long; Sumpter, Bobby G.; Huang, Jingsong

    2015-02-19

    Modulation of intermolecular interactions in response to external electric fields could be fundamental to the formation of unusual forms of water, such as water whiskers. However, a detailed understanding of the nature of intermolecular interactions in such systems is lacking. In this study, we present novel theoretical results based on electron correlation calculations regarding the nature of H-bonds in water whiskers, which is revealed by studying their evolution under external electric fields with various field strengths. We find that the water whiskers consisting of 2-7 water molecules all have a chain-length dependent critical electric field. Under the critical electric field, the most compact chain structures are obtained, featuring very strong H-bonds, herein referred to as covalent H-bonds. In the case of a water dimer whisker, the bond length of the novel covalent H-bond shortens by 25%, the covalent bond order increases by 9 times, and accordingly the H-bond energy is strengthened by 5 times compared to the normal H-bond in a (H2O)2 cluster. Below the critical electric field, it is observed that with increasing field strength, H-bonding orbitals display gradual evolutions in the orbital energy, orbital ordering, and orbital nature (i.e., from typical -style orbital to unusual -style double H-bonding orbital). We also show that beyond the critical electric field, a single water whisker may disintegrate to form a loosely bound zwitterionic chain due to a relay-style proton transfer, whereas two water whiskers may undergo intermolecular cross-linking to form a quasi-two-dimensional water network. In conclusion, these results help shed new insight on the effects of electric fields on water whisker formation.

  13. CYANOMETHANIMINE ISOMERS IN COLD INTERSTELLAR CLOUDS: INSIGHTS FROM ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE AND KINETIC CALCULATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Vazart, Fanny; Latouche, Camille; Skouteris, Dimitrios; Barone, Vincenzo; Balucani, Nadia

    2015-09-10

    New insights into the formation of interstellar cyanomethanimine, a species of great relevance in prebiotic chemistry, are provided by electronic structure and kinetic calculations for the reaction CN + CH{sub 2} = NH. This reaction is a facile formation route of Z,E-C-cyanomethanimine, even under the extreme conditions of density and temperature typical of cold interstellar clouds. E-C-cyanomethanimine has been recently identified in Sgr B2(N) in the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) PRIMOS survey by P. Zaleski et al. and no efficient formation routes have been envisaged so far. The rate coefficient expression for the reaction channel leading to the observed isomer E-C-cyanomethanimine is 3.15 × 10-10 × (T/300){sup 0.152} × e{sup (−0.0948/T)}. According to the present study, the more stable Z-C-cyanomethanimine isomer is formed with a slightly larger yield (4.59 × 10{sup −10} × (T/300){sup 0.153} × e{sup (−0.0871/T)}. As the detection of E-isomer is favored due to its larger dipole moment, the missing detection of the Z-isomer can be due to the sensitivity limit of the GBT PRIMOS survey and the detection of the Z-isomer should be attempted with more sensitive instrumentation. The CN + CH{sub 2} = NH reaction can also play a role in the chemistry of the upper atmosphere of Titan where the cyanomethanimine products can contribute to the buildup of the observed nitrogen-rich organic aerosols that cover the moon.

  14. The Vertebrate RCAN Gene Family: Novel Insights into Evolution, Structure and Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Serrano-Candelas, Eva; Farré, Domènec; Aranguren-Ibáñez, Álvaro; Martínez-Høyer, Sergio; Pérez-Riba, Mercè

    2014-01-01

    Recently there has been much interest in the Regulators of Calcineurin (RCAN) proteins which are important endogenous modulators of the calcineurin-NFATc signalling pathway. They have been shown to have a crucial role in cellular programmes such as the immune response, muscle fibre remodelling and memory, but also in pathological processes such as cardiac hypertrophy and neurodegenerative diseases. In vertebrates, the RCAN family form a functional subfamily of three members RCAN1, RCAN2 and RCAN3 whereas only one RCAN is present in the rest of Eukarya. In addition, RCAN genes have been shown to collocate with RUNX and CLIC genes in ACD clusters (ACD21, ACD6 and ACD1). How the RCAN genes and their clustering in ACDs evolved is still unknown. After analysing RCAN gene family evolution using bioinformatic tools, we propose that the three RCAN vertebrate genes within the ACD clusters, which evolved from single copy genes present in invertebrates and lower eukaryotes, are the result of two rounds of whole genome duplication, followed by a segmental duplication. This evolutionary scenario involves the loss or gain of some RCAN genes during evolution. In addition, we have analysed RCAN gene structure and identified the existence of several characteristic features that can be involved in RCAN evolution and gene expression regulation. These included: several transposable elements, CpG islands in the 5′ region of the genes, the existence of antisense transcripts (NAT) associated with the three human genes, and considerable evidence for bidirectional promoters that regulate RCAN gene expression. Furthermore, we show that the CpG island associated with the RCAN3 gene promoter is unmethylated and transcriptionally active. All these results provide timely new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying RCAN function and a more in depth knowledge of this gene family whose members are obvious candidates for the development of future therapies. PMID:24465593

  15. Insights into ionic transport and structural changes in magnetite during multiple-electron transfer reactions

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Wei; Bock, David C.; Pelliccione, Christopher J.; Li, Yan; Wu, Lijun; Zhu, Yimei; Marschilok, Amy. C.; Takeuchi, Esther S.; Takeuchi, Kenneth J.; Wang, Feng

    2016-03-08

    Metal oxides, such as Fe3O4, hold promise for future battery applications due to their abundance, low cost, and opportunity for high lithium storage capacity. In order to better understand the mechanisms of multiple-electron transfer reactions leading to high capacity in Fe3O4, a comprehensive investigation on local ionic transport and ordering is made by probing site occupancies of anions (O2–) and cations (Li+, Fe3+/Fe2+) using multiple synchrotron X-ray and electron-beam techniques, in combination with ab-initio calculations. Results from this study provide the first experimental evidence that the cubic-close-packed (ccp) O-anion array in Fe3O4 is sustained throughout the lithiation and delithiation processes, thereby enabling multiple lithium intercalation and conversion reactions. Cation displacement/reordering occurs within the ccp O-anion framework, which leads to a series of phase transformations, starting from the inverse spinel phase and turning into intermediate rock-salt-like phases (LixFe3O4; 0 < x < 2), then into a cation-segregated phase (Li2O•FeO), and finally converting into metallic Fe and Li2O. Subsequent delithiation and lithiation processes involve interconversion between metallic Fe and FeO-like phases. Lastly, these results may offer new insights into the structure-determined ionic transport and electrochemical reactions in metal oxides, and those of other compounds sharing a ccp anion framework, reminiscent of magnetite.

  16. Insights into ionic transport and structural changes in magnetite during multiple-electron transfer reactions

    DOE PAGES

    Zhang, Wei; Bock, David C.; Pelliccione, Christopher J.; ...

    2016-03-08

    Metal oxides, such as Fe3O4, hold promise for future battery applications due to their abundance, low cost, and opportunity for high lithium storage capacity. In order to better understand the mechanisms of multiple-electron transfer reactions leading to high capacity in Fe3O4, a comprehensive investigation on local ionic transport and ordering is made by probing site occupancies of anions (O2–) and cations (Li+, Fe3+/Fe2+) using multiple synchrotron X-ray and electron-beam techniques, in combination with ab-initio calculations. Results from this study provide the first experimental evidence that the cubic-close-packed (ccp) O-anion array in Fe3O4 is sustained throughout the lithiation and delithiation processes,more » thereby enabling multiple lithium intercalation and conversion reactions. Cation displacement/reordering occurs within the ccp O-anion framework, which leads to a series of phase transformations, starting from the inverse spinel phase and turning into intermediate rock-salt-like phases (LixFe3O4; 0 < x < 2), then into a cation-segregated phase (Li2O•FeO), and finally converting into metallic Fe and Li2O. Subsequent delithiation and lithiation processes involve interconversion between metallic Fe and FeO-like phases. Lastly, these results may offer new insights into the structure-determined ionic transport and electrochemical reactions in metal oxides, and those of other compounds sharing a ccp anion framework, reminiscent of magnetite.« less

  17. Role in the selectivity of neonicotinoids of insect-specific basic residues in loop D of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist binding site.

    PubMed

    Shimomura, Masaru; Yokota, Maiko; Ihara, Makoto; Akamatsu, Miki; Sattelle, David B; Matsuda, Kazuhiko

    2006-10-01

    The insecticide imidacloprid and structurally related neonicotinoids act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). To investigate the mechanism of neonicotinoid selectivity, we have examined the effects of mutations to basic amino acid residues in loop D of the nAChR acetylcholine (ACh) binding site on the interactions with imidacloprid. The receptors investigated are the recombinant chicken alpha4beta2 nAChR and Drosophila melanogaster Dalpha2/chicken beta2 hybrid nAChR expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Although mutations of Thr77 in loop D of the beta2 subunit resulted in a barely detectable effect on the imidacloprid concentration-response curve for the alpha4beta2 nAChR, T77R;E79V double mutations shifted the curve dramatically to higher affinity binding of imidacloprid. Likewise, T77K;E79R and T77N;E79R double mutations in the Dalpha2beta2 nAChR also resulted in a shift to a higher affinity for imidacloprid, which exceeded that observed for a single mutation of Thr77 to basic residues. By contrast, these double mutations scarcely influenced the ACh concentration-response curve, suggesting selective interactions with imidacloprid of the newly introduced basic residues. Computational, homology models of the agonist binding domain of the wild-type and mutant alpha4beta2 and Dalpha2beta2 nAChRs with imidacloprid bound were generated based on the crystal structures of acetylcholine binding proteins of Lymnaea stagnalis and Aplysia californica. The models indicate that the nitro group of imidacloprid interacts directly with the introduced basic residues at position 77, whereas those at position 79 either prevent or permit such interactions depending on their electrostatic properties, thereby explaining the observed functional changes resulting from site-directed mutagenesis.

  18. A field study examining the effects of exposure to neonicotinoid seed-treated corn on commercial bumble bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Christopher Cutler, G; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D

    2014-11-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides have been studied as possible contributors to bumble bee declines in North America and Europe. This has potential significance in corn agro-ecosystems since this crop is frequently treated with neonicotinoids and dominates much of the agricultural landscape in North America and Europe where bumble bees and other pollinators are commonplace. We conducted an experiment where commercial bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) hives were placed during pollen shed next to corn (Zea mays) fields that were grown from "conventional" seed that was treated with neonicotinoids, or "organic" seed that was not treated with pesticides. Samples of pollen were collected from corn plants for neonicotinoid residue analysis, pollen types carried by worker bees returning to hives were determined, and in autumn hives were dissected to measure various endpoints that serve as markers of colony vigor. Clothianidin was detected (0.1-0.8 ng/g) in pollen collected from all conventional fields, but was not detected in pollen from organic fields. Corn pollen was only rarely collected from bumble bee foragers and the vast majority of pollen was from wild plants around the corn fields. All hives appeared healthy and neonicotinoid seed treatments had no effect on any hive endpoints measured, except the number of workers, where significantly fewer workers were recovered from hives placed next to conventional fields (96 ± 15 workers per hive) compared to organic fields (127 ± 17 workers per hive). The results suggest that exposure during pollen shed to corn grown from neonicotinoid-treated shed poses low risk to B. impatiens.

  19. A review of the direct and indirect effects of neonicotinoids and fipronil on vertebrate wildlife.

    PubMed

    Gibbons, David; Morrissey, Christy; Mineau, Pierre

    2015-01-01

    Concerns over the role of pesticides affecting vertebrate wildlife populations have recently focussed on systemic products which exert broad-spectrum toxicity. Given that the neonicotinoids have become the fastest-growing class of insecticides globally, we review here 150 studies of their direct (toxic) and indirect (e.g. food chain) effects on vertebrate wildlife--mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles. We focus on two neonicotinoids, imidacloprid and clothianidin, and a third insecticide, fipronil, which also acts in the same systemic manner. Imidacloprid and fipronil were found to be toxic to many birds and most fish, respectively. All three insecticides exert sub-lethal effects, ranging from genotoxic and cytotoxic effects, and impaired immune function, to reduced growth and reproductive success, often at concentrations well below those associated with mortality. Use of imidacloprid and clothianidin as seed treatments on some crops poses risks to small birds, and ingestion of even a few treated seeds could cause mortality or reproductive impairment to sensitive bird species. In contrast, environmental concentrations of imidacloprid and clothianidin appear to be at levels below those which will cause mortality to freshwater vertebrates, although sub-lethal effects may occur. Some recorded environmental concentrations of fipronil, however, may be sufficiently high to harm fish. Indirect effects are rarely considered in risk assessment processes and there is a paucity of data, despite the potential to exert population-level effects. Our research revealed two field case studies of indirect effects. In one, reductions in invertebrate prey from both imidacloprid and fipronil uses led to impaired growth in a fish species, and in another, reductions in populations in two lizard species were linked to effects of fipronil on termite prey. Evidence presented here suggests that the systemic insecticides, neonicotinoids and fipronil, are capable of exerting direct

  20. Evaluation of leaching potential of three systemic neonicotinoid insecticides in vineyard soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurwadkar, Sudarshan; Wheat, Remington; McGahan, Donald G.; Mitchell, Forrest

    2014-12-01

    Dinotefuran (DNT), imidacloprid (IMD), and thiamethoxam (THM) are commonly used neonicotinoid insecticides in a variety of agriculture operations. Although these insecticides help growers control pest infestation, the residual environmental occurrence of insecticides may cause unintended adverse ecological consequences to non-target species. In this study, the leaching behavior of DNT, IMD, and THM was investigated in soils collected from an active AgriLife Research Extension Center (AREC) vineyard. A series of column experiments were conducted to evaluate the leaching potential of insecticides under two experimental scenarios: a) individual pulse mode, and b) mixed pulse mode. In both scenarios, the breakthrough pattern of the insecticides in the mostly acidic to neutral vineyard soil clearly demonstrates medium to high leachability. Of the three insecticides studied for leaching, DNT has exhibited high leaching potential and exited the column with fewer pore volumes, whereas IMD was retained for longer, indicating lower leachability. Relative differences in leaching behavior of neonicotinoids could be attributed to their solubility with the leaching pattern IMD < THM < DNT showing strong correlation with increasing aqueous solubility 610 mg/L < 4100 mg/L < 39,830 mg/L. Triplicate column study experiments were conducted to evaluate the consistency of the breakthrough pattern of these insecticides. The repeatability of the breakthrough curves shows that both DNT and IMD are reproducible between runs, whereas, THM shows some inconsistency. Leaching behavior of neonicotinoid insecticides based on the leachability indices such as groundwater ubiquity score, relative leaching potential, and partitioning between different environmental matrices through a fugacity-based equilibrium criterion model clearly indicates that DNT may pose a greater threat to aquatic resources compared to IMD and THM.

  1. Risk assessment for side-effects of neonicotinoids against bumblebees with and without impairing foraging behavior.

    PubMed

    Mommaerts, Veerle; Reynders, Sofie; Boulet, Jana; Besard, Linde; Sterk, Guido; Smagghe, Guy

    2010-01-01

    Bombus terrestris bumblebees are important pollinators of wild flowers, and in modern agriculture they are used to guarantee pollination of vegetables and fruits. In the field it is likely that worker bees are exposed to pesticides during foraging. To date, several tests exist to assess lethal and sublethal side-effects of pesticides on bee survival, growth/development and reproduction. Within the context of ecotoxicology and insect physiology, we report the development of a new bioassay to assess the impact of sublethal concentrations on the bumblebee foraging behavior under laboratory conditions. In brief, the experimental setup of this behavior test consists of two artificial nests connected with a tube of about 20 cm and use of queenless micro-colonies of 5 workers. In one nest the worker bees constructed brood, and in the other food (sugar and pollen) was provided. Before exposure, the worker bees were allowed a training to forage for untreated food; afterwards this was replaced by treated food. Using this setup we investigated the effects of sublethal concentrations of the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid, known to negatively affect the foraging behavior of bees. For comparison within the family of neonicotinoid insecticides, we also tested different concentrations of two other neonicotinoids: thiamethoxam and thiacloprid, in the laboratory with the new bioassay. Finally to evaluate the new bioassay, we also tested sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid in the greenhouse with use of queenright colonies of B. terrestris, and here worker bees needed to forage/fly for food that was placed at a distance of 3 m from their hives. In general, the experiments showed that concentrations that may be considered safe for bumblebees can have a negative influence on their foraging behavior. Therefore it is recommended that behavior tests should be included in risk assessment tests for highly toxic pesticides because impairment of the foraging behavior can result in

  2. Adulticidal & larvicidal efficacy of three neonicotinoids against insecticide susceptible & resistant mosquito strains

    PubMed Central

    Uragayala, Sreehari; Verma, Vaishali; Natarajan, Elamathi; Velamuri, Poonam Sharma; Kamaraju, Raghavendra

    2015-01-01

    Background & objectives: Due to ever growing insecticide resistance in mosquitoes to commonly used insecticides in many parts of the globe, there is always a need for introduction of new insecticides for the control of resistant vector mosquitoes. In this study, larvicidal and adulticidal efficacies of three neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam) were tested against resistant and susceptible populations of Anopheles stephensi Liston 1901, Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti Linnaeus, and Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae). Methods: Laboratory-reared mosquito species were used. Insecticide susceptibility tests were done using standard WHO procedures and using diagnostic dosages of insecticide test papers and larvicides. Adulticidal efficacy of candidate insecticides was assessed using topical application method and larval bioassays were conducted using standard WHO procedure. Results: The results of topical application on 3-5 day old female mosquitoes indicated that resistant strain of An. stephensi registered lower LC50 values than the susceptible strain. Among the three insecticides tested, thiacloprid was found more effective than the other two insecticides. Culex quinquefasciatus registered lowest LC50 for imidacloprid than the other two mosquito species tested. In larval bioassays, the LC50 values registered for imidacloprid were in the order of Cx. quinquefasciatus neonicotinoids tested, and the possibility of using neonicotinoids for the control of resistant mosquitoes

  3. The crystal structure of a sodium galactose transporter reveals mechanistic insights into Na[superscript +]/sugar symport

    SciTech Connect

    Faham, S.; Watanabe, A.; Besserer, G.M.; Cascio, D.; Specht, A.; Hirayama, B.A.; Wright, E.M.; Abramson, J.

    2009-08-27

    Membrane transporters that use energy stored in sodium gradients to drive nutrients into cells constitute a major class of proteins. We report the crystal structure of a member of the solute sodium symporters (SSS), the Vibrio parahaemolyticus sodium/galactose symporter (vSGLT). The -3.0 angstrom structure contains 14 transmembrane (TM) helices in an inward-facing conformation with a core structure of inverted repeats of 5 TM helices (TM2 to TM6 and TM7 to TM11). Galactose is bound in the center of the core, occluded from the outside solutions by hydrophobic residues. Surprisingly, the architecture of the core is similar to that of the leucine transporter (LeuT) from a different gene family. Modeling the outward-facing conformation based on the LeuT structure, in conjunction with biophysical data, provides insight into structural rearrangements for active transport.

  4. Pyrrole- and dihydropyrrole-fused neonicotinoids: design, synthesis, and insecticidal evaluation.

    PubMed

    Ye, Zhenjun; Shi, Lina; Shao, Xusheng; Xu, Xiaoyong; Xu, Zhiping; Li, Zhong

    2013-01-16

    Versatile pyrrole- and dihydropyrrole-fused neonicotinoids were obtained from cyclic and non-cyclic nitroeneamines. Anhydrous aluminum chloride (AlCl₃) exhibited high catalytic selectivity for the synthesis of the titled etherified compounds at room temperature and the eliminated products under reflux conditions. The target molecules have been identified on the basis of satisfactory analytical and spectral [¹H and ¹³C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), and X-ray] data. All synthesized compounds have been screened for insecticidal activity. The preliminary insecticidal activity results showed that some of the aimed compounds displayed excellent insecticidal activity against cowpea aphids (Aphis craccivora).

  5. Crystal structure of Anoxybacillus α-amylase provides insights into maltose binding of a new glycosyl hydrolase subclass

    PubMed Central

    Chai, Kian Piaw; Othman, Noor Farhan Binti; Teh, Aik-Hong; Ho, Kok Lian; Chan, Kok-Gan; Shamsir, Mohd Shahir; Goh, Kian Mau; Ng, Chyan Leong

    2016-01-01

    A new subfamily of glycosyl hydrolase family GH13 was recently proposed for α-amylases from Anoxybacillus species (ASKA and ADTA), Geobacillus thermoleovorans (GTA, Pizzo, and GtamyII), Bacillus aquimaris (BaqA), and 95 other putative protein homologues. To understand this new GH13 subfamily, we report crystal structures of truncated ASKA (TASKA). ASKA is a thermostable enzyme capable of producing high levels of maltose. Unlike GTA, biochemical analysis showed that Ca2+ ion supplementation enhances the catalytic activities of ASKA and TASKA. The crystal structures reveal the presence of four Ca2+ ion binding sites, with three of these binding sites are highly conserved among Anoxybacillus α-amylases. This work provides structural insights into this new GH13 subfamily both in the apo form and in complex with maltose. Furthermore, structural comparison of TASKA and GTA provides an overview of the conformational changes accompanying maltose binding at each subsite. PMID:26975884

  6. Role of Dispersive Interactions in Determining Structural Properties of Organic-Inorganic Halide Perovskites: Insights from First-Principles Calculations.

    PubMed

    Egger, David A; Kronik, Leeor

    2014-08-07

    A microscopic picture of structure and bonding in organic-inorganic perovskites is imperative to understanding their remarkable semiconducting and photovoltaic properties. On the basis of a density functional theory treatment that includes both spin-orbit coupling and dispersive interactions, we provide detailed insight into the crystal binding of lead-halide perovskites and quantify the effect of different types of interactions on the structural properties. Our analysis reveals that cohesion in these materials is characterized by a variety of interactions that includes important contributions from both van der Waals interactions among the halide atoms and hydrogen bonding. We also assess the role of spin-orbit coupling and show that it causes slight changes in lead-halide bonding that do not significantly affect the lattice parameters. Our results establish that consideration of dispersive effects is essential for understanding the structure and bonding in organic-inorganic perovskites in general and for providing reliable theoretical predictions of structural parameters in particular.

  7. Crystal structure of Anoxybacillus α-amylase provides insights into maltose binding of a new glycosyl hydrolase subclass.

    PubMed

    Chai, Kian Piaw; Othman, Noor Farhan Binti; Teh, Aik-Hong; Ho, Kok Lian; Chan, Kok-Gan; Shamsir, Mohd Shahir; Goh, Kian Mau; Ng, Chyan Leong

    2016-03-15

    A new subfamily of glycosyl hydrolase family GH13 was recently proposed for α-amylases from Anoxybacillus species (ASKA and ADTA), Geobacillus thermoleovorans (GTA, Pizzo, and GtamyII), Bacillus aquimaris (BaqA), and 95 other putative protein homologues. To understand this new GH13 subfamily, we report crystal structures of truncated ASKA (TASKA). ASKA is a thermostable enzyme capable of producing high levels of maltose. Unlike GTA, biochemical analysis showed that Ca(2+) ion supplementation enhances the catalytic activities of ASKA and TASKA. The crystal structures reveal the presence of four Ca(2+) ion binding sites, with three of these binding sites are highly conserved among Anoxybacillus α-amylases. This work provides structural insights into this new GH13 subfamily both in the apo form and in complex with maltose. Furthermore, structural comparison of TASKA and GTA provides an overview of the conformational changes accompanying maltose binding at each subsite.

  8. Neocentromeres: New Insights into Centromere Structure, Disease Development, and Karyotype Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Owen J.; Chueh, Anderly C.; Wong, Lee H.; Choo, K.H. Andy

    2008-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first human neocentromere in 1993, these spontaneous, ectopic centromeres have been shown to be an astonishing example of epigenetic change within the genome. Recent research has focused on the role of neocentromeres in evolution and speciation, as well as in disease development and the understanding of the organization and epigenetic maintenance of the centromere. Here, we review recent progress in these areas of research and the significant insights gained. PMID:18252209

  9. Susceptibility to neonicotinoid and risk of resistance development in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens (stal) (Homoptera: Delphacidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Outbreaks of the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, have been occurring more frequently in recent years in China. Control of this pest depended heavily on chemical insecticides. The objective of this study was to determine susceptibilities of N. lugens to neonicotinoids and other insecticides in...

  10. Effects of the neonicotinoid pesticide thiamethoxam at field-realistic levels on microcolonies of Bombus terrestris worker bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Laycock, Ian; Cotterell, Katie C; O'Shea-Wheller, Thomas A; Cresswell, James E

    2014-02-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides are currently implicated in the decline of wild bee populations. Bumble bees, Bombus spp., are important wild pollinators that are detrimentally affected by ingestion of neonicotinoid residues. To date, imidacloprid has been the major focus of study into the effects of neonicotinoids on bumble bee health, but wild populations are increasingly exposed to alternative neonicotinoids such as thiamethoxam. To investigate whether environmentally realistic levels of thiamethoxam affect bumble bee performance over a realistic exposure period, we exposed queenless microcolonies of Bombus terrestris L. workers to a wide range of dosages up to 98 μgkg(-1) in dietary syrup for 17 days. Results showed that bumble bee workers survived fewer days when presented with syrup dosed at 98 μg thiamethoxamkg(-1), while production of brood (eggs and larvae) and consumption of syrup and pollen in microcolonies were significantly reduced by thiamethoxam only at the two highest concentrations (39, 98 μgkg(-1)). In contrast, we found no detectable effect of thiamethoxam at levels typically found in the nectars of treated crops (between 1 and 11 μgkg(-1)). By comparison with published data, we demonstrate that during an exposure to field-realistic concentrations lasting approximately two weeks, brood production in worker bumble bees is more sensitive to imidacloprid than thiamethoxam. We speculate that differential sensitivity arises because imidacloprid produces a stronger repression of feeding in bumble bees than thiamethoxam, which imposes a greater nutrient limitation on production of brood.

  11. Translocation of neonicotinoid insecticides from coated seeds to seedling guttation drops: a novel way of intoxication for bees.

    PubMed

    Girolami, V; Mazzon, L; Squartini, A; Mori, N; Marzaro, M; Di Bernardo, A; Greatti, M; Giorio, C; Tapparo, A

    2009-10-01

    The death of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., and the consequent colony collapse disorder causes major losses in agriculture and plant pollination worldwide. The phenomenon showed increasing rates in the past years, although its causes are still awaiting a clear answer. Although neonicotinoid systemic insecticides used for seed coating of agricultural crops were suspected as possible reason, studies so far have not shown the existence of unquestionable sources capable of delivering directly intoxicating doses in the fields. Guttation is a natural plant phenomenon causing the excretion of xylem fluid at leaf margins. Here, we show that leaf guttation drops of all the corn plants germinated from neonicotinoid-coated seeds contained amounts of insecticide constantly higher than 10 mg/l, with maxima up to 100 mg/l for thiamethoxam and clothianidin, and up to 200 mg/l for imidacloprid. The concentration of neonicotinoids in guttation drops can be near those of active ingredients commonly applied in field sprays for pest control, or even higher. When bees consume guttation drops, collected from plants grown from neonicotinoid-coated seeds, they encounter death within few minutes.

  12. Low doses of neonicotinoid pesticides in food rewards impair short-term olfactory memory in foraging-age honeybees.

    PubMed

    Wright, Geraldine A; Softley, Samantha; Earnshaw, Helen

    2015-10-19

    Neonicotinoids are often applied as systemic seed treatments to crops and have reported negative impact on pollinators when they appear in floral nectar and pollen. Recently, we found that bees in a two-choice assay prefer to consume solutions containing field-relevant doses of the neonicotinoid pesticides, imidacloprid (IMD) and thiamethoxam (TMX), to sucrose alone. This suggests that neonicotinoids enhance the rewarding properties of sucrose and that low, acute doses could improve learning and memory in bees. To test this, we trained foraging-age honeybees to learn to associate floral scent with a reward containing nectar-relevant concentrations of IMD and TMX and tested their short (STM) and long-term (LTM) olfactory memories. Contrary to our predictions, we found that none of the solutions enhanced the rate of olfactory learning and some of them impaired it. In particular, the effect of 10 nM IMD was observed by the second conditioning trial and persisted 24 h later. In most other groups, exposure to IMD and TMX affected STM but not LTM. Our data show that negative impacts of low doses of IMD and TMX do not require long-term exposure and suggest that impacts of neonicotinoids on olfaction are greater than their effects on rewarding memories.

  13. Repression and recuperation of brood production in Bombus terrestris bumble bees exposed to a pulse of the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid.

    PubMed

    Laycock, Ian; Cresswell, James E

    2013-01-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and some blame the residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in the nectar and pollen of treated crops. Bumble bees are important wild pollinators that are widely exposed to dietary neonicotinoids by foraging in agricultural environments. In the laboratory, we tested the effect of a pulsed exposure (14 days 'on dose' followed by 14 days 'off dose') to a common neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on the amount of brood (number of eggs and larvae) produced by Bombus terrestris L. bumble bees in small, standardised experimental colonies (a queen and four adult workers). During the initial 'on dose' period we observed a dose-dependent repression of brood production in colonies, with productivity decreasing as dosage increased up to 98 µg kg(-1) dietary imidacloprid. During the following 'off dose' period, colonies showed a dose-dependent recuperation such that total brood production during the 28-day pulsed exposure was not correlated with imidacloprid up to 98 µg kg(-1). Our findings raise further concern about the threat to wild bumble bees from neonicotinoids, but they also indicate some resilience to a pulsed exposure, such as that arising from the transient bloom of a treated mass-flowering crop.

  14. Low doses of neonicotinoid pesticides in food rewards impair short-term olfactory memory in foraging-age honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Geraldine A.; Softley, Samantha; Earnshaw, Helen

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are often applied as systemic seed treatments to crops and have reported negative impact on pollinators when they appear in floral nectar and pollen. Recently, we found that bees in a two-choice assay prefer to consume solutions containing field-relevant doses of the neonicotinoid pesticides, imidacloprid (IMD) and thiamethoxam (TMX), to sucrose alone. This suggests that neonicotinoids enhance the rewarding properties of sucrose and that low, acute doses could improve learning and memory in bees. To test this, we trained foraging-age honeybees to learn to associate floral scent with a reward containing nectar-relevant concentrations of IMD and TMX and tested their short (STM) and long-term (LTM) olfactory memories. Contrary to our predictions, we found that none of the solutions enhanced the rate of olfactory learning and some of them impaired it. In particular, the effect of 10 nM IMD was observed by the second conditioning trial and persisted 24 h later. In most other groups, exposure to IMD and TMX affected STM but not LTM. Our data show that negative impacts of low doses of IMD and TMX do not require long-term exposure and suggest that impacts of neonicotinoids on olfaction are greater than their effects on rewarding memories. PMID:26477973

  15. Three years of banning neonicotinoid insecticides based on sub-lethal effects: can we expect to see effects on bees?

    PubMed

    Blacquière, Tjeerd; van der Steen, Jozef J M

    2017-04-03

    The 2013 EU ban of three neonicotinoids used in seed coating of pollinator attractive crops was put in place because of concern about declining wild pollinator populations and numbers of honeybee colonies. It was also concluded that there is an urgent need of good field data to fill knowledge gaps. In the meantime such data have been generated. Based on recent literature we question the existence of recent pollinator declines and their possible link with the use of neonicotinoids. Because of temporal non-coincidence we conclude that declines of wild pollinators and of honeybees are not likely caused by neonicotinoids. Even if bee decline does occur and if there is a causal relationship with the use of neonicotinoids, we argue that it is not possible on such short term to evaluate the effects of the 2013 ban. In order to supply future debate with realistic (field) data and to discourage extrapolating the effects of studies using overdoses that are not of environmental relevance, we propose - in addition to field studies performed by the chemical industry - to use the 'semi-field worst case' treated artificial diet studies approach to free flying colonies in the field. This kind of studies may provide realistic estimates for risk and be useful to study realistic interactions with non-pesticide stressors.

  16. Detection and analysis of neonicotinoids in river waters--development of a passive sampler for three commonly used insecticides.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Bayo, Francisco; Hyne, Ross V

    2014-03-01

    Increasing and widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides all over the world, together with their environmental persistence mean that surface and ground waters need to be monitored regularly for their residues. However, current multi-residue analytical methods for waters are inadequate for trace residue analysis of these compounds, while passive sampling devices are unavailable. A new method using UltraPerformance Liquid Chromatography provided good separation of the five most common neonicotinoid compounds, with limits of quantitation in the range 0.6-1.0ng. The method was tested in a survey of rivers around Sydney (Australia), where 93% of samples contained two or more neonicotinoids in the range 0.06-4.5μgL(-1). Styrenedivinylbenzene-reverse phase sulfonated Empore™ disks were selected as the best matrix for use in passive samplers. Uptake of clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiacloprid in a flow-through laboratory system for 3weeks was linear and proportional to their water concentrations over the range 1-10μgL(-1). Sampling rates of 8-15mLd(-1) were correlated to the hydrophobicity of the individual compounds. The passive samplers and analytical methods presented here can detect trace concentrations of neonicotinoids in water.

  17. Repression and Recuperation of Brood Production in Bombus terrestris Bumble Bees Exposed to a Pulse of the Neonicotinoid Pesticide Imidacloprid

    PubMed Central

    Laycock, Ian; Cresswell, James E.

    2013-01-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and some blame the residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in the nectar and pollen of treated crops. Bumble bees are important wild pollinators that are widely exposed to dietary neonicotinoids by foraging in agricultural environments. In the laboratory, we tested the effect of a pulsed exposure (14 days ‘on dose’ followed by 14 days ‘off dose’) to a common neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on the amount of brood (number of eggs and larvae) produced by Bombus terrestris L. bumble bees in small, standardised experimental colonies (a queen and four adult workers). During the initial ‘on dose’ period we observed a dose-dependent repression of brood production in colonies, with productivity decreasing as dosage increased up to 98 µg kg−1 dietary imidacloprid. During the following ‘off dose’ period, colonies showed a dose-dependent recuperation such that total brood production during the 28-day pulsed exposure was not correlated with imidacloprid up to 98 µg kg−1. Our findings raise further concern about the threat to wild bumble bees from neonicotinoids, but they also indicate some resilience to a pulsed exposure, such as that arising from the transient bloom of a treated mass-flowering crop. PMID:24224015

  18. Assessment of the environmental exposure of honeybees to particulate matter containing neonicotinoid insecticides coming from corn coated seeds.

    PubMed

    Tapparo, Andrea; Marton, Daniele; Giorio, Chiara; Zanella, Alessandro; Soldà, Lidia; Marzaro, Matteo; Vivan, Linda; Girolami, Vincenzo

    2012-03-06

    Since seed coating with neonicotinoid insecticides was introduced in the late 1990s, European beekeepers have reported severe colony losses in the period of corn sowing (spring). As a consequence, seed-coating neonicotinoid insecticides that are used worldwide on corn crops have been blamed for honeybee decline. In view of the currently increasing crop production, and also of corn as a renewable energy source, the correct use of these insecticides within sustainable agriculture is a cause of concern. In this paper, a probable--but so far underestimated--route of environmental exposure of honeybees to and intoxication with neonicotinoid insecticides, namely, the atmospheric emission of particulate matter containing the insecticide by drilling machines, has been quantitatively studied. Using optimized analytical procedures, quantitative measurements of both the emitted particulate and the consequent direct contamination of single bees approaching the drilling machine during the foraging activity have been determined. Experimental results show that the environmental release of particles containing neonicotinoids can produce high exposure levels for bees, with lethal effects compatible with colony losses phenomena observed by beekeepers.

  19. New Structural Insights into the Genome and Minor Capsid Proteins of BK Polyomavirus using Cryo-Electron Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Hurdiss, Daniel L.; Morgan, Ethan L.; Thompson, Rebecca F.; Prescott, Emma L.; Panou, Margarita M.; Macdonald, Andrew; Ranson, Neil A.

    2016-01-01

    Summary BK polyomavirus is the causative agent of several diseases in transplant patients and the immunosuppressed. In order to better understand the structure and life cycle of BK, we produced infectious virions and VP1-only virus-like particles in cell culture, and determined their three-dimensional structures using cryo-electron microscopy (EM) and single-particle image processing. The resulting 7.6-Å resolution structure of BK and 9.1-Å resolution of the virus-like particles are the highest-resolution cryo-EM structures of any polyomavirus. These structures confirm that the architecture of the major structural protein components of these human polyomaviruses are similar to previous structures from other hosts, but give new insight into the location and role of the enigmatic minor structural proteins, VP2 and VP3. We also observe two shells of electron density, which we attribute to a structurally ordered part of the viral genome, and discrete contacts between this density and both VP1 and the minor capsid proteins. PMID:26996963

  20. Near-planar Solution Structures of Mannose-binding Lectin Oligomers Provide Insight on Activation of Lectin Pathway of Complement

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Ami; Phillips, Anna; Gor, Jayesh; Wallis, Russell; Perkins, Stephen J.

    2012-01-01

    The complement system is a fundamental component of innate immunity that orchestrates complex immunological and inflammatory processes. Complement comprises over 30 proteins that eliminate invading microorganisms while maintaining host cell integrity. Protein-carbohydrate interactions play critical roles in both the activation and regulation of complement. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) activates the lectin pathway of complement via the recognition of sugar arrays on pathogenic surfaces. To determine the solution structure of MBL, synchrotron x-ray scattering and analytical ultracentrifugation experiments showed that the carbohydrate-recognition domains in the MBL dimer, trimer, and tetramer are positioned close to each other in near-planar fan-like structures. These data were subjected to constrained modeling fits. A bent structure for the MBL monomer was identified starting from two crystal structures for its carbohydrate-recognition domain and its triple helical region. The MBL monomer structure was used to identify 10–12 near-planar solution structures for each of the MBL dimers, trimers, and tetramers starting from 900 to 6,859 randomized structures for each. These near-planar fan-like solution structures joined at an N-terminal hub clarified how the carbohydrate-recognition domain of MBL binds to pathogenic surfaces. They also provided insight on how MBL presents a structural template for the binding and auto-activation of the MBL-associated serine proteases to initiate the lectin pathway of complement activation. PMID:22167201

  1. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide

    PubMed Central

    Démares, Fabien J.; Crous, Kendall L.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Nicolson, Susan W.; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

  2. Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Piiroinen, Saija; Goulson, Dave

    2016-04-13

    Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae slightly impaired learning in honeybees, but no interactive effects were observed. Nosema did not infect bumblebees (3% infection success). Nevertheless, Nosema-treated bumblebees had a slightly lower rate of learning than controls, but faster learning in combination with neonicotinoid exposure. This highlights the potential for complex interactive effects of stressors on learning. Our results underline that one cannot readily extrapolate findings from one bee species to others. This has important implications for regulatory risk assessments which generally use honeybees as a model for all bees.

  3. The neonicotinoid imidacloprid impairs honey bee aversive learning of simulated predation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Erica; Nieh, James C

    2015-10-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides can impair bee learning and memory--cognitive features that play a key role in colony fitness because they facilitate foraging. For example, the commonly used neonicotinoid imidacloprid reduces honey bee olfactory learning. However, no studies have previously determined whether imidacloprid can impair aversive associative learning, although such learning should enhance bee survival by allowing bees to avoid dangerous foraging sites. To mimic attempted predation of foragers, we developed an electro-mechanical predator that consistently attacked foragers with a pinching bite at a fixed force and elicited aversive olfactory learning in a sting extension response (SER) assay. We show that chronic exposure to a sublethal concentration of imidacloprid (25.6 µg l(-1)=20.8 ppb) over 4 days (mean of 1.5 µg per bee day(-1)), significantly impaired aversive short-term learning and memory retention. Imidacloprid treatment reduced short-term learning by 87% and memory retention by 85% in comparison with control bees. Imidacloprid therefore impairs the ability of honey bees to associate a naturalistic predation stimulus--biting--with floral odor compounds. Such learning should enhance bee survival, suggesting that xenobiotics could alter more complex ecological interactions such as predator-prey relationships.

  4. Behavioral and biochemical effects of neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on the cholinergic system in rats.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, K J A; Santana, M B; Do Nascimento, J L M; Picanço-Diniz, D L W; Maués, L A L; Santos, S N; Ferreira, V M M; Alfonso, M; Durán, R; Faro, L R F

    2010-01-01

    Thiamethoxam is a neonicotinoid insecticide, a group of pesticides that acts selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), with only a little action on mammalian nAChRs. Nevertheless, the selectivity of neonicotinoids for the insect nAChRs may change when these substances are metabolized. Therefore, we aimed to determine the potential effects of thiamethoxam on mammalian brain, testing the performance in the open field and elevated plus-maze of rats exposed to this insecticide and, in order to establish the neurochemical endpoints, we measured the acetylcholinesterase activity in different brain regions (hippocampus, striatum and cortex) and the high-affinity choline uptake (HACU) in synaptosomes from rat hippocampus. Treated animals received thiamethoxam (25, 50 or 100mg/kg) for 7 consecutive days. The results showed that treatment with thiamethoxam induced an increase in the anxiety behavior at two doses (50 or 100mg/kg). Moreover, there was a significant decrease in both HACU and acetylcholinesterase activity. Our hypothesis is that thiamethoxam (or its metabolites) could be acting on the central rats nAChRs. This would produce an alteration on the cholinergic transmission, modulating the anxiety behavior, acetylcholinesterase levels and HACU.

  5. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mogren, Christina L.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.

    2016-07-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic.

  6. Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae slightly impaired learning in honeybees, but no interactive effects were observed. Nosema did not infect bumblebees (3% infection success). Nevertheless, Nosema-treated bumblebees had a slightly lower rate of learning than controls, but faster learning in combination with neonicotinoid exposure. This highlights the potential for complex interactive effects of stressors on learning. Our results underline that one cannot readily extrapolate findings from one bee species to others. This has important implications for regulatory risk assessments which generally use honeybees as a model for all bees. PMID:27053744

  7. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status

    PubMed Central

    Mogren, Christina L.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic. PMID:27412495

  8. Leaching of the Neonicotinoids Thiamethoxam and Imidacloprid from Sugar Beet Seed Dressings to Subsurface Tile Drains.

    PubMed

    Wettstein, Felix E; Kasteel, Roy; Garcia Delgado, Maria F; Hanke, Irene; Huntscha, Sebastian; Balmer, Marianne E; Poiger, Thomas; Bucheli, Thomas D

    2016-08-24

    Pesticide transport from seed dressings toward subsurface tile drains is still poorly understood. We monitored the neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam from sugar beet seed dressings in flow-proportional drainage water samples, together with spray applications of bromide and the herbicide S-metolachlor in spring and the fungicides epoxiconazole and kresoxim-methyl in summer. Event-driven, high first concentration maxima up to 2830 and 1290 ng/L for thiamethoxam and imidacloprid, respectively, were followed by an extended period of tailing and suggested preferential flow. Nevertheless, mass recoveries declined in agreement with the degradation and sorption properties collated in the groundwater ubiquity score, following the order bromide (4.9%), thiamethoxam (1.2%), imidacloprid (0.48%), kresoxim-methyl acid (0.17%), S-metolachlor (0.032%), epoxiconazole (0.013%), and kresoxim-methyl (0.003%), and indicated increased leaching from seed dressings compared to spray applications. Measured concentrations and mass recoveries indicate that subsurface tile drains contribute to surface water contamination with neonicotinoids from seed dressings.

  9. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein