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Sample records for optimizes functional inhibition

  1. Optimal Decision Making in Neural Inhibition Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Ravenzwaaij, Don; van der Maas, Han L. J.; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2012-01-01

    In their influential "Psychological Review" article, Bogacz, Brown, Moehlis, Holmes, and Cohen (2006) discussed optimal decision making as accomplished by the drift diffusion model (DDM). The authors showed that neural inhibition models, such as the leaky competing accumulator model (LCA) and the feedforward inhibition model (FFI), can mimic the…

  2. Optimal inverse functions created via population-based optimization.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Alan L; Ordóñez, Raúl

    2014-06-01

    Finding optimal inputs for a multiple-input, single-output system is taxing for a system operator. Population-based optimization is used to create sets of functions that produce a locally optimal input based on a desired output. An operator or higher level planner could use one of the functions in real time. For the optimization, each agent in the population uses the cost and output gradients to take steps lowering the cost while maintaining their current output. When an agent reaches an optimal input for its current output, additional agents are generated in the output gradient directions. The new agents then settle to the local optima for the new output values. The set of associated optimal points forms an inverse function, via spline interpolation, from a desired output to an optimal input. In this manner, multiple locally optimal functions can be created. These functions are naturally clustered in input and output spaces allowing for a continuous inverse function. The operator selects the best cluster over the anticipated range of desired outputs and adjusts the set point (desired output) while maintaining optimality. This reduces the demand from controlling multiple inputs, to controlling a single set point with no loss in performance. Results are demonstrated on a sample set of functions and on a robot control problem. PMID:24235281

  3. Optimal inverse functions created via population-based optimization.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Alan L; Ordóñez, Raúl

    2014-06-01

    Finding optimal inputs for a multiple-input, single-output system is taxing for a system operator. Population-based optimization is used to create sets of functions that produce a locally optimal input based on a desired output. An operator or higher level planner could use one of the functions in real time. For the optimization, each agent in the population uses the cost and output gradients to take steps lowering the cost while maintaining their current output. When an agent reaches an optimal input for its current output, additional agents are generated in the output gradient directions. The new agents then settle to the local optima for the new output values. The set of associated optimal points forms an inverse function, via spline interpolation, from a desired output to an optimal input. In this manner, multiple locally optimal functions can be created. These functions are naturally clustered in input and output spaces allowing for a continuous inverse function. The operator selects the best cluster over the anticipated range of desired outputs and adjusts the set point (desired output) while maintaining optimality. This reduces the demand from controlling multiple inputs, to controlling a single set point with no loss in performance. Results are demonstrated on a sample set of functions and on a robot control problem.

  4. ROCK inhibition impedes macrophage polarity and functions.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yianzhu; Tejpal, Neelam; You, Junping; Li, Xian C; Ghobrial, Rafik M; Kloc, Malgorzata

    2016-02-01

    Macrophages play an important role in immune responses including allograft rejection and they are one of the potential targets of anti-rejection therapies in organ transplantation. Macrophage alloreactivity relies on their phenotype/polarity, motility, phagocytosis and matrix degradation, which in turn depend on proper functioning of actin cytoskeleton and its regulators, the small GTPase RhoA and its downstream effector the Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK). Several laboratories showed that administration of ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 to the graft recipient inhibits chronic rejection or rodent cardiac allografts. Here we studied the effect of Y-27632 on mouse peritoneal macrophage structure, polarity and functions in in vitro assays. We show that Y-27632 inhibitor affects macrophage phenotype/polarity, phagocytosis, migration, and matrix degradation. These novel findings suggest that the impediment of macrophage structure and function via interference with the RhoA/ROCK pathway has a potential to be therapeutically effective in organ transplantation.

  5. Diacylglycerol Kinase Inhibition and Vascular Function.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hyehun; Allahdadi, Kyan J; Tostes, Rita C A; Webb, R Clinton

    2009-01-01

    Diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs), a family of lipid kinases, convert diacylglycerol (DG) to phosphatidic acid (PA). Acting as a second messenger, DG activates protein kinase C (PKC). PA, a signaling lipid, regulates diverse functions involved in physiological responses. Since DGK modulates two lipid second messengers, DG and PA, regulation of DGK could induce related cellular responses. Currently, there are 10 mammalian isoforms of DGK that are categorized into five groups based on their structural features. These diverse isoforms of DGK are considered to activate distinct cellular functions according to extracellular stimuli. Each DGK isoform is thought to play various roles inside the cell, depending on its subcellular localization (nuclear, ER, Golgi complex or cytoplasm). In vascular smooth muscle, vasoconstrictors such as angiotensin II, endothelin-1 and norepinephrine stimulate contraction by increasing inositol trisphosphate (IP(3)), calcium, DG and PKC activity. Inhibition of DGK could increase DG availability and decrease PA levels, as well as alter intracellular responses, including calcium-mediated and PKC-mediated vascular contraction. The purpose of this review is to demonstrate a role of DGK in vascular function. Selective inhibition of DGK isoforms may represent a novel therapeutic approach in vascular dysfunction. PMID:21547002

  6. Inhibition, Executive Function, and Freezing of Gait

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Rajal G.; Klein, Krystal A.; Nomura, Mariko; Fleming, Michael; Mancini, Martina; Giladi, Nir; Nutt, John G.; Horak, Fay B.

    2014-01-01

    Background Studies suggest that freezing of gait (FoG) in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with declines in executive function (EF). However, EF is multi-faceted, including three dissociable components: inhibiting prepotent responses, switching between task sets, and updating working memory. Objective This study investigated which aspect of EF is most strongly associated with FoG in PD. Method Three groups were studied: adults with PD (with and without FoG) and age-matched, healthy adults. All participants completed a battery of cognitive tasks previously shown to discriminate among the three EF components. Participants also completed a turning-in-place task that was scored for FoG by neurologists blind to subjects’ self-reported FoG. Results Compared to both other groups, participants with FoG showed significant performance deficits in tasks associated with inhibitory control, even after accounting for differences in disease severity, but no significant deficits in task-switching or updating working memory. Surprisingly, the strongest effect was an intermittent tendency of participants with FoG to hesitate, and thus miss the response window, on go trials in the Go-Nogo task. The FoG group also made slower responses in the conflict condition of the Stroop task. Physician-rated FoG scores were correlated both with failures to respond on go trials and with failures to inhibit responses on nogo trials in the Go-Nogo task. Conclusion These results suggest that FoG is associated with a specific inability to appropriately engage and release inhibition, rather than with a general executive deficit. PMID:24496099

  7. Nitric oxide synthases: structure, function and inhibition.

    PubMed Central

    Alderton, W K; Cooper, C E; Knowles, R G

    2001-01-01

    This review concentrates on advances in nitric oxide synthase (NOS) structure, function and inhibition made in the last seven years, during which time substantial advances have been made in our understanding of this enzyme family. There is now information on the enzyme structure at all levels from primary (amino acid sequence) to quaternary (dimerization, association with other proteins) structure. The crystal structures of the oxygenase domains of inducible NOS (iNOS) and vascular endothelial NOS (eNOS) allow us to interpret other information in the context of this important part of the enzyme, with its binding sites for iron protoporphyrin IX (haem), biopterin, L-arginine, and the many inhibitors which interact with them. The exact nature of the NOS reaction, its mechanism and its products continue to be sources of controversy. The role of the biopterin cofactor is now becoming clearer, with emerging data implicating one-electron redox cycling as well as the multiple allosteric effects on enzyme activity. Regulation of the NOSs has been described at all levels from gene transcription to covalent modification and allosteric regulation of the enzyme itself. A wide range of NOS inhibitors have been discussed, interacting with the enzyme in diverse ways in terms of site and mechanism of inhibition, time-dependence and selectivity for individual isoforms, although there are many pitfalls and misunderstandings of these aspects. Highly selective inhibitors of iNOS versus eNOS and neuronal NOS have been identified and some of these have potential in the treatment of a range of inflammatory and other conditions in which iNOS has been implicated. PMID:11463332

  8. Bromodomains: Structure, function and pharmacology of inhibition.

    PubMed

    Ferri, Elena; Petosa, Carlo; McKenna, Charles E

    2016-04-15

    Bromodomains are epigenetic readers of histone acetylation involved in chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulation. The human proteome comprises 46 bromodomain-containing proteins with a total of 61 bromodomains, which, despite highly conserved structural features, recognize a wide array of natural peptide ligands. Over the past five years, bromodomains have attracted great interest as promising new epigenetic targets for diverse human diseases, including inflammation, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The demonstration in 2010 that two small molecule compounds, JQ1 and I-BET762, potently inhibit proteins of the bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) family with translational potential for cancer and inflammatory disease sparked intense efforts in academia and pharmaceutical industry to develop novel bromodomain antagonists for therapeutic applications. Several BET inhibitors are already in clinical trials for hematological malignancies, solid tumors and cardiovascular disease. Currently, the field faces the challenge of single-target selectivity, especially within the BET family, and of overcoming problems related to the development of drug resistance. At the same time, new trends in bromodomain inhibitor research are emerging, including an increased interest in non-BET bromodomains and a focus on drug synergy with established antitumor agents to improve chemotherapeutic efficacy. This review presents an updated view of the structure and function of bromodomains, traces the development of bromodomain inhibitors and their potential therapeutic applications, and surveys the current challenges and future directions of this vibrant new field in drug discovery.

  9. Bromodomains: Structure, function and pharmacology of inhibition.

    PubMed

    Ferri, Elena; Petosa, Carlo; McKenna, Charles E

    2016-04-15

    Bromodomains are epigenetic readers of histone acetylation involved in chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulation. The human proteome comprises 46 bromodomain-containing proteins with a total of 61 bromodomains, which, despite highly conserved structural features, recognize a wide array of natural peptide ligands. Over the past five years, bromodomains have attracted great interest as promising new epigenetic targets for diverse human diseases, including inflammation, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The demonstration in 2010 that two small molecule compounds, JQ1 and I-BET762, potently inhibit proteins of the bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) family with translational potential for cancer and inflammatory disease sparked intense efforts in academia and pharmaceutical industry to develop novel bromodomain antagonists for therapeutic applications. Several BET inhibitors are already in clinical trials for hematological malignancies, solid tumors and cardiovascular disease. Currently, the field faces the challenge of single-target selectivity, especially within the BET family, and of overcoming problems related to the development of drug resistance. At the same time, new trends in bromodomain inhibitor research are emerging, including an increased interest in non-BET bromodomains and a focus on drug synergy with established antitumor agents to improve chemotherapeutic efficacy. This review presents an updated view of the structure and function of bromodomains, traces the development of bromodomain inhibitors and their potential therapeutic applications, and surveys the current challenges and future directions of this vibrant new field in drug discovery. PMID:26707800

  10. On Optimal Projective Fusers for Function Estimators

    SciTech Connect

    Rao, N.S.V.

    1999-06-22

    We propose a fuser that projects different function estimators in different regions of the input space based on the lower envelope of the error curves of the individual estimators. This fuser is shown to be optimal among projective fusers and also to perform at least as well as the best individual estimator. By incorporating an optimal linear fuser as another estimator, this fuser performs at least as well as the optimal linear combination. We illustrate the fuser by combining neural networks trained using different parameters for the network and/or for learning algorithms.

  11. Inhibiting the Function of an Enzyme

    SciTech Connect

    2015-06-17

    In order to stop bacteria from reproducing and causing a disease like tuberculosis, researchers must first block its enzymes' ability to bind with certain molecules. A research team from Brandeis University worked with the Advanced Protein Characterization Facility at Argonne National Laboratory to define 13 different bacterial structures and uncover the mechanism by which their enzymes form and break bonds with molecules. This animation depicts how an enzyme may be inhibited using this knowledge.

  12. A novel bee swarm optimization algorithm for numerical function optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbari, Reza; Mohammadi, Alireza; Ziarati, Koorush

    2010-10-01

    The optimization algorithms which are inspired from intelligent behavior of honey bees are among the most recently introduced population based techniques. In this paper, a novel algorithm called bee swarm optimization, or BSO, and its two extensions for improving its performance are presented. The BSO is a population based optimization technique which is inspired from foraging behavior of honey bees. The proposed approach provides different patterns which are used by the bees to adjust their flying trajectories. As the first extension, the BSO algorithm introduces different approaches such as repulsion factor and penalizing fitness (RP) to mitigate the stagnation problem. Second, to maintain efficiently the balance between exploration and exploitation, time-varying weights (TVW) are introduced into the BSO algorithm. The proposed algorithm (BSO) and its two extensions (BSO-RP and BSO-RPTVW) are compared with existing algorithms which are based on intelligent behavior of honey bees, on a set of well known numerical test functions. The experimental results show that the BSO algorithms are effective and robust; produce excellent results, and outperform other algorithms investigated in this consideration.

  13. Divisive gain modulation of motoneurons by inhibition optimizes muscular control.

    PubMed

    Vestergaard, Mikkel; Berg, Rune W

    2015-02-25

    When using muscles, the precision with which force is delivered is as important as the delivery of force itself. Force is regulated by both the number of recruited motoneurons and their spike frequency. While it is known that the recruitment is ordered to reduce variability in force, it remains unclear whether the motoneuron gain, i.e., the slope of the transformation between synaptic input and spiking output, is also modulated to reduce variability in force. To address this issue, we use turtle hindlimb scratching as a model for fine motor control, since this behavior involves precise limb movement to rub the location of somatic nuisance touch. We recorded intracellularly from motoneurons in a reduced preparation where the limbs were removed to increase mechanical stability and the motor nerve activity served as a surrogate for muscle force. We found that not only is the gain of motoneurons regulated on a subsecond timescale, it is also adjusted to minimize variability. The modulation is likely achieved via an expansive nonlinearity between spike rate and membrane potential with inhibition having a divisive influence. These findings reveal a versatile mechanism of modulating neuronal sensitivity and suggest that such modulation is fundamentally linked to optimization.

  14. Optimization of constrained density functional theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Regan, David D.; Teobaldi, Gilberto

    2016-07-01

    Constrained density functional theory (cDFT) is a versatile electronic structure method that enables ground-state calculations to be performed subject to physical constraints. It thereby broadens their applicability and utility. Automated Lagrange multiplier optimization is necessary for multiple constraints to be applied efficiently in cDFT, for it to be used in tandem with geometry optimization, or with molecular dynamics. In order to facilitate this, we comprehensively develop the connection between cDFT energy derivatives and response functions, providing a rigorous assessment of the uniqueness and character of cDFT stationary points while accounting for electronic interactions and screening. In particular, we provide a nonperturbative proof that stable stationary points of linear density constraints occur only at energy maxima with respect to their Lagrange multipliers. We show that multiple solutions, hysteresis, and energy discontinuities may occur in cDFT. Expressions are derived, in terms of convenient by-products of cDFT optimization, for quantities such as the dielectric function and a condition number quantifying ill definition in multiple constraint cDFT.

  15. Functional inhibition of UQCRB suppresses angiogenesis in zebrafish

    SciTech Connect

    Cho, Yoon Sun; Jung, Hye Jin; Seok, Seung Hyeok; Payumo, Alexander Y.; Chen, James K.; Kwon, Ho Jeong

    2013-04-19

    Highlights: ► This is the first functional characterization of UQCRB in vivo model. ► Angiogenesis is inhibited with UQCRB loss of function in zebrafish. ► UQCRB is introduced as a prognostic marker for mitochondria- and angiogenesis-related diseases. -- Abstract: As a subunit of mitochondrial complex III, UQCRB plays an important role in complex III stability, electron transport, and cellular oxygen sensing. Herein, we report UQCRB function regarding angiogenesis in vivo with the zebrafish (Danio rerio). UQCRB knockdown inhibited angiogenesis in zebrafish leading to the suppression of VEGF expression. Moreover, the UQCRB-targeting small molecule terpestacin also inhibited angiogenesis and VEGF levels in zebrafish, supporting the role of UQCRB in angiogenesis. Collectively, UQCRB loss of function by either genetic and pharmacological means inhibited angiogenesis, indicating that UQCRB plays a key role in this process and can be a prognostic marker of angiogenesis- and mitochondria-related diseases.

  16. Maximizing Academic Success: Introducing the Concept of Optimized Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phan, Huy P.

    2015-01-01

    This research article reports on two correlational studies that examined the notion of "optimized functioning." Optimized functioning, introduced in a recent published study, offers an alternative approach into the understanding of optimization. Optimized functioning is proposed to consist of four distinctive components: personal…

  17. Phenolics of pomegranate peels: extraction optimization by central composite design and alpha glucosidase inhibition potentials.

    PubMed

    Çam, Mustafa; İçyer, Necattin Cihat

    2015-03-01

    Optimum water extraction conditions for phenolics of pomegranate peels were investigated by fractional factorial and face-centered central composite designs. Five potential factors were selected for the fractional factorial design: extraction technique, extraction temperature, extraction time, particle size and solvent to solid ratio. After eliminating statistically unimportant factors, a face-centered central composite design was set up with two controllable factors and with two responses: total phenolics and α-glucosidase inhibition activity. Optimum conditions were found as 100 °C for extraction temperature and 1 min for extraction time. There were no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) between water extracts at optimized conditions and classical methanol extracts. Total phenolic content by HPLC was192.0 mg/g of pomegranate peels on dry matter basis. Phenolics of pomegranate peels showed α-glucosidase inhibition activity with an IC50 (concentration of phenolics required to inhibit 50 % of the enzyme activity) value of 5.56 ± 2.23 μg/ml. Pomegranate peel phenolics with its antioxidant and α-glucosidase inhibition properties might be a suitable ingredient for functional food applications. PMID:25745217

  18. Phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases: Function, structure, and inhibition

    SciTech Connect

    Boura, Evzen Nencka, Radim

    2015-10-01

    The phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases (PI4Ks) synthesize phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P), a key member of the phosphoinositide family. PI4P defines the membranes of Golgi and trans-Golgi network (TGN) and regulates trafficking to and from the Golgi. Humans have two type II PI4Ks (α and β) and two type III enzymes (α and β). Recently, the crystal structures were solved for both type II and type III kinase revealing atomic details of their function. Importantly, the type III PI4Ks are hijacked by +RNA viruses to create so-called membranous web, an extensively phosphorylated and modified membrane system dedicated to their replication. Therefore, selective and potent inhibitors of PI4Ks have been developed as potential antiviral agents. Here we focus on the structure and function of PI4Ks and their potential in human medicine.

  19. Optimal Reward Functions in Distributed Reinforcement Learning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolpert, David H.; Tumer, Kagan

    2000-01-01

    We consider the design of multi-agent systems so as to optimize an overall world utility function when (1) those systems lack centralized communication and control, and (2) each agents runs a distinct Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithm. A crucial issue in such design problems is to initialize/update each agent's private utility function, so as to induce best possible world utility. Traditional 'team game' solutions to this problem sidestep this issue and simply assign to each agent the world utility as its private utility function. In previous work we used the 'Collective Intelligence' framework to derive a better choice of private utility functions, one that results in world utility performance up to orders of magnitude superior to that ensuing from use of the team game utility. In this paper we extend these results. We derive the general class of private utility functions that both are easy for the individual agents to learn and that, if learned well, result in high world utility. We demonstrate experimentally that using these new utility functions can result in significantly improved performance over that of our previously proposed utility, over and above that previous utility's superiority to the conventional team game utility.

  20. Functional Family Therapy and the Treatment of Inhibited Sexual Desire.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Regas, Susan J.; Sprenkle, Douglas H.

    1984-01-01

    Describes the therapy, assessment, and education principles of Functional Family Therapy and applies them to the treatment of inhibited sexual desire, using a case illustration. Functional Family Therapy works at motivating the couple to want change, rather than providing an understanding of underlying causes of the problem. (JAC)

  1. Sampling design optimization for spatial functions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olea, R.A.

    1984-01-01

    A new procedure is presented for minimizing the sampling requirements necessary to estimate a mappable spatial function at a specified level of accuracy. The technique is based on universal kriging, an estimation method within the theory of regionalized variables. Neither actual implementation of the sampling nor universal kriging estimations are necessary to make an optimal design. The average standard error and maximum standard error of estimation over the sampling domain are used as global indices of sampling efficiency. The procedure optimally selects those parameters controlling the magnitude of the indices, including the density and spatial pattern of the sample elements and the number of nearest sample elements used in the estimation. As an illustration, the network of observation wells used to monitor the water table in the Equus Beds of Kansas is analyzed and an improved sampling pattern suggested. This example demonstrates the practical utility of the procedure, which can be applied equally well to other spatial sampling problems, as the procedure is not limited by the nature of the spatial function. ?? 1984 Plenum Publishing Corporation.

  2. Design optimization of functionally graded dental implant.

    PubMed

    Hedia, H S; Mahmoud, Nemat-Alla

    2004-01-01

    The continuous increase of man's life span, and the growing confidence in using artificial materials inside the human body necessities introducing more effective prosthesis and implant materials. However, no artificial implant has biomechanical properties equivalent to the original tissue. Recently, titanium and bioceramic materials, such as hydroxyapatite are extensively used as fabrication materials for dental implant due to their high compatibility with hard tissue and living bone. Titanium has reasonable stiffness and strength while hydroxyapatite has low stiffness, low strength and high ability to reach full integration with living bone. In order to obtain good dental implantation of the biomaterial; full integration of the implant with living bone should be satisfied. Minimum stresses in the implant and the bone must be achieved to increase the life of the implant and prevent bone resorption. Therefore, the aim of the current investigation is to design an implant made from functionally graded material (FGM) to achieve the above advantages. The finite element method and optimization technique are used to reach the required implant design. The optimal materials of the FGM dental implant are found to be hydroxyapatite/titanium. The investigations have shown that the maximum stress in the bone for the hydroxyapatite/titanium FGM implant has been reduced by about 22% and 28% compared to currently used titanium and stainless steel dental implants, respectively.

  3. Inhibiting ice recrystallization and optimization of cell viability after cryopreservation.

    PubMed

    Chaytor, Jennifer L; Tokarew, Jacqueline M; Wu, Luke K; Leclère, Mathieu; Tam, Roger Y; Capicciotti, Chantelle J; Guolla, Louise; von Moos, Elisabeth; Findlay, C Scott; Allan, David S; Ben, Robert N

    2012-01-01

    The ice recrystallization inhibition activity of various mono- and disaccharides has been correlated with their ability to cryopreserve human cell lines at various concentrations. Cell viabilities after cryopreservation were compared with control experiments where cells were cryopreserved with dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO). The most potent inhibitors of ice recrystallization were 220 mM solutions of disaccharides; however, the best cell viability was obtained when a 200 mM d-galactose solution was utilized. This solution was minimally cytotoxic at physiological temperature and effectively preserved cells during freeze-thaw. In fact, this carbohydrate was just as effective as a 5% DMSO solution. Further studies indicated that the cryoprotective benefit of d-galactose was a result of its internalization and its ability to mitigate osmotic stress, prevent intracellular ice formation and/or inhibit ice recrystallization. This study supports the hypothesis that the ability of a cryoprotectant to inhibit ice recrystallization is an important property to enhance cell viability post-freeze-thaw. This cryoprotective benefit is observed in three different human cell lines. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the ability of a potential cryoprotectant to inhibit ice recrystallation may be used as a predictor of its ability to preserve cells at subzero temperatures.

  4. Inhibition of Anopheles gambiae Odorant Receptor Function by Mosquito Repellents*

    PubMed Central

    Tsitoura, Panagiota; Koussis, Konstantinos; Iatrou, Kostas

    2015-01-01

    The identification of molecular targets of insect repellents has been a challenging task, with their effects on odorant receptors (ORs) remaining a debatable issue. Here, we describe a study on the effects of selected mosquito repellents, including the widely used repellent N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), on the function of specific ORs of the African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. This study, which has been based on quantitative measurements of a Ca2+-activated photoprotein biosensor of recombinant OR function in an insect cell-based expression platform and a sequential compound addition protocol, revealed that heteromeric OR (ORx/Orco) function was susceptible to strong inhibition by all tested mosquito repellents except DEET. Moreover, our results demonstrated that the observed inhibition was due to efficient blocking of Orco (olfactory receptor coreceptor) function. This mechanism of repellent action, which is reported for the first time, is distinct from the mode of action of other characterized insect repellents including DEET. PMID:25657000

  5. Inhibition of Anopheles gambiae odorant receptor function by mosquito repellents.

    PubMed

    Tsitoura, Panagiota; Koussis, Konstantinos; Iatrou, Kostas

    2015-03-20

    The identification of molecular targets of insect repellents has been a challenging task, with their effects on odorant receptors (ORs) remaining a debatable issue. Here, we describe a study on the effects of selected mosquito repellents, including the widely used repellent N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), on the function of specific ORs of the African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. This study, which has been based on quantitative measurements of a Ca(2+)-activated photoprotein biosensor of recombinant OR function in an insect cell-based expression platform and a sequential compound addition protocol, revealed that heteromeric OR (ORx/Orco) function was susceptible to strong inhibition by all tested mosquito repellents except DEET. Moreover, our results demonstrated that the observed inhibition was due to efficient blocking of Orco (olfactory receptor coreceptor) function. This mechanism of repellent action, which is reported for the first time, is distinct from the mode of action of other characterized insect repellents including DEET. PMID:25657000

  6. Is optimism optimal? Functional causes of apparent behavioural biases.

    PubMed

    Houston, Alasdair I; Trimmer, Pete C; Fawcett, Tim W; Higginson, Andrew D; Marshall, James A R; McNamara, John M

    2012-02-01

    We review the use of the terms 'optimism' and 'pessimism' to characterize particular types of behaviour in non-human animals. Animals can certainly behave as though they are optimistic or pessimistic with respect to specific motivations, as documented by an extensive range of examples in the literature. However, in surveying such examples we find that these terms are often poorly defined and are liable to lead to confusion. Furthermore, when considering behaviour within the framework of optimal decision theory using appropriate currencies, it is often misleading to describe animals as optimistic or pessimistic. There are two common misunderstandings. First, some apparent cases of biased behaviour result from misidentifying the currencies and pay-offs the animals should be maximising. Second, actions that do not maximise short-term pay-offs have sometimes been described as optimistic or pessimistic when in fact they are optimal in the long term; we show how such situations can be understood from the perspective of bandit models. Rather than describing suboptimal, unrealistic behaviour, the terms optimism and pessimism are better restricted to informal usage. Our review highlights the importance of choosing the relevant currency when attempting to predict the action of natural selection.

  7. mTOR inhibition improves immune function in the elderly.

    PubMed

    Mannick, Joan B; Del Giudice, Giuseppe; Lattanzi, Maria; Valiante, Nicholas M; Praestgaard, Jens; Huang, Baisong; Lonetto, Michael A; Maecker, Holden T; Kovarik, John; Carson, Simon; Glass, David J; Klickstein, Lloyd B

    2014-12-24

    Inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway extends life span in all species studied to date, and in mice delays the onset of age-related diseases and comorbidities. However, it is unknown if mTOR inhibition affects aging or its consequences in humans. To begin to assess the effects of mTOR inhibition on human aging-related conditions, we evaluated whether the mTOR inhibitor RAD001 ameliorated immunosenescence (the decline in immune function during aging) in elderly volunteers, as assessed by their response to influenza vaccination. RAD001 enhanced the response to the influenza vaccine by about 20% at doses that were relatively well tolerated. RAD001 also reduced the percentage of CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes expressing the programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor, which inhibits T cell signaling and is more highly expressed with age. These results raise the possibility that mTOR inhibition may have beneficial effects on immunosenescence in the elderly.

  8. Functional Interrogation of Adult Hypothalamic Neurogenesis with Focal Radiological Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Daniel A.; Salvatierra, Juan; Velarde, Esteban; Wong, John; Ford, Eric C.; Blackshaw, Seth

    2013-01-01

    The functional characterization of adult-born neurons remains a significant challenge. Approaches to inhibit adult neurogenesis via invasive viral delivery or transgenic animals have potential confounds that make interpretation of results from these studies difficult. New radiological tools are emerging, however, that allow one to noninvasively investigate the function of select groups of adult-born neurons through accurate and precise anatomical targeting in small animals. Focal ionizing radiation inhibits the birth and differentiation of new neurons, and allows targeting of specific neural progenitor regions. In order to illuminate the potential functional role that adult hypothalamic neurogenesis plays in the regulation of physiological processes, we developed a noninvasive focal irradiation technique to selectively inhibit the birth of adult-born neurons in the hypothalamic median eminence. We describe a method for Computer tomography-guided focal irradiation (CFIR) delivery to enable precise and accurate anatomical targeting in small animals. CFIR uses three-dimensional volumetric image guidance for localization and targeting of the radiation dose, minimizes radiation exposure to nontargeted brain regions, and allows for conformal dose distribution with sharp beam boundaries. This protocol allows one to ask questions regarding the function of adult-born neurons, but also opens areas to questions in areas of radiobiology, tumor biology, and immunology. These radiological tools will facilitate the translation of discoveries at the bench to the bedside. PMID:24300415

  9. Pentamethylquercetin (PMQ) reduces thrombus formation by inhibiting platelet function

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Ming-Lu; Da, Xing-Wen; He, Ao-Di; Yao, Guang-Qiang; Xie, Wen; Liu, Gang; Xiang, Ji-Zhou; Ming, Zhang-Yin

    2015-01-01

    Flavonoids exert both anti-oxidant and anti-platelet activities in vitro and in vivo. Pentamethylquercetin (PMQ), a polymethoxylated flavone derivative, has been screened for anti-carcinogenic and cardioprotective effects. However, it is unclear whether PMQ has anti-thrombotic effects. In the present study, PMQ (20 mg/kg) significantly inhibited thrombus formation in the collagen- epinephrine- induced acute pulmonary thrombosis mouse model and the ferric chloride-induced carotid injury model. To explore the mechanism, we evaluated the effects of PMQ on platelet function. We found that PMQ inhibited platelet aggregation and granule secretion induced by low dose agonists, including ADP, collagen, thrombin and U46619. Biochemical analysis revealed that PMQ inhibited collagen-, thrombin- and U46619-induced activation of Syk, PLCγ2, Akt, GSK3β and Erk1/2. Therefore, we provide the first report to show that PMQ possesses anti-thrombotic activity in vivo and inhibited platelet function in vitro, suggesting that PMQ may represent a potential therapeutic candidate for the prevention or treatment of thrombotic disorders. PMID:26059557

  10. Optimization of irinotecan chronotherapy with P-glycoprotein inhibition.

    PubMed

    Filipski, Elisabeth; Berland, Elodie; Ozturk, Narin; Guettier, Catherine; van der Horst, Gijsbertus T J; Lévi, Francis; Okyar, Alper

    2014-02-01

    The relevance of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) for irinotecan chronopharmacology was investigated in female B6D2F1 mice. A three-fold 24h change in the mRNA expression of Abcb1b was demonstrated in ileum mucosa, with a maximum at Zeitgeber Time (ZT) 15 (p<0.001). No rhythm was found for abcb1a in ileum mucosa, or for Abcb1a/b in Glasgow osteosarcoma (GOS), a mouse tumor cell line moderately sensitive to irinotecan. Non-tumor-bearing mice received irinotecan (50mg/kg/day i.v.×4days) as a single agent or combined with P-gp inhibitor PSC833 (6.25mg/kg/day i.p.×4 days) at ZT3 or ZT15, respectively corresponding to the worst or the best irinotecan tolerability. Endpoints involved survival, body weight change and hematologic toxicity. Antitumor efficacy was studied in GOS-bearing mice receiving irinotecan (25, 30 or 40mg/kg/day×4days) and +/-PSC833 at ZT3 or ZT15, with survival, body weight change, and tumor growth inhibition as endpoints. Non-tumor bearing mice lost an average of 17% or 9% of their body weight according to irinotecan administration at ZT3 or ZT15 respectively (p<0.001). Dosing at ZT15 rather than ZT3 reduced mean leucopenia (9% vs 53%; p<0.001). PSC833 aggravated irinotecan lethal toxicity from 4 to ~60%. In tumor-bearing mice, body weight loss was ~halved in the mice on irinotecan or irinotecan-PSC833 combination at ZT15 as compared to ZT3 (p<0.001). PSC833-irinotecan at ZT15 increased tumor inhibition by ~40% as compared to irinotecan only at ZT15. In conclusion, P-gp was an important determinant of the circadian balance between toxicity and efficacy of irinotecan.

  11. Optimization of irinotecan chronotherapy with P-glycoprotein inhibition

    SciTech Connect

    Filipski, Elisabeth; Berland, Elodie; Ozturk, Narin; Guettier, Catherine; Horst, Gijsbertus T.J. van der; Lévi, Francis; and others

    2014-02-01

    The relevance of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) for irinotecan chronopharmacology was investigated in female B6D2F{sub 1} mice. A three-fold 24 h change in the mRNA expression of Abcb1b was demonstrated in ileum mucosa, with a maximum at Zeitgeber Time (ZT) 15 (p < 0.001). No rhythm was found for abcb1a in ileum mucosa, or for Abcb1a/b in Glasgow osteosarcoma (GOS), a mouse tumor cell line moderately sensitive to irinotecan. Non-tumor-bearing mice received irinotecan (50 mg/kg/day i.v. × 4 days) as a single agent or combined with P-gp inhibitor PSC833 (6.25 mg/kg/day i.p. × 4 days) at ZT3 or ZT15, respectively corresponding to the worst or the best irinotecan tolerability. Endpoints involved survival, body weight change and hematologic toxicity. Antitumor efficacy was studied in GOS-bearing mice receiving irinotecan (25, 30 or 40 mg/kg/day × 4 days) and +/− PSC833 at ZT3 or ZT15, with survival, body weight change, and tumor growth inhibition as endpoints. Non-tumor bearing mice lost an average of 17% or 9% of their body weight according to irinotecan administration at ZT3 or ZT15 respectively (p < 0.001). Dosing at ZT15 rather than ZT3 reduced mean leucopenia (9% vs 53%; p < 0.001). PSC833 aggravated irinotecan lethal toxicity from 4 to ∼ 60%. In tumor-bearing mice, body weight loss was ∼ halved in the mice on irinotecan or irinotecan–PSC833 combination at ZT15 as compared to ZT3 (p < 0.001). PSC833–irinotecan at ZT15 increased tumor inhibition by ∼ 40% as compared to irinotecan only at ZT15. In conclusion, P-gp was an important determinant of the circadian balance between toxicity and efficacy of irinotecan. - Highlights: • Irinotecan chronotolerance and chronoefficacy change as drug was applied with PSC833. • P-glycoprotein is an important player of the toxicity and efficacy of irinotecan. • Timing should be considered if chemotherapy is performed with a MDR1 inhibitor.

  12. Ketamine inhibits human sperm function by Ca(2+)-related mechanism.

    PubMed

    He, Yuanqiao; Zou, Qianxing; Li, Bingda; Chen, Houyang; Du, Xiaohong; Weng, Shiqi; Luo, Tao; Zeng, Xuhui

    2016-09-01

    Ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic, which was widely used in human and animal medicine, has become a popular recreational drug, as it can induce hallucinatory effects. Ketamine abuse can cause serious damage to many aspects of the organism, mainly reflected in the nervous system and urinary system. It has also been reported that ketamine can impair the male genital system. However, the detailed effect of ketamine on human spermatozoa remains unclear. Thus, we investigated the in vitro effects of ketamine on human sperm functions, to elucidate the underlying mechanism. Human sperm were treated in vitro with different concentrations of ketamine (0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1 g/L). The results showed that 0.25-1 g/L ketamine inhibited sperm total motility, progressive motility and linear velocity, in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the sperm's ability to penetrate viscous medium and the progesterone-induced acrosome reaction were significantly inhibited by ketamine. Ketamine did not affect sperm viability, capacitation and spontaneous acrosome reaction. The intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i), which is a central factor in the regulation of human sperm function, was decreased by ketamine (0.125-1 g/L) in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, the currents of the sperm-specific Ca(2+) channel, CatSper, which modulates Ca(2+) influx in sperm, were inhibited by ketamine (0.125-1 g/L) in a dose-dependent manner. Our findings suggest that ketamine induces its toxic effects on human sperm functions by reducing sperm [Ca(2+)]i through inhibition of CatSper channel. PMID:27143628

  13. Benzydamine Oral Spray Inhibiting Parasympathetic Function of Tracheal Smooth Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Chao, Pin-Zhir; Lee, Fei-Peng

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Benzydamine is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents agent with anti-inflammatory and local anesthesia properties that is available in the entire world as an oral spray for oral mucositis patients who are suffering from radiation effects. The effect of benzydamine on oral mucositis in vivo is well known; however, the effect of the drug on tracheal smooth muscle has rarely been explored. During administration of the benzydamine for oral symptoms, it might affect the trachea via oral intake or inhalation. Methods We examined the effectiveness of benzydamine on isolated rat tracheal smooth muscle. The following assessments of benzydamine were performed: effect on tracheal smooth muscle resting tension; effect on contraction caused by 10-6M methacholine as a parasympathetic mimetic; and effect of the drug on electrically induced tracheal smooth muscle contractions. Results Addition of methacholine to the incubation medium caused the trachea to contract in a dose-dependent manner. Addition of benzydamine at doses of 10-5M or above elicited a significant relaxation response to 10-6M methacholine-induced contraction. Benzydamine could inhibit electrical field stimulation-induced spike contraction. It alone had a minimal effect on the basal tension of trachea as the concentration increased. Conclusion This study indicated that high concentrations of benzydamine might actually inhibit parasympathetic function of the trachea. Benzydamine might reduce asthma attacks in oral mucositis patients because it could inhibit parasympathetic function and reduce methacholine-induced contraction of tracheal smooth muscle. PMID:25729498

  14. Serum amyloid A inhibits osteoclast differentiation to maintain macrophage function.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jiseon; Yang, Jihyun; Park, Ok-Jin; Kang, Seok-Seong; Yun, Cheol-Heui; Han, Seung Hyun

    2016-04-01

    Serum amyloid A is an acute phase protein that is elevated under inflammatory conditions. Additionally, the serum levels of serum amyloid A are associated with the progression of inflammatory arthritis; thus, serum amyloid A might be involved in the regulation of osteoclast differentiation. In the present study, we examined the effects of serum amyloid A on osteoclast differentiation and function. When bone marrow-derived macrophages, as osteoclast precursors, were stimulated with serum amyloid A in the presence of M-CSF and receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand, osteoclast differentiation and its bone-resorption activity were substantially inhibited. TLR2 was important in the inhibitory effect of serum amyloid A on osteoclast differentiation, because serum amyloid A stimulated TLR2. The inhibitory effect was absent in bone marrow-derived macrophages obtained from TLR2-deficient mice. Furthermore, serum amyloid A inhibited the expression of c-Fos and nuclear factor of activated T cells c1, which are crucial transcription factors for osteoclast differentiation, but prevented downregulation of IFN regulatory factor-8, a negative regulator of osteoclast differentiation. In contrast, serum amyloid A sustained the endocytic capacity of bone marrow-derived macrophages and their ability to induce the proinflammatory cytokines, IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α. Taken together, these results suggest that serum amyloid A, when increased by inflammatory conditions, inhibits differentiation of macrophages to osteoclasts, likely to maintain macrophage function for host defense.

  15. GGCX and VKORC1 inhibit osteocalcin endocrine functions

    PubMed Central

    Lacombe, Julie; Germain, Amélie; Oury, Franck

    2015-01-01

    Osteocalcin (OCN) is an osteoblast-derived hormone favoring glucose homeostasis, energy expenditure, male fertility, brain development, and cognition. Before being secreted by osteoblasts in the bone extracellular matrix, OCN is γ-carboxylated by the γ-carboxylase (GGCX) on three glutamic acid residues, a cellular process requiring reduction of vitamin K (VK) by a second enzyme, a reductase called VKORC1. Although circumstantial evidence suggests that γ-carboxylation may inhibit OCN endocrine functions, genetic evidence that it is the case is still lacking. Here we show using cell-specific gene inactivation models that γ-carboxylation of OCN by GGCX inhibits its endocrine function. We further show that VKORC1 is required for OCN γ-carboxylation in osteoblasts, whereas its paralogue, VKORC1L1, is dispensable for this function and cannot compensate for the absence of VKORC1 in osteoblasts. This study genetically and biochemically delineates the functions of the enzymes required for OCN modification and demonstrates that it is the uncarboxylated form of OCN that acts as a hormone. PMID:25753038

  16. Optimization of Milling Parameters Employing Desirability Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, J. L. S.; Rubio, J. C. Campos; Abrão, A. M.

    2011-01-01

    The principal aim of this paper is to investigate the influence of tool material (one cermet and two coated carbide grades), cutting speed and feed rate on the machinability of hardened AISI H13 hot work steel, in order to identify the cutting conditions which lead to optimal performance. A multiple response optimization procedure based on tool life, surface roughness, milling forces and the machining time (required to produce a sample cavity) was employed. The results indicated that the TiCN-TiN coated carbide and cermet presented similar results concerning the global optimum values for cutting speed and feed rate per tooth, outperforming the TiN-TiCN-Al2O3 coated carbide tool.

  17. A functional approach to geometry optimization of complex systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maslen, P. E.

    A quadratically convergent procedure is presented for the geometry optimization of complex systems, such as biomolecules and molecular complexes. The costly evaluation of the exact Hessian is avoided by expanding the density functional to second order in both nuclear and electronic variables, and then searching for the minimum of the quadratic functional. The dependence of the functional on the choice of nuclear coordinate system is described, and illustrative geometry optimizations using Cartesian and internal coordinates are presented for Taxol™.

  18. Optimization of Cubic Polynomial Functions without Calculus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Ronald D., Jr.; Hansen, Ryan

    2008-01-01

    In algebra and precalculus courses, students are often asked to find extreme values of polynomial functions in the context of solving an applied problem; but without the notion of derivative, something is lost. Either the functions are reduced to quadratics, since students know the formula for the vertex of a parabola, or solutions are…

  19. Full Waveform Inversion with Optimal Basis Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Gang; Chang, Qianshun; Sheng, Ping

    2003-03-01

    Based on the approach suggested by Tarantola, and Gauthier etal., we show that the alternate use of the step (linear) function basis and the block function (quasi-δ function) basis can give accurate full waveform inversion results for the layered acoustic systems, starting from a uniform background. Our method is robust against additive white noise (up to 20% of the signal) and can resolve layers that are comparable to or smaller than a wavelength in thickness. The physical reason for the success of our approach is illustrated through a simple example.

  20. Full waveform inversion with optimal basis functions.

    PubMed

    Sun, Gang; Chang, Qianshun; Sheng, Ping

    2003-03-14

    Based on the approach suggested by Tarantola, and Gauthier et al., we show that the alternate use of the step (linear) function basis and the block function (quasi-delta function) basis can give accurate full waveform inversion results for the layered acoustic systems, starting from a uniform background. Our method is robust against additive white noise (up to 20% of the signal) and can resolve layers that are comparable to or smaller than a wavelength in thickness. The physical reason for the success of our approach is illustrated through a simple example.

  1. Functional connectivity correlates of response inhibition impairment in anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Collantoni, Enrico; Michelon, Silvia; Tenconi, Elena; Degortes, Daniela; Titton, Francesca; Manara, Renzo; Clementi, Maurizio; Pinato, Claudia; Forzan, Monica; Cassina, Matteo; Santonastaso, Paolo; Favaro, Angela

    2016-01-30

    Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a disorder characterized by high levels of cognitive control and behavioral perseveration. The present study aims at exploring inhibitory control abilities and their functional connectivity correlates in patients with AN. Inhibitory control - an executive function that allows the realization of adaptive behavior according to environmental contingencies - has been assessed by means of the Stop-Signal paradigm. The study involved 155 patients with lifetime AN and 102 healthy women. A subsample underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and was genotyped for COMT and 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms. AN patients showed an impaired response inhibition and a disruption of the functional connectivity of the ventral attention circuit, a neural network implicated in behavioral response when a stimulus occurs unexpected. The 5-HTTLPR genotype appears to significantly interact with the functional connectivity of ventral attention network in explaining task performance in both patients and controls, suggesting a role of the serotoninergic system in mechanisms of response selection. The disruption of the ventral attention network in patients with AN suggests lower efficiency of bottom-up signal filtering, which might be involved in difficulties to adapt behavioral responses to environmental needs. Our findings deserve further research to confirm their scientific and therapeutic implications.

  2. Optimization of an exchange-correlation density functional for water.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Michelle; Fernández-Serra, Marivi; Soler, José M

    2016-06-14

    We describe a method, that we call data projection onto parameter space (DPPS), to optimize an energy functional of the electron density, so that it reproduces a dataset of experimental magnitudes. Our scheme, based on Bayes theorem, constrains the optimized functional not to depart unphysically from existing ab initio functionals. The resulting functional maximizes the probability of being the "correct" parameterization of a given functional form, in the sense of Bayes theory. The application of DPPS to water sheds new light on why density functional theory has performed rather poorly for liquid water, on what improvements are needed, and on the intrinsic limitations of the generalized gradient approximation to electron exchange and correlation. Finally, we present tests of our water-optimized functional, that we call vdW-DF-w, showing that it performs very well for a variety of condensed water systems. PMID:27305990

  3. A deterministic global optimization using smooth diagonal auxiliary functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergeyev, Yaroslav D.; Kvasov, Dmitri E.

    2015-04-01

    In many practical decision-making problems it happens that functions involved in optimization process are black-box with unknown analytical representations and hard to evaluate. In this paper, a global optimization problem is considered where both the goal function f (x) and its gradient f‧ (x) are black-box functions. It is supposed that f‧ (x) satisfies the Lipschitz condition over the search hyperinterval with an unknown Lipschitz constant K. A new deterministic 'Divide-the-Best' algorithm based on efficient diagonal partitions and smooth auxiliary functions is proposed in its basic version, its convergence conditions are studied and numerical experiments executed on eight hundred test functions are presented.

  4. Functional Characterization of Pseudomonas Contact Dependent Growth Inhibition (CDI) Systems

    PubMed Central

    Mercy, Chryslène; Ize, Bérengère; Salcedo, Suzana P.; de Bentzmann, Sophie; Bigot, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Contact-dependent inhibition (CDI) toxins, delivered into the cytoplasm of target bacterial cells, confer to host strain a significant competitive advantage. Upon cell contact, the toxic C-terminal region of surface-exposed CdiA protein (CdiA-CT) inhibits the growth of CDI- bacteria. CDI+ cells express a specific immunity protein, CdiI, which protects from autoinhibition by blocking the activity of cognate CdiA-CT. CdiA-CT are separated from the rest of the protein by conserved peptide motifs falling into two distinct classes, the “E. coli”- and “Burkholderia-type”. CDI systems have been described in numerous species except in Pseudomonadaceae. In this study, we identified functional toxin/immunity genes linked to CDI systems in the Pseudomonas genus, which extend beyond the conventional CDI classes by the variability of the peptide motif that delimits the polymorphic CdiA-CT domain. Using P. aeruginosa PAO1 as a model, we identified the translational repressor RsmA as a negative regulator of CDI systems. Our data further suggest that under conditions of expression, P. aeruginosa CDI systems are implicated in adhesion and biofilm formation and provide an advantage in competition assays. All together our data imply that CDI systems could play an important role in niche adaptation of Pseudomonadaceae. PMID:26808644

  5. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Restores Retinal Pigment Epithelium Function in Hyperglycemia

    PubMed Central

    Desjardins, Danielle; Liu, Yueying; Crosson, Craig E.; Ablonczy, Zsolt

    2016-01-01

    In diabetic individuals, macular edema is a major cause of vision loss. This condition is refractory to insulin therapy and has been attributed to metabolic memory. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is central to maintaining fluid balance in the retina, and this function is compromised by the activation of advanced glycation end-product receptors (RAGE). Here we provide evidence that acute administration of the RAGE agonist, glycated-albumin (gAlb) or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), increased histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity in RPE cells. The administration of the class I/II HDAC inhibitor, trichostatin-A (TSA), suppressed gAlb-induced reductions in RPE transepithelial resistance (in vitro) and fluid transport (in vivo). Systemic TSA also restored normal RPE fluid transport in rats with subchronic hyperglycemia. Both gAlb and VEGF increased HDAC activity and reduced acetyl-α-tubulin levels. Tubastatin-A, a relatively specific antagonist of HDAC6, inhibited gAlb-induced changes in RPE cell resistance. These data are consistent with the idea that RPE dysfunction following exposure to gAlb, VEGF, or hyperglycemia is associated with increased HDAC6 activity and decreased acetyl-α-tubulin. Therefore, we propose inhibiting HDAC6 in the RPE as a potential therapy for preserving normal fluid homeostasis in the hyperglycemic retina. PMID:27617745

  6. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Restores Retinal Pigment Epithelium Function in Hyperglycemia.

    PubMed

    Desjardins, Danielle; Liu, Yueying; Crosson, Craig E; Ablonczy, Zsolt

    2016-01-01

    In diabetic individuals, macular edema is a major cause of vision loss. This condition is refractory to insulin therapy and has been attributed to metabolic memory. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is central to maintaining fluid balance in the retina, and this function is compromised by the activation of advanced glycation end-product receptors (RAGE). Here we provide evidence that acute administration of the RAGE agonist, glycated-albumin (gAlb) or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), increased histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity in RPE cells. The administration of the class I/II HDAC inhibitor, trichostatin-A (TSA), suppressed gAlb-induced reductions in RPE transepithelial resistance (in vitro) and fluid transport (in vivo). Systemic TSA also restored normal RPE fluid transport in rats with subchronic hyperglycemia. Both gAlb and VEGF increased HDAC activity and reduced acetyl-α-tubulin levels. Tubastatin-A, a relatively specific antagonist of HDAC6, inhibited gAlb-induced changes in RPE cell resistance. These data are consistent with the idea that RPE dysfunction following exposure to gAlb, VEGF, or hyperglycemia is associated with increased HDAC6 activity and decreased acetyl-α-tubulin. Therefore, we propose inhibiting HDAC6 in the RPE as a potential therapy for preserving normal fluid homeostasis in the hyperglycemic retina. PMID:27617745

  7. Optimizing an emperical scoring function for transmembrane protein structure determination.

    SciTech Connect

    Young, Malin M.; Sale, Kenneth L.; Gray, Genetha Anne; Kolda, Tamara Gibson

    2003-10-01

    We examine the problem of transmembrane protein structure determination. Like many other questions that arise in biological research, this problem cannot be addressed by traditional laboratory experimentation alone. An approach that integrates experiment and computation is required. We investigate a procedure which states the transmembrane protein structure determination problem as a bound constrained optimization problem using a special empirical scoring function, called Bundler, as the objective function. In this paper, we describe the optimization problem and some of its mathematical properties. We compare and contrast results obtained using two different derivative free optimization algorithms.

  8. Kaempferol inhibits Entamoeba histolytica growth by altering cytoskeletal functions.

    PubMed

    Bolaños, Verónica; Díaz-Martínez, Alfredo; Soto, Jacqueline; Marchat, Laurence A; Sanchez-Monroy, Virginia; Ramírez-Moreno, Esther

    2015-11-01

    The flavonoid kaempferol obtained from Helianthemum glomeratum, an endemic Mexican medicinal herb used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, has been shown to inhibit growth of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites in vitro; however, the mechanisms associated with this activity have not been documented. Several works reported that kaempferol affects cytoskeleton in mammalian cells. In order to gain insights into the action mechanisms involved in the anti-amoebic effect of kaempferol, here we evaluated the effect of this compound on the pathogenic events driven by the cytoskeleton during E. histolytica infection. We also carried out a two dimensional gel-based proteomic analysis to evidence modulated proteins that could explain the phenotypical changes observed in trophozoites. Our results showed that kaempferol produces a dose-dependent effect on trophozoites growth and viability with optimal concentration being 27.7 μM. Kaempferol also decreased adhesion, it increased migration and phagocytic activity, but it did not affect erythrocyte binding nor cytolytic capacity of E. histolytica. Congruently, proteomic analysis revealed that the cytoskeleton proteins actin, myosin II heavy chain and cortexillin II were up-regulated in response to kaempferol treatment. In conclusion, kaempferol anti-amoebic effects were associated with deregulation of proteins related with cytoskeleton, which altered invasion mechanisms.

  9. Optimal Slater-determinant approximation of fermionic wave functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, J. M.; Mauser, Norbert J.

    2016-09-01

    We study the optimal Slater-determinant approximation of an N -fermion wave function analytically. That is, we seek the Slater-determinant (constructed out of N orthonormal single-particle orbitals) wave function having largest overlap with a given N -fermion wave function. Some simple lemmas have been established and their usefulness is demonstrated on some structured states, such as the Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger state. In the simplest nontrivial case of three fermions in six orbitals, which the celebrated Borland-Dennis discovery is about, the optimal Slater approximation wave function is proven to be built out of the natural orbitals in an interesting way. We also show that the Hadamard inequality is useful for finding the optimal Slater approximation of some special target wave functions.

  10. Obesity, Cardiovascular Fitness, and Inhibition Function: An Electrophysiological Study

    PubMed Central

    Song, Tai-Fen; Chi, Lin; Chu, Chien-Heng; Chen, Feng-Tzu; Zhou, Chenglin; Chang, Yu-Kai

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine how obesity and cardiovascular fitness are associated with the inhibition aspect of executive function from behavioral and electrophysiological perspectives. One hundred college students, aged 18–25 years, were categorized into four groups of equal size on the basis of body mass index and cardiovascular fitness: a normal-weight and high-fitness (NH) group, an obese-weight and high-fitness (OH) group, a normal-weight and low-fitness (NL) group, and an obese-weight and low-fitness (OL) group. Behavioral measures of response time and number of errors, as well as event-related potential measures of P3 and N1, were assessed during the Stroop Task. The results revealed that, in general, the NH group exhibited shorter response times and larger P3 amplitudes relative to the NL and OL groups, wherein the OL group exhibited the longest response time in the incongruent condition. No group differences in N1 indices were also revealed. These findings suggest that the status of being both normal weight and having high cardiovascular fitness is associated with better behavioral and later stages of electrophysiological indices of cognitive function. PMID:27512383

  11. Obesity, Cardiovascular Fitness, and Inhibition Function: An Electrophysiological Study.

    PubMed

    Song, Tai-Fen; Chi, Lin; Chu, Chien-Heng; Chen, Feng-Tzu; Zhou, Chenglin; Chang, Yu-Kai

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine how obesity and cardiovascular fitness are associated with the inhibition aspect of executive function from behavioral and electrophysiological perspectives. One hundred college students, aged 18-25 years, were categorized into four groups of equal size on the basis of body mass index and cardiovascular fitness: a normal-weight and high-fitness (NH) group, an obese-weight and high-fitness (OH) group, a normal-weight and low-fitness (NL) group, and an obese-weight and low-fitness (OL) group. Behavioral measures of response time and number of errors, as well as event-related potential measures of P3 and N1, were assessed during the Stroop Task. The results revealed that, in general, the NH group exhibited shorter response times and larger P3 amplitudes relative to the NL and OL groups, wherein the OL group exhibited the longest response time in the incongruent condition. No group differences in N1 indices were also revealed. These findings suggest that the status of being both normal weight and having high cardiovascular fitness is associated with better behavioral and later stages of electrophysiological indices of cognitive function. PMID:27512383

  12. Obesity, Cardiovascular Fitness, and Inhibition Function: An Electrophysiological Study.

    PubMed

    Song, Tai-Fen; Chi, Lin; Chu, Chien-Heng; Chen, Feng-Tzu; Zhou, Chenglin; Chang, Yu-Kai

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine how obesity and cardiovascular fitness are associated with the inhibition aspect of executive function from behavioral and electrophysiological perspectives. One hundred college students, aged 18-25 years, were categorized into four groups of equal size on the basis of body mass index and cardiovascular fitness: a normal-weight and high-fitness (NH) group, an obese-weight and high-fitness (OH) group, a normal-weight and low-fitness (NL) group, and an obese-weight and low-fitness (OL) group. Behavioral measures of response time and number of errors, as well as event-related potential measures of P3 and N1, were assessed during the Stroop Task. The results revealed that, in general, the NH group exhibited shorter response times and larger P3 amplitudes relative to the NL and OL groups, wherein the OL group exhibited the longest response time in the incongruent condition. No group differences in N1 indices were also revealed. These findings suggest that the status of being both normal weight and having high cardiovascular fitness is associated with better behavioral and later stages of electrophysiological indices of cognitive function.

  13. Fixed-sample optimization using a probability density function

    SciTech Connect

    Barnett, R.N.; Sun, Zhiwei; Lester, W.A. Jr. |

    1997-12-31

    We consider the problem of optimizing parameters in a trial function that is to be used in fixed-node diffusion Monte Carlo calculations. We employ a trial function with a Boys-Handy correlation function and a one-particle basis set of high quality. By employing sample points picked from a positive definite distribution, parameters that determine the nodes of the trial function can be varied without introducing singularities into the optimization. For CH as a test system, we find that a trial function of high quality is obtained and that this trial function yields an improved fixed-node energy. This result sheds light on the important question of how to improve the nodal structure and, thereby, the accuracy of diffusion Monte Carlo.

  14. Optimal Piecewise Linear Basis Functions in Two Dimensions

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks III, E D; Szoke, A

    2009-01-26

    We use a variational approach to optimize the center point coefficients associated with the piecewise linear basis functions introduced by Stone and Adams [1], for polygonal zones in two Cartesian dimensions. Our strategy provides optimal center point coefficients, as a function of the location of the center point, by minimizing the error induced when the basis function interpolation is used for the solution of the time independent diffusion equation within the polygonal zone. By using optimal center point coefficients, one expects to minimize the errors that occur when these basis functions are used to discretize diffusion equations, or transport equations in optically thick zones (where they approach the solution of the diffusion equation). Our optimal center point coefficients satisfy the requirements placed upon the basis functions for any location of the center point. We also find that the location of the center point can be optimized, but this requires numerical calculations. Curiously, the optimum center point location is independent of the values of the dependent variable on the corners only for quadrilaterals.

  15. A Rigorous Framework for Optimization of Expensive Functions by Surrogates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Booker, Andrew J.; Dennis, J. E., Jr.; Frank, Paul D.; Serafini, David B.; Torczon, Virginia; Trosset, Michael W.

    1998-01-01

    The goal of the research reported here is to develop rigorous optimization algorithms to apply to some engineering design problems for which design application of traditional optimization approaches is not practical. This paper presents and analyzes a framework for generating a sequence of approximations to the objective function and managing the use of these approximations as surrogates for optimization. The result is to obtain convergence to a minimizer of an expensive objective function subject to simple constraints. The approach is widely applicable because it does not require, or even explicitly approximate, derivatives of the objective. Numerical results are presented for a 31-variable helicopter rotor blade design example and for a standard optimization test example.

  16. Expressive Inhibition Following Interpersonal Trauma: An Analysis of Reported Function

    PubMed Central

    Clapp, Joshua D.; Jones, Judiann M.; Jaconis, Maryanne; Olsen, Shira A.; Woodward, Matthew J.; Beck, J. Gayle

    2014-01-01

    Existing research indicates veterans with PTSD may deliberately inhibit the expression of emotion. However, the degree to which inhibition generalizes to other trauma populations and the specific reasons survivors with PTSD inhibit expression remains unclear. The present study looked to evaluate expressive inhibition among survivors of intimate partner violence (N = 74), to determine reasons for inhibition in this population, and to examine whether any justifications for inhibition are unique to individuals with PTSD. The frequency and intensity of inhibition scores were similar to those noted in previous research although no differences were observed across women with and without PTSD. Self-reported justifications for inhibition indicated five general themes: Concern for others, Mistrust/fear of exploitation, Perception of others as indifferent/uncaring, Control/Experiential avoidance, and Situation-specific inhibition. Only mistrust/exploitation motives were uniquely associated with PTSD. Whereas expressive inhibition may be elevated within help-seeking samples, individuals who develop PTSD appear to hold unique reasons for restricting emotional expression. PMID:24507632

  17. Disruption of insulin receptor function inhibits proliferation in endocrine resistant breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Jie Ying; LaPara, Kelly; Yee, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system is a well-studied growth regulatory pathway implicated in breast cancer biology. Clinical trials testing monoclonal antibodies directed against the type I IGF receptor (IGF1R) in combination with estrogen receptor-α (ER) targeting have been completed, but failed to show benefits in patients with endocrine resistant tumors compared to ER targeting alone. We have previously shown that the closely related insulin receptor (InsR) is expressed in tamoxifen resistant breast cancer cells. Here we examined if inhibition of InsR affected tamoxifen-resistant (TamR) breast cancer cells. InsR function was inhibited by three different mechanisms: InsR shRNA, a small InsR blocking peptide, S961 and an InsR monoclonal antibody (mAb). Suppression of InsR function by these methods in TamR cells successfully blocked insulin-mediated signaling, monolayer proliferation, cell cycle progression and anchorage-independent growth. This strategy was not effective in parental cells likely due to the presence of IGFR/InsR hybrid receptors. Down-regulation of IGF1R in conjunction with InsR inhibition was more effective in blocking IGF- and insulin-mediated signaling and growth in parental cells compared to single receptor targeting alone. Our findings show TamR cells were stimulated by InsR and were not sensitive to IGF1R inhibition, whereas in tamoxifen-sensitive parental cancer cells, the presence of both receptors, especially hybrid receptors, allowed cross-reactivity of ligand-mediated activation and growth. To suppress the IGF system, targeting of both IGF1R and InsR is optimal in endocrine sensitive and resistant breast cancer. PMID:26876199

  18. Study of genetic direct search algorithms for function optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeigler, B. P.

    1974-01-01

    The results are presented of a study to determine the performance of genetic direct search algorithms in solving function optimization problems arising in the optimal and adaptive control areas. The findings indicate that: (1) genetic algorithms can outperform standard algorithms in multimodal and/or noisy optimization situations, but suffer from lack of gradient exploitation facilities when gradient information can be utilized to guide the search. (2) For large populations, or low dimensional function spaces, mutation is a sufficient operator. However for small populations or high dimensional functions, crossover applied in about equal frequency with mutation is an optimum combination. (3) Complexity, in terms of storage space and running time, is significantly increased when population size is increased or the inversion operator, or the second level adaptation routine is added to the basic structure.

  19. Functional networks underlying latent inhibition learning in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Puga, Frank; Barrett, Douglas W; Bastida, Christel C; Gonzalez-Lima, F

    2007-10-15

    The present study reports the first comprehensive map of brain networks underlying latent inhibition learning and the first application of structural equation modeling to cytochrome oxidase data. In latent inhibition, repeated exposure to a stimulus results in a latent form of learning that inhibits subsequent associations with that stimulus. As neuronal energy demands to form learned associations changes, so does the induction of the respiratory enzyme cytochrome oxidase. Therefore, cytochrome oxidase can be used as an endpoint metabolic marker of the effects of experience on regional brain metabolic capacity. Quantitative cytochrome oxidase histochemistry was used to map brain regions in mice trained on a tone-footshock fear conditioning paradigm with either tone preexposure (latent inhibition), conditioning only (acquisition), conditioning followed by tone alone (extinction), or no handling or conditioning (naive). The ventral cochlear nucleus, medial geniculate, CA1 hippocampus, and perirhinal cortex showed modified metabolic capacity due to latent inhibition. Structural equation modeling was used to determine the causal influences in an anatomical network of these regions and others thought to mediate latent inhibition, including the accumbens and entorhinal cortex. An uncoupling of ascending influences between auditory regions was observed in latent inhibition. There was also a reduced influence on the accumbens from the perirhinal cortex in both latent inhibition and extinction. The results suggest a specific network with a neural mechanism of latent inhibition that appears to involve sensory gating, as evidenced by modifications in metabolic capacity and effective connectivity between auditory regions and reduced perirhinal cortex influence on the accumbens.

  20. Do community-weighted mean functional traits reflect optimal strategies?

    PubMed

    Muscarella, Robert; Uriarte, María

    2016-03-30

    The notion that relationships between community-weighted mean (CWM) traits (i.e. plot-level trait values weighted by species abundances) and environmental conditions reflect selection towards locally optimal phenotypes is challenged by the large amount of interspecific trait variation typically found within ecological communities. Reconciling these contrasting patterns is a key to advancing predictive theories of functional community ecology. We combined data on geographical distributions and three traits (wood density, leaf mass per area and maximum height) of 173 tree species in Puerto Rico. We tested the hypothesis that species are more likely to occur where their trait values are more similar to the local CWM trait values (the'CWM-optimality' hypothesis) by comparing species occurrence patterns (as a proxy for fitness) with the functional composition of forest plots across a precipitation gradient. While 70% of the species supported CWM-optimality for at least one trait, nearly 25% significantly opposed it for at least one trait, thereby contributing to local functional diversity. The majority (85%) of species that opposed CWM-optimality did so only for one trait and few species opposed CWM-optimality in multivariate trait space. Our study suggests that constraints to local functional variation act more strongly on multivariate phenotypes than on univariate traits.

  1. Do community-weighted mean functional traits reflect optimal strategies?

    PubMed

    Muscarella, Robert; Uriarte, María

    2016-03-30

    The notion that relationships between community-weighted mean (CWM) traits (i.e. plot-level trait values weighted by species abundances) and environmental conditions reflect selection towards locally optimal phenotypes is challenged by the large amount of interspecific trait variation typically found within ecological communities. Reconciling these contrasting patterns is a key to advancing predictive theories of functional community ecology. We combined data on geographical distributions and three traits (wood density, leaf mass per area and maximum height) of 173 tree species in Puerto Rico. We tested the hypothesis that species are more likely to occur where their trait values are more similar to the local CWM trait values (the'CWM-optimality' hypothesis) by comparing species occurrence patterns (as a proxy for fitness) with the functional composition of forest plots across a precipitation gradient. While 70% of the species supported CWM-optimality for at least one trait, nearly 25% significantly opposed it for at least one trait, thereby contributing to local functional diversity. The majority (85%) of species that opposed CWM-optimality did so only for one trait and few species opposed CWM-optimality in multivariate trait space. Our study suggests that constraints to local functional variation act more strongly on multivariate phenotypes than on univariate traits. PMID:27030412

  2. Dextromethorphan Inhibits Activations and Functions in Dendritic Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Der-Yuan; Song, Pei-Shan; Hong, Jau-Shyong; Chu, Ching-Liang; Pan, I-Horng; Chen, Yi-Ming; Lin, Ching-Hsiung; Lin, Sheng-Hao; Lin, Chi-Chen

    2013-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in connecting innate and adaptive immunity. Thus, DCs have been regarded as a major target for the development of immunomodulators. In this study, we examined the effect of dextromethorphan (DXM), a common cough suppressant with a high safety profile, on the activation and function of DCs. In the presence of DXM, the LPS-induced expression of the costimulatory molecules in murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) was significantly suppressed. In addition, DXM treatment reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), proinflammatory cytokines, and chemokines in maturing BMDCs that were activated by LPS. Therefore, DXM abrogated the ability of LPS-stimulated DCs to induce Ag-specific T-cell activation, as determined by their decreased proliferation and IFN-γ secretion in mixed leukocyte cultures. Moreover, the inhibition of LPS-induced MAPK activation and NF-κB translocation may contribute to the suppressive effect of DXM on BMDCs. Remarkably, DXM decreased the LPS-induced surface expression of CD80, CD83, and HLA-DR and the secretion of IL-6 and IL-12 in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs). These findings provide a new insight into the impact of DXM treatment on DCs and suggest that DXM has the potential to be used in treating DC-related acute and chronic diseases. PMID:23781253

  3. Dextromethorphan inhibits activations and functions in dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Der-Yuan; Song, Pei-Shan; Hong, Jau-Shyong; Chu, Ching-Liang; Pan, I-Horng; Chen, Yi-Ming; Lin, Ching-Hsiung; Lin, Sheng-Hao; Lin, Chi-Chen

    2013-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in connecting innate and adaptive immunity. Thus, DCs have been regarded as a major target for the development of immunomodulators. In this study, we examined the effect of dextromethorphan (DXM), a common cough suppressant with a high safety profile, on the activation and function of DCs. In the presence of DXM, the LPS-induced expression of the costimulatory molecules in murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) was significantly suppressed. In addition, DXM treatment reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), proinflammatory cytokines, and chemokines in maturing BMDCs that were activated by LPS. Therefore, DXM abrogated the ability of LPS-stimulated DCs to induce Ag-specific T-cell activation, as determined by their decreased proliferation and IFN- γ secretion in mixed leukocyte cultures. Moreover, the inhibition of LPS-induced MAPK activation and NF- κ B translocation may contribute to the suppressive effect of DXM on BMDCs. Remarkably, DXM decreased the LPS-induced surface expression of CD80, CD83, and HLA-DR and the secretion of IL-6 and IL-12 in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs). These findings provide a new insight into the impact of DXM treatment on DCs and suggest that DXM has the potential to be used in treating DC-related acute and chronic diseases. PMID:23781253

  4. Optimization of apodization functions in terahertz transient spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Galvão, Roberto K H; Hadjiloucas, Sillas; Zafiropoulos, Apostolos; Walker, Gillian C; Bowen, John W; Dudley, Richard

    2007-10-15

    A quadratic programming optimization procedure for designing asymmetric apodization windows tailored to the shape of time-domain sample waveforms recorded using a terahertz transient spectrometer is proposed. By artificially degrading the waveforms, the performance of the designed window in both the time and the frequency domains is compared with that of conventional rectangular, triangular (Mertz), and Hamming windows. Examples of window optimization assuming Gaussian functions as the building elements of the apodization window are provided. The formulation is sufficiently general to accommodate other basis functions.

  5. [Uniform model and experimental method of anaerobic inhibition dynamics using table function].

    PubMed

    Yan, Zhong; Wang, Kai-Jun

    2008-05-01

    To figure out the problem, such as disunity of existent form in the model of traditional inhibition dynamic, and difficulty to obtain the parameters, we adopt the way of table function to formulate inhibition kinetics. Through indraught the way of table function to improve on the way of experiment in dynamic mensuration, DYNAMO software was used to process the data and simulate the inhibition phenomena of 2,4 dinitrophenol. The result shows that the table function is possible to simulate the inhibition phenomena. Compared with the traditional inhibition dynamic, the simulation curve of table function is much more close to the data of experiment, the modality is simple and unify, and simultaneously it solves the problem of parameter obtaining. When the complex inhibition phenomena is simulated, the table function shows obvious advantage, and may predigest the structure of model at a certain extent.

  6. Feminist Social Justice Orientation: An Indicator of Optimal Functioning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moradi, Bonnie

    2012-01-01

    This article underscores several themes evident in Yoder, Snell, and Tobias's research; these include the conceptualization of feminism and social justice as inextricably linked, the conceptualization and operationalization of optimal functioning at intrapersonal, interpersonal, and collective levels, and potential connections and disconnections…

  7. Methodological optimization of tinnitus assessment using prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex.

    PubMed

    Longenecker, R J; Galazyuk, A V

    2012-11-16

    Recently prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR) became a popular technique for tinnitus assessment in laboratory animals. This method confers a significant advantage over the previously used time-consuming behavioral approaches utilizing basic mechanisms of conditioning. Although this technique has been successfully used to assess tinnitus in different laboratory animals, many of the finer details of this methodology have not been described enough to be replicated, but are critical for tinnitus assessment. Here we provide detail description of key procedures and methodological issues that provide guidance for newcomers with the process of learning to correctly apply gap detection techniques for tinnitus assessment in laboratory animals. The major categories of these issues include: refinement of hardware for best performance, optimization of stimulus parameters, behavioral considerations, and identification of optimal strategies for data analysis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Tinnitus Neuroscience.

  8. Optimizing global liver function in radiation therapy treatment planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Victor W.; Epelman, Marina A.; Wang, Hesheng; Romeijn, H. Edwin; Feng, Mary; Cao, Yue; Ten Haken, Randall K.; Matuszak, Martha M.

    2016-09-01

    Liver stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) patients differ in both pre-treatment liver function (e.g. due to degree of cirrhosis and/or prior treatment) and radiosensitivity, leading to high variability in potential liver toxicity with similar doses. This work investigates three treatment planning optimization models that minimize risk of toxicity: two consider both voxel-based pre-treatment liver function and local-function-based radiosensitivity with dose; one considers only dose. Each model optimizes different objective functions (varying in complexity of capturing the influence of dose on liver function) subject to the same dose constraints and are tested on 2D synthesized and 3D clinical cases. The normal-liver-based objective functions are the linearized equivalent uniform dose (\\ell \\text{EUD} ) (conventional ‘\\ell \\text{EUD} model’), the so-called perfusion-weighted \\ell \\text{EUD} (\\text{fEUD} ) (proposed ‘fEUD model’), and post-treatment global liver function (GLF) (proposed ‘GLF model’), predicted by a new liver-perfusion-based dose-response model. The resulting \\ell \\text{EUD} , fEUD, and GLF plans delivering the same target \\ell \\text{EUD} are compared with respect to their post-treatment function and various dose-based metrics. Voxel-based portal venous liver perfusion, used as a measure of local function, is computed using DCE-MRI. In cases used in our experiments, the GLF plan preserves up to 4.6 % ≤ft(7.5 % \\right) more liver function than the fEUD (\\ell \\text{EUD} ) plan does in 2D cases, and up to 4.5 % ≤ft(5.6 % \\right) in 3D cases. The GLF and fEUD plans worsen in \\ell \\text{EUD} of functional liver on average by 1.0 Gy and 0.5 Gy in 2D and 3D cases, respectively. Liver perfusion information can be used during treatment planning to minimize the risk of toxicity by improving expected GLF; the degree of benefit varies with perfusion pattern. Although fEUD model optimization is computationally inexpensive and

  9. Direct and Evolutionary Approaches for Optimal Receiver Function Inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dugda, Mulugeta Tuji

    Receiver functions are time series obtained by deconvolving vertical component seismograms from radial component seismograms. Receiver functions represent the impulse response of the earth structure beneath a seismic station. Generally, receiver functions consist of a number of seismic phases related to discontinuities in the crust and upper mantle. The relative arrival times of these phases are correlated with the locations of discontinuities as well as the media of seismic wave propagation. The Moho (Mohorovicic discontinuity) is a major interface or discontinuity that separates the crust and the mantle. In this research, automatic techniques to determine the depth of the Moho from the earth's surface (the crustal thickness H) and the ratio of crustal seismic P-wave velocity (Vp) to S-wave velocity (Vs) (kappa= Vp/Vs) were developed. In this dissertation, an optimization problem of inverting receiver functions has been developed to determine crustal parameters and the three associated weights using evolutionary and direct optimization techniques. The first technique developed makes use of the evolutionary Genetic Algorithms (GA) optimization technique. The second technique developed combines the direct Generalized Pattern Search (GPS) and evolutionary Fitness Proportionate Niching (FPN) techniques by employing their strengths. In a previous study, Monte Carlo technique has been utilized for determining variable weights in the H-kappa stacking of receiver functions. Compared to that previously introduced variable weights approach, the current GA and GPS-FPN techniques have tremendous advantages of saving time and these new techniques are suitable for automatic and simultaneous determination of crustal parameters and appropriate weights. The GA implementation provides optimal or near optimal weights necessary in stacking receiver functions as well as optimal H and kappa values simultaneously. Generally, the objective function of the H-kappa stacking problem

  10. An efficient algorithm for function optimization: modified stem cells algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taherdangkoo, Mohammad; Paziresh, Mahsa; Yazdi, Mehran; Bagheri, Mohammad

    2013-03-01

    In this paper, we propose an optimization algorithm based on the intelligent behavior of stem cell swarms in reproduction and self-organization. Optimization algorithms, such as the Genetic Algorithm (GA), Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm, Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm and Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm, can give solutions to linear and non-linear problems near to the optimum for many applications; however, in some case, they can suffer from becoming trapped in local optima. The Stem Cells Algorithm (SCA) is an optimization algorithm inspired by the natural behavior of stem cells in evolving themselves into new and improved cells. The SCA avoids the local optima problem successfully. In this paper, we have made small changes in the implementation of this algorithm to obtain improved performance over previous versions. Using a series of benchmark functions, we assess the performance of the proposed algorithm and compare it with that of the other aforementioned optimization algorithms. The obtained results prove the superiority of the Modified Stem Cells Algorithm (MSCA).

  11. MCMV-mediated Inhibition of the Pro-apoptotic Bak Protein Is Required for Optimal In Vivo Replication

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Peter; Kvansakul, Marc; Voigt, Valentina; Kile, Benjamin T.; Kluck, Ruth M.; Huang, David C. S.; Degli-Esposti, Mariapia A.; Andoniou, Christopher E.

    2013-01-01

    Successful replication and transmission of large DNA viruses such as the cytomegaloviruses (CMV) family of viruses depends on the ability to interfere with multiple aspects of the host immune response. Apoptosis functions as a host innate defence mechanism against viral infection, and the capacity to interfere with this process is essential for the replication of many viruses. The Bcl-2 family of proteins are the principle regulators of apoptosis, with two pro-apoptotic members, Bax and Bak, essential for apoptosis to proceed. The m38.5 protein encoded by murine CMV (MCMV) has been identified as Bax-specific inhibitor of apoptosis. Recently, m41.1, a protein product encoded by the m41 open reading frame (ORF) of MCMV, has been shown to inhibit Bak activity in vitro. Here we show that m41.1 is critical for optimal MCMV replication in vivo. Growth of a m41.1 mutant was attenuated in multiple organs, a defect that was not apparent in Bak−/− mice. Thus, m41.1 promotes MCMV replication by inhibiting Bak-dependent apoptosis during in vivo infection. The results show that Bax and Bak mediate non-redundant functions during MCMV infection and that the virus produces distinct inhibitors for each protein to counter the activity of these proteins. PMID:23468630

  12. Optimizing potential energy functions for maximal intrinsic hyperpolarizability

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou Juefei; Szafruga, Urszula B.; Kuzyk, Mark G.; Watkins, David S.

    2007-11-15

    We use numerical optimization to study the properties of (1) the class of one-dimensional potential energy functions and (2) systems of point nuclei in two dimensions that yield the largest intrinsic hyperpolarizabilities, which we find to be within 30% of the fundamental limit. In all cases, we use a one-electron model. It is found that a broad range of optimized potentials, each of very different character, yield the same intrinsic hyperpolarizability ceiling of 0.709. Furthermore, all optimized potential energy functions share common features such as (1) the value of the normalized transition dipole moment to the dominant state, which forces the hyperpolarizability to be dominated by only two excited states and (2) the energy ratio between the two dominant states. All optimized potentials are found to obey the three-level ansatz to within about 1%. Many of these potential energy functions may be implementable in multiple quantum well structures. The subset of potentials with undulations reaffirm that modulation of conjugation may be an approach for making better organic molecules, though there appear to be many others. Additionally, our results suggest that one-dimensional molecules may have larger diagonal intrinsic hyperpolarizability {beta}{sub xxx}{sup int} than higher-dimensional systems.

  13. Optimization of intracellular microcystin-LR extraction for its analysis by protein phosphatase inhibition assay.

    PubMed

    Sevilla, E; Smienk, H; Razquin, P; Mata, L; Peleato, M L

    2009-01-01

    Microcystins are toxins produced by some strains of cyanobacteria. Several methods have been developed to allow the quantification of microcystins, which are mainly endotoxins. Among those methods, the protein phosphatase inhibition assay is a good candidate as a screening method because of its sensitivity, simplicity and specificity. In this work a method for intracellular microcystin extraction in field water samples and lab cyanobacterial cultures prior to their analysis by protein phosphatase inhibition assay has been optimized. Microcystin-LR and Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806 were used as reference microcystin and strain, respectively, in order to optimize the protocol. The protocol consists on filtering the sample through a nylon filter of 0.8 microm, filter extraction with methanol 80% 0.1% trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) 0.1% tween 20, extract centrifugation and supernatant dilution (1/20). The establishment of an extraction protocol was carried out determining the extraction volume, time of extraction and number of extractions. The advantages of the method developed in this work are basically its simplicity and avoiding the use of specific and expensive equipment.

  14. New attitude penalty functions for spacecraft optimal control problems

    SciTech Connect

    Schaub, H.; Junkins, J.L.; Robinett, R.D.

    1996-03-01

    A solution of a spacecraft optimal control problem, whose cost function relies on an attitude description, usually depends on the choice of attitude coordinates used. A problem could be solved using 3-2-1 Euler angles or using classical Rodriguez parameters and yield two different ``optimal`` solutions, unless the performance index in invariant with respect to the attitude coordinate choice. Another problem arising with many attitude coordinates is that they have no sense of when a body has tumbled beyond 180{degrees} from the reference attitude. In many such cases it would be easier (i.e. cost less) to let the body complete the revolution than to force it to reverse the rotation and return to the desired attitude. This paper develops a universal attitude penalty function g() whose value is independent of the attitude coordinates chosen to represent it. Furthermore, this function will achieve its maximum value only when a principal rotation of {plus_minus}180{degrees} from the target state is performed. This will implicitly permit the g() function to sense the shortest rotational distance back to the reference state. An attitude penalty function which depends on the Modified Rodriguez Parameters (MRP) will also be presented. These recently discovered MRPs are a non-singular three-parameter set which can describe any three-attitude. This MRP penalty function is simpler than the attitude coordinate independent g() function, but retains the useful property of avoiding lengthy principal rotations of more than {plus_minus}180{degrees}.

  15. Construction of a directed hammerhead ribozyme library: towards the identification of optimal target sites for antisense-mediated gene inhibition.

    PubMed Central

    Pierce, M L; Ruffner, D E

    1998-01-01

    Antisense-mediated gene inhibition uses short complementary DNA or RNA oligonucleotides to block expression of any mRNA of interest. A key parameter in the success or failure of an antisense therapy is the identification of a suitable target site on the chosen mRNA. Ultimately, the accessibility of the target to the antisense agent determines target suitability. Since accessibility is a function of many complex factors, it is currently beyond our ability to predict. Consequently, identification of the most effective target(s) requires examination of every site. Towards this goal, we describe a method to construct directed ribozyme libraries against any chosen mRNA. The library contains nearly equal amounts of ribozymes targeting every site on the chosen transcript and the library only contains ribozymes capable of binding to that transcript. Expression of the ribozyme library in cultured cells should allow identification of optimal target sites under natural conditions, subject to the complexities of a fully functional cell. Optimal target sites identified in this manner should be the most effective sites for therapeutic intervention. PMID:9801305

  16. Behaviorally inhibited individuals demonstrate significantly enhanced conditioned response acquisition under non-optimal learning conditions.

    PubMed

    Holloway, J L; Allen, M T; Myers, C E; Servatius, R J

    2014-03-15

    Behavioral inhibition (BI) is an anxiety vulnerability factor associated with hypervigilance to novel stimuli, threat, and ambiguous cues. The progression from anxiety risk to a clinical disorder is unknown, although the acquisition of defensive learning and avoidance may be a critical feature. As the expression of avoidance is also central to anxiety development, the present study examined avoidance acquisition as a function of inhibited temperament using classical eyeblink conditioning. Individuals were classified as behaviorally inhibited (BI) or non-inhibited (NI) based on combined scores from the Adult and Retrospective Measures of Behavioural Inhibition (AMBI and RMBI, respectively). Acquisition was assessed using delay, omission, or yoked conditioning schedules of reinforcement. Omission training was identical to delay, except that the emission of an eyeblink conditioned response (CR) resulted in omission of the unconditioned airpuff stimulus (US) on that trial. Each subject in the yoked group was matched on total BI score to a subject in the omission group, and received the same schedule of CS and US delivery, resulting in a partial reinforcement training schedule. Delay conditioning elicited significantly more CRs compared to the omission and yoked contingencies, the latter two of which did not differ from each other. Thus, acquisition of an avoidance response was not apparent. BI individuals demonstrated enhanced acquisition overall, while partial reinforcement training significantly distinguished between BI and NI groups. Enhanced learning in BI may be a function of an increased defensive learning capacity, or sensitivity to uncertainty. Further work examining the influence of BI on learning acquisition is important for understanding individual differences in disorder etiology in anxiety vulnerable cohorts.

  17. Ionization potential optimized double-hybrid density functional approximations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margraf, Johannes T.; Verma, Prakash; Bartlett, Rodney J.

    2016-09-01

    Double-hybrid density functional approximations (DH-DFAs) provide an accurate description of the electronic structure of molecules by semiempirically mixing density functional and wavefunction theory. In this paper, we investigate the properties of the potential used in such approximations. By using the optimized effective potential approach, the consistent Kohn-Sham (KS) potential for a double-hybrid functional (including the second-order perturbational contribution) can be generated. This potential is shown to provide an improved description of orbital energies as vertical ionization potentials (IPs), relative to the perturbation-free KS potential typically used. Based on this observation, we suggest that DH-DFAs should be constructed in such a way that the potential provides accurate orbital energies. As a proof of principle, the B2-PLYP functional is reparameterized to obtain the IP-optimized B2IP-PLYP functional, using a small set of vertical IPs and atomization energies as reference data. This functional is shown to outperform B2-PLYP in a wide range of benchmarks and is en par with the related B2GP-PLYP. In particular, it is shown to be the most reliable choice in electronically difficult and multireference cases.

  18. Optimization of a Genetic Algorithm for the Functionalization of Fullerenes.

    PubMed

    Addicoat, Matthew A; Page, Alister J; Brain, Zoe E; Flack, Lloyd; Morokuma, Keiji; Irle, Stephan

    2012-05-01

    We present the optimization of a genetic algorithm (GA) that is designed to predict the most stable structural isomers of hydrogenated and hydroxylated fullerene cages. Density functional theory (DFT) and density functional tight binding (DFTB) methods are both employed to compute isomer energies. We show that DFTB and DFT levels of theory are in good agreement with each other and that therefore both sets of optimized GA parameters are very similar. As a prototypical fullerene cage, we consider the functionalization of the C20 species, since for this smallest possible fullerene cage it is possible to compute all possible isomer energies for evaluation of the GA performance. An energy decomposition analysis for both C20Hn and C20(OH)n systems reveals that, for only few functional groups, the relative stabilities of different structural isomers may be rationalized simply with recourse to π-Hückel theory. However, upon a greater degree of functionalization, π-electronic effects alone are incapable of describing the interaction between the functional groups and the distorted cage, and both σ- and π-electronic structure must be taken into account in order to understand the relative isomer stabilities.

  19. Optimizing electricity consumption: A case of function learning.

    PubMed

    Guath, Mona; Millroth, Philip; Juslin, Peter; Elwin, Ebba

    2015-12-01

    A popular way to improve consumers' control over their electricity consumption is by providing outcome feedback on the cost with in-home displays. Research on function learning, however, suggests that outcome feedback may not always be ideal for learning, especially if the feedback signal is noisy. In this study, we relate research on function learning to in-home displays and use a laboratory task simulating a household to investigate the role of outcome feedback and function learning on electricity optimization. Three function training schemes (FTSs) are presented that convey specific properties of the functions that relate the electricity consumption to the utility and cost. In Experiment 1, we compared learning from outcome feedback with 3 FTSs, 1 of which allowed maximization of the utility while keeping the budget, despite no feedback about the total monthly cost. In Experiment 2, we explored the combination of this FTS and outcome feedback. The results suggested that electricity optimization may be facilitated if feedback learning is preceded by a brief period of function training. PMID:26460677

  20. Ionization potential optimized double-hybrid density functional approximations.

    PubMed

    Margraf, Johannes T; Verma, Prakash; Bartlett, Rodney J

    2016-09-14

    Double-hybrid density functional approximations (DH-DFAs) provide an accurate description of the electronic structure of molecules by semiempirically mixing density functional and wavefunction theory. In this paper, we investigate the properties of the potential used in such approximations. By using the optimized effective potential approach, the consistent Kohn-Sham (KS) potential for a double-hybrid functional (including the second-order perturbational contribution) can be generated. This potential is shown to provide an improved description of orbital energies as vertical ionization potentials (IPs), relative to the perturbation-free KS potential typically used. Based on this observation, we suggest that DH-DFAs should be constructed in such a way that the potential provides accurate orbital energies. As a proof of principle, the B2-PLYP functional is reparameterized to obtain the IP-optimized B2IP-PLYP functional, using a small set of vertical IPs and atomization energies as reference data. This functional is shown to outperform B2-PLYP in a wide range of benchmarks and is en par with the related B2GP-PLYP. In particular, it is shown to be the most reliable choice in electronically difficult and multireference cases. PMID:27634250

  1. Optimizing electricity consumption: A case of function learning.

    PubMed

    Guath, Mona; Millroth, Philip; Juslin, Peter; Elwin, Ebba

    2015-12-01

    A popular way to improve consumers' control over their electricity consumption is by providing outcome feedback on the cost with in-home displays. Research on function learning, however, suggests that outcome feedback may not always be ideal for learning, especially if the feedback signal is noisy. In this study, we relate research on function learning to in-home displays and use a laboratory task simulating a household to investigate the role of outcome feedback and function learning on electricity optimization. Three function training schemes (FTSs) are presented that convey specific properties of the functions that relate the electricity consumption to the utility and cost. In Experiment 1, we compared learning from outcome feedback with 3 FTSs, 1 of which allowed maximization of the utility while keeping the budget, despite no feedback about the total monthly cost. In Experiment 2, we explored the combination of this FTS and outcome feedback. The results suggested that electricity optimization may be facilitated if feedback learning is preceded by a brief period of function training.

  2. Human cytomegalovirus function inhibits replication of herpes simplex virus

    SciTech Connect

    Cockley, K.D.; Shiraki, K.; Rapp, F.

    1988-01-01

    Human embryonic lung (HEL) cells infected with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) restricted the replication of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). A delay in HSV replication of 15 h as well as a consistent, almost 3 log inhibition of HSV replication in HCMV-infected cell cultures harvested 24 to 72 h after superinfection were observed compared with controls infected with HSV alone. Treatment of HCMV-infected HEL cells with cycloheximide (100 ..mu..g/ml) for 3 or 24 h was demonstrated effective in blocking HCMV protein synthesis, as shown by immunoprecipitation with HCMV antibody-positive polyvalent serum. Cycloheximide treatment of HCMV-infected HEL cells and removal of the cycloheximide block before superinfection inhibited HSV-1 replication more efficiently than non-drug-treated superinfected controls. HCMV DNA-negative temperature-sensitive mutants restricted HSV as efficiently as wild-type HCMV suggesting that immediate-early and/or early events which occur before viral DNA synthesis are sufficient for inhibition of HSV. Inhibition of HSV-1 in HCMV-infected HEL cells was unaffected by elevated temperature (40.5/sup 0/C). However, prior UV irradiation of HCMV removed the block to HSV replication, demonstrating the requirement for an active HCMV genome. HSV-2 replication was similarly inhibited in HCMV-infected HEL cells. Superinfection of HCMV-infected HEL cells with HSV-1 labeled with (/sup 3/H)thymidine provided evidence that the labeled virus could penetrate to the nucleus of cells after superinfection. Evidence for penetration of superinfecting HSV into HCMV-infected cells was also provided by blot hybridization of HSV DNA synthesized in cells infected with HSV alone versus superinfected cell cultures at 0 and 48 h after superinfection.

  3. Functional nanomaterials can optimize the efficacy of vaccines.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ye; Xu, Yingying; Tian, Yue; Chen, Chunying; Wang, Chen; Jiang, Xingyu

    2014-11-01

    Nanoscale materials can improve the efficacy of vaccines. Herein we review latest developments that use nanomaterials for vaccines. By highlighting the relationships between the nanoscale physicochemical characteristics and working mechanisms of nanomaterials, this paper shows the current status of the developments where researchers employ functional nanomaterials as vector and/or immunoregulators for vaccines. It also provides us some clues for improving the design and application of nanomaterials to optimize the efficacy of vaccines.

  4. Optimal Wonderful Life Utility Functions in Multi-Agent Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolpert, David H.; Tumer, Kagan; Swanson, Keith (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The mathematics of Collective Intelligence (COINs) is concerned with the design of multi-agent systems so as to optimize an overall global utility function when those systems lack centralized communication and control. Typically in COINs each agent runs a distinct Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithm, so that much of the design problem reduces to how best to initialize/update each agent's private utility function, as far as the ensuing value of the global utility is concerned. Traditional team game solutions to this problem assign to each agent the global utility as its private utility function. In previous work we used the COIN framework to derive the alternative Wonderful Life Utility (WLU), and experimentally established that having the agents use it induces global utility performance up to orders of magnitude superior to that induced by use of the team game utility. The WLU has a free parameter (the clamping parameter) which we simply set to zero in that previous work. Here we derive the optimal value of the clamping parameter, and demonstrate experimentally that using that optimal value can result in significantly improved performance over that of clamping to zero, over and above the improvement beyond traditional approaches.

  5. PSCL: predicting protein subcellular localization based on optimal functional domains.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Hu, Le-Le; Shi, Xiao-He; Dong, Ying-Song; Li, Hai-Peng; Wen, Tie-Qiao

    2012-01-01

    It is well known that protein subcellular localizations are closely related to their functions. Although many computational methods and tools are available from Internet, it is still necessary to develop new algorithms in this filed to gain a better understanding of the complex mechanism of plant subcellular localization. Here, we provide a new web server named PSCL for plant protein subcellular localization prediction by employing optimized functional domains. After feature optimization, 848 optimal functional domains from InterPro were obtained to represent each protein. By calculating the distances to each of the seven categories, PSCL showing the possibilities of a protein located into each of those categories in ascending order. Toward our dataset, PSCL achieved a first-order predicted accuracy of 75.7% by jackknife test. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis showing that catalytic activity, cellular process and metabolic process are strongly correlated with the localization of plant proteins. Finally, PSCL, a Linux Operate System based web interface for the predictor was designed and is accessible for public use at http://pscl.biosino.org/.

  6. A cubic extended interior penalty function for structural optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prasad, B.; Haftka, R. T.

    1979-01-01

    This paper describes an optimization procedure for the minimum weight design of complex structures. The procedure is based on a new cubic extended interior penalty function (CEIPF) used with the sequence of unconstrained minimization technique (SUMT) and Newton's method. The Hessian matrix of the penalty function is approximated using only constraints and their derivatives. The CEIPF is designed to minimize the error in the approximation of the Hessian matrix, and as a result the number of structural analyses required is small and independent of the number of design variables. Three example problems are reported. The number of structural analyses is reduced by as much as 50 per cent below previously reported results.

  7. STAT3 paradoxically stimulates β-catenin expression but inhibits β-catenin function

    PubMed Central

    Ibrahem, Salih; Al-Ghamdi, Saleh; Baloch, Kanwal; Muhammad, Belal; Fadhil, Wakkas; Jackson, Darryl; Nateri, Abdolrahman S; Ilyas, Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    Wnt signalling and the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) are oncogenic signalling pathways which are deregulated in colorectal cancer (CRC). Here we investigated the interaction of these two pathways. Firstly, we investigated biochemical interaction by inhibiting STAT3 and β-catenin (through gene knock-down and dominant-negative TCF4 expression) in nine CRC cell lines. β-catenin inhibition did not affect STAT3 levels, whereas STAT3 knock-down resulted in reduced β-catenin mRNA and protein levels. The reduction in β-catenin protein was not prevented by proteasome inhibition, and IL6-induced STAT3 activation resulted in increased β-catenin mRNA. This suggests that STAT3 positively regulates β-catenin (at a transcriptional level) and evaluation of 44 CRCs by immunostaining supported this by showing an association between nuclear STAT3 expression and nuclear β-catenin (P = 0.022). We tested the functional interaction between STAT3 and Wnt signalling by knocking down STAT3 and β-catenin individually and in combination. Knock-down of β-catenin and STAT3 individually inhibited cell proliferation (P < 0. 001 for each) through G1 arrest. However, simultaneous knock-down of STAT3 and β-catenin had a significantly weaker effect than knock-down of β-catenin alone (P < 0.01). Knock-down of STAT3 and β-catenin, individually and together, inhibited cell motility (P < 0.001) without evidence of interaction. We conclude that STAT3 regulates β-catenin but β-catenin does not regulate STAT3. The STAT3/β-catenin interaction is complex but may reduce the proliferative activity of β-catenin possibly by taking β-catenin protein beyond the optimal level. This may indicate biological differences in tumours where both STAT3 and β-catenin are activated compared to those where only one is activated. PMID:25348333

  8. Functional approximation and optimal specification of the mechanical risk index.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Mark J; Pulsipher, Allan G

    2005-10-01

    The mechanical risk index (MRI) is a numerical measure that quantifies the complexity of drilling a well. The purpose of this article is to examine the role of the component factors of the MRI and its structural and parametric assumptions. A meta-modeling methodology is applied to derive functional expressions of the MRI, and it is shown that the MRI can be approximated in terms of a linear functional. The variation between the MRI measure and its functional specification is determined empirically, and for a reasonable design space, the functional specification is shown to a good approximating representation. A drilling risk index is introduced to quantify the uncertainty in the time and cost associated with drilling a well. A general methodology is outlined to create an optimal MRI specification. PMID:16297233

  9. Defining Conditions for Optimal Inhibition of Food Intake in Rats by a Grape-Seed Derived Proanthocyanidin Extract

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, Joan; Casanova-Martí, Àngela; Blay, Mayte; Terra, Ximena; Ardévol, Anna; Pinent, Montserrat

    2016-01-01

    Food intake depends on homeostatic and non-homeostatic factors. In order to use grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSPE) as food intake limiting agents, it is important to define the key characteristics of their bioactivity within this complex function. We treated rats with acute and chronic treatments of GSPE at different doses to identify the importance of eating patterns and GSPE dose and the mechanistic aspects of GSPE. GSPE-induced food intake inhibition must be reproduced under non-stressful conditions and with a stable and synchronized feeding pattern. A minimum dose of around 350 mg GSPE/kg body weight (BW) is needed. GSPE components act by activating the Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor because their effect is blocked by Exendin 9-39. GSPE in turn acts on the hypothalamic center of food intake control probably because of increased GLP-1 production in the intestine. To conclude, GSPE inhibits food intake through GLP-1 signaling, but it needs to be dosed under optimal conditions to exert this effect. PMID:27775601

  10. On the functional optimization of a certain class of nonstationary spatial functions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christakos, G.; Paraskevopoulos, P.N.

    1987-01-01

    Procedures are developed in order to obtain optimal estimates of linear functionals for a wide class of nonstationary spatial functions. These procedures rely on well-established constrained minimum-norm criteria, and are applicable to multidimensional phenomena which are characterized by the so-called hypothesis of inherentity. The latter requires elimination of the polynomial, trend-related components of the spatial function leading to stationary quantities, and also it generates some interesting mathematics within the context of modelling and optimization in several dimensions. The arguments are illustrated using various examples, and a case study computed in detail. ?? 1987 Plenum Publishing Corporation.

  11. Design of ultra-compact triplexer with function-expansion based topology optimization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zejun; Tsuji, Yasuhide; Yasui, Takashi; Hirayama, Koichi

    2015-02-23

    In this paper, in order to optimize wavelength selective photonic devices using the function-expansion-based topology optimization method, several expansion functions are considered and the influence on the optimized structure based on each expansion function was investigated. Although the Fourier series is conventionally used in the function-expansion-based method, the optimized structure sometimes has a complicated refractive index distribution. Therefore, we employed a sampling function and a pyramid function to obtain a simpler structure through the optimal design. A triplexer was designed by using our method, and the comparison between the optimized structures based on the three expansion functions was also discussed in detail. PMID:25836433

  12. Postural optimization during functional reach while kneeling and standing.

    PubMed

    Fujisawa, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Hiroto; Kawakami, Shingo; Murakami, Kenichi; Suzuki, Makoto

    2016-08-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to examine the validity of functional reach models by comparing actual values with estimated values. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-eight volunteers were included in this study (male: 14, female: 14, age: 21 ± 1 years, height: 166.8 ± 9.0 cm, and body mass: 60.1 ± 8.5 kg). The maximum forward fingertip position and joint angles were measured using the original equipment. In addition, the maximum forward fingertip position, shoulder joint angle, and knee or ankle joint angle were estimated using the functional reach model. [Results] The correlation coefficients between actual data and estimated data for the maximum forward fingertip position, shoulder joint angle, and ankle joint angle while standing were 0.93, 0.83, and 0.73, respectively. The correlation coefficients between actual data and estimated data for the maximum forward fingertip position, shoulder joint angle, and knee joint angle while kneeling were 0.86, 0.81, and 0.72, respectively. [Conclusion] The validity of both functional reach models in estimating optimal posture was confirmed. Therefore, the functional reach model is useful for evaluation of postural control and optimal postural control exercises. PMID:27630433

  13. Postural optimization during functional reach while kneeling and standing

    PubMed Central

    Fujisawa, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Hiroto; Kawakami, Shingo; Murakami, Kenichi; Suzuki, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to examine the validity of functional reach models by comparing actual values with estimated values. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-eight volunteers were included in this study (male: 14, female: 14, age: 21 ± 1 years, height: 166.8 ± 9.0 cm, and body mass: 60.1 ± 8.5 kg). The maximum forward fingertip position and joint angles were measured using the original equipment. In addition, the maximum forward fingertip position, shoulder joint angle, and knee or ankle joint angle were estimated using the functional reach model. [Results] The correlation coefficients between actual data and estimated data for the maximum forward fingertip position, shoulder joint angle, and ankle joint angle while standing were 0.93, 0.83, and 0.73, respectively. The correlation coefficients between actual data and estimated data for the maximum forward fingertip position, shoulder joint angle, and knee joint angle while kneeling were 0.86, 0.81, and 0.72, respectively. [Conclusion] The validity of both functional reach models in estimating optimal posture was confirmed. Therefore, the functional reach model is useful for evaluation of postural control and optimal postural control exercises. PMID:27630433

  14. Postural optimization during functional reach while kneeling and standing

    PubMed Central

    Fujisawa, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Hiroto; Kawakami, Shingo; Murakami, Kenichi; Suzuki, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to examine the validity of functional reach models by comparing actual values with estimated values. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-eight volunteers were included in this study (male: 14, female: 14, age: 21 ± 1 years, height: 166.8 ± 9.0 cm, and body mass: 60.1 ± 8.5 kg). The maximum forward fingertip position and joint angles were measured using the original equipment. In addition, the maximum forward fingertip position, shoulder joint angle, and knee or ankle joint angle were estimated using the functional reach model. [Results] The correlation coefficients between actual data and estimated data for the maximum forward fingertip position, shoulder joint angle, and ankle joint angle while standing were 0.93, 0.83, and 0.73, respectively. The correlation coefficients between actual data and estimated data for the maximum forward fingertip position, shoulder joint angle, and knee joint angle while kneeling were 0.86, 0.81, and 0.72, respectively. [Conclusion] The validity of both functional reach models in estimating optimal posture was confirmed. Therefore, the functional reach model is useful for evaluation of postural control and optimal postural control exercises.

  15. High-throughput determination of mode of inhibition in lead identification and optimization.

    PubMed

    Wei, Min; Wynn, Richard; Hollis, Gregory; Liao, Boshan; Margulis, Alexander; Reid, Brian G; Klabe, Ronald; Liu, Phillip C C; Becker-Pasha, Mary; Rupar, Mark; Burn, Timothy C; McCall, Dale E; Li, Yanlong

    2007-03-01

    After finishing the primary high-throughput screening, the screening team is often faced with thousands of hits to be evaluated further. Effective filtering of these hits is crucial in identifying leads. Mode of inhibition (MOI) study is extremely useful in validating whether the observed compound activity is specific to the biological target. In this article, the authors describe a high-throughput MOI determination method for evaluating thousands of compounds using an existing screening infrastructure. Based on enzyme or receptor kinetics theory, the authors developed the method by measuring the ratio of IC(50) or percent inhibition at 2 carefully chosen substrate or ligand concentrations to define an inhibitor as competitive, uncompetitive, or noncompetitive. This not only facilitates binning of HTS hits according to their MOI but also greatly expands HTS utility in support of the medicinal chemistry team's lead optimization practice. Three case studies are presented to demonstrate how the method was applied successfully in 3 discovery programs targeting either an enzyme or a G-protein-coupled receptor.

  16. Translational Geroscience: Emphasizing function to achieve optimal longevity

    PubMed Central

    Seals, Douglas R.; Melov, Simon

    2014-01-01

    Among individuals, biological aging leads to cellular and organismal dysfunction and an increased risk of chronic degenerative diseases and disability. This sequence of events in combination with the projected increases in the number of older adults will result in a worldwide healthcare burden with dire consequences. Superimposed on this setting are the adults now reaching traditional retirement ages--the baby boomers--a group that wishes to remain active, productive and physically and cognitively fit as they grow older. Together, these conditions are producing an unprecedented demand for increased healthspan or what might be termed “optimal longevity”—to live long, but well. To meet this demand, investigators with interests in the biological aspects of aging from model organisms to human epidemiology (population aging) must work together within an interactive process that we describe as translational geroscience. An essential goal of this new investigational platform should be the optimization and preservation of physiological function throughout the lifespan, including integrative physical and cognitive function, which would serve to increase healthspan, compress morbidity and disability into a shorter period of late-life, and help achieve optimal longevity. To most effectively utilize this new approach, we must rethink how investigators and administrators working at different levels of the translational research continuum communicate and collaborate with each other, how best to train the next generation of scientists in this new field, and how contemporary biological-biomedical aging research should be organized and funded. PMID:25324468

  17. In-Core Fuel Management with Biased Multiobjective Function Optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Shatilla, Youssef A.; Little, David C.; Penkrot, Jack A.; Holland, Richard Andrew

    2000-06-15

    The capability of biased multiobjective function optimization has been added to the Westinghouse Electric Company's (Westinghouse's) Advanced Loading Pattern Search code (ALPS). The search process, given a user-defined set of design constraints, proceeds to minimize a global parameter called the total value associated with constraints compliance (VACC), an importance-weighted measure of the deviation from limit and/or margin target. The search process takes into consideration two equally important user-defined factors while minimizing the VACC, namely, the relative importance of each constraint with respect to the others and the optimization of each constraint according to its own objective function. Hence, trading off margin-to-design limits from where it is abundantly available to where it is badly needed can now be accomplished. Two practical methods are provided to the user for input of constraints and associated objective functions. One consists of establishing design limits based on traditional core design parameters such as assembly/pin burnup, power, or reactivity. The second method allows the user to write a program, or script, to define a logic not possible through ordinary means. This method of script writing was made possible through the application resident compiler feature of the technical user language integration processor (tulip), developed at Westinghouse. For the optimization problems studied, ALPS not only produced candidate loading patterns (LPs) that met all of the conflicting design constraints, but in cases where the design appeared to be over constrained gave a wide range of LPs that came very close to meeting all the constraints based on the associated objective functions.

  18. Optimal Extraction with Sub-sampled Line-Spread Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collins, Nicholas R.; Gull, Theodore; Bowers, Chuck; Lindler, Don

    2002-01-01

    STIS long-slit medium resolution spectra reduced in CALSTIS extended-source mode with narrow extraction heights (GWIDTH=3 pixels) show photometric uncertainties of +/- 3% relative to point-source extractions. These uncertainties are introduced through interpolation in the spectral image rectification processing stage, and are correlated with the number of pixel crossings the spectral profile core encounters in the spatial direction. The line-spread-function may be determined as a function of pixel crossing- position from calibration data sub-sampled in the spatial direction. This line spread function will be applied to science data to perform optimal extractions and point- source de-blending. Wavelength and breathing effects will be studied. Viability of the method to de-convolve extended source 'blobs' will be investigated.

  19. Optimizing functional network representation of multivariate time series.

    PubMed

    Zanin, Massimiliano; Sousa, Pedro; Papo, David; Bajo, Ricardo; García-Prieto, Juan; del Pozo, Francisco; Menasalvas, Ernestina; Boccaletti, Stefano

    2012-01-01

    By combining complex network theory and data mining techniques, we provide objective criteria for optimization of the functional network representation of generic multivariate time series. In particular, we propose a method for the principled selection of the threshold value for functional network reconstruction from raw data, and for proper identification of the network's indicators that unveil the most discriminative information on the system for classification purposes. We illustrate our method by analysing networks of functional brain activity of healthy subjects, and patients suffering from Mild Cognitive Impairment, an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more pronounced decline of dementia. We discuss extensions of the scope of the proposed methodology to network engineering purposes, and to other data mining tasks.

  20. Optimizing Functional Network Representation of Multivariate Time Series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanin, Massimiliano; Sousa, Pedro; Papo, David; Bajo, Ricardo; García-Prieto, Juan; Pozo, Francisco Del; Menasalvas, Ernestina; Boccaletti, Stefano

    2012-09-01

    By combining complex network theory and data mining techniques, we provide objective criteria for optimization of the functional network representation of generic multivariate time series. In particular, we propose a method for the principled selection of the threshold value for functional network reconstruction from raw data, and for proper identification of the network's indicators that unveil the most discriminative information on the system for classification purposes. We illustrate our method by analysing networks of functional brain activity of healthy subjects, and patients suffering from Mild Cognitive Impairment, an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more pronounced decline of dementia. We discuss extensions of the scope of the proposed methodology to network engineering purposes, and to other data mining tasks.

  1. Automated construction of maximally localized Wannier functions: Optimized projection functions method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mustafa, Jamal I.; Coh, Sinisa; Cohen, Marvin L.; Louie, Steven G.

    2015-10-01

    Maximally localized Wannier functions are widely used in electronic structure theory for analyses of bonding, electric polarization, orbital magnetization, and for interpolation. The state of the art method for their construction is based on the method of Marzari and Vanderbilt. One of the practical difficulties of this method is guessing functions (initial projections) that approximate the final Wannier functions. Here we present an approach based on optimized projection functions that can construct maximally localized Wannier functions without a guess. We describe and demonstrate this approach on several realistic examples.

  2. A hybrid artificial bee colony algorithm for numerical function optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alqattan, Zakaria N.; Abdullah, Rosni

    2015-02-01

    Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm is one of the swarm intelligence algorithms; it has been introduced by Karaboga in 2005. It is a meta-heuristic optimization search algorithm inspired from the intelligent foraging behavior of the honey bees in nature. Its unique search process made it as one of the most competitive algorithm with some other search algorithms in the area of optimization, such as Genetic algorithm (GA) and Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO). However, the ABC performance of the local search process and the bee movement or the solution improvement equation still has some weaknesses. The ABC is good in avoiding trapping at the local optimum but it spends its time searching around unpromising random selected solutions. Inspired by the PSO, we propose a Hybrid Particle-movement ABC algorithm called HPABC, which adapts the particle movement process to improve the exploration of the original ABC algorithm. Numerical benchmark functions were used in order to experimentally test the HPABC algorithm. The results illustrate that the HPABC algorithm can outperform the ABC algorithm in most of the experiments (75% better in accuracy and over 3 times faster).

  3. Gray Matter Volume of the Lingual Gyrus Mediates the Relationship between Inhibition Function and Divergent Thinking

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lijie; Qiao, Lei; Chen, Qunlin; Yang, Wenjing; Xu, Mengsi; Yao, Xiaonan; Qiu, Jiang; Yang, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Although previous research provides converging evidence for the role of posterior regions of the brain (including temporal, occipital, and parietal regions) involved in inhibition on creative thinking, it remains unclear as to how these regions influence individual differences in creative thinking. Thus, we explored the relationship between posterior regions (i.e., hippocampal, parahippocampal, lingual gyrus, precuneus, and cuneus), inhibition function, and divergent thinking (DT) in 128 healthy college students. The results revealed that lower inhibition was associated with larger gray matter volume (GMV) in the lingual gyrus, which in turn was associated with higher DT. In addition, GMV in the lingual gyrus mediated the association between inhibition and DT. These results provide new evidence for the role of inhibition in creative thinking. Inhibition may affect the amount of information stored in long-term memory, which, in turn influences DT. PMID:27752250

  4. Scope of Gradient and Genetic Algorithms in Multivariable Function Optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaykhian, Gholam Ali; Sen, S. K.

    2007-01-01

    Global optimization of a multivariable function - constrained by bounds specified on each variable and also unconstrained - is an important problem with several real world applications. Deterministic methods such as the gradient algorithms as well as the randomized methods such as the genetic algorithms may be employed to solve these problems. In fact, there are optimization problems where a genetic algorithm/an evolutionary approach is preferable at least from the quality (accuracy) of the results point of view. From cost (complexity) point of view, both gradient and genetic approaches are usually polynomial-time; there are no serious differences in this regard, i.e., the computational complexity point of view. However, for certain types of problems, such as those with unacceptably erroneous numerical partial derivatives and those with physically amplified analytical partial derivatives whose numerical evaluation involves undesirable errors and/or is messy, a genetic (stochastic) approach should be a better choice. We have presented here the pros and cons of both the approaches so that the concerned reader/user can decide which approach is most suited for the problem at hand. Also for the function which is known in a tabular form, instead of an analytical form, as is often the case in an experimental environment, we attempt to provide an insight into the approaches focusing our attention toward accuracy. Such an insight will help one to decide which method, out of several available methods, should be employed to obtain the best (least error) output. *

  5. Apelin: an antithrombotic factor that inhibits platelet function.

    PubMed

    Adam, Frédéric; Khatib, Abdel-Majid; Lopez, Jose Javier; Vatier, Camille; Turpin, Sabrina; Muscat, Adeline; Soulet, Fabienne; Aries, Anne; Jardin, Isaac; Bobe, Régis; Stepanian, Alain; de Prost, Dominique; Dray, Cédric; Rosado, Juan Antonio; Valet, Philippe; Feve, Bruno; Siegfried, Geraldine

    2016-02-18

    Apelin peptide and its receptor APJ are directly implicated in various physiological processes ranging from cardiovascular homeostasis to immune signaling. Here, we show that apelin is a key player in hemostasis with an ability to inhibit thrombin- and collagen-mediated platelet activation. Mice lacking apelin displayed a shorter bleeding time and a prothrombotic profile. Their platelets exhibited increased adhesion and a reduced occlusion time in venules, and displayed a higher aggregation rate after their activation by thrombin compared with wild-type platelets. Consequently, human and mouse platelets express apelin and its receptor APJ. Apelin directly interferes with thrombin-mediated signaling pathways and platelet activation, secretion, and aggregation, but not with ADP and thromboxane A2-mediated pathways. IV apelin administration induced excessive bleeding and prevented thrombosis in mice. Taken together, these findings suggest that apelin and/or APJ agonists could potentially be useful adducts in antiplatelet therapies and may provide a promising perspective for patients who continue to display adverse thrombotic events with current antiplatelet therapies.

  6. Toxoplasma gondii Actively Inhibits Neuronal Function in Chronically Infected Mice

    PubMed Central

    Haroon, Fahad; Händel, Ulrike; Angenstein, Frank; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Kreutzmann, Peter; Lison, Holger; Fischer, Klaus-Dieter; Scheich, Henning; Wetzel, Wolfram; Schlüter, Dirk; Budinger, Eike

    2012-01-01

    Upon infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, fast replicating tachyzoites infect a broad spectrum of host cells including neurons. Under the pressure of the immune response, tachyzoites convert into slow-replicating bradyzoites, which persist as cysts in neurons. Currently, it is unclear whether T. gondii alters the functional activity of neurons, which may contribute to altered behaviour of T. gondii–infected mice and men. In the present study we demonstrate that upon oral infection with T. gondii cysts, chronically infected BALB/c mice lost over time their natural fear against cat urine which was paralleled by the persistence of the parasite in brain regions affecting behaviour and odor perception. Detailed immunohistochemistry showed that in infected neurons not only parasitic cysts but also the host cell cytoplasm and some axons stained positive for Toxoplasma antigen suggesting that parasitic proteins might directly interfere with neuronal function. In fact, in vitro live cell calcium (Ca2+) imaging studies revealed that tachyzoites actively manipulated Ca2+ signalling upon glutamate stimulation leading either to hyper- or hypo-responsive neurons. Experiments with the endoplasmatic reticulum Ca2+ uptake inhibitor thapsigargin indicate that tachyzoites deplete Ca2+ stores in the endoplasmatic reticulum. Furthermore in vivo studies revealed that the activity-dependent uptake of the potassium analogue thallium was reduced in cyst harbouring neurons indicating their functional impairment. The percentage of non-functional neurons increased over time In conclusion, both bradyzoites and tachyzoites functionally silence infected neurons, which may significantly contribute to the altered behaviour of the host. PMID:22530040

  7. Optimizing cyanobacteria growth conditions in a sealed environment to enable chemical inhibition tests with volatile chemicals.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Tylor J; Zahler, Jacob D; Baldwin, Emily L; Zhou, Ruanbao; Gibbons, William R

    2016-07-01

    Cyanobacteria are currently being engineered to photosynthetically produce next-generation biofuels and high-value chemicals. Many of these chemicals are highly toxic to cyanobacteria, thus strains with increased tolerance need to be developed. The volatility of these chemicals may necessitate that experiments be conducted in a sealed environment to maintain chemical concentrations. Therefore, carbon sources such as NaHCO3 must be used for supporting cyanobacterial growth instead of CO2 sparging. The primary goal of this study was to determine the optimal initial concentration of NaHCO3 for use in growth trials, as well as if daily supplementation of NaHCO3 would allow for increased growth. The secondary goal was to determine the most accurate method to assess growth of Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 in a sealed environment with low biomass titers and small sample volumes. An initial concentration of 0.5g/L NaHCO3 was found to be optimal for cyanobacteria growth, and fed-batch additions of NaHCO3 marginally improved growth. A separate study determined that a sealed test tube environment is necessary to maintain stable titers of volatile chemicals in solution. This study also showed that a SYTO® 9 fluorescence-based assay for cell viability was superior for monitoring filamentous cyanobacterial growth compared to absorbance, chlorophyll α (chl a) content, and biomass content due to its accuracy, small sampling size (100μL), and high throughput capabilities. Therefore, in future chemical inhibition trials, it is recommended that 0.5g/L NaHCO3 is used as the carbon source, and that culture viability is monitored via the SYTO® 9 fluorescence-based assay that requires minimum sample size. PMID:27196637

  8. Rejuvenating cellular respiration for optimizing respiratory function: targeting mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Anurag; Mabalirajan, Ulaganathan

    2016-01-15

    Altered bioenergetics with increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and degradation of epithelial function are key aspects of pathogenesis in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This motif is not unique to obstructive airway disease, reported in related airway diseases such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia and parenchymal diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis. Similarly, mitochondrial dysfunction in vascular endothelium or skeletal muscles contributes to the development of pulmonary hypertension and systemic manifestations of lung disease. In experimental models of COPD or asthma, the use of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, such as MitoQ, has substantially improved mitochondrial health and restored respiratory function. Modulation of noncoding RNA or protein regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis, dynamics, or degradation has been found to be effective in models of fibrosis, emphysema, asthma, and pulmonary hypertension. Transfer of healthy mitochondria to epithelial cells has been associated with remarkable therapeutic efficacy in models of acute lung injury and asthma. Together, these form a 3R model--repair, reprogramming, and replacement--for mitochondria-targeted therapies in lung disease. This review highlights the key role of mitochondrial function in lung health and disease, with a focus on asthma and COPD, and provides an overview of mitochondria-targeted strategies for rejuvenating cellular respiration and optimizing respiratory function in lung diseases.

  9. Optimizing image quality using statistical multivariate optimization methodology using desirability functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leong, David L.; Brennan, Patrick C.

    2009-02-01

    In order to optimize image quality, Figures of Merit (FOM) have been developed, including Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR), Contrast-to-Noise ratio (CNR), and CNR2-to-Dose ratio (CNR2/PED). Some FOMs are designed to describe the performance of system components: Detective Quantum Efficiency (DQE) and Noise Equivalent Quanta (NEQ) are examples. A single FOM has the downside that optimization is inherently driven by the design of the FOM and cannot be changed. In this paper, we propose using a multi-parametric methodology for optimizing multiple input factors and multiple response measurements. This methodology has been developed in the statistical community as an offshoot of MANOVA (Multivariate ANalysis Of VAriance) analysis. In this paper, we acquired 120 images with various techniques and measured four individual image quality metrics. We then developed multivariate prediction formula for each metric and determined the global optimum operating point, using desirability functions. We demonstrate the power of this methodology over single FOM metrics.

  10. Measles Virus Fusion Protein: Structure, Function and Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Plattet, Philippe; Alves, Lisa; Herren, Michael; Aguilar, Hector C

    2016-04-01

    Measles virus (MeV), a highly contagious member of the Paramyxoviridae family, causes measles in humans. The Paramyxoviridae family of negative single-stranded enveloped viruses includes several important human and animal pathogens, with MeV causing approximately 120,000 deaths annually. MeV and canine distemper virus (CDV)-mediated diseases can be prevented by vaccination. However, sub-optimal vaccine delivery continues to foster MeV outbreaks. Post-exposure prophylaxis with antivirals has been proposed as a novel strategy to complement vaccination programs by filling herd immunity gaps. Recent research has shown that membrane fusion induced by the morbillivirus glycoproteins is the first critical step for viral entry and infection, and determines cell pathology and disease outcome. Our molecular understanding of morbillivirus-associated membrane fusion has greatly progressed towards the feasibility to control this process by treating the fusion glycoprotein with inhibitory molecules. Current approaches to develop anti-membrane fusion drugs and our knowledge on drug resistance mechanisms strongly suggest that combined therapies will be a prerequisite. Thus, discovery of additional anti-fusion and/or anti-attachment protein small-molecule compounds may eventually translate into realistic therapeutic options. PMID:27110811

  11. Measles Virus Fusion Protein: Structure, Function and Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Plattet, Philippe; Alves, Lisa; Herren, Michael; Aguilar, Hector C.

    2016-01-01

    Measles virus (MeV), a highly contagious member of the Paramyxoviridae family, causes measles in humans. The Paramyxoviridae family of negative single-stranded enveloped viruses includes several important human and animal pathogens, with MeV causing approximately 120,000 deaths annually. MeV and canine distemper virus (CDV)-mediated diseases can be prevented by vaccination. However, sub-optimal vaccine delivery continues to foster MeV outbreaks. Post-exposure prophylaxis with antivirals has been proposed as a novel strategy to complement vaccination programs by filling herd immunity gaps. Recent research has shown that membrane fusion induced by the morbillivirus glycoproteins is the first critical step for viral entry and infection, and determines cell pathology and disease outcome. Our molecular understanding of morbillivirus-associated membrane fusion has greatly progressed towards the feasibility to control this process by treating the fusion glycoprotein with inhibitory molecules. Current approaches to develop anti-membrane fusion drugs and our knowledge on drug resistance mechanisms strongly suggest that combined therapies will be a prerequisite. Thus, discovery of additional anti-fusion and/or anti-attachment protein small-molecule compounds may eventually translate into realistic therapeutic options. PMID:27110811

  12. Optimal Design of Functionally Graded Metallic Foam Insulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haftka, Raphael T.; Sankar, Bhavani; Venkataraman, Satchi; Zhu, Huadong

    2002-01-01

    The focus of our work has been on developing an insight into the physics that govern the optimum design of thermal insulation for use in thermal protection systems of launch vehicle. Of particular interest was to obtain optimality criteria for designing foam insulations that have density (or porosity) distributions through the thickness for optimum thermal performance. We investigate the optimum design of functionally graded thermal insulation for steady state heat transfer through the foam. We showed that the heat transfer in the foam has competing modes, of radiation and conduction. The problem assumed a fixed inside temperature of 400 K and varied the aerodynamic surface heating on the outside surface from 0.2 to 1.0 MW/sq m. The thermal insulation develops a high temperature gradient through the thickness. Investigation of the model developed for heat conduction in foams showed that at high temperatures (as on outside wall) intracellular radiation dominates the heat transfer in the foam. Minimizing radiation requires reducing the pore size, which increases the density of the foam. At low temperatures (as on the inside wall), intracellular conduction (of the metal and air) dominates the heat transfer. Minimizing conduction requires increasing the pore size. This indicated that for every temperature there was an optimum value of density that minimized the heat transfer coefficient. Two optimization studies were performed. One was to minimize the heat transmitted though a fixed thickness insulation by varying density profiles. The second was to obtain the minimum mass insulation for specified thickness. Analytical optimality criteria were derived for the cases considered. The optimality condition for minimum heat transfer required that at each temperature we find the density that minimizes the heat transfer coefficient. Once a relationship between the optimum heat transfer coefficient and the temperature was found, the design problem reduced to the solution of a

  13. Optimal power settings of aluminum gallium arsenide lasers in caries inhibition — An in vitro study

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Sonali; Hegde, Mithra N; Sadananda, Vandana; Mathews, Blessen

    2016-01-01

    Context: Incipient carious lesions are characterized by subsurface dissolution due to more fluoride ions in the 50-100 microns of the tooth's outer surface. Aims: To determine an optimal power setting for 810 nm aluminum gallium arsenide laser for caries inhibition. Materials and Methods: Fifty-four caries-free extracted teeth were sectioned mesiodistally. The samples were divided into 18 groups for each power setting being evaluated. Each group had six samples. The laser used is 810 nm aluminum gallium arsenide laser with power setting from 0.1 watts to 5 watts. Laser fluorescence based device was used to evaluate the effect of irradiation. Statistical Analysis Used: Paired “t” test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Tukey's post hoc test, and the Pearson's correlation test. Results: The paired t-test showed that there is minimum divergence from the control for 3.5 watts. Tukey's post hoc test also showed statistically significantly results for 3.5 watts. The Pearson's correlation test showed that there was negative correlation between the watts and irradiation. Conclusions: The power setting that gave statistically significant results was 3.5 watts. PMID:27099427

  14. Design, Synthesis and Structure-Activity Relationship Optimization of Lycorine Derivatives for HCV Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Duozhi; Cai, Jieyun; Cheng, Junjun; Jing, Chenxu; Yin, Junlin; Jiang, Jiandong; Peng, Zonggen; Hao, Xiaojiang

    2015-01-01

    Lycorine is reported to be a multifunctional compound. We previously showed that lycorine is an HCV inhibitor with strong activity. Further research on the antivirus mechanism indicated that lycorine does not affect the enzymes that are indispensable to HCV replication but suppresses the expression of Hsc70 in the host cell to limit HCV replication. However, due to the cytotoxicity and apoptosis induction of lycorine, lycorine is unsafe to be a anti-HCV agent for clinical application. As a result of increasing interest, its structure was optimized for the first time and a novel series of lycorine derivatives was synthesized, all of which lost their cytotoxicity to different degrees. Structure-activity analysis of these compounds revealed that disubstitution on the free hydroxyl groups at C1 and C2 and/or degradation of the benzodioxole group would markedly reduce the cytotoxicity. Furthermore, an α, β-unsaturated ketone would improve the HCV inhibitory activity of lycorine. The C3-C4 double bond is crucial to the anti-HCV activity because hydrogenation of this double bond clearly weakened HCV inhibition. PMID:26443922

  15. A Test in Context: Neprilysin: Function, Inhibition, and Biomarker.

    PubMed

    Bayes-Genis, Antoni; Barallat, Jaume; Richards, A Mark

    2016-08-01

    Neprilysin is a zinc-dependent endopeptidase. It is ubiquitous in distribution and promiscuous in function, with >50 putative peptide substrates with varying levels of in vitro and/or in vivo evidence of functional relevance. In the first part of this review, we discuss the genetic, structural, substrate, and pathophysiological aspects of neprilysin. We incorporate information provided by genetically modified models, as well as pre-clinical and clinical data from investigations of synthetic neprilysin inhibitors. We next highlight the value of neprilysin as a biotarget and weigh the clinical benefits of synthetic neprilysin inhibitors, either alone or in combination with antagonists of the renin-angiotensin system. Finally, we provide evidence about soluble neprilysin as a biomarker surrogate in patients with heart failure and identify important gaps that require further research before soluble neprilysin is used clinically. In sum, neprilysin is a versatile, veteran player returning yet again to center stage after an eventful career spanning >40 years. PMID:27491909

  16. Optimal hemodynamic response model for functional near-infrared spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Kamran, Muhammad A.; Jeong, Myung Yung; Mannan, Malik M. N.

    2015-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an emerging non-invasive brain imaging technique and measures brain activities by means of near-infrared light of 650–950 nm wavelengths. The cortical hemodynamic response (HR) differs in attributes at different brain regions and on repetition of trials, even if the experimental paradigm is kept exactly the same. Therefore, an HR model that can estimate such variations in the response is the objective of this research. The canonical hemodynamic response function (cHRF) is modeled by two Gamma functions with six unknown parameters (four of them to model the shape and other two to scale and baseline respectively). The HRF model is supposed to be a linear combination of HRF, baseline, and physiological noises (amplitudes and frequencies of physiological noises are supposed to be unknown). An objective function is developed as a square of the residuals with constraints on 12 free parameters. The formulated problem is solved by using an iterative optimization algorithm to estimate the unknown parameters in the model. Inter-subject variations in HRF and physiological noises have been estimated for better cortical functional maps. The accuracy of the algorithm has been verified using 10 real and 15 simulated data sets. Ten healthy subjects participated in the experiment and their HRF for finger-tapping tasks have been estimated and analyzed. The statistical significance of the estimated activity strength parameters has been verified by employing statistical analysis (i.e., t-value > tcritical and p-value < 0.05). PMID:26136668

  17. An optimal strategy for functional mapping of dynamic trait loci.

    PubMed

    Jin, Tianbo; Li, Jiahan; Guo, Ying; Zhou, Xiaojing; Yang, Runqing; Wu, Rongling

    2010-02-01

    As an emerging powerful approach for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for dynamic traits, functional mapping models the time-dependent mean vector with biologically meaningful equations and are likely to generate biologically relevant and interpretable results. Given the autocorrelation nature of a dynamic trait, functional mapping needs the implementation of the models for the structure of the covariance matrix. In this article, we have provided a comprehensive set of approaches for modelling the covariance structure and incorporated each of these approaches into the framework of functional mapping. The Bayesian information criterion (BIC) values are used as a model selection criterion to choose the optimal combination of the submodels for the mean vector and covariance structure. In an example for leaf age growth from a rice molecular genetic project, the best submodel combination was found between the Gaussian model for the correlation structure, power equation of order 1 for the variance and the power curve for the mean vector. Under this combination, several significant QTLs for leaf age growth trajectories were detected on different chromosomes. Our model can be well used to study the genetic architecture of dynamic traits of agricultural values. PMID:20196894

  18. Aircraft path planning for optimal imaging using dynamic cost functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christie, Gordon; Chaudhry, Haseeb; Kochersberger, Kevin

    2015-05-01

    Unmanned aircraft development has accelerated with recent technological improvements in sensing and communications, which has resulted in an "applications lag" for how these aircraft can best be utilized. The aircraft are becoming smaller, more maneuverable and have longer endurance to perform sensing and sampling missions, but operating them aggressively to exploit these capabilities has not been a primary focus in unmanned systems development. This paper addresses a means of aerial vehicle path planning to provide a realistic optimal path in acquiring imagery for structure from motion (SfM) reconstructions and performing radiation surveys. This method will allow SfM reconstructions to occur accurately and with minimal flight time so that the reconstructions can be executed efficiently. An assumption is made that we have 3D point cloud data available prior to the flight. A discrete set of scan lines are proposed for the given area that are scored based on visibility of the scene. Our approach finds a time-efficient path and calculates trajectories between scan lines and over obstacles encountered along those scan lines. Aircraft dynamics are incorporated into the path planning algorithm as dynamic cost functions to create optimal imaging paths in minimum time. Simulations of the path planning algorithm are shown for an urban environment. We also present our approach for image-based terrain mapping, which is able to efficiently perform a 3D reconstruction of a large area without the use of GPS data.

  19. Inhibition of contractile vacuole function by brefeldin A.

    PubMed

    Becker, Burkhard; Hickisch, Angela

    2005-01-01

    Brefeldin A (BFA) causes a block in the secretory system of eukaryotic cells. In the scaly green flagellate Scherffelia dubia, BFA also interfered with the function of the contractile vacuoles (CVs). The CV is an osmoregulatory organelle which periodically expels fluid from the cell in many freshwater protists. Fusion of the CV membrane with the plasma membrane is apparently blocked by BFA in S. dubia. The two CVs of S. dubia swell and finally form large central vacuoles (LCVs). BFA-induced formation of LCVs depends on V-ATPase activity, and can be reversed by hypertonic media, suggesting that water accumulation in the LCVs is driven by osmosis. We suggest that the BFA-induced formation of LCVs represents a prolonged diastole phase. A normal diastole phase takes about 20 s and is difficult to investigate. Therefore, BFA-induced formation of LCVs in S. dubia represents a unique model system to investigate the diastole phase of the CV cycle.

  20. Optimal management of non-functioning pituitary adenomas.

    PubMed

    Greenman, Yona; Stern, Naftali

    2015-09-01

    Transsphenoidal surgery is the treatment of choice for large non-functioning pituitary adenomas (NFPA) and symptomatic patients. The therapeutic strategies for the management of NFPA after surgery, i.e., watchful waiting, irradiation, or medical therapy have not been compared by randomized controlled trials. Slow re-growth is common, but the natural history of untreated tumors is variable. Conservative follow-up is associated with progression rates of over 40 %. Radiation is highly effective in preventing residual tumor growth, but has serious long-term side effects. Finally, no medications are currently approved for the treatment of NFPA. In this review, we present our view of the optimal management of these tumors, which includes risk stratification for the identification of high-risk patients suitable for active intervention, leaving low-risk patients for careful monitoring. PMID:26179179

  1. Improving balance function using vestibular stochastic resonance: optimizing stimulus characteristics.

    PubMed

    Mulavara, Ajitkumar P; Fiedler, Matthew J; Kofman, Igor S; Wood, Scott J; Serrador, Jorge M; Peters, Brian; Cohen, Helen S; Reschke, Millard F; Bloomberg, Jacob J

    2011-04-01

    Stochastic resonance (SR) is a phenomenon whereby the response of a non-linear system to a weak periodic input signal is optimized by the presence of a particular non-zero level of noise. Stochastic resonance using imperceptible stochastic vestibular electrical stimulation, when applied to normal young and elderly subjects, has been shown to significantly improve ocular stabilization reflexes in response to whole-body tilt; improved balance performance during postural disturbances and optimize covariance between the weak input periodic signals introduced via venous blood pressure receptors and the heart rate responses. In our study, 15 subjects stood on a compliant surface with their eyes closed. They were given low-amplitude binaural bipolar stochastic electrical stimulation of the vestibular organs in two frequency ranges of 1-2 and 0-30 Hz over the amplitude range of 0 to ±700 μA. Subjects were instructed to maintain an upright stance during 43-s trials, which consisted of baseline (zero amplitude) and stimulation (non-zero amplitude) periods. Measures of stability of the head and trunk using inertial motion unit sensors attached to these segments and the whole body using a force plate were measured and quantified in the mediolateral plane. Using a multivariate optimization criterion, our results show that the low levels of vestibular stimulation given to the vestibular organs improved balance performance in normal healthy subjects in the range of 5-26% consistent with the stochastic resonance phenomenon. In our study, 8 of 15 and 10 of 15 subjects were responsive for the 1-2- and 0-30-Hz stimulus signals, respectively. The improvement in balance performance did not differ significantly between the stimulations in the two frequency ranges. The amplitude of optimal stimulus for improving balance performance was predominantly in the range of ±100 to ±400 μA. A device based on SR stimulation of the vestibular system might be useful as either a training

  2. Demethoxycurcumin modulates human P-glycoprotein function via uncompetitive inhibition of ATPase hydrolysis activity.

    PubMed

    Teng, Yu-Ning; Hsieh, Yow-Wen; Hung, Chin-Chuan; Lin, Hui-Yi

    2015-01-28

    Curcuminoids are major components of Curcuma longa L., which is widely used as spice in food. This study aimed at identifying whether curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin could modulate efflux function of human P-glycoprotein and be used as chemosensitizers in cancer treatments. Without altering P-glycoprotein expression levels and conformation, the purified curcuminoids significantly inhibited P-glycoprotein efflux function. In rhodamine 123 efflux and calcein-AM accumulation assays, demethoxycurcumin demonstrated the highest inhibition potency (inhibitory IC50 = 1.56 ± 0.13 μM) among the purified curcuminoids, as well as in the fold of reversal assays. Demethoxycurcumin inhibited P-glycoprotein-mediated ATP hydrolysis under concentrations of <1 μM and efficiently inhibited 200 μM verapamil-stimulated ATPase activity, indicating a high affinity of demethoxycurcumin for P-glycoprotein. These results suggested that demethoxycurcumin may be a potential additive natural product in combination with chemotherapeutic agents in drug-resistant cancers.

  3. Effects of Peroxisomal Catalase Inhibition on Mitochondrial Function

    PubMed Central

    Walton, Paul A.; Pizzitelli, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Peroxisomes produce hydrogen peroxide as a metabolic by-product of their many oxidase enzymes, but contain catalase that breaks down hydrogen peroxide in order to maintain the organelle’s oxidative balance. It has been previously demonstrated that, as cells age, catalase is increasingly absent from the peroxisome, and resides instead as an unimported tetrameric molecule in the cell cytosol; an alteration that is coincident with increased cellular hydrogen peroxide levels. As this process begins in middle-passage cells, we sought to determine whether peroxisomal hydrogen peroxide could contribute to the oxidative damage observed in mitochondria in late-passage cells. Early-passage human fibroblasts (Hs27) treated with aminotriazole (3-AT), an irreversible catalase inhibitor, demonstrated decreased catalase activity, increased levels of cellular hydrogen peroxide, protein carbonyls, and peroxisomal numbers. This treatment increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species levels, and decreased the mitochondrial aconitase activity by ∼85% within 24 h. In addition, mitochondria from 3-AT treated cells show a decrease in inner membrane potential. These results demonstrate that peroxisome-derived oxidative imbalance may rapidly impair mitochondrial function, and considering that peroxisomal oxidative imbalance begins to occur in middle-passage cells, supports the hypothesis that peroxisomal oxidant release occurs upstream of, and contributes to, the mitochondrial damage observed in aging cells. PMID:22536190

  4. Invited article: inhibition of B cell functions: implications for neurology.

    PubMed

    Dalakas, Marinos C

    2008-06-01

    B cells are involved in the pathophysiology of many neurologic diseases, either in a causative or contributory role, via production of autoantibodies, cytokine secretion, or by acting as antigen-presenting cells leading to T cell activation. B cells are clonally expanded in various CNS disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), paraneoplastic CNS disorders, or stiff-person syndrome, and are activated to produce pathogenic autoantibodies in demyelinating neuropathies and myasthenia. B cell activating factor (BAFF) and a proliferating inducing ligand (APRIL), key cytokines for B cell survival, are strongly unregulated in MS brain and in muscles of inflammatory myopathies. Modulation of B cell functions using a series of monoclonal antibodies against CD20+ B cells or the molecules that increase B cell survival, such as BAFF/APRIL and their receptors BAFF-R, TACI, and BCMA, provide a rational approach to the treatment of the aforementioned neurologic disorders. In controlled studies, rituximab, a B cell-depleting monoclonal antibody, has been encouraging in MS and paraproteinemic anti-MAG demyelinating neuropathy, exerting long-lasting remissions. In uncontrolled series, benefit has been reported in several disorders. B cell depletion is a well-tolerated therapeutic option currently explored in the treatment of several autoimmune neurologic disorders.

  5. Adiponectin inhibits insulin function in primary trophoblasts by PPARα-mediated ceramide synthesis.

    PubMed

    Aye, Irving L M H; Gao, Xiaoli; Weintraub, Susan T; Jansson, Thomas; Powell, Theresa L

    2014-04-01

    Maternal adiponectin (ADN) levels are inversely correlated with birth weight, and ADN infusion in pregnant mice down-regulates placental nutrient transporters and decreases fetal growth. In contrast to the insulin-sensitizing effects in adipose tissue and muscle, ADN inhibits insulin signaling in the placenta. However, the molecular mechanisms involved are unknown. We hypothesized that ADN inhibits insulin signaling and insulin-stimulated amino acid transport in primary human trophoblasts by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα)-mediated ceramide synthesis. Primary human term trophoblast cells were treated with ADN and/or insulin. ADN increased the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and PPARα. ADN inhibited insulin signaling and insulin-stimulated amino acid transport. This effect was dependent on PPARα, because activation of PPARα with an agonist (GW7647) inhibited insulin signaling and function, whereas PPARα-small interfering RNA reversed the effects of ADN on the insulin response. ADN increased ceramide synthase expression and stimulated ceramide production. C2-ceramide inhibited insulin signaling and function, whereas inhibition of ceramide synthase (with Fumonisin B1) reversed the effects of ADN on insulin signaling and amino acid transport. These findings are consistent with the model that maternal ADN limits fetal growth mediated by activation of placental PPARα and ceramide synthesis, which inhibits placental insulin signaling and amino acid transport, resulting in reduced fetal nutrient availability.

  6. Stochastic Optimally Tuned Range-Separated Hybrid Density Functional Theory.

    PubMed

    Neuhauser, Daniel; Rabani, Eran; Cytter, Yael; Baer, Roi

    2016-05-19

    We develop a stochastic formulation of the optimally tuned range-separated hybrid density functional theory that enables significant reduction of the computational effort and scaling of the nonlocal exchange operator at the price of introducing a controllable statistical error. Our method is based on stochastic representations of the Coulomb convolution integral and of the generalized Kohn-Sham density matrix. The computational cost of the approach is similar to that of usual Kohn-Sham density functional theory, yet it provides a much more accurate description of the quasiparticle energies for the frontier orbitals. This is illustrated for a series of silicon nanocrystals up to sizes exceeding 3000 electrons. Comparison with the stochastic GW many-body perturbation technique indicates excellent agreement for the fundamental band gap energies, good agreement for the band edge quasiparticle excitations, and very low statistical errors in the total energy for large systems. The present approach has a major advantage over one-shot GW by providing a self-consistent Hamiltonian that is central for additional postprocessing, for example, in the stochastic Bethe-Salpeter approach. PMID:26651840

  7. Impact of Chaos Functions on Modern Swarm Optimizers.

    PubMed

    Emary, E; Zawbaa, Hossam M

    2016-01-01

    Exploration and exploitation are two essential components for any optimization algorithm. Much exploration leads to oscillation and premature convergence while too much exploitation slows down the optimization algorithm and the optimizer may be stuck in local minima. Therefore, balancing the rates of exploration and exploitation at the optimization lifetime is a challenge. This study evaluates the impact of using chaos-based control of exploration/exploitation rates against using the systematic native control. Three modern algorithms were used in the study namely grey wolf optimizer (GWO), antlion optimizer (ALO) and moth-flame optimizer (MFO) in the domain of machine learning for feature selection. Results on a set of standard machine learning data using a set of assessment indicators prove advance in optimization algorithm performance when using variational repeated periods of declined exploration rates over using systematically decreased exploration rates. PMID:27410691

  8. Impact of Chaos Functions on Modern Swarm Optimizers

    PubMed Central

    Emary, E.

    2016-01-01

    Exploration and exploitation are two essential components for any optimization algorithm. Much exploration leads to oscillation and premature convergence while too much exploitation slows down the optimization algorithm and the optimizer may be stuck in local minima. Therefore, balancing the rates of exploration and exploitation at the optimization lifetime is a challenge. This study evaluates the impact of using chaos-based control of exploration/exploitation rates against using the systematic native control. Three modern algorithms were used in the study namely grey wolf optimizer (GWO), antlion optimizer (ALO) and moth-flame optimizer (MFO) in the domain of machine learning for feature selection. Results on a set of standard machine learning data using a set of assessment indicators prove advance in optimization algorithm performance when using variational repeated periods of declined exploration rates over using systematically decreased exploration rates. PMID:27410691

  9. Water extract of Acer tegmentosum reduces bone destruction by inhibiting osteoclast differentiation and function.

    PubMed

    Ha, Hyunil; Shim, Ki-Shuk; Kim, Taesoo; An, Hyosun; Lee, Chung-Jo; Lee, Kwang Jin; Ma, Jin Yeul

    2014-04-01

    The stem of Acer tegmentosum has been widely used in Korea for the treatment of hepatic disorders. In this study, we investigated the bone protective effect of water extract of the stem of Acer tegmentosum (WEAT). We found that WEAT inhibits osteoclast differentiation induced by receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL), an essential cytokine for osteoclast differentiation. In osteoclast precursor cells, WEAT inhibited RANKL-induced activation of JNK, NF-κB, and cAMP response element-binding protein, leading to suppression of the induction of c-Fos and nuclear factor of activated T cells cytoplasmic 1, key transcription factors for osteoclast differentiation. In addition, WEAT inhibited bone resorbing activity of mature osteoclasts. Furthermore, the oral administration of WEAT reduced RANKL-induced bone resorption and trabecular bone loss in mice. Taken together, our study demonstrates that WEAT possesses a protective effect on bone destruction by inhibiting osteoclast differentiation and function.

  10. Functional regulatory T cells produced by inhibiting cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase type 3 prevent allograft rejection

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Gang; Nadig, Satish N.; Bäckdahl, Liselotte; Beck, Stephan; Francis, Ross S.; Schiopu, Alexandru; Whatcott, Andrew; Wood, Kathryn J.; Bushell, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Regulatory T cells (Tregs) manipulated ex vivo have potential as cellular therapeutics in autoimmunity and transplantation. Although it is possible to expand naturally occurring Tregs, an attractive alternative possibility, particularly suited to solid organ and bone marrow transplantation, is the stimulation of total T cell populations with defined allogeneic antigen presenting cells under conditions that lead to the generation or expansion of donor-reactive, adaptive Tregs. Here we demonstrate that stimulation of mouse CD4+ T cells by immature allogeneic dendritic cells (DCs) combined with pharmacological inhibition of phosphodiesterase 3 (PDEi) results in a functional enrichment of Foxp3+ T cells. Without further manipulation or selection, the resultant population delayed skin allograft rejection mediated by polyclonal CD4+ effectors or donor-reactive CD8+ TCR transgenic T cells and inhibited both effector cell proliferation and T cell priming for IFN-γ production. Notably, PDE inhibition also enhanced the enrichment of human Foxp3+ CD4+ T cells driven by allogeneic APC. These cells inhibited T cell proliferation in a standard in vitro mixed lymphocyte assay and importantly, attenuated the development of vasculopathy mediated by autologous PBMC in a functionally relevant humanized mouse transplant model. These data establish a method for the ex vivo generation of graft-reactive, functional mouse and human Tregs that uses a clinically approved agent, making pharmacological PDE inhibition a potential strategy for Treg-based therapies PMID:21593400

  11. Functional optimization of gene clusters by combinatorial design and assembly.

    PubMed

    Smanski, Michael J; Bhatia, Swapnil; Zhao, Dehua; Park, YongJin; B A Woodruff, Lauren; Giannoukos, Georgia; Ciulla, Dawn; Busby, Michele; Calderon, Johnathan; Nicol, Robert; Gordon, D Benjamin; Densmore, Douglas; Voigt, Christopher A

    2014-12-01

    Large microbial gene clusters encode useful functions, including energy utilization and natural product biosynthesis, but genetic manipulation of such systems is slow, difficult and complicated by complex regulation. We exploit the modularity of a refactored Klebsiella oxytoca nitrogen fixation (nif) gene cluster (16 genes, 103 parts) to build genetic permutations that could not be achieved by starting from the wild-type cluster. Constraint-based combinatorial design and DNA assembly are used to build libraries of radically different cluster architectures by varying part choice, gene order, gene orientation and operon occupancy. We construct 84 variants of the nifUSVWZM operon, 145 variants of the nifHDKY operon, 155 variants of the nifHDKYENJ operon and 122 variants of the complete 16-gene pathway. The performance and behavior of these variants are characterized by nitrogenase assay and strand-specific RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), and the results are incorporated into subsequent design cycles. We have produced a fully synthetic cluster that recovers 57% of wild-type activity. Our approach allows the performance of genetic parts to be quantified simultaneously in hundreds of genetic contexts. This parallelized design-build-test-learn cycle, which can access previously unattainable regions of genetic space, should provide a useful, fast tool for genetic optimization and hypothesis testing.

  12. Behavioral inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions: constructing a unifying theory of ADHD.

    PubMed

    Barkley, R A

    1997-01-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) comprises a deficit in behavioral inhibition. A theoretical model is constructed that links inhibition to 4 executive neuropsychological functions that appear to depend on it for their effective execution: (a) working memory, (b) self-regulation of affect-motivation-arousal, (c) internalization of speech, and (d) reconstitution (behavioral analysis and synthesis). Extended to ADHD, the model predicts that ADHD should be associated with secondary impairments in these 4 executive abilities and the motor control they afford. The author reviews evidence for each of these domains of functioning and finds it to be strongest for deficits in behavioral inhibition, working memory, regulation of motivation, and motor control in those with ADHD. Although the model is promising as a potential theory of self-control and ADHD, far more research is required to evaluate its merits and the many predictions it makes about ADHD. PMID:9000892

  13. The Structure of Executive Functions in Children: A Closer Examination of Inhibition, Shifting, and Updating

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van der Ven, Sanne H. G.; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.; Boom, Jan; Leseman, Paul P. M.

    2013-01-01

    An increasing number of studies has investigated the latent factor structure of executive functions. Some studies found a three-factor structure of inhibition, shifting, and updating, but others could not replicate this finding. We assumed that the task choices and scoring methods might be responsible for these contradictory findings. Therefore,…

  14. Developmental changes in brain activation and functional connectivity during response inhibition in the early childhood brain.

    PubMed

    Mehnert, Jan; Akhrif, Atae; Telkemeyer, Silke; Rossi, Sonja; Schmitz, Christoph H; Steinbrink, Jens; Wartenburger, Isabell; Obrig, Hellmuth; Neufang, Susanne

    2013-11-01

    Response inhibition is an attention function which develops relatively early during childhood. Behavioral data suggest that by the age of 3, children master the basic task requirements for the assessment of response inhibition but performance improves substantially until the age of 7. The neuronal mechanisms underlying these developmental processes, however, are not well understood. In this study, we examined brain activation patterns and behavioral performance of children aged between 4 and 6 years compared to adults by applying a go/no-go paradigm during near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) brain imaging. We furthermore applied task-independent functional connectivity measures to the imaging data to identify maturation of intrinsic neural functional networks. We found a significant group×condition related interaction in terms of inhibition-related reduced right fronto-parietal activation in children compared to adults. In contrast, motor-related activation did not differ between age groups. Functional connectivity analysis revealed that in the children's group, short-range coherence within frontal areas was stronger, and long-range coherence between frontal and parietal areas was weaker, compared to adults. Our findings show that in children aged from 4 to 6 years fronto-parietal brain maturation plays a crucial part in the cognitive development of response inhibition. PMID:23265620

  15. Optimal myelin elongation relies on YAP activation by axonal growth and inhibition by Crb3/Hippo pathway

    PubMed Central

    Fernando, Ruani N.; Cotter, Laurent; Perrin-Tricaud, Claire; Berthelot, Jade; Bartolami, Sylvain; Pereira, Jorge A.; Gonzalez, Sergio; Suter, Ueli; Tricaud, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Fast nerve conduction relies on successive myelin segments that electrically isolate axons. Segment geometry—diameter and length—is critical for the optimization of nerve conduction and the molecular mechanisms allowing this optimized geometry are partially known. We show here that peripheral myelin elongation is dynamically regulated by stimulation of YAP (Yes-associated protein) transcription cofactor activity during axonal elongation and limited by inhibition of YAP activity via the Hippo pathway. YAP promotes myelin and non-myelin genes transcription while the polarity protein Crb3, localized at the tips of the myelin sheath, activates the Hippo pathway to temper YAP activity, therefore allowing for optimal myelin growth. Dystrophic Dy2j/2j mice mimicking human peripheral neuropathy with reduced internodal lengths have decreased nuclear YAP which, when corrected, leads to longer internodes. These data show a novel mechanism controlling myelin growth and nerve conduction, and provide a molecular ground for disease with short myelin segments. PMID:27435623

  16. Optimal myelin elongation relies on YAP activation by axonal growth and inhibition by Crb3/Hippo pathway.

    PubMed

    Fernando, Ruani N; Cotter, Laurent; Perrin-Tricaud, Claire; Berthelot, Jade; Bartolami, Sylvain; Pereira, Jorge A; Gonzalez, Sergio; Suter, Ueli; Tricaud, Nicolas

    2016-07-20

    Fast nerve conduction relies on successive myelin segments that electrically isolate axons. Segment geometry-diameter and length-is critical for the optimization of nerve conduction and the molecular mechanisms allowing this optimized geometry are partially known. We show here that peripheral myelin elongation is dynamically regulated by stimulation of YAP (Yes-associated protein) transcription cofactor activity during axonal elongation and limited by inhibition of YAP activity via the Hippo pathway. YAP promotes myelin and non-myelin genes transcription while the polarity protein Crb3, localized at the tips of the myelin sheath, activates the Hippo pathway to temper YAP activity, therefore allowing for optimal myelin growth. Dystrophic Dy(2j/2j) mice mimicking human peripheral neuropathy with reduced internodal lengths have decreased nuclear YAP which, when corrected, leads to longer internodes. These data show a novel mechanism controlling myelin growth and nerve conduction, and provide a molecular ground for disease with short myelin segments.

  17. Inhibition of viscous fluid fingering: A variational scheme for optimal flow rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miranda, Jose; Dias, Eduardo; Alvarez-Lacalle, Enrique; Carvalho, Marcio

    2012-11-01

    Conventional viscous fingering flow in radial Hele-Shaw cells employs a constant injection rate, resulting in the emergence of branched interfacial shapes. The search for mechanisms to prevent the development of these bifurcated morphologies is relevant to a number of areas in science and technology. A challenging problem is how best to choose the pumping rate in order to restrain growth of interfacial amplitudes. We use an analytical variational scheme to look for the precise functional form of such an optimal flow rate. We find it increases linearly with time in a specific manner so that interface disturbances are minimized. Experiments and nonlinear numerical simulations support the effectiveness of this particularly simple, but not at all obvious, pattern controlling process. J.A.M., E.O.D. and M.S.C. thank CNPq/Brazil for financial support. E.A.L. acknowledges support from Secretaria de Estado de IDI Spain under project FIS2011-28820-C02-01.

  18. Conductance Distributions for Empirical Orthogonal Function Analysis and Optimal Interpolation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knipp, Delores; McGranaghan, Ryan; Matsuo, Tomoko

    2016-04-01

    We show the first characterizations of the primary modes of ionospheric Hall and Pedersen conductance variability as empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs). These are derived from six satellite years of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) particle data acquired during the rise of solar cycles 22 and 24. The 60 million DMSP spectra were each processed through the Global Airlglow Model. This is the first large-scale analysis of ionospheric conductances completely free of assumption of the incident electron energy spectra. We show that the mean patterns and first four EOFs capture ˜50.1 and 52.9% of the total Pedersen and Hall conductance variabilities, respectively. The mean patterns and first EOFs are consistent with typical diffuse auroral oval structures and quiet time strengthening/weakening of the mean pattern. The second and third EOFs show major disturbance features of magnetosphere-ionosphere (MI) interactions: geomagnetically induced auroral zone expansion in EOF2 and the auroral substorm current wedge in EOF3. The fourth EOFs suggest diminished conductance associated with ionospheric substorm recovery mode. These EOFs are then used in a new optimal interpolation (OI) technique to estimate complete high-latitude ionospheric conductance distributions. The technique combines particle precipitation-based calculations of ionospheric conductances and their errors with a background model and its error covariance (estimated by EOF analysis) to infer complete distributions of the high-latitude ionospheric conductances for a week in late 2011. The OI technique captures: 1) smaller-scaler ionospheric conductance features associated with discrete precipitation and 2) brings ground- and space-based data into closer agreement. We show quantitatively and qualitatively that this new technique provides better ionospheric conductance specification than past statistical models, especially during heightened geomagnetic activity.

  19. TLR4 plays a crucial role in MSC-induced inhibition of NK cell function

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Ying; Liu, Jin; Liu, Yang; Qin, Yaru; Luo, Qun; Wang, Quanli; Duan, Haifeng

    2015-08-21

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are a kind of stromal cell within the tumor microenvironment. In our research, MSC derived from acute myeloid leukemia patients' bone marrow (AML-MSC) and lung cancer tissues (LC-MSC) as well as normal bone marrow-derived MSC (BM-MSC) cultured in conditioned medium of HeLa cells were found to have higher expressions of Toll-like receptor (TLR4) mRNA compared with BM-MSC. The sorted TLR4-positive MSC (TLR4+ MSC) differed in cytokine (interleukin-6, interleukin-8, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) secretion from those of unsorted MSC. MSC was reported to inhibit natural killer (NK) cell proliferation and function. In this research, we confirmed that TLR4+ MSC aggravate this suppression. Furthermore, when TLR4 in the sorted cells were stimulated by LPS or following blocked by antibody, the suppression on NK cell proliferation and cytotoxicity were more intensive or recovered respectively. Compared to unsorted MSC, NKG2D receptor expression on NK cells were also inhibited by TLR4+ MSC. These findings suggest that activation of TLR4 pathway is important for TLR4+ MSC and MSC to obstruct anti-tumor immunity by inhibiting NK cell function, which may provide a potential stroma-targeted tumor therapy. - Highlights: • TLR4+ MSC inhibit NK cell proliferation in vivo and in vitro. • TLR4+ MSC inhibit NKG2D expression on NK cells and NK cell cytotoxicity. • The distinguished cytokine expression of TLR4+ MSC may contribute to the inhibition on NK cell function.

  20. Selective inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase p110α preserves lymphocyte function.

    PubMed

    So, Lomon; Yea, Sung Su; Oak, Jean S; Lu, Mengrou; Manmadhan, Arun; Ke, Qiao Han; Janes, Matthew R; Kessler, Linda V; Kucharski, Jeff M; Li, Lian-Sheng; Martin, Michael B; Ren, Pingda; Jessen, Katti A; Liu, Yi; Rommel, Christian; Fruman, David A

    2013-02-22

    Class IA phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) is essential for clonal expansion, differentiation, and effector function of B and T lymphocytes. The p110δ catalytic isoform of PI3K is highly expressed in lymphocytes and plays a prominent role in B and T cell responses. Another class IA PI3K catalytic isoform, p110α, is a promising drug target in cancer but little is known about its function in lymphocytes. Here we used highly selective inhibitors to probe the function of p110α in lymphocyte responses in vitro and in vivo. p110α inhibition partially reduced B cell receptor (BCR)-dependent AKT activation and proliferation, and diminished survival supported by the cytokines BAFF and IL-4. Selective p110δ inhibition suppressed B cell responses much more strongly, yet maximal suppression was achieved by targeting multiple PI3K isoforms. In mouse and human T cells, inhibition of single class IA isoforms had little effect on proliferation, whereas pan-class I inhibition did suppress T cell expansion. In mice, selective p110α inhibition using the investigational agent MLN1117 (previously known as INK1117) did not disrupt the marginal zone B cell compartment and did not block T cell-dependent germinal center formation. In contrast, the selective p110δ inhibitor IC87114 strongly suppressed germinal center formation and reduced marginal zone B cell numbers, similar to a pan-class I inhibitor. These findings show that although acute p110α inhibition partially diminishes AKT activation, selective p110α inhibitors are likely to be less immunosuppressive in vivo compared with p110δ or pan-class I inhibitors.

  1. The involvement of working memory and inhibition functions in the different phases of insight problem solving.

    PubMed

    Lv, Kai

    2015-07-01

    In this article, the involvement of working memory capacity and inhibition functions in different phases of insight problem solving is investigated, by employing a method of separating the different phases of insight problem solving directly, on the basis of the subjects' oral reports. Two experiments are described. In Experiment 1, 87 subjects were administered a series of working memory span tasks and inhibition tasks, as well as a verbal insight problem. In Experiment 2, 119 subjects were administered the same working memory span tasks and inhibition tasks as in the first experiment, as well as a spatial insight problem. Several conclusions can be drawn from this study. First, the insight problem-solving process can be divided into several relatively independent phases, including an initial searching phase and a restructuring phase. Second, executive functions, as measured by working memory capacity, influence mainly the initial searching phase, rather than the restructuring phase. Third, inhibition functions play important but complex roles in restructuring, and sometimes could influence restructuring in contradictory ways simultaneously. The implications and value of this study are discussed further.

  2. Optimization techniques in molecular structure and function elucidation.

    PubMed

    Sahinidis, Nikolaos V

    2009-12-01

    This paper discusses recent optimization approaches to the protein side-chain prediction problem, protein structural alignment, and molecular structure determination from X-ray diffraction measurements. The machinery employed to solve these problems has included algorithms from linear programming, dynamic programming, combinatorial optimization, and mixed-integer nonlinear programming. Many of these problems are purely continuous in nature. Yet, to this date, they have been approached mostly via combinatorial optimization algorithms that are applied to discrete approximations. The main purpose of the paper is to offer an introduction and motivate further systems approaches to these problems. PMID:20160866

  3. Prepulse Inhibition of the Acoustic Startle Reflex in High Functioning Autism

    PubMed Central

    Gruendler, Theo O. J.; Vogeley, Kai; Klosterkötter, Joachim; Kuhn, Jens

    2014-01-01

    Background High functioning autism is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication as well as repetitive and restrictive behavior while intelligence and general cognitive functioning are preserved. According to the weak central coherence account, individuals with autism tend to process information detail-focused at the expense of global form. This processing bias might be reflected by deficits in sensorimotor gating, a mechanism that prevents overstimulation during the transformation of sensory input into motor action. Prepulse inhibition is an operational measure of sensorimotor gating, which indicates an extensive attenuation of the startle reflex that occurs when a startling pulse is preceded by a weaker stimulus, the prepulse. Methods In the present study, prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle was compared between 17 adults with high functioning autism and 17 sex-, age-, and intelligence-matched controls by means of electromyography. Results Results indicate that participants with high functioning autism exhibited significantly higher startle amplitudes than the control group. However, groups did not differ with regard to PPI or habituation of startle. Discussion These findings challenge the results of two previous studies that reported prepulse inhibition deficits in high-functioning autism and suggest that sensorimotor gating is only impaired in certain subgroups with autism spectrum disorder. PMID:24643088

  4. Point-of-care platelet function tests: detection of platelet inhibition induced by nonopioid analgesic drugs.

    PubMed

    Scharbert, Gisela; Gebhardt, Kristina; Sow, Zacharia; Duris, Monika; Deusch, Engelbert; Kozek-Langenecker, Sibylle

    2007-12-01

    Detection of platelet inhibition is of clinical relevance in the preinterventional risk-benefit assessment in chronic low-back-pain patients scheduled for invasive pain therapy. We evaluated the sensitivity of various point-of-care platelet function tests for the detection of platelet inhibition induced by nonopioid analgesic drugs. After Institutional Review Board approval and informed consent, citrated whole blood from 40 patients with chronic unspecific low back pain was investigated before and 30 min after intravenous infusion of the study medication consisting of diclofenac 75 mg (plus orphenadrin 30 mg; Neodolpasse; Fresenius Kabi Austria GmbH, Austria), parecoxib 40 mg (Dynastat; Pharmacia Europe EEIG, UK), paracetamol 1 g (Perfalgan; Bieffe Medital S.P.A., Italy), or normal saline in a randomized, cross-over, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. Platelet function was assessed using the PFA-100 platelet function analyzer and thromboelastometry, as well as impedance aggregometry (in the last 17 patients recruited after it became commercially available). Sensitivity for detecting diclofenac-induced platelet inhibition was 85% for the PFA-100 using epinephrine as agonist and 94% for arachidonic acid-induced impedance aggregometry. ADP-induced platelet function tests, as well as cytochalasin D-modified thromboelastometry were unreliable. All tests had a low incidence of false-positive test results after normal saline. Paracetamol and parecoxib had no significant platelet inhibiting effect. The PFA-100 using epinephrine as agonist and arachidonic acid-induced impedance aggregometry are recommended for the detection of cyclooxygenase-I-inhibiting effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac. Our findings confirm that a single rescue dose of paracetamol and parecoxib has no antiplatelet effect. PMID:17982319

  5. Compensation through increased functional connectivity: neural correlates of inhibition in old and young.

    PubMed

    Geerligs, Linda; Saliasi, Emi; Maurits, Natasha M; Lorist, Monicque M

    2012-10-01

    With increasing age, people experience more difficulties with suppressing irrelevant information, which may have a major impact on cognitive functioning. The extent of decline of inhibitory functions with age is highly variable between individuals. In this study, we used ERPs and phase locking analyses to investigate neural correlates of this variability in inhibition between individuals. Older and younger participants performed a selective attention task in which relevant and irrelevant information was presented simultaneously. The participants were split into high and low performers based on their level of inhibition inefficiency, that is, the slowing of RTs induced by information that participants were instructed to ignore. P1 peak amplitudes were larger in low performers than in high performers, indicating that low performers were less able to suppress the processing of irrelevant stimuli. Phase locking analyses were used as a measure of functional connectivity. Efficient inhibition in both age groups was related to the increased functional connectivity in the alpha band between frontal and occipito-parietal ROIs in the prestimulus interval. In addition, increased power in the alpha band in occipito-parietal ROIs was related to better inhibition both before and after stimulus onset. Phase locking in the upper beta band before and during stimulus presentation between frontal and occipito-parietal ROIs was related to a better performance in older participants only, suggesting that this is an active compensation mechanism employed to maintain adequate performance. In addition, increased top-down modulation and increased power in the alpha band appears to be a general mechanism facilitating inhibition in both age groups.

  6. Complexity reduction in the use of evolutionary algorithms to function optimization: a variable reduction strategy.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guohua; Pedrycz, Witold; Li, Haifeng; Qiu, Dishan; Ma, Manhao; Liu, Jin

    2013-01-01

    Discovering and utilizing problem domain knowledge is a promising direction towards improving the efficiency of evolutionary algorithms (EAs) when solving optimization problems. We propose a knowledge-based variable reduction strategy (VRS) that can be integrated into EAs to solve unconstrained and first-order derivative optimization functions more efficiently. VRS originates from the knowledge that, in an unconstrained and first-order derivative optimization function, the optimal solution locates in a local extreme point at which the partial derivative over each variable equals zero. Through this collective of partial derivative equations, some quantitative relations among different variables can be obtained. These variable relations have to be satisfied in the optimal solution. With the use of such relations, VRS could reduce the number of variables and shrink the solution space when using EAs to deal with the optimization function, thus improving the optimizing speed and quality. When we apply VRS to optimization problems, we just need to modify the calculation approach of the objective function. Therefore, practically, it can be integrated with any EA. In this study, VRS is combined with particle swarm optimization variants and tested on several benchmark optimization functions and a real-world optimization problem. Computational results and comparative study demonstrate the effectiveness of VRS. PMID:24250256

  7. Complexity Reduction in the Use of Evolutionary Algorithms to Function Optimization: A Variable Reduction Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Pedrycz, Witold; Qiu, Dishan; Ma, Manhao; Liu, Jin

    2013-01-01

    Discovering and utilizing problem domain knowledge is a promising direction towards improving the efficiency of evolutionary algorithms (EAs) when solving optimization problems. We propose a knowledge-based variable reduction strategy (VRS) that can be integrated into EAs to solve unconstrained and first-order derivative optimization functions more efficiently. VRS originates from the knowledge that, in an unconstrained and first-order derivative optimization function, the optimal solution locates in a local extreme point at which the partial derivative over each variable equals zero. Through this collective of partial derivative equations, some quantitative relations among different variables can be obtained. These variable relations have to be satisfied in the optimal solution. With the use of such relations, VRS could reduce the number of variables and shrink the solution space when using EAs to deal with the optimization function, thus improving the optimizing speed and quality. When we apply VRS to optimization problems, we just need to modify the calculation approach of the objective function. Therefore, practically, it can be integrated with any EA. In this study, VRS is combined with particle swarm optimization variants and tested on several benchmark optimization functions and a real-world optimization problem. Computational results and comparative study demonstrate the effectiveness of VRS. PMID:24250256

  8. Structural basis for full-spectrum inhibition of translational functions on a tRNA synthetase

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Pengfei; Yu, Xue; Jeong, Seung Jae; Mirando, Adam; Chen, Kaige; Chen, Xin; Kim, Sunghoon; Francklyn, Christopher S.; Guo, Min

    2015-01-01

    The polyketide natural product borrelidin displays antibacterial, antifungal, antimalarial, anticancer, insecticidal and herbicidal activities through the selective inhibition of threonyl-tRNA synthetase (ThrRS). How borrelidin simultaneously attenuates bacterial growth and suppresses a variety of infections in plants and animals is not known. Here we show, using X-ray crystal structures and functional analyses, that a single molecule of borrelidin simultaneously occupies four distinct subsites within the catalytic domain of bacterial and human ThrRSs. These include the three substrate-binding sites for amino acid, ATP and tRNA associated with aminoacylation, and a fourth ‘orthogonal’ subsite created as a consequence of binding. Thus, borrelidin competes with all three aminoacylation substrates, providing a potent and redundant mechanism to inhibit ThrRS during protein synthesis. These results highlight a surprising natural design to achieve the quadrivalent inhibition of translation through a highly conserved family of enzymes. PMID:25824639

  9. Functional MRI and Response Inhibition in Children Exposed to Cocaine in utero

    PubMed Central

    Sheinkopf, Stephen J.; Lester, Barry M.; Sanes, Jerome N.; Eliassen, James C.; Hutchison, Emmette R.; Seifer, Ronald; LaGasse, Linda L.; Durston, Sarah; Casey, B. J.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the potential long-term effects of cocaine exposure on brain functioning using fMRI in school-aged children. The sample included 12 children with prenatal cocaine exposure and 12 non-exposed children (8–9 years old). Groups did not differ on IQ, socioeconomic status, or perinatal risk factors. A response inhibition task was administered during an fMRI scan using a 1.5-T MRI system. Task performance did not differentiate groups, but groups were differentiated by patterns of task-related brain activity. Cocaine-exposed children showed greater activation in the right inferior frontal cortex and caudate during response inhibition, whereas non-exposed children showed greater activations in temporal and occipital regions. These preliminary findings suggest that prenatal cocaine may affect the development of brain systems involved in the regulation of attention and response inhibition. PMID:19372696

  10. NSC-87877 inhibits DUSP26 function in neuroblastoma resulting in p53-mediated apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Y; Ma, I T; Patel, R H; Shang, X; Chen, Z; Zhao, Y; Cheng, J; Fan, Y; Rojas, Y; Barbieri, E; Chen, Z; Yu, Y; Jin, J; Kim, E S; Shohet, J M; Vasudevan, S A; Yang, J

    2015-01-01

    Dual specificity protein phosphatase 26 (DUSP26) is overexpressed in high-risk neuroblastoma (NB) and contributes to chemoresistance by inhibiting p53 function. In vitro, DUSP26 has also been shown to effectively inhibit p38 MAP kinase. We hypothesize that inhibiting DUSP26 will result in decreased NB cell growth in a p53 and/or p38-mediated manner. NSC-87877 (8-hydroxy-7-[(6-sulfo-2-naphthyl)azo]-5-quinolinesulfonic acid), a novel DUSP26 small molecule inhibitor, shows effective growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis in NB cell lines. NB cell lines treated with small hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting DUSP26 also exhibit a proliferation defect both in vitro and in vivo. Treatment of NB cell lines with NSC-87877 results in increased p53 phosphorylation (Ser37 and Ser46) and activation, increased activation of downstream p38 effector proteins (heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) and MAP kinase-activated protein kinase 2 (MAPKAPK2)) and poly ADP ribose polymerase/caspase-3 cleavage. The cytotoxicity resulting from DUSP26 inhibition is partially reversed by knocking down p53 expression with shRNA and also by inhibiting p38 activity with SB203580 (4-[4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-methylsulfinylphenyl)-1H-imidazol-5-yl]pyridine). In an intrarenal mouse model of NB, NSC-87877 treatment results in decreased tumor growth and increased p53 and p38 activity. Together, these results suggest that DUSP26 inhibition with NSC-87877 is an effective strategy to induce NB cell cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo through activation of the p53 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) tumor-suppressor pathways. PMID:26247726

  11. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β inhibition promotes human iTreg differentiation and suppressive function.

    PubMed

    Xia, Yongxiang; Zhuo, Han; Lu, Yunjie; Deng, Lei; Jiang, Runqiu; Zhang, Long; Zhu, Qin; Pu, Liyong; Wang, Xuehao; Lu, Ling

    2015-05-01

    Induced regulatory T cells (iTregs) are essential to maintain immunological tolerance, immune homeostasis and prevention of autoimmunity. Some studies suggest that glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) is involved in the mouse iTreg differentiation; however, whether GSK3β inhibits or enhances iTreg differentiation is still a matter of controversy. To address this issue, we have utilized human naïve CD4(+) T cells and investigated whether GSK3 activity changes during iTreg differentiation and whether altering GSK3 activity influences the development of iTregs and its suppressive function. As a constitutively activated kinase, during iTreg differentiation GSK3β became quickly deactivated (phosphorylated at serine 9), which is dependent on MAPK pathway rather than PI3-kinase/Akt pathway. Our results indicated that inhibition of GSK3β by specific inhibitors, SB216763 or TDZD-8, promoted the differentiation of iTreg and increased their suppressive activity. In contrast, overexpression of GSK3β significantly inhibited iTreg differentiation. Furthermore, GSK3β inhibition enhanced iTreg differentiation through the TGF-β/Smad3 pathway. Taken together, this study demonstrates that inhibition of GSK3β enhances human iTreg differentiation and its suppressive activity, and provides a rationale to target GSK3β as a novel immunotherapeutic strategy.

  12. Minimal antizyme peptide fully functioning in the binding and inhibition of ornithine decarboxylase and antizyme inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Ju-Yi; Yang, Jung-Yen; Lin, Chih-Li; Liu, Guang-Yaw; Hung, Hui-Chih

    2011-01-01

    Antizyme (AZ) is a protein with 228 amino acid residues that regulates ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) by binding to ODC and dissociating its homodimer, thus inhibiting its enzyme activity. Antizyme inhibitor (AZI) is homologous to ODC, but has a higher affinity than ODC for AZ. In this study, we quantified the biomolecular interactions between AZ and ODC as well as AZ and AZI to identify functional AZ peptides that could bind to ODC and AZI and inhibit their function as efficiently as the full-length AZ protein. For these AZ peptides, the inhibitory ability of AZ_95-228 was similar to that of AZ_WT. Furthermore, AZ_95-176 displayed an inhibition (IC(50): 0.20 µM) similar to that of AZ-95-228 (IC(50): 0.16 µM), even though a large segment spanning residues 177-228 was deleted. However, further deletion of AZ_95-176 from either the N-terminus or the C-terminus decreased its ability to inhibit ODC. The AZ_100-176 and AZ_95-169 peptides displayed a noteworthy decrease in ability to inhibit ODC, with IC(50) values of 0.43 and 0.37 µM, respectively. The AZ_95-228, AZ_100-228 and AZ_95-176 peptides had IC(50) values comparable to that of AZ_WT and formed AZ-ODC complexes with K(d,AZ-ODC) values of 1.5, 5.3 and 5.6 µM, respectively. Importantly, our data also indicate that AZI can rescue AZ peptide-inhibited ODC enzyme activity and that it can bind to AZ peptides with a higher affinity than ODC. Together, these data suggest that these truncated AZ proteins retain their AZI-binding ability. Thus, we suggest that AZ_95-176 is the minimal AZ peptide that is fully functioning in the binding of ODC and AZI and inhibition of their function. PMID:21931692

  13. Nogo Receptor Inhibition Enhances Functional Recovery following Lysolecithin-Induced Demyelination in Mouse Optic Chiasm

    PubMed Central

    Pourabdolhossein, Fereshteh; Mozafari, Sabah; Morvan-Dubois, Ghislaine; Mirnajafi-Zadeh, Javad; Lopez-Juarez, Alejandra; Pierre-Simons, Jacqueline; Demeneix, Barbara A.; Javan, Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    Background Inhibitory factors have been implicated in the failure of remyelination in demyelinating diseases. Myelin associated inhibitors act through a common receptor called Nogo receptor (NgR) that plays critical inhibitory roles in CNS plasticity. Here we investigated the effects of abrogating NgR inhibition in a non-immune model of focal demyelination in adult mouse optic chiasm. Methodology/Principal Findings A focal area of demyelination was induced in adult mouse optic chiasm by microinjection of lysolecithin. To knock down NgR levels, siRNAs against NgR were intracerebroventricularly administered via a permanent cannula over 14 days, Functional changes were monitored by electrophysiological recording of latency of visual evoked potentials (VEPs). Histological analysis was carried out 3, 7 and 14 days post demyelination lesion. To assess the effect of NgR inhibition on precursor cell repopulation, BrdU was administered to the animals prior to the demyelination induction. Inhibition of NgR significantly restored VEPs responses following optic chiasm demyelination. These findings were confirmed histologically by myelin specific staining. siNgR application resulted in a smaller lesion size compared to control. NgR inhibition significantly increased the numbers of BrdU+/Olig2+ progenitor cells in the lesioned area and in the neurogenic zone of the third ventricle. These progenitor cells (Olig2+ or GFAP+) migrated away from this area as a function of time. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that inhibition of NgR facilitate myelin repair in the demyelinated chiasm, with enhanced recruitment of proliferating cells to the lesion site. Thus, antagonizing NgR function could have therapeutic potential for demyelinating disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis. PMID:25184636

  14. Coumestan inhibits radical-induced oxidation of DNA: is hydroxyl a necessary functional group?

    PubMed

    Xi, Gao-Lei; Liu, Zai-Qun

    2014-06-18

    Coumestan is a natural tetracycle with a C═C bond shared by a coumarin moiety and a benzofuran moiety. In addition to the function of the hydroxyl group on the antioxidant activity of coumestan, it is worth exploring the influence of the oxygen-abundant scaffold on the antioxidant activity as well. In this work, seven coumestans containing electron-withdrawing and electron-donating groups were synthesized to evaluate the abilities to trap 2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate) cationic radical (ABTS(•+)), 2,2'-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH), and galvinoxyl radical, respectively, and to inhibit the oxidations of DNA mediated by (•)OH, Cu(2+)/glutathione (GSH), and 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane hydrochloride) (AAPH), respectively. It was found that all of the coumestans used herein can quench the aforementioned radicals and can inhibit (•)OH-, Cu(2+)/GSH-, and AAPH-induced oxidations of DNA. In particular, substituent-free coumestan exhibits higher ability to quench DPPH and to inhibit AAPH-induced oxidation of DNA than Trolox. In addition, nonsubstituted coumestan shows a similar ability to inhibit (•)OH- and Cu(2+)/GSH-induced oxidations of DNA relative to that of Trolox. The antioxidant effectiveness of the coumestan can be attributed to the lactone in the coumarin moiety and, therefore, a hydroxyl group may not be a necessary functional group for coumestan to be an antioxidant.

  15. Functional lateralization of temporoparietal junction - imitation inhibition, visual perspective-taking and theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Santiesteban, Idalmis; Banissy, Michael J; Catmur, Caroline; Bird, Geoffrey

    2015-10-01

    Although neuroimaging studies have consistently identified the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) as a key brain region involved in social cognition, the literature is far from consistent with respect to lateralization of function. For example, during theory-of-mind tasks bilateral TPJ activation is found in some studies but only right hemisphere activation in others. Visual perspective-taking and imitation inhibition, which have been argued to recruit the same socio-cognitive processes as theory of mind, are associated with unilateral activation of either left TPJ (perspective taking) or right TPJ (imitation inhibition). The present study investigated the functional lateralization of TPJ involvement in the above three socio-cognitive abilities using transcranial direct current stimulation. Three groups of healthy adults received anodal stimulation over right TPJ, left TPJ or the occipital cortex prior to performing three tasks (imitation inhibition, visual perspective-taking and theory of mind). In contrast to the extant neuroimaging literature, our results suggest bilateral TPJ involvement in imitation inhibition and visual perspective-taking, while no effect of anodal stimulation was observed on theory of mind. The discrepancy between these findings and those obtained using neuroimaging highlight the efficacy of neurostimulation as a complementary methodological tool in cognitive neuroscience. PMID:26234387

  16. Antibody-mediated targeting of the Orai1 calcium channel inhibits T cell function.

    PubMed

    Cox, Jennifer H; Hussell, Scott; Søndergaard, Henrik; Roepstorff, Kirstine; Bui, John-Vu; Deer, Jen Running; Zhang, Jun; Li, Zhan-Guo; Lamberth, Kasper; Kvist, Peter Helding; Padkjær, Søren; Haase, Claus; Zahn, Stefan; Odegard, Valerie H

    2013-01-01

    Despite the attractiveness of ion channels as therapeutic targets, there are no examples of monoclonal antibodies directed against ion channels in clinical development. Antibody-mediated inhibition of ion channels could offer a directed, specific therapeutic approach. To investigate the potential of inhibiting ion channel function with an antibody, we focused on Orai1, the pore subunit of the calcium channel responsible for store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) in T cells. Effector T cells are key drivers of autoimmune disease pathogenesis and calcium signaling is essential for T cell activation, proliferation, and cytokine production. We show here the generation of a specific anti-human Orai1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) against an extracellular loop of the plasma membrane-spanning protein. The anti-Orai1 mAb binds native Orai1 on lymphocytes and leads to cellular internalization of the channel. As a result, T cell proliferation, and cytokine production is inhibited in vitro. In vivo, anti-Orai1 mAb is efficacious in a human T cell-mediated graft-versus host disease (GvHD) mouse model. This study demonstrates the feasibility of antibody-mediated inhibition of Orai1 function and, more broadly, reveals the possibility of targeting ion channels with biologics for the treatment of autoimmunity and other diseases. PMID:24376610

  17. The fungicide Pristine® inhibits mitochondrial function in vitro but not flight metabolic rates in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees and other pollinators are exposed to fungicides that act by inhibiting mitochondrial function. Here we test whether a common fungicide (Pristine®) inhibits the function of mitochondria of honeybees, and whether consumption of ecologically-realistic concentrations can cause negative eff...

  18. The Role of Inhibition in Age-related Off-Topic Verbosity: Not Access but Deletion and Restraint Functions

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Shufei; Peng, Huamao

    2016-01-01

    The speech of older adults is commonly described as verbose and off-topic, which is thought to influence their social communication. This study investigated the role of inhibition in age-related off-topic verbosity (OTV). Inhibition consists of three functions: access, deletion, and restraint. The access function is responsible for preventing irrelevant information from accessing the attention center (pre-mechanism of inhibition); The deletion function is responsible for deleting previously relevant but currently irrelevant information from working memory, and the restraint function is responsible for restraining strong but inappropriate responses (post-mechanisms of inhibition). A referential communication task was used to determine whether OTV was influenced by the pre-mechanism of inhibition. A self-involved event interview task was used to investigate the effect of the post-mechanisms of inhibition on OTV. Results showed that the OTV of the elderly participants was associated with an age-related decline in the post-mechanisms of inhibition, while the OTV exhibited by young adults was most likely due to deficits in the pre-mechanism function of inhibition. This research contributed to fill gaps in the existing knowledge about the potential relationship between specific functions of inhibition and age-related OTV. PMID:27199793

  19. Culture Conditions for Production of Biomass, Adenosine, and Cordycepin from Cordyceps sinensis CS1197: Optimization by Desirability Function Method

    PubMed Central

    Ghatnur, Shashidhar M.; Parvatam, Giridhar; Balaraman, Manohar

    2015-01-01

    Background: Cordyceps sinensis (CS) is a traditional Chinese medicine contains potent active metabolites such as nucleosides and polysaccharides. The submerged cultivation technique is studied for the large scale production of CS for biomass and metabolites production. Objective: To optimize culture conditions for large-scale production of CS1197 biomass and metabolites production. Materials and Methods: The CS1197 strain of CS was isolated from dead larvae of natural CS and the authenticity was assured by the presence of two major markers adenosine and cordycepin by high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. A three-level Box-Behnken design was employed to optimize process parameters culturing temperature, pH, and inoculum volume for the biomass yield, adenosine and cordycepin. The experimental results were regressed to a second-order polynomial equation by a multiple regression analysis for the prediction of biomass yield, adenosine and cordycepin production. Multiple responses were optimized based on desirability function method. Results: The desirability function suggested the process conditions temperature 28°C, pH 7 and inoculum volume 10% for optimal production of nutraceuticals in the biomass. The water extracts from dried CS1197 mycelia showed good inhibition for 2 diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and 2,2-azinobis-(3-ethyl-benzo-thiazoline-6-sulfonic acid-free radicals. Conclusion: The result suggests that response surface methodology-desirability function coupled approach can successfully optimize the culture conditions for CS1197. SUMMARY Authentication of CS1197 strain by the presence of adenosine and cordycepin and culturing period was determined to be for 14 daysContent of nucleosides in natural CS was found higher than in cultured CS1197 myceliumBox-Behnken design to optimize critical cultural conditions: temperature, pH and inoculum volumeWater extract showed better antioxidant activity proving credible source of natural antioxidants

  20. Probing Yeast Polarity with Acute, Reversible, Optogenetic Inhibition of Protein Function.

    PubMed

    Jost, Anna Payne-Tobin; Weiner, Orion D

    2015-10-16

    We recently developed a technique for rapidly and reversibly inhibiting protein function through light-inducible sequestration of proteins away from their normal sites of action. Here, we adapt this method for inducible inactivation of Bem1, a scaffold protein involved in budding yeast polarity. We find that acute inhibition of Bem1 produces profound defects in cell polarization and cell viability that are not observed in bem1Δ. By disrupting Bem1 activity at specific points in the cell cycle, we demonstrate that Bem1 is essential for the establishment of polarity and bud emergence but is dispensable for the growth of an emerged bud. By taking advantage of the reversibility of Bem1 inactivation, we show that pole size scales with cell size, and that this scaling is dependent on the actin cytoskeleton. Our experiments reveal how rapid reversible inactivation of protein function complements traditional genetic approaches. This strategy should be widely applicable to other biological contexts.

  1. BET bromodomain inhibition suppresses the functional output of hematopoietic transcription factors in acute myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Roe, Jae-Seok; Mercan, Fatih; Rivera, Keith; Pappin, Darryl J.; Vakoc, Christopher R.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) protein BRD4 is a validated drug target in leukemia, yet its regulatory function in this disease is not well understood. Here, we show that BRD4 chromatin occupancy in acute myeloid leukemia closely correlates with the hematopoietic transcription factors (TFs) PU.1, FLI1, ERG, C/EBPα, C/EBPβ, and MYB at nucleosome-depleted enhancer and promoter regions. We provide evidence that these TFs, in conjunction with the lysine acetyltransferase activity of p300/CBP, facilitate BRD4 recruitment to their occupied sites to promote transcriptional activation. Chemical inhibition of BET bromodomains was found to suppress the functional output each hematopoietic TF, thereby interfering with essential lineage-specific transcriptional circuits in this disease. These findings reveal a chromatin-based signaling cascade comprised of hematopoietic TFs, p300/CBP, and BRD4 that supports leukemia maintenance and is suppressed by BET bromodomain inhibition. PMID:25982114

  2. Optimizing cross-sectional prediction of social functioning in youth referred for neuropsychological testing.

    PubMed

    Lerner, Matthew D; Potthoff, Lauren M; Hunter, Scott J

    2015-01-01

    The current study aimed to establish a fine-grained, efficient characterization of the concurrent neuropsychological contributions to social functioning in neuropsychologically-referred youth. A secondary aim was to demonstrate a useful statistic approach for such investigations (Partial Least Squares Regression; PLSR), which is underutilized in this field. Forty-five participants (70 - 164 months; Mage = 110.89; 34 male) were recruited from a large neuropsychological assessment clinic. Participants completed subtests from the NEPSY-II focusing on neuropsychological constructs that have been linked to social functioning (affect decoding, social memory, motor skills, visuomotor skills, response inhibition, attention and set-shifting, and verbal comprehension). Mothers completed the BASC-2, from which Atypicality and Social Skills scales were analyzed. PLSR revealed that difficulty with social memory, sensorimotor integration, and the ability to attend to and accurately discriminate auditory stimuli combine to best predict atypical or "odd" behavior. In terms of social skills, two factors emerged. The first factor indicated that, counterintuitively, greater emotional perception, visuospatial perception, ability to attend to and accurately discriminate auditory stimuli, and understand instructions was related to poorer social skills. The second factor indicated that a pattern of better facial memory, and sensorimotor ability (execution & integration) characterized a distinct profile of greater social ability. PLSR results were compared to traditional OLS and Backwards Stepwise regression approaches to demonstrate utility. Results also suggested that these findings were consistent across age, gender, and diagnostic group, indicating common neuropsychological substrates of social functioning in this sample of referred youth. Overall, this study provides the first characterization of optimized combinations of neuropsychological variables in predicting social functioning

  3. Optimizing Cross-Sectional Prediction of Social Functioning in Youth Referred for Neuropsychological Testing

    PubMed Central

    Lerner, Matthew D.; Potthoff, Lauren M.; Hunter, Scott J.

    2015-01-01

    The current study aimed to establish a fine-grained, efficient characterization of the concurrent neuropsychological contributions to social functioning in neuropsychologically-referred youth. A secondary aim was to demonstrate a useful statistic approach for such investigations (Partial Least Squares Regression; PLSR), which is underutilized in this field. Forty-five participants (70 – 164 months; Mage = 110.89; 34 male) were recruited from a large neuropsychological assessment clinic. Participants completed subtests from the NEPSY-II focusing on neuropsychological constructs that have been linked to social functioning (affect decoding, social memory, motor skills, visuomotor skills, response inhibition, attention and set-shifting, and verbal comprehension). Mothers completed the BASC-2, from which Atypicality and Social Skills scales were analyzed. PLSR revealed that difficulty with social memory, sensorimotor integration, and the ability to attend to and accurately discriminate auditory stimuli combine to best predict atypical or “odd” behavior. In terms of social skills, two factors emerged. The first factor indicated that, counterintuitively, greater emotional perception, visuospatial perception, ability to attend to and accurately discriminate auditory stimuli, and understand instructions was related to poorer social skills. The second factor indicated that a pattern of better facial memory, and sensorimotor ability (execution & integration) characterized a distinct profile of greater social ability. PLSR results were compared to traditional OLS and Backwards Stepwise regression approaches to demonstrate utility. Results also suggested that these findings were consistent across age, gender, and diagnostic group, indicating common neuropsychological substrates of social functioning in this sample of referred youth. Overall, this study provides the first characterization of optimized combinations of neuropsychological variables in predicting social

  4. Clarifying the factors that undermine behavioral inhibition system functioning in psychopathy.

    PubMed

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Wallace, John F; MacCoon, Donal G; Curtin, John J; Newman, Joseph P

    2010-10-01

    Psychopathic individuals are generally unresponsive to motivational and emotional cues that facilitate behavioral regulation. A putative mechanism for this deficiency is Gray’s (1981) behavioral inhibition system (BIS). To evaluate the association between psychopathy and BIS functioning, we administered a laboratory-based assessment of BIS functioning to a group of psychopathic offenders assessed with the Psychopathy Checklist–Revised (PCL–R; Hare, 2003). In addition, we tested the hypothesis that the effects of working memory load on BIS functioning would interact differentially with the PCL–R factors. Replicating previous results, psychopathic offenders were less sensitive to BIS-related cues than controls. As predicted, working memory load interacted with Factor 2 (antisocial/impulsive), with higher scores predicting weaker BIS functioning under high-load though not low-load conditions. Results suggest new insights concerning the relationship among working memory, reward sensitivity, and BIS functioning in psychopathy.

  5. Design optimization of a radial functionally graded dental implant.

    PubMed

    Ichim, Paul I; Hu, Xiaozhi; Bazen, Jennifer J; Yi, Wei

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we use FEA to test the hypothesis that a low-modulus coating of a cylindrical zirconia dental implant would reduce the stresses in the peri-implant bone and we use design optimization and the rule of mixture to estimate the elastic modulus and the porosity of the coating that provides optimal stress shielding. We show that a low-modulus coating of a dental implant significantly reduces the maximum stresses in the peri-implant bone without affecting the average stresses thus creating a potentially favorable biomechanical environment. Our results suggest that a resilient coating is capable of reducing the maximum compressive and tensile stresses in the peri-implant bone by up to 50% and the average stresses in the peri-implant bone by up to 15%. We further show that a transitional gradient between the high-modulus core and the low-modulus coating is not necessary and for a considered zirconia/HA composite the optimal thickness of the coating is 100 µ with its optimal elastic at the lowest value considered of 45 GPa.

  6. Family Functioning and Maladaptive Schemas: The Moderating Effects of Optimism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buri, John R.; Gunty, Amy L.

    2008-01-01

    Authoritarian parenting is often shown to be associated with negative outcomes for children, including the development of maladaptive schemas. However, this is not the case for all children who experience Authoritarian parenting. Optimism is examined as a moderator in the relationship between Authoritarian parenting and maladaptive schemas that…

  7. Long-chain Acylcarnitines Reduce Lung Function by Inhibiting Pulmonary Surfactant.

    PubMed

    Otsubo, Chikara; Bharathi, Sivakama; Uppala, Radha; Ilkayeva, Olga R; Wang, Dongning; McHugh, Kevin; Zou, Ye; Wang, Jieru; Alcorn, John F; Zuo, Yi Y; Hirschey, Matthew D; Goetzman, Eric S

    2015-09-25

    The role of mitochondrial energy metabolism in maintaining lung function is not understood. We previously observed reduced lung function in mice lacking the fatty acid oxidation enzyme long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCAD). Here, we demonstrate that long-chain acylcarnitines, a class of lipids secreted by mitochondria when metabolism is inhibited, accumulate at the air-fluid interface in LCAD(-/-) lungs. Acylcarnitine accumulation is exacerbated by stress such as influenza infection or by dietary supplementation with l-carnitine. Long-chain acylcarnitines co-localize with pulmonary surfactant, a unique film of phospholipids and proteins that reduces surface tension and prevents alveolar collapse during breathing. In vitro, the long-chain species palmitoylcarnitine directly inhibits the surface adsorption of pulmonary surfactant as well as its ability to reduce surface tension. Treatment of LCAD(-/-) mice with mildronate, a drug that inhibits carnitine synthesis, eliminates acylcarnitines and improves lung function. Finally, acylcarnitines are detectable in normal human lavage fluid. Thus, long-chain acylcarnitines may represent a risk factor for lung injury in humans with dysfunctional fatty acid oxidation.

  8. Glutathione peroxidase potentiates the inhibition of platelet function by S-nitrosothiols.

    PubMed Central

    Freedman, J E; Frei, B; Welch, G N; Loscalzo, J

    1995-01-01

    GSH peroxidase (Px) catalyzes the reduction of lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH), known metabolic products of platelets and vascular cells. Because interactions between these cells are modulated by nitric oxide (NO) and LOOH inactivate NO, we investigated the effect of GSH-Px on the inhibition of platelet function by the naturally occurring S-nitrosothiol, S-nitroso-glutathione (SNO-Glu). Concentrations of SNO-Glu that alone did not inhibit platelet function (subthreshold inhibitory concentrations) were added to platelet-rich plasma together with GSH-Px (0.2-20 U/ml); this led to a dose-dependent inhibition of platelet aggregation with an IC50 of 0.6 U/ml GSH-Px. In the presence of subthreshold inhibitory concentrations of SNO-Glu, the LOOH, 5-hydroperoxy-6,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid, increased platelet aggregation, an effect reversed by GSH-Px. Glutathione and SNO-Glu were equally effective as cosubstrates for GSH-Px. Incubation of SNO-Glu with GSH-Px for 1 min led to a 48.5% decrease in the concentration of SNO-Glu. Incubation of SNO-Glu with serum albumin led to the formation of S-nitroso-albumin, an effect enhanced by GSH-Px. These observations suggest that GSH-Px has two functions: reduction of LOOH, thereby preventing inactivation of NO, and metabolism of SNO-Glu, thereby liberating NO and/or supporting further transnitrosation reactions. PMID:7615810

  9. Neuropeptides function in a homeostatic manner to modulate excitation-inhibition imbalance in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Stawicki, Tamara M; Takayanagi-Kiya, Seika; Zhou, Keming; Jin, Yishi

    2013-05-01

    Neuropeptides play crucial roles in modulating neuronal networks, including changing intrinsic properties of neurons and synaptic efficacy. We previously reported a Caenorhabditis elegans mutant, acr-2(gf), that displays spontaneous convulsions as the result of a gain-of-function mutation in a neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit. The ACR-2 channel is expressed in the cholinergic motor neurons, and acr-2(gf) causes cholinergic overexcitation accompanied by reduced GABAergic inhibition in the locomotor circuit. Here we show that neuropeptides play a homeostatic role that compensates for this excitation-inhibition imbalance in the locomotor circuit. Loss of function in genes required for neuropeptide processing or release of dense core vesicles specifically modulate the convulsion frequency of acr-2(gf). The proprotein convertase EGL-3 is required in the cholinergic motor neurons to restrain convulsions. Electrophysiological recordings of neuromuscular junctions show that loss of egl-3 in acr-2(gf) causes a further reduction of GABAergic inhibition. We identify two neuropeptide encoding genes, flp-1 and flp-18, that together counteract the excitation-inhibition imbalance in acr-2(gf) mutants. We further find that acr-2(gf) causes an increased expression of flp-18 in the ventral cord cholinergic motor neurons and that overexpression of flp-18 reduces the convulsion of acr-2(gf) mutants. The effects of these peptides are in part mediated by two G-protein coupled receptors, NPR-1 and NPR-5. Our data suggest that the chronic overexcitation of the cholinergic motor neurons imposed by acr-2(gf) leads to an increased production of FMRFamide neuropeptides, which act to decrease the activity level of the locomotor circuit, thereby homeostatically modulating the excitation and inhibition imbalance.

  10. Inhibition of Propofol Anesthesia on Functional Connectivity between LFPs in PFC during Rat Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shuangyan; Li, Yize; Wang, Guolin; Tian, Xin

    2013-01-01

    Working memory (WM) refers to the temporary storage and manipulation of information necessary for performance of complex cognitive tasks. There is a growing interest in whether and how propofol anesthesia inhibits WM function. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible inhibition mechanism of propofol anesthesia based on the functional connections of multi-local field potentials (LFPs) and behavior during WM tasks. Adult SD rats were randomly divided into 3 groups: pro group (0.5 mg·kg−1·min−1,2 h), PRO group (0.9 mg·kg−1·min−1, 2 h) and control group. The experimental data were 16-channel LFPs obtained at prefrontal cortex with implanted microelectrode array in SD rats during WM tasks in Y-maze at 24, 48, 72, 96, 120 hours (day 1-day 5) after propofol anesthesia, and the behavior results of WM were recoded at the same time. Directed transfer function (DTF) method was applied to analyze the connections among LFPs directly. Furthermore, the causal networks were identified by DTF. The clustering coefficient (C), network density (D) and global efficiency (Eglobal) were selected to describe the functional connectivity quantitatively. The results show that: comparing with the control group, the LFPs functional connectivity in pro group were no significantly difference (p>0.05); the connectivity in PRO group were significantly decreased (p<0.05 at 24 hours, p<0.05 at 48 hours), while no significant difference at 72, 96 and 120 hours for rats (p>0.05), which were consistent with the behavior results. These findings could lead to improved understanding the mechanism of inhibition of anesthesia on WM functions from the view of connections among LFPs. PMID:24386243

  11. Consequences of Inhibiting Amyloid Precursor Protein Processing Enzymes on Synaptic Function and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui; Megill, Andrea; He, Kaiwen; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease, one of whose major pathological hallmarks is the accumulation of amyloid plaques comprised of aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides. It is now recognized that soluble Aβ oligomers may lead to synaptic dysfunctions early in AD pathology preceding plaque deposition. Aβ is produced by a sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by the activity of β- and γ-secretases, which have been identified as major candidate therapeutic targets of AD. This paper focuses on how Aβ alters synaptic function and the functional consequences of inhibiting the activity of the two secretases responsible for Aβ generation. Abnormalities in synaptic function resulting from the absence or inhibition of the Aβ-producing enzymes suggest that Aβ itself may have normal physiological functions which are disrupted by abnormal accumulation of Aβ during AD pathology. This interpretation suggests that AD therapeutics targeting the β- and γ-secretases should be developed to restore normal levels of Aβ or combined with measures to circumvent the associated synaptic dysfunction(s) in order to have minimal impact on normal synaptic function. PMID:22792491

  12. Consequences of inhibiting amyloid precursor protein processing enzymes on synaptic function and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Megill, Andrea; He, Kaiwen; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease, one of whose major pathological hallmarks is the accumulation of amyloid plaques comprised of aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides. It is now recognized that soluble Aβ oligomers may lead to synaptic dysfunctions early in AD pathology preceding plaque deposition. Aβ is produced by a sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by the activity of β- and γ-secretases, which have been identified as major candidate therapeutic targets of AD. This paper focuses on how Aβ alters synaptic function and the functional consequences of inhibiting the activity of the two secretases responsible for Aβ generation. Abnormalities in synaptic function resulting from the absence or inhibition of the Aβ-producing enzymes suggest that Aβ itself may have normal physiological functions which are disrupted by abnormal accumulation of Aβ during AD pathology. This interpretation suggests that AD therapeutics targeting the β- and γ-secretases should be developed to restore normal levels of Aβ or combined with measures to circumvent the associated synaptic dysfunction(s) in order to have minimal impact on normal synaptic function.

  13. [Optimization on slow-release inhibition of biomethane and the kinetics model of diffusion].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li-jie; Zhao, Tian-tao; Zhao, You-cai; Deng, Yu-ping

    2010-07-01

    The diffusion mechanism of acetylene,which can inhibit the activity of methanogens, was studied. Paraffin wax and rosin were used as matrix of slow-release and calcium carbide was used as inhibition material. Based on the T. Higuchi equation and the characteristics of slow-release inhibitors, a mechanism model was derived. Moreover, the effective diffusion coefficients (De) can be acquired by this model. During the diffusion process, the reaction heat of calcium carbide and water could make acetylene gas expansion and caused the slow-release inhibitors expansion if the hardness of the slow-release inhibitors is inadequate. The hardness and compactness were enhanced and the effective diffusion coefficients reached 2.2849 x 10(-8) cm2/min (R2 = 0.9901) when the mass faction of rosin was 20% and the mass ratio of matrix to calcium carbide was 1/1. Hence,the mitigation the methane generation with municipal solid waste (MSW) can be achieved by the technology of slow-release inhibition.

  14. Inhibition of FOXP3/NFAT Interaction Enhances T Cell Function after TCR Stimulation.

    PubMed

    Lozano, Teresa; Villanueva, Lorea; Durántez, Maika; Gorraiz, Marta; Ruiz, Marta; Belsúe, Virginia; Riezu-Boj, José I; Hervás-Stubbs, Sandra; Oyarzábal, Julen; Bandukwala, Hozefa; Lourenço, Ana R; Coffer, Paul J; Sarobe, Pablo; Prieto, Jesús; Casares, Noelia; Lasarte, Juan J

    2015-10-01

    Regulatory T cell (Treg) activity is modulated by a cooperative complex between the transcription factor NFAT and FOXP3, a lineage specification factor for Tregs. FOXP3/NFAT interaction is required to repress expression of IL-2, upregulate expression of the Treg markers CTLA4 and CD25, and confer suppressor function to Tregs. However, FOXP3 is expressed transiently in conventional CD4(+) T cells upon TCR stimulation and may lead to T cell hyporesponsiveness. We found that a short synthetic peptide able to inhibit FOXP3/NFAT interaction impaired suppressor activity of conventional Tregs in vitro. Specific inhibition of FOXP3/NFAT interaction with this inhibitory peptide revealed that FOXP3 downregulates NFAT-driven promoter activity of CD40L and IL-17. Inhibition of FOXP3/NFAT interaction upregulated CD40L expression on effector T cells and enhanced T cell proliferation and IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-6, or IL-17 production in response to TCR stimulation. The inhibitory peptide impaired effector T cell conversion into induced Tregs in the presence of TGF-β. Moreover, in vivo peptide administration showed antitumor efficacy in mice bearing Hepa129 or TC1 tumor cells when combined with sorafenib or with an antitumor vaccine, respectively. Our results suggest that inhibition of NFAT/FOXP3 interaction might improve antitumor immunotherapies.

  15. Spironolactone blocks Epstein-Barr virus production by inhibiting EBV SM protein function.

    PubMed

    Verma, Dinesh; Thompson, Jacob; Swaminathan, Sankar

    2016-03-29

    Clinically available drugs active against Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and other human herpesviruses are limited to those targeting viral DNA replication. To identify compounds directed against other steps in the viral life cycle, we searched for drugs active against the EBV SM protein, which is essential for infectious virus production. SM has a highly gene-specific mode of action and preferentially enhances expression of several late lytic cycle EBV genes. Here we demonstrate that spironolactone, a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist approved for clinical use, inhibits SM function and infectious EBV production. Expression of EBV viral capsid antigen is highly SM dependent, and spironolactone inhibits viral capsid antigen synthesis and capsid formation, blocking EBV virion production at a step subsequent to viral DNA replication. In addition, spironolactone inhibits expression of other SM-dependent genes necessary for infectious virion formation. We further demonstrate that molecules structurally related to spironolactone with similar antimineralocorticoid blocking activity do not inhibit EBV production. These findings pave the way for development of antiherpesvirus drugs with new mechanisms of action directed against SM and homologous essential proteins in other herpesviruses. PMID:26976570

  16. Density Functional Theory and Electrochemical Studies: Structure-Efficiency Relationship on Corrosion Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Camacho-Mendoza, Rosa L; Gutiérrez-Moreno, Evelin; Guzmán-Percástegui, Edmundo; Aquino-Torres, Eliazar; Cruz-Borbolla, Julián; Rodríguez-Ávila, José A; Alvarado-Rodríguez, José G; Olvera-Neria, Oscar; Thangarasu, Pandiyan; Medina-Franco, José L

    2015-11-23

    The relationship between structure and corrosion inhibition of a series of 30 imidazol, benzimidazol, and pyridine derivatives has been established through the investigation of quantum descriptors calculated with PBE/6-311++G**. A quantitative structure-property relationship model was obtained by examination of these descriptors using a genetic functional approximation method based on a multiple linear regression analysis. Our results indicate that the efficiency of corrosion inhibitors is strongly associated with aromaticity, electron donor ability, and molecular volume descriptors. In order to calibrate and validate the proposed model, we performed electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) studies on imidazole, 2-methylimidazole, benzimidazole, 2-chloromethylbenzimidazole, pyridine, and 2-aminopyridine compounds. The experimental values for efficiency of corrosion inhibition are in good agreement with the estimated values obtained by our model, thus confirming that our approach represents a promising and suitable tool to predict the inhibition of corrosion attributes of nitrogen containing heterocyclic compounds. The adsorption behavior of imidazole or benzimidazole heterocyclic molecules on the Fe(110) surface was also studied to elucidate the inhibition mechanism; the aromaticity played an important role in the adsorbate-surface complex.

  17. Spironolactone blocks Epstein-Barr virus production by inhibiting EBV SM protein function.

    PubMed

    Verma, Dinesh; Thompson, Jacob; Swaminathan, Sankar

    2016-03-29

    Clinically available drugs active against Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and other human herpesviruses are limited to those targeting viral DNA replication. To identify compounds directed against other steps in the viral life cycle, we searched for drugs active against the EBV SM protein, which is essential for infectious virus production. SM has a highly gene-specific mode of action and preferentially enhances expression of several late lytic cycle EBV genes. Here we demonstrate that spironolactone, a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist approved for clinical use, inhibits SM function and infectious EBV production. Expression of EBV viral capsid antigen is highly SM dependent, and spironolactone inhibits viral capsid antigen synthesis and capsid formation, blocking EBV virion production at a step subsequent to viral DNA replication. In addition, spironolactone inhibits expression of other SM-dependent genes necessary for infectious virion formation. We further demonstrate that molecules structurally related to spironolactone with similar antimineralocorticoid blocking activity do not inhibit EBV production. These findings pave the way for development of antiherpesvirus drugs with new mechanisms of action directed against SM and homologous essential proteins in other herpesviruses.

  18. Spironolactone blocks Epstein–Barr virus production by inhibiting EBV SM protein function

    PubMed Central

    Verma, Dinesh; Thompson, Jacob; Swaminathan, Sankar

    2016-01-01

    Clinically available drugs active against Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) and other human herpesviruses are limited to those targeting viral DNA replication. To identify compounds directed against other steps in the viral life cycle, we searched for drugs active against the EBV SM protein, which is essential for infectious virus production. SM has a highly gene-specific mode of action and preferentially enhances expression of several late lytic cycle EBV genes. Here we demonstrate that spironolactone, a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist approved for clinical use, inhibits SM function and infectious EBV production. Expression of EBV viral capsid antigen is highly SM dependent, and spironolactone inhibits viral capsid antigen synthesis and capsid formation, blocking EBV virion production at a step subsequent to viral DNA replication. In addition, spironolactone inhibits expression of other SM-dependent genes necessary for infectious virion formation. We further demonstrate that molecules structurally related to spironolactone with similar antimineralocorticoid blocking activity do not inhibit EBV production. These findings pave the way for development of antiherpesvirus drugs with new mechanisms of action directed against SM and homologous essential proteins in other herpesviruses. PMID:26976570

  19. Optimal Experiment Design for Thermal Characterization of Functionally Graded Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cole, Kevin D.

    2003-01-01

    The purpose of the project was to investigate methods to accurately verify that designed , materials meet thermal specifications. The project involved heat transfer calculations and optimization studies, and no laboratory experiments were performed. One part of the research involved study of materials in which conduction heat transfer predominates. Results include techniques to choose among several experimental designs, and protocols for determining the optimum experimental conditions for determination of thermal properties. Metal foam materials were also studied in which both conduction and radiation heat transfer are present. Results of this work include procedures to optimize the design of experiments to accurately measure both conductive and radiative thermal properties. Detailed results in the form of three journal papers have been appended to this report.

  20. On the optimal control of fed-batch reactors with substrate-inhibited kinetics.

    PubMed

    Cazzador, L

    1988-05-01

    The optimal feed rate profiles, for fed-batch fermentation that maximizes the biomass production and accounts for time, are analyzed. The solution can be found only if the final arc of the optimal control is a batch arc, since in this case the final concentrations of substrate and biomass can be determined by ulterior conditions on the mass balance and on the final growth rate of biomass and thus it is possible to solve the resulting time optimal problem by using Green's theorem. This evidences the "turnpike property" of the solution, which tries to spend the maximum time on or at least near the singular arc along which the substrate concentration is maintained constant. The optimality of the final batch arc is related to the time operational cost in the performance index. The sequence of the control depends on the initial conditions for which six different regions, with the respective patterns, have been identified, in case the performance index allows the control sequence to have a final batch.

  1. Molecular cloning and functional analysis of three genes encoding polygalacturonase-inhibiting proteins from Capsicum annuum, and their relation to increased resistance to two fungal pathogens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Polygalacturonase-inhibiting proteins (PGIPs) are plant cell wall glycoproteins that can inhibit fungal endopolygalacturonases (PGs). Inhibiting by PGIPs directly reduces potential PG activity in specific plant pathogenic fungi, reducing their aggressiveness. Here, we isolated and functionally chara...

  2. Prolactin inhibits a major tumor-suppressive function of wild type BRCA1.

    PubMed

    Chen, Kuan-Hui Ethan; Walker, Ameae M

    2016-06-01

    Even though mutations in the tumor suppressor, BRCA1, markedly increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, most breast and ovarian cancers express wild type BRCA1. An important question is therefore how the tumor-suppressive function of normal BRCA1 is overcome during development of most cancers. Because prolactin promotes these and other cancers, we investigated the hypothesis that prolactin interferes with the ability of BRCA1 to inhibit the cell cycle. Examining six different cancer cell lines with wild type BRCA1, and making use of both prolactin and the growth-inhibiting selective prolactin receptor modulator, S179D PRL, we demonstrate that prolactin activation of Stat5 results in the formation of a complex between phospho-Stat5 and BRCA1. Formation of this complex does not interfere with nuclear translocation or binding of BRCA1 to the p21 promoter, but does interfere with the ability of BRCA1 to transactivate the p21 promoter. Overexpression of a dominant-negative Stat5 in prolactin-stimulated cells resulted in increased p21 expression. We conclude that prolactin inhibits a major tumor-suppressive function of BRCA1 by interfering with BRCA1's upregulation of expression of the cell cycle inhibitor, p21.

  3. IKBKE Phosphorylation and Inhibition of FOXO3a: A Mechanism of IKBKE Oncogenic Function

    PubMed Central

    Shu, Shaokun; Xin, Yu; Shou, Chengchao; Cheng, Jin Q.

    2013-01-01

    Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors are emerging as key regulators of cell survival and growth. The transcriptional activity and subcellular localization of FOXO are tightly regulated by post-translational modifications. Here we report that IKBKE regulates FOXO3a through phosphorylation of FOXO3a-Ser644. The phosphorylation of FOXO3a resulted in its degradation and nuclear-cytoplasmic translocation. Previous studies have shown that IKBKE directly activates Akt and that Akt inhibits FOXO3a by phosphorylation of Ser32, Ser253 and Ser315. However, the activity of Akt-nonphosphorytable FOXO3a-A3 (i.e., converting 3 serine residues to alanine) was inhibited by IKBKE. Furthermore, overexpression of IKBKE correlates with elevated levels of pFOXO3a-S644 in primary lung and breast tumors. IKBKE inhibits cellular function of FOXO3a and FOXO3a-A3 but, to a much less extent, of FOXO3a-S644A. These findings suggest that IKBKE regulates FOXO3a primarily through phosphorylation of SerS644 and that IKBKE exerts its cellular function, at least to some extent, through regulation of FOXO3a. PMID:23691078

  4. Inhibition of androgen receptor (AR) function by the reproductive orphan nuclear receptor DAX-1.

    PubMed

    Holter, Elin; Kotaja, Noora; Mäkela, Sari; Strauss, Leena; Kietz, Silke; Jänne, Olli A; Gustafsson, Jan-Ake; Palvimo, Jorma J; Treuter, Eckardt

    2002-03-01

    DAX-1 (NROB1) is an atypical member of the nuclear receptor family that is predominantly expressed in mammalian reproductive tissues. While a receptor function of DAX-1 remains enigmatic, previous work has indicated that DAX-1 inhibits the activity of the orphan receptor steroidogenic factor 1 and the estrogen receptors (ERs), presumably via direct occupation of the coactivator-binding surface and subsequent recruitment of additional corepressors. In vivo evidence points at a particular role of DAX-1 for the development and maintenance of male reproductive functions. In this study, we have identified the androgen receptor (AR) NR3C4 as a novel target for DAX-1. We show that DAX-1 potently inhibits ligand-dependent transcriptional activation as well as the interaction between the N- and C-terminal activation domains of AR. We provide evidence for direct interactions of the two receptors that involve the N-terminal repeat domain of DAX-1 and the C-terminal ligand-binding and activation domain of AR. Moreover, DAX-1, known to shuttle between the cytoplasm and the nucleus, is capable of relocalizing AR in both cellular compartments, suggesting that intracellular tethering is associated with DAX-1 inhibition. These results implicate novel inhibitory mechanisms of DAX-1 action with particular relevance for the modulation of androgen-dependent gene transcription in the male reproductive system. PMID:11875111

  5. Cyanide levels found in infected cystic fibrosis sputum inhibit airway ciliary function.

    PubMed

    Nair, Chandrika; Shoemark, Amelia; Chan, Mario; Ollosson, Sarah; Dixon, Mellissa; Hogg, Claire; Alton, Eric W F W; Davies, Jane C; Williams, Huw D

    2014-11-01

    We have previously reported cyanide at concentrations of up to 150 μM in the sputum of cystic fibrosis patients infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and a negative correlation with lung function. Our aim was to investigate possible mechanisms for this association, focusing on the effect of pathophysiologically relevant cyanide levels on human respiratory cell function. Ciliary beat frequency measurements were performed on nasal brushings and nasal air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures obtained from healthy volunteers and cystic fibrosis patients. Potassium cyanide decreased ciliary beat frequency in healthy nasal brushings (n = 6) after 60 min (150 μM: 47% fall, p<0.0012; 75 μM: 32% fall, p<0.0001). Samples from cystic fibrosis patients (n = 3) showed similar results (150 μM: 55% fall, p = 0.001). Ciliary beat frequency inhibition was not due to loss of cell viability and was reversible. The inhibitory mechanism was independent of ATP levels. KCN also significantly inhibited ciliary beat frequency in ALI cultures, albeit to a lesser extent. Ciliary beat frequency measurements on ALI cultures treated with culture supernatants from P. aeruginosa mutants defective in virulence factor production implicated cyanide as a key component inhibiting the ciliary beat frequency. If cyanide production similarly impairs mucocilliary clearance in vivo, it could explain the link with increased disease severity observed in cystic fibrosis patients with detectable cyanide in their airway.

  6. Functionalization of Titanium Alloy Surface by Graphene Nanoplatelets and Metal Oxides: Corrosion Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Mondal, Jayanta; Aarik, Lauri; Kozlova, Jekaterina; Niilisk, Ahti; Mändar, Hugo; Mäeorg, Uno; Simões, Alda; Sammelselg, Väino

    2015-09-01

    Corrosion inhibition of metallic substrates is an important and crucial step for great economical as well as environmental savings. In this paper, we introduce an extra thin effective corrosion inhibitive material having layered structure designed for protection and functionalization of Ti Grade 5 alloy substrates. The coating consists of a first layer made of thin graphene nanoplatelets, on top of which a multilayer Al2O3 and TiO2 films is applied by low-temperature atomic layer deposition. The amorphous structure of the metal oxide films was confirmed by micro-Raman and X-ray diffraction analysis. Corrosion inhibition ability of the prepared coatings was analyzed by open circuit potential, potentiodynamic plot and by voltammetric analysis, in aqueous potassium bromide solution. The open circuit potential of the graphene-metal oxide coated substrate showed much passive nature than bare substrate or graphene coated or only metal oxide coated substrates. The localized corrosion potential of the graphene-metal oxide coated, only metal oxide coated, and bare substrates were found 5.5, 3.0, and 1.1 V, respectively. In addition, corrosion current density values of the graphene-metal oxide and only metal oxide coated substrates showed much more passive nature than the bare and graphene coated substrates. Long immersion test in the salt solution further clarified the effective corrosion inhibition of the graphene-metal oxide coated substrate. The analyzed results reflect that the graphene-metal oxide films can be used to prepare better and effective corrosion inhibition coatings for the Ti Grade 5 alloy to increase their lifetime.

  7. Neurophysiological marker of inhibition distinguishes language groups on a non-linguistic executive function test.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, M; Tartar, J L; Padron, D; Acosta, J

    2013-12-01

    Successful interaction with the environment depends on flexible behaviors which require shifting attention, inhibiting primed responses, ignoring distracting information, and withholding motor responses. These abilities, termed executive function (EF), are believed to be mediated by inhibitory processes in the frontal lobes. Superior performance on EF tests (i.e., faster reaction times (RT), and fewer errors) has been shown in bilinguals compared to monolingual speakers. However, findings are inconsistent, and no study has directly linked this bilingual advantage to frontal lobe inhibitory processes. To clarify this uncertainty, we concomitantly tested neural inhibitory processes and behavioral responses on an EF test in bilinguals and monolinguals. Specifically, we compared English monolinguals (N=15) to Spanish/English bilinguals (N=13) on event-related brain potentials (ERP) during a non-linguistic, auditory Go/NoGo task, a task linked to non-motor, cognitive inhibition in monolinguals. Participants responded with a button press on trials in which target tone-pairs (Go trials) were presented and withheld their responses on non-target trials (NoGo trials). Results revealed significantly greater inhibition (i.e., greater mean N2 amplitude) in bilinguals compared to monolinguals during NoGo trials even though both groups performed the task equally well (i.e., withheld a motor response). On Go trials where participants pressed a response button, neither ERPs nor RT distinguished the groups. Additionally, scores on a second language proficiency test (i.e., English in our bilingual group) were positively correlated with N2 amplitude. These findings are the first to directly link this bilingual advantage to a neural correlate of inhibition and to reveal that inhibition in bilinguals is moderated by second language proficiency. Results are discussed in the context of plasticity, and we propose that evaluating bilinguals at varying levels of second-language proficiency

  8. On the optimal design and control of a biodegradation process with substrate inhibition kinetics

    SciTech Connect

    Villadsen, J.

    1999-03-01

    The degradation of a pollutant in batch and continuous operation is studied. Very often the microbial system used to degrade toxic industrial pollutants is severely substrate inhibited, and it is shown that batch operation is usually ineffective compared to continuous operation in a stirred tank. Recirculation of cells to the continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR) is particularly advantageous for the carbon-lean waste streams treated here. Not only is the rate of pollutant degradation much higher but the stability of the steady-state operation is greatly enhanced. Finally it is shown that the operation of the CSTR is stabilized by addition of a second microorganism.

  9. Tsukushi functions as an organizer inducer by inhibition of BMP activity in cooperation with chordin.

    PubMed

    Ohta, Kunimasa; Lupo, Giuseppe; Kuriyama, Sei; Keynes, Roger; Holt, Christine E; Harris, William A; Tanaka, Hideaki; Ohnuma, Shin-ichi

    2004-09-01

    During chick gastrulation, inhibition of BMP signaling is required for primitive streak formation and induction of Hensen's node. We have identified a unique secreted protein, Tsukushi (TSK), which belongs to the Small Leucine-Rich Proteoglycan (SLRP) family and is expressed in the primitive streak and Hensen's node. Grafts of cells expressing TSK in combination with the middle primitive streak induce an ectopic Hensen's node, while electroporation of TSK siRNA inhibits induction of the node. In Xenopus embryos, TSK can block BMP function and induce a secondary dorsal axis, while it can dorsalize ventral mesoderm and induce neural tissue in embryonic explants. Biochemical analysis shows that TSK binds directly to both BMP and chordin and forms a ternary complex with them. These observations indicate that TSK is an essential dorsalizing factor involved in the induction of Hensen's node.

  10. A Functional Landscape of Resistance to ALK Inhibition in Lung Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Frederick H.; Johannessen, Cory M.; Piccioni, Federica; Tamayo, Pablo; Kim, Jong Wook; Van Allen, Eliezer M.; Corsello, Steven M.; Capelletti, Marzia; Calles, Antonio; Butaney, Mohit; Sharifnia, Tanaz; Gabriel, Stacey B.; Mesirov, Jill P.; Hahn, William C.; Engelman, Jeffrey A.; Meyerson, Matthew; Root, David E.; Jänne, Pasi A.; Garraway, Levi A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary We conducted a large-scale functional genetic study to characterize mechanisms of resistance to ALK inhibition in ALK-dependent lung cancer cells. We identify members of known resistance pathways and additional putative resistance drivers. Among the latter were members of the P2Y purinergic receptor family of G-protein coupled receptors (P2Y1, P2Y2, and P2Y6). P2Y receptors mediated resistance in part through a protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent mechanism. Moreover, PKC activation alone was sufficient to confer resistance to ALK inhibitors whereas combined ALK and PKC inhibition restored sensitivity. We observed enrichment of gene signatures associated with several resistance drivers (including P2Y receptors) in crizotinib-resistant ALK-rearranged lung tumors compared to treatment-naïve controls, supporting a role for identified resistance mechanisms in clinical resistance. PMID:25759024

  11. An efficient cuckoo search algorithm for numerical function optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ong, Pauline; Zainuddin, Zarita

    2013-04-01

    Cuckoo search algorithm which reproduces the breeding strategy of the best known brood parasitic bird, the cuckoos has demonstrated its superiority in obtaining the global solution for numerical optimization problems. However, the involvement of fixed step approach in its exploration and exploitation behavior might slow down the search process considerably. In this regards, an improved cuckoo search algorithm with adaptive step size adjustment is introduced and its feasibility on a variety of benchmarks is validated. The obtained results show that the proposed scheme outperforms the standard cuckoo search algorithm in terms of convergence characteristic while preserving the fascinating features of the original method.

  12. Searching for optimal stimuli: ascending a neuron's response function.

    PubMed

    Koelling, Melinda Evrithiki; Nykamp, Duane Q

    2012-12-01

    Many methods used to analyze neuronal response assume that neuronal activity has a fundamentally linear relationship to the stimulus. However, some neurons are strongly sensitive to multiple directions in stimulus space and have a highly nonlinear response. It can be difficult to find optimal stimuli for these neurons. We demonstrate how successive linear approximations of neuronal response can effectively carry out gradient ascent and move through stimulus space towards local maxima of the response. We demonstrate search results for a simple model neuron and two models of a highly selective neuron. PMID:22580579

  13. A simple reliability-based topology optimization approach for continuum structures using a topology description function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jie; Wen, Guilin; Zhi Zuo, Hao; Qing, Qixiang

    2016-07-01

    The structural configuration obtained by deterministic topology optimization may represent a low reliability level and lead to a high failure rate. Therefore, it is necessary to take reliability into account for topology optimization. By integrating reliability analysis into topology optimization problems, a simple reliability-based topology optimization (RBTO) methodology for continuum structures is investigated in this article. The two-layer nesting involved in RBTO, which is time consuming, is decoupled by the use of a particular optimization procedure. A topology description function approach (TOTDF) and a first order reliability method are employed for topology optimization and reliability calculation, respectively. The problem of the non-smoothness inherent in TOTDF is dealt with using two different smoothed Heaviside functions and the corresponding topologies are compared. Numerical examples demonstrate the validity and efficiency of the proposed improved method. In-depth discussions are also presented on the influence of different structural reliability indices on the final layout.

  14. Inhibition of differentiation and function of osteoclasts by dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).

    PubMed

    Yang, Chunxi; Madhu, Vedavathi; Thomas, Candace; Yang, Xinlin; Du, Xeujun; Dighe, Abhijit S; Cui, Quanjun

    2015-12-01

    Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is an FDA-approved organosulfur solvent that is reported to have therapeutic value in osteoarthritis and osteopenia. DMSO is used as a cryoprotectant for the cryopreservation of bone grafts and mesenchymal stem cells which are later used for bone repair. It is also used as a solvent in the preparation of various scaffolds used for bone tissue engineering purposes. DMSO has been reported to inhibit osteoclast formation in vitro but the mechanism involved has remained elusive. We investigated the effect of DMSO on osteoclast differentiation and function using a conventional model system of RAW 264.7 cells. The differentiation of RAW 264.7 cells was induced by adding 50 ng/ml RANKL and the effect of DMSO (0.01 and 1% v/v) on RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis was investigated. Addition of 1% DMSO significantly inhibited RANKL-induced formation of TRAP+, multinucleated, mature osteoclasts and osteoclast late-stage precursors (c-Kit(-) c-Fms(+) Mac-1(+) RANK(+)). While DMSO did not inhibit proliferation per se, it did inhibit the effect of RANKL on proliferation of RAW 264.7 cells. Key genes related to osteoclast function (TRAP, Integrin αVβ3, Cathepsin K and MMP9) were significantly down-regulated by DMSO. RANKL-induced expression of RANK gene was significantly reduced in the presence of DMSO. Our data, and reports from other investigators, that DMSO enhances osteoblastic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells and also prevents bone loss in ovarietcomized rats, suggest that DMSO has tremendous potential in the treatment of osteoporosis and bone diseases arising from uncontrolled activities of the osteoclasts.

  15. The influence of optimism on functionality after total hip replacement surgery.

    PubMed

    Balck, Friedrich; Lippmann, Maike; Jeszenszky, Csilla; Günther, Klaus-Peter; Kirschner, Stephan

    2016-08-01

    Among other factors, optimism has been shown to significantly influence the course of some diseases (cancer, HIV, coronary heart disease). This study investigated whether optimism of a patient before a total hip replacement can predict the functionality of the lower limbs 3 and 6 months after surgery. A total of 325 patients took part in the study (age: 58.7 years; w: 55%). The functionality was measured with the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities arthrosis index, and optimism with the Life Orientation Test. To analyse the influences of age, gender and optimism, general linear models were calculated. In optimistic patients, functionality improved significantly over time. The study showed a clear influence of dispositional optimism on the recovery after total hip replacement in the first 3 months after surgery.

  16. Surface functionalization of titanium substrates with chitosan-lauric acid conjugate to enhance osteoblasts functions and inhibit bacteria adhesion.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lu; Hu, Yan; Xu, Dawei; Cai, Kaiyong

    2014-07-01

    Orthopedic implants failures are generally related to poor osseointegration and/or bacterial infection in clinical application. Surface functionalization of an implant is one promising alternative for enhancing osseointegration and/or reducing bacterial infection, thus ensuring the long term survival of the implant. In this study, titanium (Ti) substrates were surface functionalized with a polydopamine (PDOP) film as an intermediate layer for post-immobilization of chitosan-lauric acid (Chi-LA) conjugate. Chi-LA conjugate was synthesized and characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and hydrogen proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, respectively. Lauric acid (LA), a natural saturated fatty acid, was used mainly due to its good antibacterial property. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and water contact angle measurements were employed to detect the morphology changes and surface wettability of Ti substrates. The results suggested that Chi-LA conjugate was successfully immobilized onto the surfaces of Ti substrates. In vitro tests confirmed that the cell adhesion, cell viability, intracellular alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralization capacity of osteoblasts were remarkably improved when cultured onto Chi-LA surface functionalized Ti substrates. Antibacterial assay against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) showed that the Chi-LA modified Ti substrates efficiently inhibited the adhesion and growth of bacteria. Overall, this study developed a promising approach to fabricate functional Ti-based orthopedic implants, which could enhance the biological functions of osteoblasts and concurrently reduce bacteria adhesion. PMID:24880988

  17. Cost benefit theory and optimal design of gene regulation functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalisky, Tomer; Dekel, Erez; Alon, Uri

    2007-12-01

    Cells respond to the environment by regulating the expression of genes according to environmental signals. The relation between the input signal level and the expression of the gene is called the gene regulation function. It is of interest to understand the shape of a gene regulation function in terms of the environment in which it has evolved and the basic constraints of biological systems. Here we address this by presenting a cost-benefit theory for gene regulation functions that takes into account temporally varying inputs in the environment and stochastic noise in the biological components. We apply this theory to the well-studied lac operon of E. coli. The present theory explains the shape of this regulation function in terms of temporal variation of the input signals, and of minimizing the deleterious effect of cell-cell variability in regulatory protein levels. We also apply the theory to understand the evolutionary tradeoffs in setting the number of regulatory proteins and for selection of feed-forward loops in genetic circuits. The present cost-benefit theory can be used to understand the shape of other gene regulatory functions in terms of environment and noise constraints.

  18. Structure-Function Analysis of Rny1 in tRNA Cleavage and Growth Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Luhtala, Natalie; Parker, Roy

    2012-01-01

    T2 ribonucleases are conserved nucleases that affect a variety of processes in eukaryotic cells including the regulation of self-incompatibility by S-RNases in plants, modulation of host immune cell responses by viral and schistosome T2 enzymes, and neurological development and tumor progression in humans. These roles for RNaseT2’s can be due to catalytic or catalytic-independent functions of the molecule. Despite this broad importance, the features of RNaseT2 proteins that modulate catalytic and catalytic-independent functions are poorly understood. Herein, we analyze the features of Rny1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to determine the requirements for cleaving tRNA in vivo and for inhibiting cellular growth in a catalytic-independent manner. We demonstrate that catalytic-independent inhibition of growth is a combinatorial property of the protein and is affected by a fungal-specific C-terminal extension, the conserved catalytic core, and the presence of a signal peptide. Catalytic functions of Rny1 are independent of the C-terminal extension, are affected by many mutations in the catalytic core, and also require a signal peptide. Biochemical flotation assays reveal that in rny1Δ cells, some tRNA molecules associate with membranes suggesting that cleavage of tRNAs by Rny1 can involve either tRNA association with, or uptake into, membrane compartments. PMID:22829915

  19. Auditory orienting and inhibition of return in schizophrenia: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, Christopher C.; Merideth, Flannery; Ruhl, David; Yang, Zhen; Clark, Vincent P.; Calhoun, Vince D.; Hanlon, Faith M.; Mayer, Andrew R.

    2011-01-01

    Patients with schizophrenia (SP) exhibit deficits in both attentional reorienting and inhibition of return (IOR) during visual tasks. However, it is currently unknown whether these deficits are supramodal in nature and how these deficits relate to other domains of cognitive dysfunction. In addition, the neuronal correlates of this pathological orienting response have not been investigated in either the visual or auditory modality. Therefore, thirty SP and 30 healthy controls (HC) were evaluated with an extensive clinical protocol and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during an auditory cuing paradigm. SP exhibited both increased costs and delayed IOR during auditory orienting, suggesting a prolonged interval for attentional disengagement from cued locations. Moreover, a delay in the development of IOR was associated with cognitive deficits on formal neuropsychological testing in the domains of attention/inhibition and working memory. Event-related fMRI showed the characteristic activation of a frontoparietal network (invalid trials > valid trials), but there were no differences in functional activation between patients and HC during either attentional reorienting or IOR. Current results suggest that orienting deficits are supramodal in nature in SP, and are related to higher-order cognitive deficits that directly interfere with day-to-day functioning. PMID:22230646

  20. Inhibition of Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Limits Mitochondrial Damage and Preserves Function Following Ischemic Injury

    PubMed Central

    Akhnokh, Maria K.; Yang, Feng Hua; Samokhvalov, Victor; Jamieson, Kristi L.; Cho, Woo Jung; Wagg, Cory; Takawale, Abhijit; Wang, Xiuhua; Lopaschuk, Gary D.; Hammock, Bruce D.; Kassiri, Zamaneh; Seubert, John M.

    2016-01-01

    Aims: Myocardial ischemia can result in marked mitochondrial damage leading to cardiac dysfunction, as such identifying novel mechanisms to limit mitochondrial injury is important. This study investigated the hypothesis that inhibiting soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), responsible for converting epoxyeicosatrienoic acids to dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids protects mitochondrial from injury caused by myocardial infarction. Methods: sEH null and WT littermate mice were subjected to surgical occlusion of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery or sham operation. A parallel group of WT mice received an sEH inhibitor, trans-4-[4-(3-adamantan-1-y1-ureido)-cyclohexyloxy]-benzoic acid (tAUCB; 10 mg/L) or vehicle in the drinking water 4 days prior and 7 days post-MI. Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography prior- and 7-days post-surgery. Heart tissues were dissected into infarct, peri-, and non-infarct regions to assess ultrastructure by electron microscopy. Complexes I, II, IV, citrate synthase, PI3K activities, and mitochondrial respiration were assessed in non-infarct regions. Isolated working hearts were used to measure the rates of glucose and palmitate oxidation. Results: Echocardiography revealed that tAUCB treatment or sEH deficiency significantly improved systolic and diastolic function post-MI compared to controls. Reduced infarct expansion and less adverse cardiac remodeling were observed in tAUCB-treated and sEH null groups. EM data demonstrated mitochondrial ultrastructure damage occurred in infarct and peri-infarct regions but not in non-infarct regions. Inhibition of sEH resulted in significant improvements in mitochondrial respiration, ATP content, mitochondrial enzymatic activities and restored insulin sensitivity and PI3K activity. Conclusion: Inhibition or genetic deletion of sEH protects against long-term ischemia by preserving cardiac function and maintaining mitochondrial efficiency. PMID:27375480

  1. Thioredoxin-2 Inhibits Mitochondrial ROS Generation and ASK1 Activity to Maintain Cardiac Function

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Qunhua; Zhou, Huanjiao Jenny; Zhang, Haifeng; Huang, Yan; Hinojosa-Kirschenbaum, Ford; Fan, Peidong; Yao, Lina; Belardinelli, Luiz; Tellides, George; Giordano, Frank J.; Budas, Grant R.; Min, Wang

    2015-01-01

    Background Thioredoxin 2 (Trx2) is a key mitochondrial protein which regulates cellular redox and survival by suppressing mitochondrial ROS generation and by inhibiting apoptosis stress kinase-1 (ASK1)-dependent apoptotic signaling. To date, the role of the mitochondrial Trx2 system in heart failure pathogenesis has not been investigated. Methods and Results Western blot and histological analysis revealed that Trx2 protein expression levels were reduced in hearts from patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), with a concomitant increase in increased ASK1 phosphorylation/activity. Cardiac-specific Trx2 knockout mice (Trx2-cKO). Trx2-cKO mice develop spontaneous DCM at 1 month of age with increased heart size, reduced ventricular wall thickness, and a progressive decline in left ventricular (LV) contractile function, resulting in mortality due to heart failure by ~4 months of age. The progressive decline in cardiac function observed in Trx2-cKO mice was accompanied by disruption of mitochondrial ultrastructure, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, increased mitochondrial ROS generation and reduced ATP production, correlating with increased ASK1 signaling and increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Chronic administration of a highly selective ASK1 inhibitor improved cardiac phenotype and reduced maladaptive LV remodeling with significant reductions in oxidative stress, apoptosis, fibrosis and cardiac failure. Cellular data from Trx2-deficient cardiomyocytes demonstrated that ASK1 inhibition reduced apoptosis and reduced mitochondrial ROS generation. Conclusions Our data support an essential role for mitochondrial Trx2 in preserving cardiac function by suppressing mitochondrial ROS production and ASK1-dependent apoptosis. Inhibition of ASK1 represents a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure. PMID:25628390

  2. A new optimal sliding mode controller design using scalar sign function.

    PubMed

    Singla, Mithun; Shieh, Leang-San; Song, Gangbing; Xie, Linbo; Zhang, Yongpeng

    2014-03-01

    This paper presents a new optimal sliding mode controller using the scalar sign function method. A smooth, continuous-time scalar sign function is used to replace the discontinuous switching function in the design of a sliding mode controller. The proposed sliding mode controller is designed using an optimal Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) approach. The sliding surface of the system is designed using stable eigenvectors and the scalar sign function. Controller simulations are compared with another existing optimal sliding mode controller. To test the effectiveness of the proposed controller, the controller is implemented on an aluminum beam with piezoceramic sensor and actuator for vibration control. This paper includes the control design and stability analysis of the new optimal sliding mode controller, followed by simulation and experimental results. The simulation and experimental results show that the proposed approach is very effective.

  3. Biguanides inhibit complex I, II and IV of rat liver mitochondria and modify their functional properties.

    PubMed

    Drahota, Z; Palenickova, E; Endlicher, R; Milerova, M; Brejchova, J; Vosahlikova, M; Svoboda, P; Kazdova, L; Kalous, M; Cervinkova, Z; Cahova, M

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we focused on an analysis of biguanides effects on mitochondrial enzyme activities, mitochondrial membrane potential and membrane permeability transition pore function. We used phenformin, which is more efficient than metformin, and evaluated its effect on rat liver mitochondria and isolated hepatocytes. In contrast to previously published data, we found that phenformin, after a 5 min pre-incubation, dose-dependently inhibits not only mitochondrial complex I but also complex II and IV activity in isolated mitochondria. The enzymes complexes inhibition is paralleled by the decreased respiratory control index and mitochondrial membrane potential. Direct measurements of mitochondrial swelling revealed that phenformin increases the resistance of the permeability transition pore to Ca(2+) ions. Our data might be in agreement with the hypothesis of Schäfer (1976) that binding of biguanides to membrane phospholipids alters membrane properties in a non-specific manner and, subsequently, different enzyme activities are modified via lipid phase. However, our measurements of anisotropy of fluorescence of hydrophobic membrane probe diphenylhexatriene have not shown a measurable effect of membrane fluidity with the 1 mM concentration of phenformin that strongly inhibited complex I activity. Our data therefore suggest that biguanides could be considered as agents with high efficacy but low specifity.

  4. α-Synuclein Fibrils Exhibit Gain of Toxic Function, Promoting Tau Aggregation and Inhibiting Microtubule Assembly.

    PubMed

    Oikawa, Takayuki; Nonaka, Takashi; Terada, Makoto; Tamaoka, Akira; Hisanaga, Shin-Ichi; Hasegawa, Masato

    2016-07-15

    α-Synuclein is the major component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites in Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies and of glial cytoplasmic inclusions in multiple system atrophy. It has been suggested that α-synuclein fibrils or intermediate protofibrils in the process of fibril formation may have a toxic effect on neuronal cells. In this study, we investigated the ability of soluble monomeric α-synuclein to promote microtubule assembly and the effects of conformational changes of α-synuclein on Tau-promoted microtubule assembly. In marked contrast to previous findings, monomeric α-synuclein had no effect on microtubule polymerization. However, both α-synuclein fibrils and protofibrils inhibited Tau-promoted microtubule assembly. The inhibitory effect of α-synuclein fibrils was greater than that of the protofibrils. Dot blot overlay assay and spin-down techniques revealed that α-synuclein fibrils bind to Tau and inhibit microtubule assembly by depleting the Tau available for microtubule polymerization. Using various deletion mutants of α-synuclein and Tau, the acidic C-terminal region of α-synuclein and the basic central region of Tau were identified as regions involved in the binding. Furthermore, introduction of α-synuclein fibrils into cultured cells overexpressing Tau protein induced Tau aggregation. These results raise the possibility that α-synuclein fibrils interact with Tau, inhibit its function to stabilize microtubules, and also promote Tau aggregation, leading to dysfunction of neuronal cells.

  5. Biophysical inhibition of pulmonary surfactant function by polymeric nanoparticles: role of surfactant protein B and C.

    PubMed

    Beck-Broichsitter, Moritz; Ruppert, Clemens; Schmehl, Thomas; Günther, Andreas; Seeger, Werner

    2014-11-01

    The current study investigated the mechanisms involved in the process of biophysical inhibition of pulmonary surfactant by polymeric nanoparticles (NP). The minimal surface tension of diverse synthetic surfactants was monitored in the presence of bare and surface-decorated (i.e. poloxamer 407) sub-100 nm poly(lactide) NP. Moreover, the influence of NP on surfactant composition (i.e. surfactant protein (SP) content) was studied. Dose-elevations of SP advanced the biophysical activity of the tested surfactant preparation. Surfactant-associated protein C supplemented phospholipid mixtures (PLM-C) were shown to be more susceptible to biophysical inactivation by bare NP than phospholipid mixture supplemented with surfactant protein B (PLM-B) and PLM-B/C. Surfactant function was hindered owing to a drastic depletion of the SP content upon contact with bare NP. By contrast, surface-modified NP were capable of circumventing unwanted surfactant inhibition. Surfactant constitution influences the extent of biophysical inhibition by polymeric NP. Steric shielding of the NP surface minimizes unwanted NP-surfactant interactions, which represents an option for the development of surfactant-compatible nanomedicines.

  6. Two functional domains in C. elegans glypican LON-2 can independently inhibit BMP-like signaling.

    PubMed

    Taneja-Bageshwar, Suparna; Gumienny, Tina L

    2012-11-01

    Glypicans are multifunctional proteoglycans with regulatory roles in several intercellular signaling pathways. Here, we examine the functional requirements for glypican regulation of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-mediated body length in C. elegans. We provide evidence that two parts of C. elegans glypican LON-2 can independently inhibit BMP signaling in vivo: the N-terminal furin protease product and the C-terminal region containing heparan sulfate attachment sequences. While the C-terminal protease product is dispensable for LON-2 minimal core protein activity, it does affect the localization of LON-2. Cleavage of LON-2 into two parts at the conserved furin protease site is not required for LON-2 to inhibit BMP-like signaling. The glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchor is also not absolutely required for LON-2 activity. Finally, we show that an RGD protein-protein interaction motif in the LON-2 N-terminal domain is necessary for LON-2 core protein activity, suggesting that LON-2 inhibits BMP signaling by acting as a scaffold for BMP and an RGD-binding protein.

  7. Piperine from black pepper inhibits activation-induced proliferation and effector function of T lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Doucette, Carolyn D; Rodgers, Gemma; Liwski, Robert S; Hoskin, David W

    2015-11-01

    Piperine is a major alkaloid component of black pepper (Piper nigrum Linn), which is a widely consumed spice. Here, we investigated the effect of piperine on mouse T lymphocyte activation. Piperine inhibited polyclonal and antigen-specific T lymphocyte proliferation without affecting cell viability. Piperine also suppressed T lymphocyte entry into the S and G2 /M phases of the cell cycle, and decreased expression of G1 -associated cyclin D3, CDK4, and CDK6. In addition, piperine inhibited CD25 expression, synthesis of interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, and IL-17A, and the generation of cytotoxic effector cells. The inhibitory effect of piperine on T lymphocytes was associated with hypophosphorylation of Akt, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and inhibitor of κBα, but not ZAP-70. The ability of piperine to inhibit several key signaling pathways involved in T lymphocyte activation and the acquisition of effector function suggests that piperine might be useful in the management of T lymphocyte-mediated autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders. PMID:25900378

  8. Piceatannol inhibits effector T cell functions by suppressing TcR signaling.

    PubMed

    Kim, Do-Hyun; Lee, Yong-Gab; Park, Hong-Jai; Lee, Jung-Ah; Kim, Hyun Jung; Hwang, Jae-Kwan; Choi, Je-Min

    2015-04-01

    Piceatannol, a metabolite of resveratrol found in red wine and grapes, displays a wide spectrum of biological activity. Although the anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumorigenesis activity of piceatannol has been extensively studied, its role in the adaptive immune response has received less attention. Here we investigated the role of piceatannol, a well-known Syk inhibitor, in T cell activation, proliferation, and differentiation using isolated murine splenic T cells from C57BL/6 mice. Piceatannol treatment inhibited surface expression of CD4 and CD8 T cell activation markers CD25 and CD69, reduced production of cytokines IFNγ, IL-2, and IL-17, and suppressed proliferation of activated T cells. Moreover, piceatannol treatment significantly inhibited differentiation of CD4(+)CD25(-)CD62L(+) naïve CD4 T cells into Th1, Th2, and Th17 cells, presumably due to inhibition of TcR signaling through p-Erk, p-Akt, and p-p38. Piceatannol appears to be a useful nutritional or pharmacological biomolecule that regulates effector T cell functions such as cytokine production, differentiation, and proliferation. PMID:25676533

  9. Piperine from black pepper inhibits activation-induced proliferation and effector function of T lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Doucette, Carolyn D; Rodgers, Gemma; Liwski, Robert S; Hoskin, David W

    2015-11-01

    Piperine is a major alkaloid component of black pepper (Piper nigrum Linn), which is a widely consumed spice. Here, we investigated the effect of piperine on mouse T lymphocyte activation. Piperine inhibited polyclonal and antigen-specific T lymphocyte proliferation without affecting cell viability. Piperine also suppressed T lymphocyte entry into the S and G2 /M phases of the cell cycle, and decreased expression of G1 -associated cyclin D3, CDK4, and CDK6. In addition, piperine inhibited CD25 expression, synthesis of interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, and IL-17A, and the generation of cytotoxic effector cells. The inhibitory effect of piperine on T lymphocytes was associated with hypophosphorylation of Akt, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and inhibitor of κBα, but not ZAP-70. The ability of piperine to inhibit several key signaling pathways involved in T lymphocyte activation and the acquisition of effector function suggests that piperine might be useful in the management of T lymphocyte-mediated autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders.

  10. Cusp latitude and the optimal solar wind coupling function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newell, P. T.; Sotirelis, T.; Liou, K.; Meng, C.-I.; Rich, F. J.

    2006-09-01

    Previous work has established that the linear correlation of the low-altitude particle cusp latitude with the southward component of the IMF is about 0.70. Several possibly better candidate functions for determining the coupling between the magnetosphere and the solar wind have been advanced, but none have been evaluated in terms of the cusp, which is a site of direct solar wind-magnetosphere interaction. On the basis of 11 years of DMSP satellite particle data from 1984-1994 (with verification from the subsequent 11 years, 1995-2005), we find that the best solar wind-magnetosphere coupling function involves electric field dimensions, such as the half wave rectifier (vBs) and the Kan-Lee electric field (EKL = vBTsin2(θc/2), where θc is the IMF clock angle). Both the half wave rectifier (r = 0.77) and the Kan-Lee (r = 0.78) functions have a linear correlation with cusp latitude which is noticeably better than the Bz function used in previous work, and also better than the ɛ parameter (ɛ = vB2sin4(θc/2)). However, the best correlation is with a function whose clock angle dependence is intermediate between the pure half wave rectifier (which implies no merging for Bz > 0) and the Kan-Lee function. Namely, EWAV = vBTsin4(θc/2) correlates with cusp latitude at the r = 0.81 level. This latter clock angle dependence has been previously suggested at various times by J. R. Wygant, by S.-I. Akasofu, and by V. M. Vasyliunas. The improved result holds for both the equatorward and poleward edge of the cusp, and regardless of how the IMF is propagated. Earlier work on cross polar cap potentials and on nightside auroral luminosity also favored the EWAV function, which in combination with our findings suggests a widely applicable result. Dayside merging is thus clearly not purely component driven, as the half wave rectifier formula implies. These results also suggest, albeit less convincingly, that merging shuts down for increasingly northward IMF more rapidly than the Kan

  11. The Anti-inflammatory Protein TSG-6 Regulates Chemokine Function by Inhibiting Chemokine/Glycosaminoglycan Interactions*

    PubMed Central

    Dyer, Douglas P.; Salanga, Catherina L.; Johns, Scott C.; Valdambrini, Elena; Fuster, Mark M.; Milner, Caroline M.; Day, Anthony J.; Handel, Tracy M.

    2016-01-01

    TNF-stimulated gene-6 (TSG-6) is a multifunctional protein secreted in response to pro-inflammatory stimuli by a wide range of cells, including neutrophils, monocytes, and endothelial cells. It has been shown to mediate anti-inflammatory and protective effects when administered in disease models, in part, by reducing neutrophil infiltration. Human TSG-6 inhibits neutrophil migration by binding CXCL8 through its Link module (Link_TSG6) and interfering with the presentation of CXCL8 on cell-surface glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), an interaction that is vital for the function of many chemokines. TSG-6 was also found to interact with chemokines CXCL11 and CCL5, suggesting the possibility that it may function as a broad specificity chemokine-binding protein, functionally similar to those encoded by viruses. This study was therefore undertaken to explore the ability of TSG-6 to regulate the function of other chemokines. Herein, we demonstrate that Link_TSG6 binds chemokines from both the CXC and CC families, including CXCL4, CXCL12, CCL2, CCL5, CCL7, CCL19, CCL21, and CCL27. We also show that the Link_TSG6-binding sites on chemokines overlap with chemokine GAG-binding sites, and that the affinities of Link_TSG6 for these chemokines (KD values 1–85 nm) broadly correlate with chemokine-GAG affinities. Link_TSG6 also inhibits chemokine presentation on endothelial cells not only through a direct interaction with chemokines but also by binding and therefore masking the availability of GAGs. Along with previous work, these findings suggest that TSG-6 functions as a pluripotent regulator of chemokines by modulating chemokine/GAG interactions, which may be a major mechanism by which TSG-6 produces its anti-inflammatory effects in vivo. PMID:27044744

  12. [Cyclooxygenase inhibitors in some dietary vegetables inhibit platelet aggregation function induced by arachidonic acid].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin-Hua; Shao, Dong-Hua; Liang, Guo-Wei; Zhang, Ru; Xin, Qin; Zhang, Tao; Cao, Qing-Yun

    2011-10-01

    The study was purposed to investigate whether the cyclooxygenase inhibitors from some dietary vegetables can inhibit platelet aggregation function by the arachidonic acid (AA). The vegetable juice was mixed with platelet rich plasma (PRP), and asprin was used as positive control. The maximum ratio of platelet aggregation induced by AA was measured on the aggregometer; heme and cyclooxygenase-1 (COX(1)) or cyclooxygenase-2 (COX(2)) were added to test tubes containing COX reaction buffer, the mixture was vortex-mixed and exposed to aspirin or vegetable juice, followed by addition of AA and then hydrochloric acid (1 mol/L) was added to stop the COX reaction, followed by chemical reduction with stannous chloride solution. The concentration of COX inhibitors was detected by the enzyme immunoassay kit; vegetable juice (aspirin as positive control) was mixed with whole blood, which was followed by the addition of AA, and then the reaction was stopped by adding indomethacin, centrifuged, then the supernatant was collected, and the plasma thromboxane B(2) (TXB(2)) was measured by radioimmunoassay. The results showed that spinach juice, garlic bolt juice, blanched garlic leave juice and Chinese leek juice could inhibit by 80% human platelet aggregation induced by AA. 4 kinds of vegetables were all found a certain amount of cyclooxygenase inhibitors, which COX(1) and COX(2) inhibitor concentrations of spinach were higher than that of aspirin; 4 vegetable juice could significantly reduce the human plasma concentrations of TXB(2) induced by AA (p < 0.05). It is concluded that 4 kinds of raw vegetables containing cyclooxygenase inhibitors inhibit the production of TXA(2) and thus hinder platelet aggregation. Raw spinach, garlic bolt, blanched garlic and chinese leek inhibit significantly AA-induced human platelet aggregation in vitro. 4 kinds of vegetables may have a good potential perspective of anti-platelet aggregation therapy or prevention of thrombosis.

  13. Optimized higher-order automatic differentiation for the Faddeeva function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charpentier, Isabelle

    2016-08-01

    Considerable research efforts have been directed at implementing the Faddeeva function w(z) and its derivatives with respect to z, but these did not consider the key computing issue of a possible dependence of z on some variable t. The general case is to differentiate the compound function w(z(t)) = w ∘ z(t) with respect to t by applying the chain rule for a first order derivative, or Faà di Bruno's formula for higher-order ones. Higher-order automatic differentiation (HOAD) is an efficient and accurate technique for derivative calculation along scientific computing codes. Although codes are available for w(z) , a special symbolic HOAD is required to compute accurate higher-order derivatives for w ∘ z(t) in an efficient manner. A thorough evaluation is carried out considering a nontrivial case study in optics to support this assertion.

  14. Numerical experience with a class of algorithms for nonlinear optimization using inexact function and gradient information

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Richard G.

    1989-01-01

    For optimization problems associated with engineering design, parameter estimation, image reconstruction, and other optimization/simulation applications, low accuracy function and gradient values are frequently much less expensive to obtain than high accuracy values. Here, researchers investigate the computational performance of trust region methods for nonlinear optimization when high accuracy evaluations are unavailable or prohibitively expensive, and confirm earlier theoretical predictions when the algorithm is convergent even with relative gradient errors of 0.5 or more. The proper choice of the amount of accuracy to use in function and gradient evaluations can result in orders-of-magnitude savings in computational cost.

  15. The SARS-coronavirus papain-like protease: structure, function and inhibition by designed antiviral compounds.

    PubMed

    Báez-Santos, Yahira M; St John, Sarah E; Mesecar, Andrew D

    2015-03-01

    Over 10 years have passed since the deadly human coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) emerged from the Guangdong Province of China. Despite the fact that the SARS-CoV pandemic infected over 8500 individuals, claimed over 800 lives and cost billions of dollars in economic loss worldwide, there still are no clinically approved antiviral drugs, vaccines or monoclonal antibody therapies to treat SARS-CoV infections. The recent emergence of the deadly human coronavirus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) is a sobering reminder that new and deadly coronaviruses can emerge at any time with the potential to become pandemics. Therefore, the continued development of therapeutic and prophylactic countermeasures to potentially deadly coronaviruses is warranted. The coronaviral proteases, papain-like protease (PLpro) and 3C-like protease (3CLpro), are attractive antiviral drug targets because they are essential for coronaviral replication. Although the primary function of PLpro and 3CLpro are to process the viral polyprotein in a coordinated manner, PLpro has the additional function of stripping ubiquitin and ISG15 from host-cell proteins to aid coronaviruses in their evasion of the host innate immune responses. Therefore, targeting PLpro with antiviral drugs may have an advantage in not only inhibiting viral replication but also inhibiting the dysregulation of signaling cascades in infected cells that may lead to cell death in surrounding, uninfected cells. This review provides an up-to-date discussion on the SARS-CoV papain-like protease including a brief overview of the SARS-CoV genome and replication followed by a more in-depth discussion on the structure and catalytic mechanism of SARS-CoV PLpro, the multiple cellular functions of SARS-CoV PLpro, the inhibition of SARS-CoV PLpro by small molecule inhibitors, and the prospect of inhibiting papain-like protease from other coronaviruses. This paper forms part of a series of

  16. A selective microRNA-based strategy inhibits restenosis while preserving endothelial function

    PubMed Central

    Santulli, Gaetano; Wronska, Anetta; Uryu, Kunihiro; Diacovo, Thomas G.; Gao, Melanie; Marx, Steven O.; Kitajewski, Jan; Chilton, Jamie M.; Akat, Kemal Marc; Tuschl, Thomas; Marks, Andrew R.; Totary-Jain, Hana

    2014-01-01

    Drugs currently approved to coat stents used in percutaneous coronary interventions do not discriminate between proliferating vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs). This lack of discrimination delays reendothelialization and vascular healing, increasing the risk of late thrombosis following angioplasty. We developed a microRNA-based (miRNA-based) approach to inhibit proliferative VSMCs, thus preventing restenosis, while selectively promoting reendothelialization and preserving EC function. We used an adenoviral (Ad) vector that encodes cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 (p27) with target sequences for EC-specific miR-126-3p at the 3′ end (Ad-p27-126TS). Exogenous p27 overexpression was evaluated in vitro and in a rat arterial balloon injury model following transduction with Ad-p27-126TS, Ad-p27 (without miR-126 target sequences), or Ad-GFP (control). In vitro, Ad-p27-126TS protected the ability of ECs to proliferate, migrate, and form networks. At 2 and 4 weeks after injury, Ad-p27-126TS–treated animals exhibited reduced restenosis, complete reendothelialization, reduced hypercoagulability, and restoration of the vasodilatory response to acetylcholine to levels comparable to those in uninjured vessels. By incorporating miR-126-3p target sequences to leverage endogenous EC-specific miR-126, we overexpressed exogenous p27 in VSMCs, while selectively inhibiting p27 overexpression in ECs. Our proof-of-principle study demonstrates the potential of using a miRNA-based strategy as a therapeutic approach to specifically inhibit vascular restenosis while preserving EC function. PMID:25133430

  17. An Empirical Comparison of Seven Iterative and Evolutionary Function Optimization Heuristics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baluja, Shumeet

    1995-01-01

    This report is a repository of the results obtained from a large scale empirical comparison of seven iterative and evolution-based optimization heuristics. Twenty-seven static optimization problems, spanning six sets of problem classes which are commonly explored in genetic algorithm literature, are examined. The problem sets include job-shop scheduling, traveling salesman, knapsack, binpacking, neural network weight optimization, and standard numerical optimization. The search spaces in these problems range from 2368 to 22040. The results indicate that using genetic algorithms for the optimization of static functions does not yield a benefit, in terms of the final answer obtained, over simpler optimization heuristics. Descriptions of the algorithms tested and the encodings of the problems are described in detail for reproducibility.

  18. Beyond BOLD: optimizing functional imaging in stroke populations.

    PubMed

    Veldsman, Michele; Cumming, Toby; Brodtmann, Amy

    2015-04-01

    Blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes are often assumed to directly reflect neural activity changes. Yet the real relationship is indirect, reliant on numerous assumptions, and subject to several sources of noise. Deviations from the core assumptions of BOLD contrast functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and their implications, have been well characterized in healthy populations, but are frequently neglected in stroke populations. In addition to conspicuous local structural and vascular changes after stroke, there are many less obvious challenges in the imaging of stroke populations. Perilesional ischemic changes, remodeling in regions distant to lesion sites, and diffuse perfusion changes all complicate interpretation of BOLD signal changes in standard fMRI protocols. Most stroke patients are also older than the young populations on which assumptions of neurovascular coupling and the typical analysis pipelines are based. We present a review of the evidence to show that the basic assumption of neurovascular coupling on which BOLD-fMRI relies does not capture the complex changes arising from stroke, both pathological and recovery related. As a result, estimating neural activity using the canonical hemodynamic response function is inappropriate in a number of contexts. We review methods designed to better estimate neural activity in stroke populations. One promising alternative to event-related fMRI is a resting-state-derived functional connectivity approach. Resting-state fMRI is well suited to stroke populations because it makes no performance demands on patients and is capable of revealing network-based pathology beyond the lesion site.

  19. Tetrahydrolipstatin Inhibition, Functional Analyses, and Three-dimensional Structure of a Lipase Essential for Mycobacterial Viability

    SciTech Connect

    Crellin, Paul K.; Vivian, Julian P.; Scoble, Judith; Chow, Frances M.; West, Nicholas P.; Brammananth, Rajini; Proellocks, Nicholas I.; Shahine, Adam; Le Nours, Jerome; Wilce, Matthew C.J.; Britton, Warwick J.; Coppel, Ross L.; Rossjohn, Jamie; Beddoe, Travis

    2010-09-17

    The highly complex and unique mycobacterial cell wall is critical to the survival of Mycobacteria in host cells. However, the biosynthetic pathways responsible for its synthesis are, in general, incompletely characterized. Rv3802c from Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a partially characterized phospholipase/thioesterase encoded within a genetic cluster dedicated to the synthesis of core structures of the mycobacterial cell wall, including mycolic acids and arabinogalactan. Enzymatic assays performed with purified recombinant proteins Rv3802c and its close homologs from Mycobacterium smegmatis (MSMEG{_}6394) and Corynebacterium glutamicum (NCgl2775) show that they all have significant lipase activities that are inhibited by tetrahydrolipstatin, an anti-obesity drug that coincidently inhibits mycobacterial cell wall biosynthesis. The crystal structure of MSMEG{_}6394, solved to 2.9 {angstrom} resolution, revealed an {alpha}/{beta} hydrolase fold and a catalytic triad typically present in esterases and lipases. Furthermore, we demonstrate direct evidence of gene essentiality in M. smegmatis and show the structural consequences of loss of MSMEG{_}6394 function on the cellular integrity of the organism. These findings, combined with the predicted essentiality of Rv3802c in M. tuberculosis, indicate that the Rv3802c family performs a fundamental and indispensable lipase-associated function in mycobacteria.

  20. Enhanced response inhibition during intensive meditation training predicts improvements in self-reported adaptive socioemotional functioning.

    PubMed

    Sahdra, Baljinder K; MacLean, Katherine A; Ferrer, Emilio; Shaver, Phillip R; Rosenberg, Erika L; Jacobs, Tonya L; Zanesco, Anthony P; King, Brandon G; Aichele, Stephen R; Bridwell, David A; Mangun, George R; Lavy, Shiri; Wallace, B Alan; Saron, Clifford D

    2011-04-01

    We examined the impact of training-induced improvements in self-regulation, operationalized in terms of response inhibition, on longitudinal changes in self-reported adaptive socioemotional functioning. Data were collected from participants undergoing 3 months of intensive meditation training in an isolated retreat setting (Retreat 1) and a wait-list control group that later underwent identical training (Retreat 2). A 32-min response inhibition task (RIT) was designed to assess sustained self-regulatory control. Adaptive functioning (AF) was operationalized as a single latent factor underlying self-report measures of anxious and avoidant attachment, mindfulness, ego resilience, empathy, the five major personality traits (extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience), difficulties in emotion regulation, depression, anxiety, and psychological well-being. Participants in Retreat 1 improved in RIT performance and AF over time whereas the controls did not. The control participants later also improved on both dimensions during their own retreat (Retreat 2). These improved levels of RIT performance and AF were sustained in follow-up assessments conducted approximately 5 months after the training. Longitudinal dynamic models with combined data from both retreats showed that improvement in RIT performance during training influenced the change in AF over time, which is consistent with a key claim in the Buddhist literature that enhanced capacity for self-regulation is an important precursor of changes in emotional well-being. PMID:21500899

  1. Milk-derived GM(3) and GD(3) differentially inhibit dendritic cell maturation and effector functionalities.

    PubMed

    Brønnum, H; Seested, T; Hellgren, L I; Brix, S; Frøkiaer, H

    2005-06-01

    Gangliosides are complex glycosphingolipids, which exert immune-modulating effects on various cell types. Ganglioside GD(3) and GM(3) are the predominant gangliosides of human breast milk but during the early phase of lactation, the content of GD(3) decreases while GM(3) increases. The biological value of gangliosides in breast milk has yet to be elucidated but when milk is ingested, dietary gangliosides might conceptually affect immune cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs). In this study, we address the in vitro effect of GD(3) and GM(3) on DC effector functionalities. Treatment of bone marrow-derived DCs with GD(3) before lipopolysaccharide-induced maturation decreased the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10, IL-12 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha as well as reduced the alloreactivity in mixed leucocyte reaction (MLR). In contrast, only IL-10 and IL-12 productions were significantly inhibited by GM(3,) and the potency of DCs to activate CD4(+) cells in MLR was unaffected by GM(3). However, both gangliosides suppressed expression of CD40, CD80, CD86 and major histocompatibility complex class II on DCs. Because GD(3) overall inhibits DC functionalities more than GM(3), the immune modulating effect of the ganglioside fraction of breast milk might be more prominent in the commencement of lactation during which the milk contains the most GD(3). PMID:15963050

  2. Matrix metalloproteinases in cancer: from new functions to improved inhibition strategies.

    PubMed

    Folgueras, Alicia R; Pendás, Alberto M; Sánchez, Luis M; López-Otín, Carlos

    2004-01-01

    Over the last years, the relevance of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family in cancer research has grown considerably. These enzymes were initially associated with the invasive properties of tumour cells, owing to their ability to degrade all major protein components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and basement membranes. However, further studies have demonstrated the implication of MMPs in early steps of tumour evolution, including stimulation of cell proliferation and modulation of angiogenesis. The establishment of causal relationships between MMP overproduction in tumour or stromal cells and cancer progression has prompted the development of clinical trials with a series of inhibitors designed to block the proteolytic activity of these enzymes. Unfortunately, the results derived from using broad-spectrum MMP inhibitors (MMPIs) for treating patients with advanced cancer have been disappointing in most cases. There are several putative explanations for the lack of success of these MMPIs including the recent finding that some MMPs may play a paradoxical protective role in tumour progression. These observations together with the identification of novel functions for MMPs in early stages of cancer have made necessary a reformulation of MMP inhibition strategies. A better understanding of the functional complexity of this proteolytic system and global approaches to identify the relevant MMPs which must be targeted in each individual cancer patient, will be necessary to clarify whether MMP inhibition may be part of future therapies against cancer. PMID:15349816

  3. The functional response predicts the effect of resource distribution on the optimal movement rate of consumers.

    PubMed

    Calcagno, Vincent; Grognard, Frédéric; Hamelin, Frédéric M; Wajnberg, Éric; Mailleret, Ludovic

    2014-12-01

    Understanding how often individuals should move when foraging over patchy habitats is a central question in ecology. By combining optimality and functional response theories, we show analytically how the optimal movement rate varies with the average resource level (enrichment) and resource distribution (patch heterogeneity). We find that the type of functional response predicts the effect of enrichment in homogeneous habitats: enrichment should decrease movement for decelerating functional responses, but increase movement for accelerating responses. An intermediate resource level thus maximises movement for type-III responses. Counterintuitively, greater movement costs favour an increase in movement. In heterogeneous habitats predictions further depend on how enrichment alters the variance of resource distribution. Greater patch variance always increases the optimal rate of movement, except for type-IV functional responses. While the functional response is well established as a fundamental determinant of consumer-resource dynamics, our results indicate its importance extends to the understanding of individual movement strategies.

  4. Reconstruction of the unknown optimization cost functions from experimental recordings during static multi-finger prehension.

    PubMed

    Niu, Xun; Terekhov, Alexander V; Latash, Mark L; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M

    2012-04-01

    The goal of the research is to reconstruct the unknown cost (objective) function(s) presumably used by the neural controller for sharing the total force among individual fingers in multifinger prehension. The cost function was determined from experimental data by applying the recently developed Analytical Inverse Optimization (ANIO) method (Terekhov et al. 2010). The core of the ANIO method is the Theorem of Uniqueness that specifies conditions for unique (with some restrictions) estimation of the objective functions. In the experiment, subjects (n = 8) grasped an instrumented handle and maintained it at rest in the air with various external torques, loads, and target grasping forces applied to the object. The experimental data recorded from 80 trials showed a tendency to lie on a 2-dimensional hyperplane in the 4-dimensional finger-force space. Because the constraints in each trial were different, such a propensity is a manifestation of a neural mechanism (not the task mechanics). In agreement with the Lagrange principle for the inverse optimization, the plane of experimental observations was close to the plane resulting from the direct optimization. The latter plane was determined using the ANIO method. The unknown cost function was reconstructed successfully for each performer, as well as for the group data. The cost functions were found to be quadratic with nonzero linear terms. The cost functions obtained with the ANIO method yielded more accurate results than other optimization methods. The ANIO method has an evident potential for addressing the problem of optimization in motor control. PMID:22104742

  5. Discovery and synthetic optimization of a novel scaffold for hydrophobic tunnel-targeted autotaxin inhibition.

    PubMed

    Ragle, Lauren E; Palanisamy, Dilip J; Joe, Margaux J; Stein, Rachel S; Norman, Derek D; Tigyi, Gabor; Baker, Daniel L; Parrill, Abby L

    2016-10-01

    Autotaxin (ATX) is a ubiquitous ectoenzyme that hydrolyzes lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) to form the bioactive lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). LPA activates specific G-protein coupled receptors to elicit downstream effects leading to cellular motility, survival, and invasion. Through these pathways, upregulation of ATX is linked to diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Recent crystal structures confirm that the catalytic domain of ATX contains multiple binding regions including a polar active site, hydrophobic tunnel, and a hydrophobic pocket. This finding is consistent with the promiscuous nature of ATX hydrolysis of multiple and diverse substrates and prior investigations of inhibitor impacts on ATX enzyme kinetics. The current study used virtual screening methods to guide experimental identification and characterization of inhibitors targeting the hydrophobic region of ATX. An initially discovered inhibitor, GRI392104 (IC50 4μM) was used as a lead for synthetic optimization. In total twelve newly synthesized inhibitors of ATX were more potent than GRI392104 and were selective for ATX as they had no effect on other LPC-specific NPP family members or on LPA1-5 GPCR. PMID:27544588

  6. Optimizing aesthetic and functional outcomes at donor sites.

    PubMed

    Jeng, Seng-Feng; Tan, Ngian-Chye

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, there has been increasing interest by reconstructive surgeons in improving the aesthetic and functional outcomes of donor sites. As the success rate of free tissue transfers has exceeded more than 95% in most microsurgical centers, more emphasis can be shifted to the donor site. However, morbidities of donor sites can occur not only in free tissue transfers, but in locoregional flaps as well. In reconstructive procedures, the main principle is to mobilize normal tissue and utilize it to reconstruct an area of defect. The donor site, of course has no pathology, but is a previously healthy area. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to not only minimize postoperative complications at recipient sites, but also pay attention to donor sites. Just as in organ transplantation where efforts are made to ensure the safety and a good outcome for a donor patient, outcomes should be improved and morbidity reduced at donor sites in reconstructive surgery.

  7. Housefly larvae hydrolysate: orthogonal optimization of hydrolysis, antioxidant activity, amino acid composition and functional properties

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Antioxidant, one of the most important food additives, is widely used in food industry. At present, antioxidant is mostly produced by chemical synthesis, which would accumulate to be pathogenic. Therefore, a great interest has been developed to identify and use natural antioxidants. It was showed that there are a lot of antioxidative peptides in protein hydrolysates, possessing strong capacity of inhibiting peroxidation of macro-biomolecular and scavenging free redicals in vivo. Enzymatic hydrolysis used for preparation of antioxidative peptides is a new hot-spot in the field of natural antioxidants. It reacts under mild conditions, with accurate site-specific degradation, good repeatability and few damages to biological activity of protein. Substrates for enzymatic hydrolysis are usually plants and aqua-animals. Insects are also gaining attention because of their rich protein and resource. Antioxidative peptides are potential to be exploited as new natural antioxidant and functional food. There is a huge potential market in medical and cosmetic field as well. Result Protein hydrolysate with antioxidant activity was prepared from housefly larvae, by a two-step hydrolysis. Through orthogonal optimization of the hydrolysis conditions, the degree of hydrolysis was determined to be approximately 60%. Fractionated hydrolysate at 25 mg/mL, 2.5 mg/mL and 1 mg/mL exhibited approximately 50%, 60% and 50% of scavenging capacity on superoxide radicals, 1, 1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radicals and hydroxyl radicals, respectively. Hydrolysate did not exhibit substantial ion chelation. Using a linoneic peroxidation system, the inhibition activity of hydrolysate at 20 mg/mL was close to that of 20 μg/mL tertiary butylhydroquinone, suggesting a potential application of hydrolysate in the oil industry as an efficient antioxidant. The lyophilized hydrolysate presented almost 100% solubility at pH 3-pH 9, and maintained nearly 100% activity at pH 5-pH 8 at 0

  8. Optimizing high performance computing workflow for protein functional annotation.

    PubMed

    Stanberry, Larissa; Rekepalli, Bhanu; Liu, Yuan; Giblock, Paul; Higdon, Roger; Montague, Elizabeth; Broomall, William; Kolker, Natali; Kolker, Eugene

    2014-09-10

    Functional annotation of newly sequenced genomes is one of the major challenges in modern biology. With modern sequencing technologies, the protein sequence universe is rapidly expanding. Newly sequenced bacterial genomes alone contain over 7.5 million proteins. The rate of data generation has far surpassed that of protein annotation. The volume of protein data makes manual curation infeasible, whereas a high compute cost limits the utility of existing automated approaches. In this work, we present an improved and optmized automated workflow to enable large-scale protein annotation. The workflow uses high performance computing architectures and a low complexity classification algorithm to assign proteins into existing clusters of orthologous groups of proteins. On the basis of the Position-Specific Iterative Basic Local Alignment Search Tool the algorithm ensures at least 80% specificity and sensitivity of the resulting classifications. The workflow utilizes highly scalable parallel applications for classification and sequence alignment. Using Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment supercomputers, the workflow processed 1,200,000 newly sequenced bacterial proteins. With the rapid expansion of the protein sequence universe, the proposed workflow will enable scientists to annotate big genome data. PMID:25313296

  9. Optimizing high performance computing workflow for protein functional annotation.

    PubMed

    Stanberry, Larissa; Rekepalli, Bhanu; Liu, Yuan; Giblock, Paul; Higdon, Roger; Montague, Elizabeth; Broomall, William; Kolker, Natali; Kolker, Eugene

    2014-09-10

    Functional annotation of newly sequenced genomes is one of the major challenges in modern biology. With modern sequencing technologies, the protein sequence universe is rapidly expanding. Newly sequenced bacterial genomes alone contain over 7.5 million proteins. The rate of data generation has far surpassed that of protein annotation. The volume of protein data makes manual curation infeasible, whereas a high compute cost limits the utility of existing automated approaches. In this work, we present an improved and optmized automated workflow to enable large-scale protein annotation. The workflow uses high performance computing architectures and a low complexity classification algorithm to assign proteins into existing clusters of orthologous groups of proteins. On the basis of the Position-Specific Iterative Basic Local Alignment Search Tool the algorithm ensures at least 80% specificity and sensitivity of the resulting classifications. The workflow utilizes highly scalable parallel applications for classification and sequence alignment. Using Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment supercomputers, the workflow processed 1,200,000 newly sequenced bacterial proteins. With the rapid expansion of the protein sequence universe, the proposed workflow will enable scientists to annotate big genome data.

  10. Optimal detection using cyclostationary EOFs[Empirical orthogonal function

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, K.Y.; Wu, Q.

    2000-03-01

    The problem of detecting a climate change signal in the climatological record is of obvious importance in any strategies to understand global climate changes. Atmospheric scientists have applied various statistical techniques to the problem of detecting global warming trend due to increased greenhouse gases. Many climatic and geophysical processes are cyclostationary and exhibit appreciable cyclic (monthly, daily, etc.) variation of their statistics in addition to interannual fluctuations. Utilization of this nested variation of statistics will lead to a better chance of detecting a signal in such a varying background noise field, especially in terms of cyclostationary empirical orthogonal functions, which take the nested periodicity of noise statistics into account. To investigate the improved performance of the cyclostationary approach the developed algorithm is applied to three specific detection examples: El Nino, greenhouse warming, and sunspot fluctuations. In all the test cases, signal-to-noise ratio is raised between 2% and 43% compared with that of a stationary detection technique. The variation of signal strength when a detection filter is constructed based on a different section of modeled noise is within the range of mean signal-to-noise ratio for small to moderate signals. There is a significant variation, however, of signal strength when a detection filter is constructed based on a different model dataset. This implies that model discrepancy is a more important factor than sampling error for the accuracy of the detection method and that climate models need to be improved further in their noise statistics.

  11. Optimization of the functional domain of flat plate collectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritoux, G.; Irigaray, J.-L.

    1981-12-01

    The variations of the extracted heat flux as function of the temperature of the heat transfer fluid in black and selective surface solar collectors are examined. The heat flux is calculated based on the difference of the initial to the stage of thermal equilibrium of the fluid. A nonlinear system of equations is developed and solved by a fast, iterative method to obtain the equilibrium temperatures. It is found that more flux can be extracted from the solar heat by a collector with only one glass cover than with more than one cover. The captured flux is proportional to the coefficient of transmission of the glass coverings, to the coefficient of absorption of the collector, and to the incident flux. Black painted surfaces were more absorbent than selective surfaces, and highest collection efficiencies were displayed by low temperature collectors. Charts of effective uses of the respective types of collectors for heating swimming pools, hot water, home heat, and for refrigeration and air-conditioning are provided.

  12. Acetylcholinesterase inhibition and locomotor function after motor-sensory cortex impact injury.

    PubMed

    Holschneider, Daniel P; Guo, Yumei; Roch, Margareth; Norman, Keith M; Scremin, Oscar U

    2011-09-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) induces transient or persistent dysfunction of gait and balance. Enhancement of cholinergic transmission has been reported to accelerate recovery of cognitive function after TBI, but the effects of this intervention on locomotor activity remain largely unexplored. The hypothesis that enhancement of cholinergic function by inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) improves locomotion following TBI was tested in Sprague-Dawley male rats after a unilateral controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury of the motor-sensory cortex. Locomotion was tested by time to fall on the constant speed and accelerating Rotarod, placement errors and time to cross while walking through a horizontal ladder, activity monitoring in the home cages, and rearing behavior. Assessments were performed the 1st and 2nd day and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd week after TBI. The AChE inhibitor physostigmine hemisulfate (PHY) was administered continuously via osmotic minipumps implanted subcutaneously at the rates of 1.6-12.8 μmol/kg/day. All measures of locomotion were impaired by TBI and recovered to initial levels between 1 and 3 weeks post-TBI, with the exception of the maximum speed achievable on the accelerating Rotarod, as well as rearing in the open field. PHY improved performance in the accelerating Rotarod at 1.6 and 3.2 μmol/kg/day (AChE activity 95 and 78% of control, respectively), however, higher doses induced progressive deterioration. No effect or worsening of outcomes was observed at all PHY doses for home cage activity, rearing, and horizontal ladder walking. Potential benefits of cholinesterase inhibition on locomotor function have to be weighed against the evidence of the narrow range of useful doses. PMID:21787180

  13. A technique for locating function roots and for satisfying equality constraints in optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sobieszczanski-Sobieski, Jaroslaw

    1991-01-01

    A new technique for locating simultaneous roots of a set of functions is described. The technique is based on the property of the Kreisselmeier-Steinhauser function which descends to a minimum at each root location. It is shown that the ensuing algorithm may be merged into any nonlinear programming method for solving optimization problems with equality constraints.

  14. Perceptually optimized gain function for cochlear implant signal-to-noise ratio based noise reduction.

    PubMed

    Mauger, Stefan J; Dawson, Pam W; Hersbach, Adam A

    2012-01-01

    Noise reduction in cochlear implants has achieved significant speech perception improvements through spectral subtraction and signal-to-noise ratio based noise reduction techniques. Current methods use gain functions derived through mathematical optimization or motivated by normal listening psychoacoustic experiments. Although these gain functions have been able to improve speech perception, recent studies have indicated that they are not optimal for cochlear implant noise reduction. This study systematically investigates cochlear implant recipients' speech perception and listening preference of noise reduction with a range of gain functions. Results suggest an advantageous gain function and show that gain functions currently used for noise reduction are not optimal for cochlear implant recipients. Using the cochlear implant optimised gain function, a 27% improvement over the current advanced combination encoder (ACE) stimulation strategy in speech weighted noise and a 7% improvement over current noise reduction strategies were observed in babble noise conditions. The optimized gain function was also most preferred by cochlear implant recipients. The CI specific gain function derived from this study can be easily incorporated into existing noise reduction strategies, to further improve listening performance for CI recipients in challenging environments.

  15. fMRI of cocaine self-administration in macaques reveals functional inhibition of basal ganglia.

    PubMed

    Mandeville, Joseph B; Choi, Ji-Kyung; Jarraya, Bechir; Rosen, Bruce R; Jenkins, Bruce G; Vanduffel, Wim

    2011-05-01

    Disparities in cocaine-induced neurochemical and metabolic responses between human beings and rodents motivate the use of non-human primates (NHP) to model consequences of repeated cocaine exposure in human subjects. To characterize the functional response to cocaine infusion in NHP brain, we employed contrast-enhanced fMRI during both non-contingent injection of drug and self-administration of cocaine in the magnet. Cocaine robustly decreased cerebral blood volume (CBV) throughout basal ganglia and motor/pre-motor cortex and produced subtle functional inhibition of prefrontal cortex. No brain regions exhibited significant elevation of CBV in response to cocaine challenge. Theses effects in NHP brain are opposite in sign to the cocaine-induced fMRI response in rats, but consistent with previous measurements in NHP based on glucose metabolism. Because the striatal ratio of D2 to D1 receptors is larger in human beings and NHP than rats, we hypothesize that the inhibitory effects of D2 receptor binding dominate the functional response in primates, whereas excitatory D1 receptor stimulation predominates in the rat. If the NHP accurately models the human response to cocaine, downregulation of D2 receptors in human cocaine-abusing populations can be expected to blunt cocaine-induced functional responses, contributing to the weak and variable fMRI responses reported in human basal ganglia following cocaine infusion. PMID:21307843

  16. Mechanistic Insight into the Host Transcription Inhibition Function of Rift Valley Fever Virus NSs and Its Importance in Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Terasaki, Kaori; Ramirez, Sydney I.; Makino, Shinji

    2016-01-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a member of the genus Phlebovirus within the family Bunyaviridae, causes periodic outbreaks in livestocks and humans in countries of the African continent and Middle East. RVFV NSs protein, a nonstructural protein, is a major virulence factor that exhibits several important biological properties. These include suppression of general transcription, inhibition of IFN-β promoter induction and degradation of double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase R. Although each of these biological functions of NSs are considered important for countering the antiviral response in the host, the individual contributions of these functions towards RVFV virulence remains unclear. To examine this, we generated two RVFV MP-12 strain-derived mutant viruses. Each carried mutations in NSs that specifically targeted its general transcription inhibition function without affecting its ability to degrade PKR and inhibit IFN-β promoter induction, through its interaction with Sin3-associated protein 30, a part of the repressor complex at the IFN-β promoter. Using these mutant viruses, we have dissected the transcription inhibition function of NSs and examined its importance in RVFV virulence. Both NSs mutant viruses exhibited a differentially impaired ability to inhibit host transcription when compared with MP-12. It has been reported that NSs suppresses general transcription by interfering with the formation of the transcription factor IIH complex, through the degradation of the p62 subunit and sequestration of the p44 subunit. Our study results lead us to suggest that the ability of NSs to induce p62 degradation is the major contributor to its general transcription inhibition property, whereas its interaction with p44 may not play a significant role in this function. Importantly, RVFV MP-12-NSs mutant viruses with an impaired general transcription inhibition function showed a reduced cytotoxicity in cell culture and attenuated virulence in young mice

  17. Admitting the Inadmissible: Adjoint Formulation for Incomplete Cost Functionals in Aerodynamic Optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arian, Eyal; Salas, Manuel D.

    1997-01-01

    We derive the adjoint equations for problems in aerodynamic optimization which are improperly considered as "inadmissible." For example, a cost functional which depends on the density, rather than on the pressure, is considered "inadmissible" for an optimization problem governed by the Euler equations. We show that for such problems additional terms should be included in the Lagrangian functional when deriving the adjoint equations. These terms are obtained from the restriction of the interior PDE to the control surface. Demonstrations of the explicit derivation of the adjoint equations for "inadmissible" cost functionals are given for the potential, Euler, and Navier-Stokes equations.

  18. Solvability of some partial functional integrodifferential equations with finite delay and optimal controls in Banach spaces.

    PubMed

    Ezzinbi, Khalil; Ndambomve, Patrice

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we consider the control system governed by some partial functional integrodifferential equations with finite delay in Banach spaces. We assume that the undelayed part admits a resolvent operator in the sense of Grimmer. Firstly, some suitable conditions are established to guarantee the existence and uniqueness of mild solutions for a broad class of partial functional integrodifferential infinite dimensional control systems. Secondly, it is proved that, under generally mild conditions of cost functional, the associated Lagrange problem has an optimal solution, and that for each optimal solution there is a minimizing sequence of the problem that converges to the optimal solution with respect to the trajectory, the control, and the functional in appropriate topologies. Our results extend and complement many other important results in the literature. Finally, a concrete example of application is given to illustrate the effectiveness of our main results. PMID:27540497

  19. Single residue deletions along the length of the influenza HA fusion peptide lead to inhibition of membrane fusion function

    SciTech Connect

    Langley, William A.; Thoennes, Sudha; Bradley, Konrad C.; Galloway, Summer E.; Talekar, Ganesh R.; Cummings, Sandra F.; Vareckova, Eva; Russell, Rupert J.; Steinhauer, David A.

    2009-11-25

    A panel of eight single amino acid deletion mutants was generated within the first 24 residues of the fusion peptide domain of the of the hemagglutinin (HA) of A/Aichi/2/68 influenza A virus (H3N2 subtype). The mutant HAs were analyzed for folding, cell surface transport, cleavage activation, capacity to undergo acid-induced conformational changes, and membrane fusion activity. We found that the mutant DELTAF24, at the C-terminal end of the fusion peptide, was expressed in a non-native conformation, whereas all other deletion mutants were transported to the cell surface and could be cleaved into HA1 and HA2 to activate membrane fusion potential. Furthermore, upon acidification these cleaved HAs were able to undergo the characteristic structural rearrangements that are required for fusion. Despite this, all mutants were inhibited for fusion activity based on two separate assays. The results indicate that the mutant fusion peptide domains associate with target membranes in a non-functional fashion, and suggest that structural features along the length of the fusion peptide are likely to be relevant for optimal membrane fusion activity.

  20. Rgg protein structure-function and inhibition by cyclic peptide compounds.

    PubMed

    Parashar, Vijay; Aggarwal, Chaitanya; Federle, Michael J; Neiditch, Matthew B

    2015-04-21

    Peptide pheromone cell-cell signaling (quorum sensing) regulates the expression of diverse developmental phenotypes (including virulence) in Firmicutes, which includes common human pathogens, e.g., Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Cytoplasmic transcription factors known as "Rgg proteins" are peptide pheromone receptors ubiquitous in Firmicutes. Here we present X-ray crystal structures of a Streptococcus Rgg protein alone and in complex with a tight-binding signaling antagonist, the cyclic undecapeptide cyclosporin A. To our knowledge, these represent the first Rgg protein X-ray crystal structures. Based on the results of extensive structure-function analysis, we reveal the peptide pheromone-binding site and the mechanism by which cyclosporin A inhibits activation of the peptide pheromone receptor. Guided by the Rgg-cyclosporin A complex structure, we predicted that the nonimmunosuppressive cyclosporin A analog valspodar would inhibit Rgg activation. Indeed, we found that, like cyclosporin A, valspodar inhibits peptide pheromone activation of conserved Rgg proteins in medically relevant Streptococcus species. Finally, the crystal structures presented here revealed that the Rgg protein DNA-binding domains are covalently linked across their dimerization interface by a disulfide bond formed by a highly conserved cysteine. The DNA-binding domain dimerization interface observed in our structures is essentially identical to the interfaces previously described for other members of the XRE DNA-binding domain family, but the presence of an intermolecular disulfide bond buried in this interface appears to be unique. We hypothesize that this disulfide bond may, under the right conditions, affect Rgg monomer-dimer equilibrium, stabilize Rgg conformation, or serve as a redox-sensitive switch.

  1. Functional networks of motor inhibition in conversion disorder patients and feigning subjects.

    PubMed

    Hassa, Thomas; de Jel, Esther; Tuescher, Oliver; Schmidt, Roger; Schoenfeld, Mircea Ariel

    2016-01-01

    The neural correlates of motor inhibition leading to paresis in conversion disorder are not well known. The key question is whether they are different of those of normal subjects feigning the symptoms. Thirteen conversion disorder patients with hemiparesis and twelve healthy controls were investigated using functional magnetic resonance tomography under conditions of passive motor stimulation of the paretic/feigned paretic and the non-paretic hand. Healthy controls were also investigated in a non-feigning condition. During passive movement of the affected right hand conversion disorder patients exhibited activations in the bilateral triangular part of the inferior frontal gyri (IFG), with a left side dominance compared to controls in non-feigning condition. Feigning controls revealed for the same condition a weak unilateral activation in the right triangular part of IFG and an activity decrease in frontal midline areas, which couldn't be observed in patients. The results suggest that motor inhibition in conversion disorder patients is mediated by the IFG that was also involved in inhibition processes in normal subjects. The activity pattern in feigning controls resembled that of conversion disorder patients but with a clear difference in the medial prefrontal cortex. Healthy controls showed decreased activity in this region during feigning compared to non-feigning conditions suggesting a reduced sense of self-agency during feigning. Remarkably, no activity differences could be observed in medial prefrontal cortex for patients vs healthy controls in feigning or non-feigning conditions suggesting self-agency related activity in patients to be in between those of non-feigning and feigning healthy subjects. PMID:27330971

  2. Recombinant thrombomodulin inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response by blocking the functions of CD14.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chih-Yuan; Chang, Wei-En; Shi, Guey-Yueh; Chang, Bi-Ying; Cheng, Sheng-En; Shih, Yun-Tai; Wu, Hua-Lin

    2015-02-15

    CD14, a multiligand pattern-recognition receptor, is involved in the activation of many TLRs. Thrombomodulin (TM), a type I transmembrane glycoprotein, originally was identified as an anticoagulant factor that activates protein C. Previously, we showed that the recombinant TM lectin-like domain binds to LPS and inhibits LPS-induced inflammation, but the function of the recombinant epidermal growth factor-like domain plus serine/threonine-rich domain of TM (rTMD23) in LPS-induced inflammation remains unknown. In the current study, we found that rTMD23 markedly suppressed the activation of intracellular signaling pathways and the production of inflammatory cytokines induced by LPS. The anti-inflammatory activity of rTMD23 was independent of activated protein C. We also found that rTMD23 interacted with the soluble and membrane forms of CD14 and inhibited the CD14-mediated inflammatory response. Knockdown of CD14 in macrophages suppressed the production of inflammatory cytokines induced by LPS, and rTMD23 inhibited LPS-induced IL-6 production in CD14-knockdown macrophages. rTMD23 suppressed the binding of LPS to macrophages by blocking the association between monocytic membrane-bound TM and CD14. The administration of rTMD23 in mice, both pretreatment and posttreatment, significantly increased the survival rate and reduced the inflammatory response to LPS. Notably, the serine/threonine-rich domain is essential for the anti-inflammatory activity of rTMD23. To summarize, we show that rTMD23 suppresses the LPS-induced inflammatory response in mice by targeting CD14 and that the serine/threonine-rich domain is crucial for the inhibitory effect of rTMD23 on LPS-induced inflammation. PMID:25609841

  3. UCH-L1 Inhibition Decreases the Microtubule-Binding Function of Tau Protein.

    PubMed

    Xie, Min; Han, Yun; Yu, Quntao; Wang, Xia; Wang, Shaohui; Liao, Xiaomei

    2015-01-01

    Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) is critical for protein degradation and free ubiquitin recycling. In Alzheimer's disease brains, UCH-L1 is negatively related to neurofibrillary tangles whose major component is hyperphosphorylated tau protein, but the direct action of UCH-L1 on tau has not been reported. In the current study, mouse neuroblastoma Neuro2a (N2a) cells were treated by the different concentrations of UCH-L1 inhibitor LDN (2.5, 5 and 10 μM) to inhibit the hydrolase activity of UCH-L1. In addition, we also used UCH-L1 siRNA to treat the HEK293/tau441 cells to decrease the expression of UCH-L1. After LDN and UCH-L1 siRNA treatment, we used immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation, and tau-microtubule binding assay to measure the microtubule-binding ability and post-translational modifications of tau protein. All the results presented that both inhibition of the activity and expression of UCH-L1 induced the decreased microtubule-binding ability and increased phosphorylation of tau protein. Abnormal aggregation and ubiquitination of tau protein was also observed after UCH-L1 inhibition. The above results suggested that aggregation of tau protein might be devoted to the abnormal post-translational modifications of tau protein. Our study first indicates that dysfunction of UCH-L1 most likely affected normal biological function of tau protein through decreasing degradation of ubiquitinated and hyperphosphorylated tau. PMID:26444754

  4. E. coli chaperones DnaK, Hsp33 and Spy inhibit bacterial functional amyloid assembly.

    PubMed

    Evans, Margery L; Schmidt, Jens C; Ilbert, Marianne; Doyle, Shannon M; Quan, Shu; Bardwell, James C A; Jakob, Ursula; Wickner, Sue; Chapman, Matthew R

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid formation is an ordered aggregation process, where β-sheet rich polymers are assembled from unstructured or partially folded monomers. We examined how two Escherichia coli cytosolic chaperones, DnaK and Hsp33, and a more recently characterized periplasmic chaperone, Spy, modulate the aggregation of a functional amyloid protein, CsgA. We found that DnaK, the Hsp70 homologue in E. coli, and Hsp33, a redox-regulated holdase, potently inhibited CsgA amyloidogenesis. The Hsp33 anti-amyloidogenesis activity was oxidation dependent, as oxidized Hsp33 was significantly more efficient than reduced Hsp33 at preventing CsgA aggregation. When soluble CsgA was seeded with preformed amyloid fibers, neither Hsp33 nor DnaK were able to efficiently prevent soluble CsgA from adopting the amyloid conformation. Moreover, both DnaK and Hsp33 increased the time that CsgA was reactive with the amyloid oligomer conformation-specific A11 antibody. Since CsgA must also pass through the periplasm during secretion, we assessed the ability of the periplasmic chaperone Spy to inhibit CsgA polymerization. Like DnaK and Hsp33, Spy also inhibited CsgA polymerization in vitro. Overexpression of Spy resulted in increased chaperone activity in periplasmic extracts and in reduced curli biogenesis in vivo. We propose that DnaK, Hsp33 and Spy exert their effects during the nucleation stages of CsgA fibrillation. Thus, both housekeeping and stress induced cytosolic and periplasmic chaperones may be involved in discouraging premature CsgA interactions during curli biogenesis.

  5. Exercise inhibits neuronal apoptosis and improves cerebral function following rat traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Itoh, Tatsuki; Imano, Motohiro; Nishida, Shozo; Tsubaki, Masahiro; Hashimoto, Shigeo; Ito, Akihiko; Satou, Takao

    2011-09-01

    Exercise is reported to inhibit neuronal apoptotic cell death in the hippocampus and improve learning and memory. However, the effect of exercise on inhibition of neuronal apoptosis surrounding the area of damage after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the improvement of cerebral dysfunction following TBI are unknown. Here, we investigate the effect of exercise on morphology and cerebral function following TBI in rats. Wistar rats received TBI by a pneumatic controlled injury device were randomly divided into two groups: (1) non-exercise group and (2) exercise group. The exercise group ran on a treadmill for 30 min/day at 22 m/min for seven consecutive days. Immunohistochemical and behavioral studies were performed following TBI. The number of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-positive cells around the damaged area early after TBI was significantly reduced in the exercise group compared with the non-exercise group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, most ssDNA-positive cells in the non-exercise group co-localized with neuronal cells. However, in the exercise group, a few ssDNA-positive cells co-localized with neurons. In addition, there was a significant increase in neuronal cell number and improvement in cerebral dysfunction after TBI in the exercise group compared with the non-exercise group (P < 0.05). These results indicate that exercise following TBI inhibits neuronal degeneration and apoptotic cell death around the damaged area, which results in improvement of cerebral dysfunction. In summary, treadmill running improved cerebral dysfunction following TBI, indicating its potential as an effective clinical therapy. Therefore, exercise therapy (rehabilitation) in the early phase following TBI is important for recuperation from cerebral dysfunction.

  6. Mechanisms and Functional Significance of Inhibition of Neuronal T-Type Calcium Channels by Isoflurane

    PubMed Central

    Orestes, Peihan; Bojadzic, Damir; Chow, Robert M.; Todorovic, Slobodan M.

    2009-01-01

    Previous data have indicated that T-type calcium channels (low-voltage activated T-channels) are potently inhibited by volatile anesthetics. Although the interactions of T-channels with a number of anesthetics have been described, the mechanisms by which these agents modulate channel activity, and the functional consequences of such interactions, are not well studied. Here, we used patch-clamp recordings to explore the actions of a prototypical volatile anesthetic, isoflurane (Iso), on recombinant human CaV3.1 and CaV3.2 isoforms of T-channels. We also performed behavioral testing of anesthetic endpoints in mice lacking CaV3.2. Iso applied at resting channel states blocked current through both isoforms in a similar manner at clinically relevant concentrations (1 minimum alveolar concentration, MAC). Inhibition was more prominent at depolarized membrane potentials (-65 versus -100 mV) as evidenced by hyperpolarizing shifts in channel availability curves and a 2.5-fold decrease in IC50 values. Iso slowed recovery from inactivation and enhanced deactivation in both CaV3.1 and CaV3.2 in a comparable manner but caused a depolarizing shift in activation curves and greater use-dependent block of CaV3.2 channels. In behavioral tests, CaV3.2 knockout (KO) mice showed significantly decreased MAC in comparison with wild-type (WT) litter mates. KO and WT mice did not differ in loss of righting reflex, but mutant mice displayed a delayed onset of anesthetic induction. We conclude that state-dependent inhibition of T-channel isoforms in the central and peripheral nervous systems may contribute to isoflurane's important clinical effects. PMID:19038845

  7. Rgg protein structure–function and inhibition by cyclic peptide compounds

    PubMed Central

    Parashar, Vijay; Aggarwal, Chaitanya; Federle, Michael J.; Neiditch, Matthew B.

    2015-01-01

    Peptide pheromone cell–cell signaling (quorum sensing) regulates the expression of diverse developmental phenotypes (including virulence) in Firmicutes, which includes common human pathogens, e.g., Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Cytoplasmic transcription factors known as “Rgg proteins” are peptide pheromone receptors ubiquitous in Firmicutes. Here we present X-ray crystal structures of a Streptococcus Rgg protein alone and in complex with a tight-binding signaling antagonist, the cyclic undecapeptide cyclosporin A. To our knowledge, these represent the first Rgg protein X-ray crystal structures. Based on the results of extensive structure–function analysis, we reveal the peptide pheromone-binding site and the mechanism by which cyclosporin A inhibits activation of the peptide pheromone receptor. Guided by the Rgg–cyclosporin A complex structure, we predicted that the nonimmunosuppressive cyclosporin A analog valspodar would inhibit Rgg activation. Indeed, we found that, like cyclosporin A, valspodar inhibits peptide pheromone activation of conserved Rgg proteins in medically relevant Streptococcus species. Finally, the crystal structures presented here revealed that the Rgg protein DNA-binding domains are covalently linked across their dimerization interface by a disulfide bond formed by a highly conserved cysteine. The DNA-binding domain dimerization interface observed in our structures is essentially identical to the interfaces previously described for other members of the XRE DNA-binding domain family, but the presence of an intermolecular disulfide bond buried in this interface appears to be unique. We hypothesize that this disulfide bond may, under the right conditions, affect Rgg monomer–dimer equilibrium, stabilize Rgg conformation, or serve as a redox-sensitive switch. PMID:25847993

  8. Functional networks of motor inhibition in conversion disorder patients and feigning subjects.

    PubMed

    Hassa, Thomas; de Jel, Esther; Tuescher, Oliver; Schmidt, Roger; Schoenfeld, Mircea Ariel

    2016-01-01

    The neural correlates of motor inhibition leading to paresis in conversion disorder are not well known. The key question is whether they are different of those of normal subjects feigning the symptoms. Thirteen conversion disorder patients with hemiparesis and twelve healthy controls were investigated using functional magnetic resonance tomography under conditions of passive motor stimulation of the paretic/feigned paretic and the non-paretic hand. Healthy controls were also investigated in a non-feigning condition. During passive movement of the affected right hand conversion disorder patients exhibited activations in the bilateral triangular part of the inferior frontal gyri (IFG), with a left side dominance compared to controls in non-feigning condition. Feigning controls revealed for the same condition a weak unilateral activation in the right triangular part of IFG and an activity decrease in frontal midline areas, which couldn't be observed in patients. The results suggest that motor inhibition in conversion disorder patients is mediated by the IFG that was also involved in inhibition processes in normal subjects. The activity pattern in feigning controls resembled that of conversion disorder patients but with a clear difference in the medial prefrontal cortex. Healthy controls showed decreased activity in this region during feigning compared to non-feigning conditions suggesting a reduced sense of self-agency during feigning. Remarkably, no activity differences could be observed in medial prefrontal cortex for patients vs healthy controls in feigning or non-feigning conditions suggesting self-agency related activity in patients to be in between those of non-feigning and feigning healthy subjects.

  9. Processing and optimization of functional ceramic coatings and inorganic nanomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyutu, Edward Kennedy G.

    Processing of functional inorganic materials including zero (0-D) dimensional (e.g. nanoparticles), 1-D (nanorods, nanofibers), and 2-D (films/coating) structures is of fundamental and technological interest. This research will have two major sections. The first part of section one focuses on the deposition of silicon dioxide onto a pre-deposited molybdenum disilicide coating on molybdenum substrates for both high (>1000 °C) and moderate (500-600 °C) temperature oxidation protection. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD/MOCVD) techniques will be utilized to deposit the metal suicide and oxide coatings. The focus of this study will be to establish optimum deposition conditions and evaluate the metal oxide coating as oxidation - thermal barriers for Mo substrates under both isothermal (static) and cyclic oxidation conditions. The second part of this section will involve a systematic evaluation of a boron nitride (BN) interface coating prepared by chemical vapor deposition. Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are prospective candidates for high (>1000 °C) temperature applications and fiber- matrix interfaces are the dominant design parameters in ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). An important goal of the study is to determine a set of process parameters, which would define a boron nitride (BN) interface coating by a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process with respect to coating. In the first part of the second section, we will investigate a new approach to synthesize ultrafine metal oxides that combines microwave heating and an in-situ ultrasonic mixing of two or more liquid precursors with a tubular flow reactor. Different metal oxides such as nickel ferrite and zinc aluminate spinels will be studied. The synthesis of metal oxides were investigated in order to study the effects of the nozzle and microwave (INM process) on the purity, composition, and particle size of the resulting powders. The second part of this research section involves a study of microwave frequency

  10. Stop-signal response inhibition in schizophrenia: behavioural, event-related potential and functional neuroimaging data.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Matthew Edward; Fulham, William Ross; Johnston, Patrick James; Michie, Patricia Therese

    2012-01-01

    Inhibitory control deficits are well documented in schizophrenia, supported by impairment in an established measure of response inhibition, the stop-signal reaction time (SSRT). We investigated the neural basis of this impairment by comparing schizophrenia patients and controls matched for age, sex and education on behavioural, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potential (ERP) indices of stop-signal task performance. Compared to controls, patients exhibited slower SSRT and reduced right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) activation, but rIFG activation correlated with SSRT in both groups. Go stimulus and stop-signal ERP components (N1/P3) were smaller in patients, but the peak latencies of stop-signal N1 and P3 were also delayed in patients, indicating impairment early in stop-signal processing. Additionally, response-locked lateralised readiness potentials indicated response preparation was prolonged in patients. An inability to engage rIFG may predicate slowed inhibition in patients, however multiple spatiotemporal irregularities in the networks underpinning stop-signal task performance may contribute to this deficit. PMID:22027085

  11. Antagonism of the prostaglandin E receptor EP4 inhibits metastasis and enhances NK function.

    PubMed

    Kundu, Namita; Ma, Xinrong; Holt, Dawn; Goloubeva, Olga; Ostrand-Rosenberg, Suzanne; Fulton, Amy M

    2009-09-01

    Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is associated with aggressive breast cancers. The COX-2 product prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) acts through four G-protein-coupled receptors designated EP1-4. Malignant and immortalized normal mammary epithelial cell lines express all four EP. The EP4 antagonist AH23848 reduced the ability of tumor cells to colonize the lungs or to spontaneously metastasize from the mammary gland. EP4 gene silencing by shRNA also reduced the ability of mammary tumor cells to metastasize. Metastasis inhibition was lost in mice lacking either functional Natural Killer (NK) cells or interferon-gamma. EP4 antagonism inhibited MHC class I expression resulting in enhanced ability of NK cells to lyse mammary tumor target cells. These studies support the hypothesis that EP4 receptor antagonists reduce metastatic potential by facilitating NK-mediated tumor cell killing and that therapeutic targeting of EP4 may be an alternative approach to the use of COX inhibitors to limit metastatic disease.

  12. The bacterial virulence factor NleA inhibits cellular protein secretion by disrupting mammalian COPII function.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jinoh; Thanabalasuriar, Ajitha; Chaworth-Musters, Tessa; Fromme, J Chris; Frey, Elizabeth A; Lario, Paula I; Metalnikov, Pavel; Rizg, Keyrillos; Thomas, Nikhil A; Lee, Sau Fung; Hartland, Elizabeth L; Hardwidge, Philip R; Pawson, Tony; Strynadka, Natalie C; Finlay, B Brett; Schekman, Randy; Gruenheid, Samantha

    2007-09-13

    Enterohemorrhagic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EHEC and EPEC) maintain an extracellular lifestyle and use a type III secretion system to translocate effector proteins into the host cytosol. These effectors manipulate host pathways to favor bacterial replication and survival. NleA is an EHEC/EPEC- and related species-specific translocated effector protein that is essential for bacterial virulence. However, the mechanism by which NleA impacts virulence remains undetermined. Here we demonstrate that NleA compromises the Sec23/24 complex, a component of the mammalian COPII protein coat that shapes intracellular protein transport vesicles, by directly binding Sec24. Expression of an NleA-GFP fusion protein reduces the efficiency of cellular secretion by 50%, and secretion is inhibited in EPEC-infected cells. Direct biochemical experiments show that NleA inhibits COPII-dependent protein export from the endoplasmic reticulum. Collectively, these findings indicate that disruption of COPII function in host cells contributes to the virulence of EPEC and EHEC.

  13. PIK3C2B inhibition improves function and prolongs survival in myotubular myopathy animal models.

    PubMed

    Sabha, Nesrin; Volpatti, Jonathan R; Gonorazky, Hernan; Reifler, Aaron; Davidson, Ann E; Li, Xingli; Eltayeb, Nadine M; Dall'Armi, Claudia; Di Paolo, Gilbert; Brooks, Susan V; Buj-Bello, Ana; Feldman, Eva L; Dowling, James J

    2016-09-01

    Myotubular myopathy (MTM) is a devastating pediatric neuromuscular disorder of phosphoinositide (PIP) metabolism resulting from mutations of the PIP phosphatase MTM1 for which there are no treatments. We have previously shown phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI3P) accumulation in animal models of MTM. Here, we tested the hypothesis that lowering PI3P levels may prevent or reverse the MTM disease process. To test this, we targeted class II and III PI3 kinases (PI3Ks) in an MTM1-deficient mouse model. Muscle-specific ablation of Pik3c2b, but not Pik3c3, resulted in complete prevention of the MTM phenotype, and postsymptomatic targeting promoted a striking rescue of disease. We confirmed this genetic interaction in zebrafish, and additionally showed that certain PI3K inhibitors prevented development of the zebrafish mtm phenotype. Finally, the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin improved motor function and prolonged lifespan of the Mtm1-deficient mice. In all, we have identified Pik3c2b as a genetic modifier of Mtm1 mutation and demonstrated that PIK3C2B inhibition is a potential treatment strategy for MTM. In addition, we set the groundwork for similar reciprocal inhibition approaches for treating other PIP metabolic disorders and highlight the importance of modifier gene pathways as therapeutic targets. PMID:27548528

  14. Functional brain networks underlying latent inhibition of conditioned disgust in rats.

    PubMed

    Gasalla, Patricia; Begega, Azucena; Soto, Alberto; Dwyer, Dominic Michael; López, Matías

    2016-12-15

    The present experiment examined the neuronal networks involved in the latent inhibition of conditioned disgust by measuring brain oxidative metabolism. Rats were given nonreinforced intraoral (IO) exposure to saccharin (exposed groups) or water (non-exposed groups) followed by a conditioning trial in which the animals received an infusion of saccharin paired (or unpaired) with LiCl. On testing, taste reactivity responses displayed by the rats during the infusion of the saccharin were examined. Behavioral data showed that preexposure to saccharin attenuated the development of LiCl-induced conditioned disgust reactions, indicating that the effects of taste aversion on hedonic taste reactivity had been reduced. With respect to cumulative oxidative metabolic activity across the whole study period, the parabrachial nucleus was the only single region examined which showed differential activity between groups which received saccharin-LiCl pairings with and without prior non-reinforced saccharin exposure, suggesting a key role in the effects of latent inhibition of taste aversion learning. In addition, many functional connections between brain regions were revealed through correlational analysis of metabolic activity, in particular an accumbens-amygdala interaction that may be involved in both positive and negative hedonic responses.

  15. Functional brain networks underlying latent inhibition of conditioned disgust in rats.

    PubMed

    Gasalla, Patricia; Begega, Azucena; Soto, Alberto; Dwyer, Dominic Michael; López, Matías

    2016-12-15

    The present experiment examined the neuronal networks involved in the latent inhibition of conditioned disgust by measuring brain oxidative metabolism. Rats were given nonreinforced intraoral (IO) exposure to saccharin (exposed groups) or water (non-exposed groups) followed by a conditioning trial in which the animals received an infusion of saccharin paired (or unpaired) with LiCl. On testing, taste reactivity responses displayed by the rats during the infusion of the saccharin were examined. Behavioral data showed that preexposure to saccharin attenuated the development of LiCl-induced conditioned disgust reactions, indicating that the effects of taste aversion on hedonic taste reactivity had been reduced. With respect to cumulative oxidative metabolic activity across the whole study period, the parabrachial nucleus was the only single region examined which showed differential activity between groups which received saccharin-LiCl pairings with and without prior non-reinforced saccharin exposure, suggesting a key role in the effects of latent inhibition of taste aversion learning. In addition, many functional connections between brain regions were revealed through correlational analysis of metabolic activity, in particular an accumbens-amygdala interaction that may be involved in both positive and negative hedonic responses. PMID:27491591

  16. Switch of SpnR function from activating to inhibiting quorum sensing by its exogenous addition.

    PubMed

    Takayama, Yuriko; Kato, Norihiro

    2016-09-01

    The opportunistic human pathogen Serratia marcescens AS-1 produces the N-hexanoylhomoserine lactone (C6HSL) receptor SpnR, a homologue of LuxR from Vibrio fischeri, which activates pig clusters to produce the antibacterial prodigiosin. In this study, we attempted to artificially regulate quorum sensing (QS) by changing the role of SpnR in N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated QS. SpnR was obtained as a fusion protein tagged with maltose-binding protein (MBP) from overexpression in Escherichia coli, and its specific affinity to C6HSL was demonstrated by quartz crystal microbalance analysis and AHL-bioassay with Chromobacterium violaceum CV026. Prodigiosin production was effectively inhibited by externally added MBP-SpnR in both wild-type AS-1 and the AHL synthase-defective mutant AS-1(ΔspnI). For the mutant, the induced amount of prodigiosin was drastically reduced to approximately 4% with the addition of 18 μM MBP-SpnR to the liquid medium, indicating 81% trapping of C6HSL. A system for inhibiting QS can be constructed by adding exogenous AHL receptor to the culture broth to keep the concentration of free AHL low, whereas intracellular SpnR naturally functions as the activator in response to QS. PMID:27387237

  17. Switch of SpnR function from activating to inhibiting quorum sensing by its exogenous addition.

    PubMed

    Takayama, Yuriko; Kato, Norihiro

    2016-09-01

    The opportunistic human pathogen Serratia marcescens AS-1 produces the N-hexanoylhomoserine lactone (C6HSL) receptor SpnR, a homologue of LuxR from Vibrio fischeri, which activates pig clusters to produce the antibacterial prodigiosin. In this study, we attempted to artificially regulate quorum sensing (QS) by changing the role of SpnR in N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated QS. SpnR was obtained as a fusion protein tagged with maltose-binding protein (MBP) from overexpression in Escherichia coli, and its specific affinity to C6HSL was demonstrated by quartz crystal microbalance analysis and AHL-bioassay with Chromobacterium violaceum CV026. Prodigiosin production was effectively inhibited by externally added MBP-SpnR in both wild-type AS-1 and the AHL synthase-defective mutant AS-1(ΔspnI). For the mutant, the induced amount of prodigiosin was drastically reduced to approximately 4% with the addition of 18 μM MBP-SpnR to the liquid medium, indicating 81% trapping of C6HSL. A system for inhibiting QS can be constructed by adding exogenous AHL receptor to the culture broth to keep the concentration of free AHL low, whereas intracellular SpnR naturally functions as the activator in response to QS.

  18. Error-based analysis of optimal tuning functions explains phenomena observed in sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Yaeli, Steve; Meir, Ron

    2010-01-01

    Biological systems display impressive capabilities in effectively responding to environmental signals in real time. There is increasing evidence that organisms may indeed be employing near optimal Bayesian calculations in their decision-making. An intriguing question relates to the properties of optimal encoding methods, namely determining the properties of neural populations in sensory layers that optimize performance, subject to physiological constraints. Within an ecological theory of neural encoding/decoding, we show that optimal Bayesian performance requires neural adaptation which reflects environmental changes. Specifically, we predict that neuronal tuning functions possess an optimal width, which increases with prior uncertainty and environmental noise, and decreases with the decoding time window. Furthermore, even for static stimuli, we demonstrate that dynamic sensory tuning functions, acting at relatively short time scales, lead to improved performance. Interestingly, the narrowing of tuning functions as a function of time was recently observed in several biological systems. Such results set the stage for a functional theory which may explain the high reliability of sensory systems, and the utility of neuronal adaptation occurring at multiple time scales. PMID:21079749

  19. Efficient source mask optimization with Zernike polynomial functions for source representation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaofei; Liu, Shiyuan; Li, Jia; Lam, Edmund Y

    2014-02-24

    In 22nm optical lithography and beyond, source mask optimization (SMO) becomes vital for the continuation of advanced ArF technology node development. The pixel-based method permits a large solution space, but involves a time-consuming optimization procedure because of the large number of pixel variables. In this paper, we introduce the Zernike polynomials as basis functions to represent the source patterns, and propose an improved SMO algorithm with this representation. The source patterns are decomposed into the weighted superposition of some well-chosen Zernike polynomial functions, and the number of variables decreases significantly. We compare the computation efficiency and optimization performance between the proposed method and the conventional pixel-based algorithm. Simulation results demonstrate that the former can obtain substantial speedup of source optimization while improving the pattern fidelity at the same time.

  20. The natural diterpene tonantzitlolone A and its synthetic enantiomer inhibit cell proliferation and kinesin-5 function.

    PubMed

    Pfeffer, Tobias J; Sasse, Florenz; Schmidt, Christoph F; Lakämper, Stefan; Kirschning, Andreas; Scholz, Tim

    2016-04-13

    Tonantzitlolone A, a diterpene isolated from the Mexican plant Stillingia sanguinolenta, shows cytostatic activity. Both the natural product tonantzitlolone A and its synthetic enantiomer induce monoastral spindle formation in cell experiments which indicates inhibitory activity on kinesin-5 mitotic motor molecules. These inhibitory effects on kinesin-5 could be verified in in vitro single-molecule motility assays, where both tonantzitlolones interfered with kinesin-5 binding to its cellular interaction partner microtubules in a concentration-dependent manner, yet with a larger effect of the synthetic enantiomer. In contrast to kinesin-5 inhibition, both tonantzitlolone A enantiomers did not affect conventional kinesin-1 function; hence tonantzitlolones are not unspecific kinesin inhibitors. The observed stronger inhibitory effect of the synthetic enantiomer demonstrates the possibility to enhance the overall moderate anti-proliferative effect of the lead compound tonantzitlolon A by chemical modification.

  1. Biological weighting function for the inhibition of phytoplankton photosynthesis by ultraviolet radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cullen, John J.; Neale, Patrick J.; Lesser, Michael P.

    1992-01-01

    Severe reduction of stratospheric ozone over Antarctica has focused increasing concern on the biological effects of ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation (280 to 320 nanometers). Measurements of photosynthesis from an experimental system, in which phytoplankton are exposed to a broad range of irradiance treatments, are fit to an analytical model to provide the spectral biological weighting function that can be used to predict the short-term effects of ozone depletion on aquatic photosynthesis. Results show that UVA (320 to 400 nanometers) significantly inhibits the photosynthesis of a marine diatom and a dinoflagellate, and that the effects of UVB are even more severe. Application of the model suggests that the Antarctic ozone hole might reduce near-surface photosynthesis by 12 to 15 percent, but less so at depth. The experimental system makes possible routine estimation of spectral weightings for natural phytoplankton.

  2. Glycerol Monolaurate (GML) inhibits human T cell signaling and function by disrupting lipid dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Michael S.; Sandouk, Aline; Houtman, Jon C. D.

    2016-01-01

    Glycerol Monolaurate (GML) is a naturally occurring fatty acid widely utilized in food, cosmetics, and homeopathic supplements. GML is a potent antimicrobial agent that targets a range of bacteria, fungi, and enveloped viruses but select findings suggest that GML also has immunomodulatory functions. In this study, we have mechanistically examined if GML affects the signaling and functional output of human primary T cells. We found that GML potently altered order and disorder dynamics in the plasma membrane that resulted in reduced formation of LAT, PLC-γ, and AKT microclusters. Altered membrane events induced selective inhibition of TCR-induced phosphorylation of regulatory P85 subunit of PI3K and AKT as well as abrogated calcium influx. Ultimately, GML treatment potently reduced TCR-induced production of IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-10. Our data reveal that the widely used anti-microbial agent GML also alters the lipid dynamics of human T cells, leading to their defective signaling and function. PMID:27456316

  3. Iron oxide nanoparticles induce Pseudomonas aeruginosa growth, induce biofilm formation, and inhibit antimicrobial peptide function.

    PubMed

    Borcherding, Jennifer; Baltrusaitis, Jonas; Chen, Haihan; Stebounova, Larissa; Wu, Chia-Ming; Rubasinghege, Gayan; Mudunkotuwa, Imali A; Caraballo, Juan Carlos; Zabner, Joseph; Grassian, Vicki H; Comellas, Alejandro P

    2014-04-01

    Given the increased use of iron-containing nanoparticles in a number of applications, it is important to understand any effects that iron-containing nanoparticles can have on the environment and human health. Since iron concentrations are extremely low in body fluids, there is potential that iron-containing nanoparticles may influence the ability of bacteria to scavenge iron for growth, affect virulence and inhibit antimicrobial peptide (AMP) function. In this study, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA01) and AMPs were exposed to iron oxide nanoparticles, hematite (α-Fe2O3), of different sizes ranging from 2 to 540 nm (2 ± 1, 43 ± 6, 85 ± 25 and 540 ± 90 nm) in diameter. Here we show that the greatest effect on bacterial growth, biofilm formation, and AMP function impairment is found when exposed to the smallest particles. These results are attributed in large part to enhanced dissolution observed for the smallest particles and an increase in the amount of bioavailable iron. Furthermore, AMP function can be additionally impaired by adsorption onto nanoparticle surfaces. In particular, lysozyme readily adsorbs onto the nanoparticle surface which can lead to loss of peptide activity. Thus, this current study shows that co-exposure of nanoparticles and known pathogens can impact host innate immunity. Therefore, it is important that future studies be designed to further understand these types of impacts. PMID:25221673

  4. Glycerol Monolaurate (GML) inhibits human T cell signaling and function by disrupting lipid dynamics.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Michael S; Sandouk, Aline; Houtman, Jon C D

    2016-01-01

    Glycerol Monolaurate (GML) is a naturally occurring fatty acid widely utilized in food, cosmetics, and homeopathic supplements. GML is a potent antimicrobial agent that targets a range of bacteria, fungi, and enveloped viruses but select findings suggest that GML also has immunomodulatory functions. In this study, we have mechanistically examined if GML affects the signaling and functional output of human primary T cells. We found that GML potently altered order and disorder dynamics in the plasma membrane that resulted in reduced formation of LAT, PLC-γ, and AKT microclusters. Altered membrane events induced selective inhibition of TCR-induced phosphorylation of regulatory P85 subunit of PI3K and AKT as well as abrogated calcium influx. Ultimately, GML treatment potently reduced TCR-induced production of IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-10. Our data reveal that the widely used anti-microbial agent GML also alters the lipid dynamics of human T cells, leading to their defective signaling and function. PMID:27456316

  5. INMAP Overexpression Inhibits Cell Proliferation, Induces Genomic Instability and Functions through p53/p21 Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Yan; Lei, Yan; Du, Baochen; Zheng, Yanbo; Lu, Xiangfeng; Tan, Tan; Kang, Jingting; Sun, Le; Liang, Qianjin

    2015-01-01

    INMAP is a spindle protein that plays essential role for mitosis, by ensuring spindle and centromere integrality. The aim of this study was to investigate the relevant functions of INMAP for genomic stability and its functional pathway. We overexpressed INMAP in HeLa cells, resulting in growth inhibition in monolayer cell cultures, anchorage-independent growth in soft agar and xenograft growth in nude mice. In this system caused micronuclei (MNi) formation, chromosome distortion and γH2AX expression upregulation, suggesting DNA damage induction and genomic stability impairment. As a tumour biochemical marker, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) isoenzymes were detected to evaluate cell metabolic activity, the results confirming that total activity of LDH, as well as that of its LDH5 isoform, is significantly decreased in INMAP-overexpressing HeLa cells. The levels of p53 and p21 were upregulated, and however, that of PCNA and Bcl-2, downregulated. Indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) and coimmunoprecipitation (CoIP) analyses revealed the interaction between INMAP and p21. These results suggest that INMAP might function through p53/p21 pathways. PMID:25635878

  6. The adhesion molecule PECAM-1 enhances the TGFβ-mediated inhibition of T cell function

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Debra K.; Fu, Guoping; Adams, Tamara; Cui, Weiguo; Arumugam, Vidhyalakshmi; Bluemn, Theresa; Riese, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is an immunosuppressive cytokine that inhibits the pro-inflammatory functions of T cells, and it is a major factor in abrogating T cell activity against tumors. Canonical signaling results in the activation of Smad proteins, transcription factors that regulate target gene expression. Here, we found that the cell surface molecule platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) facilitates non-canonical (Smad-independent) TGF-β signaling in T cells. Subcutaneously injected tumor cells dependent on TGF-β-mediated suppression of immunity grew more slowly in PECAM-1−/− mice than in their wild type counterparts. T cells isolated from PECAM-1−/− mice demonstrated relative insensitivity to the TGF-β-dependent inhibition of interferon- γ (IFN-γ) production, granzyme B synthesis and cellular proliferation. Similarly, human T cells lacking PECAM-1 demonstrated decreased sensitivity to TGF-β in a manner that was partially restored by re-expression of PECAM-1. Co-incubation of T cells with TGF-β and a T cell-activating antibody resulted in PECAM-1 phosphorylation on an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM) and the recruitment of the inhibitory Src homology 2 domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase-2 (SHP-2). Such stimulatory conditions also induced the co-localization of PECAM-1 with the TGF-β receptor complex as identified by co-immunoprecipitation, confocal microscopy, and proximity ligation assays. These studies indicate a role for PECAM-1 in enhancing the inhibitory functions of TGF-β in T cells and suggest that therapeutic targeting of the PECAM-1-TGF-β inhibitory axis represents a means to overcome TGF-β-dependent immunosuppression within the tumor microenvironment. PMID:26956486

  7. The adhesion molecule PECAM-1 enhances the TGF-β-mediated inhibition of T cell function.

    PubMed

    Newman, Debra K; Fu, Guoping; Adams, Tamara; Cui, Weiguo; Arumugam, Vidhyalakshmi; Bluemn, Theresa; Riese, Matthew J

    2016-03-01

    Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is an immunosuppressive cytokine that inhibits the proinflammatory functions of T cells, and it is a major factor in abrogating T cell activity against tumors. Canonical TGF-β signaling results in the activation of Smad proteins, which are transcription factors that regulate target gene expression. We found that the cell surface molecule platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) facilitated noncanonical (Smad-independent) TGF-β signaling in T cells. Subcutaneously injected tumor cells that are dependent on TGF-β-mediated suppression of immunity for growth grew more slowly in PECAM-1(-/-) mice than in their wild-type counterparts. T cells isolated from PECAM-1(-/-) mice demonstrated relative insensitivity to the TGF-β-dependent inhibition of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) production, granzyme B synthesis, and cellular proliferation. Similarly, human T cells lacking PECAM-1 demonstrated decreased sensitivity to TGF-β in a manner that was partially restored by reexpression of PECAM-1. Co-incubation of T cells with TGF-β and a T cell-activating antibody resulted in PECAM-1 phosphorylation on an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM) and the recruitment of the inhibitory Src homology 2 (SH2) domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase-2 (SHP-2). Such conditions also induced the colocalization of PECAM-1 with the TGF-β receptor complex as identified by coimmunoprecipitation, confocal microscopy, and proximity ligation assays. These studies indicate a role for PECAM-1 in enhancing the inhibitory functions of TGF-β in T cells and suggest that therapeutic targeting of the PECAM-1-TGF-β inhibitory axis represents a means to overcome TGF-β-dependent immunosuppression within the tumor microenvironment. PMID:26956486

  8. The optimal recovery of a function from an inaccurate information on its k-plane transform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagramyan, Tigran

    2016-06-01

    We consider the optimal recovery of the β th degree of the Laplacian value on a function from the information on its k-plane transform, measured with an error. We present the error of the optimal recovery and the set of optimal methods on classes with the bounded α th degree of the Laplacian, where 0≤slant β \\lt α . As a consequence, we give one inequality for the norms of the degree of the Laplace operator and the k-plane transform. Particular cases include new inversion methods and inequalities for the classical Radon and x-ray transforms.

  9. Zoledronate Inhibits Ischemia-Induced Neovascularization by Impairing the Mobilization and Function of Endothelial Progenitor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Shih-Hung; Huang, Po-Hsun; Chang, Wei-Chou; Tsai, Hsiao-Ya; Lin, Chih-Pei; Leu, Hsin-Bang; Wu, Tao-Cheng; Chen, Jaw-Wen; Lin, Shing-Jong

    2012-01-01

    Background Bisphosphonates are a class of pharmacologic compounds that are commonly used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis and malignant osteolytic processes. Studies have shown that bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play a significant role in postnatal neovascularization. Whether the nitrogen-containing bisphosphonate zoledronate inhibits ischemia-induced neovascularization by modulating EPC functions remains unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings Unilateral hindlimb ischemia was surgically induced in wild-type mice after 2 weeks of treatment with vehicle or zoledronate (low-dose: 30 μg/kg; high-dose: 100 μg/kg). Doppler perfusion imaging demonstrated that the ischemic limb/normal side blood perfusion ratio was significantly lower in wild-type mice treated with low-dose zoledronate and in mice treated with high-dose zoledronate than in controls 4 weeks after ischemic surgery (control vs. low-dose vs. high-dose: 87±7% vs. *61±18% vs. **49±17%, *p<0.01, **p<0.005 compared to control). Capillary densities were also significantly lower in mice treated with low-dose zoledronate and in mice treated with high-dose zoledronate than in control mice. Flow cytometry analysis showed impaired mobilization of EPC-like cells (Sca-1+/Flk-1+) after surgical induction of ischemia in mice treated with zoledronate but normal levels of mobilization in mice treated with vehicle. In addition, ischemic tissue from mice that received zoledronate treatment exhibited significantly lower levels of the active form of MMP-9, lower levels of VEGF, and lower levels of phosphorylated eNOS and phosphorylated Akt than ischemic tissue from mice that received vehicle. Results of the in vitro studies showed that incubation with zoledronate inhibited the viability, migration, and tube-forming capacities of EPC. Conclusions/Significance Zoledronate inhibited ischemia-induced neovascularization by impairing EPC mobilization and angiogenic functions. These findings suggest

  10. An Optimized Lock Solution Containing Micafungin, Ethanol and Doxycycline Inhibits Candida albicans and Mixed C. albicans – Staphyloccoccus aureus Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Lown, Livia; Peters, Brian M.; Walraven, Carla J.; Noverr, Mairi C.; Lee, Samuel A.

    2016-01-01

    Candida albicans is a major cause of catheter-related bloodstream infections and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Due to the propensity of C. albicans to form drug-resistant biofilms, the current standard of care includes catheter removal; however, reinsertion may be technically challenging or risky. Prolonged exposure of an antifungal lock solution within the catheter in conjunction with systemic therapy has been experimentally attempted for catheter salvage. Previously, we demonstrated excellent in vitro activity of micafungin, ethanol, and high-dose doxycycline as single agents for prevention and treatment of C. albicans biofilms. Thus, we sought to investigate optimal combinations of micafungin, ethanol, and/or doxycycline as a lock solution. We performed two- and three-drug checkerboard assays to determine the in vitro activity of pairwise or three agents in combination for prevention or treatment of C. albicans biofilms. Optimal lock solutions were tested for activity against C. albicans clinical isolates, reference strains and polymicrobial C. albicans-S. aureus biofilms. A solution containing 20% (v/v) ethanol, 0.01565 μg/mL micafungin, and 800 μg/mL doxycycline demonstrated a reduction of 98% metabolic activity and no fungal regrowth when used to prevent fungal biofilm formation; however there was no advantage over 20% ethanol alone. This solution was also successful in inhibiting the regrowth of C. albicans from mature polymicrobial biofilms, although it was not fully bactericidal. Solutions containing 5% ethanol with low concentrations of micafungin and doxycycline demonstrated synergistic activity when used to prevent monomicrobial C. albicans biofilm formation. A combined solution of micafungin, ethanol and doxycycline is highly effective for the prevention of C. albicans biofilm formation but did not demonstrate an advantage over 20% ethanol alone in these studies. PMID:27428310

  11. An Optimized Lock Solution Containing Micafungin, Ethanol and Doxycycline Inhibits Candida albicans and Mixed C. albicans - Staphyloccoccus aureus Biofilms.

    PubMed

    Lown, Livia; Peters, Brian M; Walraven, Carla J; Noverr, Mairi C; Lee, Samuel A

    2016-01-01

    Candida albicans is a major cause of catheter-related bloodstream infections and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Due to the propensity of C. albicans to form drug-resistant biofilms, the current standard of care includes catheter removal; however, reinsertion may be technically challenging or risky. Prolonged exposure of an antifungal lock solution within the catheter in conjunction with systemic therapy has been experimentally attempted for catheter salvage. Previously, we demonstrated excellent in vitro activity of micafungin, ethanol, and high-dose doxycycline as single agents for prevention and treatment of C. albicans biofilms. Thus, we sought to investigate optimal combinations of micafungin, ethanol, and/or doxycycline as a lock solution. We performed two- and three-drug checkerboard assays to determine the in vitro activity of pairwise or three agents in combination for prevention or treatment of C. albicans biofilms. Optimal lock solutions were tested for activity against C. albicans clinical isolates, reference strains and polymicrobial C. albicans-S. aureus biofilms. A solution containing 20% (v/v) ethanol, 0.01565 μg/mL micafungin, and 800 μg/mL doxycycline demonstrated a reduction of 98% metabolic activity and no fungal regrowth when used to prevent fungal biofilm formation; however there was no advantage over 20% ethanol alone. This solution was also successful in inhibiting the regrowth of C. albicans from mature polymicrobial biofilms, although it was not fully bactericidal. Solutions containing 5% ethanol with low concentrations of micafungin and doxycycline demonstrated synergistic activity when used to prevent monomicrobial C. albicans biofilm formation. A combined solution of micafungin, ethanol and doxycycline is highly effective for the prevention of C. albicans biofilm formation but did not demonstrate an advantage over 20% ethanol alone in these studies. PMID:27428310

  12. Comparison of penalty functions on a penalty approach to mixed-integer optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francisco, Rogério B.; Costa, M. Fernanda P.; Rocha, Ana Maria A. C.; Fernandes, Edite M. G. P.

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, we present a comparative study involving several penalty functions that can be used in a penalty approach for globally solving bound mixed-integer nonlinear programming (bMIMLP) problems. The penalty approach relies on a continuous reformulation of the bMINLP problem by adding a particular penalty term to the objective function. A penalty function based on the `erf' function is proposed. The continuous nonlinear optimization problems are sequentially solved by the population-based firefly algorithm. Preliminary numerical experiments are carried out in order to analyze the quality of the produced solutions, when compared with other penalty functions available in the literature.

  13. Optimal rocket thrust profile shaping using third degree spline function interpolation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, I. L.

    1974-01-01

    Optimal solid-rocket thrust profiles for the parallel-burn, solid-rocket-assisted space shuttle are investigated. Solid-rocket thrust profiles are simulated by using third-degree spline functions, with the values of the thrust ordinates defined as parameters. The profiles are optimized parametrically, using the Davidon-Fletcher-Powell penalty function method, by minimizing propellant weight subject to state and control inequality constraints and to terminal boundary conditions. This study shows that optimizing a control variable parametrically by using third-degree spline function interpolation allows the control to be shaped so that inequality constraints are strictly adhered to and all corners are eliminated. The absence of corners, which is realistic in nature, makes this method attractive from the viewpoint of solid rocket grain design.

  14. Angiotensin-converting enzyme and matrix metalloproteinase inhibition with developing heart failure: comparative effects on left ventricular function and geometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McElmurray, J. H. 3rd; Mukherjee, R.; New, R. B.; Sampson, A. C.; King, M. K.; Hendrick, J. W.; Goldberg, A.; Peterson, T. J.; Hallak, H.; Zile, M. R.; Spinale, F. G.

    1999-01-01

    The progression of congestive heart failure (CHF) is left ventricular (LV) myocardial remodeling. The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) contribute to tissue remodeling and therefore MMP inhibition may serve as a useful therapeutic target in CHF. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition favorably affects LV myocardial remodeling in CHF. This study examined the effects of specific MMP inhibition, ACE inhibition, and combined treatment on LV systolic and diastolic function in a model of CHF. Pigs were randomly assigned to five groups: 1) rapid atrial pacing (240 beats/min) for 3 weeks (n = 8); 2) ACE inhibition (fosinopril, 2.5 mg/kg b.i.d. orally) and rapid pacing (n = 8); 3) MMP inhibition (PD166793 2 mg/kg/day p.o.) and rapid pacing (n = 8); 4) combined ACE and MMP inhibition (2.5 mg/kg b.i.d. and 2 mg/kg/day, respectively) and rapid pacing (n = 8); and 5) controls (n = 9). LV peak wall stress increased by 2-fold with rapid pacing and was reduced in all treatment groups. LV fractional shortening fell by nearly 2-fold with rapid pacing and increased in all treatment groups. The circumferential fiber shortening-systolic stress relation was reduced with rapid pacing and increased in the ACE inhibition and combination groups. LV myocardial stiffness constant was unchanged in the rapid pacing group, increased nearly 2-fold in the MMP inhibition group, and was normalized in the ACE inhibition and combination treatment groups. Increased MMP activation contributes to the LV dilation and increased wall stress with pacing CHF and a contributory downstream mechanism of ACE inhibition is an effect on MMP activity.

  15. Plate/shell topological optimization subjected to linear buckling constraints by adopting composite exponential filtering function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Hong-Ling; Wang, Wei-Wei; Chen, Ning; Sui, Yun-Kang

    2016-08-01

    In this paper, a model of topology optimization with linear buckling constraints is established based on an independent and continuous mapping method to minimize the plate/shell structure weight. A composite exponential function (CEF) is selected as filtering functions for element weight, the element stiffness matrix and the element geometric stiffness matrix, which recognize the design variables, and to implement the changing process of design variables from "discrete" to "continuous" and back to "discrete". The buckling constraints are approximated as explicit formulations based on the Taylor expansion and the filtering function. The optimization model is transformed to dual programming and solved by the dual sequence quadratic programming algorithm. Finally, three numerical examples with power function and CEF as filter function are analyzed and discussed to demonstrate the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed method.

  16. The importance of functional form in optimal control solutions of problems in population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, M.C.; Johnson, F.A.

    2002-01-01

    Optimal control theory is finding increased application in both theoretical and applied ecology, and it is a central element of adaptive resource management. One of the steps in an adaptive management process is to develop alternative models of system dynamics, models that are all reasonable in light of available data, but that differ substantially in their implications for optimal control of the resource. We explored how the form of the recruitment and survival functions in a general population model for ducks affected the patterns in the optimal harvest strategy, using a combination of analytical, numerical, and simulation techniques. We compared three relationships between recruitment and population density (linear, exponential, and hyperbolic) and three relationships between survival during the nonharvest season and population density (constant, logistic, and one related to the compensatory harvest mortality hypothesis). We found that the form of the component functions had a dramatic influence on the optimal harvest strategy and the ultimate equilibrium state of the system. For instance, while it is commonly assumed that a compensatory hypothesis leads to higher optimal harvest rates than an additive hypothesis, we found this to depend on the form of the recruitment function, in part because of differences in the optimal steady-state population density. This work has strong direct consequences for those developing alternative models to describe harvested systems, but it is relevant to a larger class of problems applying optimal control at the population level. Often, different functional forms will not be statistically distinguishable in the range of the data. Nevertheless, differences between the functions outside the range of the data can have an important impact on the optimal harvest strategy. Thus, development of alternative models by identifying a single functional form, then choosing different parameter combinations from extremes on the likelihood

  17. Calmodulin inhibition regulates morphological and functional changes related to the actin cytoskeleton in pure microglial cells.

    PubMed

    Szabo, Melinda; Dulka, Karolina; Gulya, Karoly

    2016-01-01

    The roles of calmodulin (CaM), a multifunctional intracellular calcium receptor protein, as concerns selected morphological and functional characteristics of pure microglial cells derived from mixed primary cultures from embryonal forebrains of rats, were investigated through use of the CaM antagonists calmidazolium (CALMID) and trifluoperazine (TFP). The intracellular localization of the CaM protein relative to phalloidin, a bicyclic heptapeptide that binds only to filamentous actin, and the ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba1), a microglia-specific actin-binding protein, was determined by immunocytochemistry, with quantitative analysis by immunoblotting. In unchallenged and untreated (control) microglia, high concentrations of CaM protein were found mainly perinuclearly in ameboid microglia, while the cell cortex had a smaller CaM content that diminished progressively deeper into the branches in the ramified microglia. The amounts and intracellular distributions of both Iba1 and CaM proteins were altered after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge in activated microglia. CALMID and TFP exerted different, sometimes opposing, effects on many morphological, cytoskeletal and functional characteristics of the microglial cells. They affected the CaM and Iba1 protein expressions and their intracellular localizations differently, inhibited cell proliferation, viability and fluid-phase phagocytosis to different degrees both in unchallenged and in LPS-treated (immunologically challenged) cells, and differentially affected the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton in the microglial cell cortex, influencing lamellipodia, filopodia and podosome formation. In summary, these CaM antagonists altered different aspects of filamentous actin-based cell morphology and related functions with variable efficacy, which could be important in deciphering the roles of CaM in regulating microglial functions in health and disease.

  18. Inhibition of cation channel function at the nicotinic acethylcholine receptor from Torpedo: Agonist self-inhibition and anesthetic drugs

    SciTech Connect

    Forman, S.A.

    1989-01-01

    Modulation of the nicotinic acethylcholine receptor from Torpedo by cholinergic agonists, local anesthetics, and n-alkanols was studied using {sup 86}Rb{sup +} flux studies in sealed native Torpedo electroplaque membrane vesicles. Reliable concentration-response and kinetic data were obtained using manual ten sec filtration assays in vesicles partially blocked with alpha-bungarotoxin to remove spare receptors and quenched-flow assays to assess initial {sup 86}Rb{sup +} flux rates or the rate of drug-induced receptor inactivation. Concentration response relationships for the agonists acetylcholine, carbamylcholine, suberyldicholine, phenyltrimethylammonium, and (-)-nicotine are all bell-shape due to stimulation of cation channel opening at low concentrations and inhibition of channels at higher concentrations. The rate of agonist-induced fast desensitization (k{sub d}) increases with (acetylcholine) in parallel with channel activation, suggesting that desensitization proceeds from the open state and/or states in rapid equilibrium with it. At self-inhibitory acetylcholine concentrations, a new rapid inactivation (rate = k{sub f}) is observed before fast desensitization. The rate and extent of rapid inactivation is compatible with bimolecular association between acethylcholine and inhibitory site with K{sub B} = 40 mM.

  19. Reconstruction of the unknown optimization cost functions from experimental recordings during static multi-finger prehension

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Xun; Terekhov, Alexander V.; Latash, Mark L.; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M.

    2013-01-01

    The goal of the research is to reconstruct the unknown cost (objective) function(s) presumably used by the neural controller for sharing the total force among individual fingers in multi-finger prehension. The cost function was determined from experimental data by applying the recently developed Analytical Inverse Optimization (ANIO) method (Terekhov et al 2010). The core of the ANIO method is the Theorem of Uniqueness that specifies conditions for unique (with some restrictions) estimation of the objective functions. In the experiment, subjects (n=8) grasped an instrumented handle and maintained it at rest in the air with various external torques, loads, and target grasping forces applied to the object. The experimental data recorded from 80 trials showed a tendency to lie on a 2-dimensional hyperplane in the 4-dimensional finger-force space. Because the constraints in each trial were different, such a propensity is a manifestation of a neural mechanism (not the task mechanics). In agreement with the Lagrange principle for the inverse optimization, the plane of experimental observations was close to the plane resulting from the direct optimization. The latter plane was determined using the ANIO method. The unknown cost function was reconstructed successfully for each performer, as well as for the group data. The cost functions were found to be quadratic with non-zero linear terms. The cost functions obtained with the ANIO method yielded more accurate results than other optimization methods. The ANIO method has an evident potential for addressing the problem of optimization in motor control. PMID:22104742

  20. Nucleophosmin (B23) Targets ARF to Nucleoli and Inhibits Its Function

    PubMed Central

    Korgaonkar, Chandrashekhar; Hagen, Jussara; Tompkins, Van; Frazier, April A.; Allamargot, Chantal; Quelle, Frederick W.; Quelle, Dawn E.

    2005-01-01

    The ARF tumor suppressor is a nucleolar protein that activates p53-dependent checkpoints by binding Mdm2, a p53 antagonist. Despite persuasive evidence that ARF can bind and inactivate Mdm2 in the nucleoplasm, the prevailing view is that ARF exerts its growth-inhibitory activities from within the nucleolus. We suggest ARF primarily functions outside the nucleolus and provide evidence that it is sequestered and held inactive in that compartment by a nucleolar phosphoprotein, nucleophosmin (NPM). Most cellular ARF is bound to NPM regardless of whether cells are proliferating or growth arrested, indicating that ARF-NPM association does not correlate with growth suppression. Notably, ARF binds NPM through the same domains that mediate nucleolar localization and Mdm2 binding, suggesting that NPM could control ARF localization and compete with Mdm2 for ARF association. Indeed, NPM knockdown markedly enhanced ARF-Mdm2 association and diminished ARF nucleolar localization. Those events correlated with greater ARF-mediated growth suppression and p53 activation. Conversely, NPM overexpression antagonized ARF function while increasing its nucleolar localization. These data suggest that NPM inhibits ARF's p53-dependent activity by targeting it to nucleoli and impairing ARF-Mdm2 association. PMID:15684379

  1. Synthesis, algal inhibition activities and QSAR studies of novel gramine compounds containing ester functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xia; Yu, Liangmin; Jiang, Xiaohui; Xia, Shuwei; Zhao, Haizhou

    2009-05-01

    2,5,6-Tribromo-1-methylgramine (TBG), isolated from bryozoan Zoobotryon pellucidum was shown to be very efficient in preventing recruitment of larval settlement. In order to improve the compatibility of TBG and its analogues with other ingredients in antifouling paints, structural modification of TBG was focused mainly on halogen substitution and N-substitution. Two halogen-substitute gramines and their derivatives which contain ester functional groups at N-position of gramines were synthesized. Algal inhibition activities of the synthesized compounds against algae Nitzschia closterium were evaluated and the Median Effective Concentration (EC50) range was 1.06-6.74 μg ml-1. Compounds that had a long chain ester group exhibited extremely high antifouling activity. Quantitive Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR) studies with multiple linear regression analysis were applied to find correlation between different calculated molecular descriptors and biological activity of the synthesized compounds. The results show that the toxicity (log (1/EC50)) is correlated well with the partition coefficient log P. Thus, these products have potential function as antifouling agents.

  2. BET bromodomain inhibition enhances T cell persistence and function in adoptive immunotherapy models.

    PubMed

    Kagoya, Yuki; Nakatsugawa, Munehide; Yamashita, Yuki; Ochi, Toshiki; Guo, Tingxi; Anczurowski, Mark; Saso, Kayoko; Butler, Marcus O; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H; Hirano, Naoto

    2016-09-01

    Adoptive immunotherapy is a potentially curative therapeutic approach for patients with advanced cancer. However, the in vitro expansion of antitumor T cells prior to infusion inevitably incurs differentiation towards effector T cells and impairs persistence following adoptive transfer. Epigenetic profiles regulate gene expression of key transcription factors over the course of immune cell differentiation, proliferation, and function. Using comprehensive screening of chemical probes with defined epigenetic targets, we found that JQ1, an inhibitor of bromodomain and extra-terminal motif (BET) proteins, maintained CD8+ T cells with functional properties of stem cell-like and central memory T cells. Mechanistically, the BET protein BRD4 directly regulated expression of the transcription factor BATF in CD8+ T cells, which was associated with differentiation of T cells into an effector memory phenotype. JQ1-treated T cells showed enhanced persistence and antitumor effects in murine T cell receptor and chimeric antigen receptor gene therapy models. Furthermore, we found that histone acetyltransferase p300 supported the recruitment of BRD4 to the BATF promoter region, and p300 inhibition similarly augmented antitumor effects of the adoptively transferred T cells. These results demonstrate that targeting the BRD4-p300 signaling cascade supports the generation of superior antitumor T cell grafts for adoptive immunotherapy. PMID:27548527

  3. Inhibition of water activated by far infrared functional ceramics on proliferation of hepatoma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dongmei; Liang, Jinsheng; Ding, Yan; Meng, Junping; Zhang, Guangchuan

    2014-05-01

    Rare earth (RE)/tourmaline composite materials prepared by the precipitation method are added to the ceramic raw materials at a certain percentage and sintered into RE functional ceramics with high far infrared emission features. Then the far infrared functional ceramics are used to interact with water. The influence of the ceramics on the physical parameters of water is investigated, and the effect of the activated water on the growth of Bel-7402 hepatoma cells cultured in vitro is further studied. The results indicate that, compared with the raw water, the water activated by the ceramics can inhibit the proliferation of hepatoma cells, with statistical probability P < 0.01, which means that the effect is significant. It can be explained that the water activated by the ceramics has a higher concentration of H+, which decreases the potential difference across the cell membrane to release the apoptosis inducing factor (AIF). After entering the cells, the activated water stimulates the mitochondria to produce immune substances that lead tumor cells to apoptosis. PMID:24734643

  4. Coniferyl Aldehyde Attenuates Radiation Enteropathy by Inhibiting Cell Death and Promoting Endothelial Cell Function

    PubMed Central

    Son, Yeonghoon; Jang, Jun-Ho; Lee, Yoon-Jin; Kim, Sung-Ho; Ko, Young-Gyo; Lee, Yun-Sil; Lee, Hae-June

    2015-01-01

    Radiation enteropathy is a common complication in cancer patients. The aim of this study was to investigate whether radiation-induced intestinal injury could be alleviated by coniferyl aldehyde (CA), an HSF1-inducing agent that increases cellular HSP70 expression. We systemically administered CA to mice with radiation enteropathy following abdominal irradiation (IR) to demonstrate the protective effects of CA against radiation-induced gastrointestinal injury. CA clearly alleviated acute radiation-induced intestinal damage, as reflected by the histopathological data and it also attenuated sub-acute enteritis. CA prevented intestinal crypt cell death and protected the microvasculature in the lamina propria during the acute and sub-acute phases of damage. CA induced HSF1 and HSP70 expression in both intestinal epithelial cells and endothelial cells in vitro. Additionally, CA protected against not only the apoptotic cell death of both endothelial and epithelial cells but also the loss of endothelial cell function following IR, indicating that CA has beneficial effects on the intestine. Our results provide novel insight into the effects of CA and suggest its role as a therapeutic candidate for radiation-induced enteropathy due to its ability to promote rapid re-proliferation of the intestinal epithelium by the synergic effects of the inhibition of cell death and the promotion of endothelial cell function. PMID:26029925

  5. Inhibition of water activated by far infrared functional ceramics on proliferation of hepatoma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dongmei; Liang, Jinsheng; Ding, Yan; Meng, Junping; Zhang, Guangchuan

    2014-05-01

    Rare earth (RE)/tourmaline composite materials prepared by the precipitation method are added to the ceramic raw materials at a certain percentage and sintered into RE functional ceramics with high far infrared emission features. Then the far infrared functional ceramics are used to interact with water. The influence of the ceramics on the physical parameters of water is investigated, and the effect of the activated water on the growth of Bel-7402 hepatoma cells cultured in vitro is further studied. The results indicate that, compared with the raw water, the water activated by the ceramics can inhibit the proliferation of hepatoma cells, with statistical probability P < 0.01, which means that the effect is significant. It can be explained that the water activated by the ceramics has a higher concentration of H+, which decreases the potential difference across the cell membrane to release the apoptosis inducing factor (AIF). After entering the cells, the activated water stimulates the mitochondria to produce immune substances that lead tumor cells to apoptosis.

  6. Optimization of van der Waals Density Functionals using Data Projection onto Parameter Space (DPPS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritz, Michelle; Fernandez-Serra, Marivi; Gillan, Mike; Soler, Jose M.

    2014-03-01

    The parameterization and optimization of complex models fitted to reproduce a reference data set is an important part of the development of interatomic potentials. It is an approach that can also be used to design exchange and correlation functionals in density functional theory. Generally, this is a problem that requires choosing functional forms that depend on many parameters. The balance between the number of parameters and the size of the fitted data sets involves difficult and subjective decisions that are nevertheless critical for obtaining good results. We present a general and powerful optimization scheme, data projection onto parameter space (DPPS). The DPPS method tries to find the optimal parameters for a complex model which depends on a scalar function F which is determined by a large number of variables and parameters. The procedure involves the projection a vector of unknown parameters onto the vectors of known data. As an example, we apply DPPS to the optimization of the local exchange in a vdW density functional (vdW-DF). Our goal is to obtain an improved vdW-DF for water. To do so, we use an accurate potential energy surface for the water dimer as our initial data set.

  7. POEM: Parameter Optimization using Ensemble Methods: application to target specific scoring functions.

    PubMed

    Antes, Iris; Merkwirth, Christian; Lengauer, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    In computational biology processes such as docking, binding, and folding are often described by simplified, empirical models. These models are fitted to physical properties of the process by adjustable parameters. An appropriate choice of these parameters is crucial for the quality of the models. Locating the best choices for the parameters is often is a difficult task, depending on the complexity of the model. We describe a new method and program, POEM (Parameter Optimization using Ensemble Methods), for this task. In POEM we combine the DOE (Design Of Experiment) procedure with ensembles of different regression methods. We apply the method to the optimization of target specific scoring functions in molecular docking. The method consists of an iterative procedure that uses alternate evaluation and prediction steps. During each cycle of optimization we fit an approximate function to a defined loss function landscape and improve the quality of this fit from cycle to cycle by constantly augmenting our data set. As test applications we fitted the FlexX and Screenscore scoring functions to the kinase and ATPase protein classes. The results are promising: Starting from random parameters we are able to locate parameter sets which show superior performance compared to the original values. The POEM approach converges quickly and the approximated loss function landscapes are smooth, thus making the approach a suitable method for optimizations on rugged landscapes.

  8. Sexual Function and the Use of Medical Devices or Drugs to Optimize Potency After Prostate Brachytherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Whaley, J. Taylor; Levy, Lawrence B.; Swanson, David A.; Pugh, Thomas J.; Kudchadker, Rajat J.; Bruno, Teresa L.; Frank, Steven J.

    2012-04-01

    Purpose: Prospective evaluation of sexual outcomes after prostate brachytherapy with iodine-125 seeds as monotherapy at a tertiary cancer care center. Methods and Materials: Subjects were 129 men with prostate cancer with I-125 seed implants (prescribed dose, 145 Gy) without supplemental hormonal or external beam radiation therapy. Sexual function, potency, and bother were prospectively assessed at baseline and at 1, 4, 8, and 12 months using validated quality-of-life self-assessment surveys. Postimplant dosimetry values, including dose to 10% of the penile bulb (D10), D20, D33, D50, D75, D90, and penile volume receiving 100% of the prescribed dose (V100) were calculated. Results: At baseline, 56% of patients recorded having optimal erections; at 1 year, 62% of patients with baseline erectile function maintained optimal potency, 58% of whom with medically prescribed sexual aids or drugs. Variables associated with pretreatment-to-posttreatment decline in potency were time after implant (p = 0.04) and age (p = 0.01). Decline in urinary function may have been related to decline in potency. At 1 year, 69% of potent patients younger than 70 years maintained optimal potency, whereas 31% of patients older than 70 maintained optimal potency (p = 0.02). Diabetes was related to a decline in potency (p = 0.05), but neither smoking nor hypertension were. For patients with optimal potency at baseline, mean sexual bother scores had declined significantly at 1 year (p < 0.01). Sexual potency, sexual function, and sexual bother scores failed to correlate with any dosimetric variable tested. Conclusions: Erections firm enough for intercourse can be achieved at 1 year after treatment, but most men will require medical aids to optimize potency. Although younger men were better able to maintain erections firm enough for intercourse than older men, there was no correlation between potency, sexual function, or sexual bother and penile bulb dosimetry.

  9. Propoxur-induced acetylcholine esterase inhibition and impairment of cognitive function: attenuation by Withania somnifera.

    PubMed

    Yadav, C S; Kumar, V; Suke, S G; Ahmed, R S; Mediratta, P K; Banerjee, B D

    2010-04-01

    Propoxur (2-isopropoxyphenyl N-methylcarbamate) is widely used as an acaricide in agriculture and public health programs. Studies have shown that sub-chronic exposure to propoxur can cause oxidative stress and immuno-suppression in rats. Carbamates are also known to exhibit inhibitory effect on cholinesterase activity, which is directly related to their cholinergic effects. In the present study, the effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), a widely used herbal drug possessing anti-stress and immunomodulatory properties was studied on propoxur-induced acetylcholine esterase inhibition and impairment of cognitive function in rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups. Group I was treated with olive oil and served as control. Group II was administered orally with propoxur (10 mg/kg b.wt.) in olive oil, group III received a combination of propoxur (10 mg/kg b.wt.) and W. somnifera (100 mg/kg b.wt.) suspension and group IV W. somnifera (100 mg/kg b.wt.) only. All animals were treated for 30 days. Cognitive behaviour was assessed by transfer latency using elevated plus maze. Blood and brain acetylcholine esterase (AChE) activity was also assessed. Oral administration of propoxur (10 mg/kg b.wt.) resulted in a significant reduction of brain and blood AChE activity. A significant prolongation of the acquisition as well as retention transfer latency was observed in propoxur-treated rats. Oral treatment of W. somnifera exerts protective effect and attenuates AChE inhibition and cognitive impairment caused by sub-chronic exposure to propoxur.

  10. Inhibition of rot translation by RNAIII, a key feature of agr function.

    PubMed

    Geisinger, Edward; Adhikari, Rajan P; Jin, Ruzhong; Ross, Hope F; Novick, Richard P

    2006-08-01

    RNAIII is a 514 nt regulatory RNA that is the effector molecule of the staphylococcal agr quorum-sensing system, regulating a large set of virulence and other accessory genes at the level of transcription. RNAIII was discovered nearly 20 years ago and we long ago hypothesized that it would function by regulating the synthesis or activity of one or more intermediary transcription factors. We have finally confirmed this hypothesis, showing that Staphylococcus aureus RNAIII regulates the synthesis of a major pleiotropic transcription factor, Rot, by blocking its translation. RNAIII has a complex secondary structure with several stable hairpins that have highly C-rich end loops, unusual in an AT-rich organism. We noted that these loops are complementary to two G-rich stem loops of the rot mRNA translation initiation region (TIR). Pairing of the complementary RNAs would be predicted to occlude the rot Shine-Dalgarno (SD) site and to block rot translation. Through a combination of transcriptional and translational fusions and Northern and Western blot hybridization analyses, we show that RNAIII does, indeed, block rot translation. Through alterations in the C-rich loops of RNAIII and the G-rich loops of rot, we show that the sequences of these loops are critical for inhibition of rot translation and suggest that this inhibition is affected by pairing between the complementary stem loops, followed by the cleavage of rot mRNA. We propose that the RNAIII-rot mRNA interaction plays a key role in agr regulation of staphylococcal virulence.

  11. Targeting Aquaporin Function: Potent Inhibition of Aquaglyceroporin-3 by a Gold-Based Compound

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Ana Paula; Marrone, Alessandro; Ciancetta, Antonella; Galán Cobo, Ana; Echevarría, Miriam; Moura, Teresa F.; Re, Nazzareno; Casini, Angela; Soveral, Graça

    2012-01-01

    Aquaporins (AQPs) are membrane channels that conduct water and small solutes such as glycerol and are involved in many physiological functions. Aquaporin-based modulator drugs are predicted to be of broad potential utility in the treatment of several diseases. Until today few AQP inhibitors have been described as suitable candidates for clinical development. Here we report on the potent inhibition of AQP3 channels by gold(III) complexes screened on human red blood cells (hRBC) and AQP3-transfected PC12 cells by a stopped-flow method. Among the various metal compounds tested, Auphen is the most active on AQP3 (IC50 = 0.8±0.08 µM in hRBC). Interestingly, the compound poorly affects the water permeability of AQP1. The mechanism of gold inhibition is related to the ability of Au(III) to interact with sulphydryls groups of proteins such as the thiolates of cysteine residues. Additional DFT and modeling studies on possible gold compound/AQP adducts provide a tentative description of the system at a molecular level. The mapping of the periplasmic surface of an homology model of human AQP3 evidenced the thiol group of Cys40 as a likely candidate for binding to gold(III) complexes. Moreover, the investigation of non-covalent binding of Au complexes by docking approaches revealed their preferential binding to AQP3 with respect to AQP1. The high selectivity and low concentration dependent inhibitory effect of Auphen (in the nanomolar range) together with its high water solubility makes the compound a suitable drug lead for future in vivo studies. These results may present novel metal-based scaffolds for AQP drug development. PMID:22624030

  12. Sulfasalazine and its metabolites inhibit platelet function in patients with inflammatory arthritis.

    PubMed

    MacMullan, Paul A; Madigan, Anne M; Paul, Nevin; Peace, Aaron J; Alagha, Ahmed; Nolan, Kevin B; McCarthy, Geraldine M; Kenny, Dermot

    2016-02-01

    The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of sulfasalazine and its metabolites on platelet function in patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA). One hundred thirty-five consecutive patients with an established diagnosis of IA were screened. Those with a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), taking anti-platelet agents or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were excluded. A total of 32 patients were investigated, 15 taking sulfasalazine and 17 taking other disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and no sulfasalazine. These two cohorts were compared to 15 patients with stable CVD on long-term aspirin. The effect of sulfasalazine and its metabolites on arachidonic acid (AA)-induced platelet aggregation was also tested in vitro in samples from healthy donors (n = 18). Demographics, CVD risk factors and disease activity indices were similar in the sulfasalazine and other DMARD groups. AA-induced platelet aggregation was significantly inhibited in the sulfasalazine group (9 ± 7 %) and comparable to that in the aspirin group (10 ± 6 %). In contrast, there was no effect on AA-induced platelet aggregation in the other DMARDs group (77 ± 12 %) (p < 0.001). Furthermore, sulfasalazine therapy had no effect on platelet aggregation in response to multiple other agonists. Sulfasalazine and its metabolites (5-aminosalicylic acid and sulfapyridine) exerted an additive and dose-dependent inhibitory effect on AA-induced platelet aggregation in vitro (p < 0.001). The inhibition of AA-induced platelet aggregation by sulfasalazine is comparable to that achieved by aspirin and is dependent on both sulfasalazine and its metabolites. This represents a potential mechanism that may contribute to the known cardioprotective effect of sulfasalazine in patients with IA. PMID:25253538

  13. AMDE-1 Is a Dual Function Chemical for Autophagy Activation and Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Li, Min; Yang, Zuolong; Vollmer, Laura L.; Gao, Ying; Fu, Yuanyuan; Liu, Cui; Chen, Xiaoyun; Liu, Peiqing; Vogt, Andreas; Yin, Xiao-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is the process by which cytosolic components and organelles are delivered to the lysosome for degradation. Autophagy plays important roles in cellular homeostasis and disease pathogenesis. Small chemical molecules that can modulate autophagy activity may have pharmacological value for treating diseases. Using a GFP-LC3-based high content screening assay we identified a novel chemical that is able to modulate autophagy at both initiation and degradation levels. This molecule, termed as Autophagy Modulator with Dual Effect-1 (AMDE-1), triggered autophagy in an Atg5-dependent manner, recruiting Atg16 to the pre-autophagosomal site and causing LC3 lipidation. AMDE-1 induced autophagy through the activation of AMPK, which inactivated mTORC1 and activated ULK1. AMDE-1did not affect MAP kinase, JNK or oxidative stress signaling for autophagy induction. Surprisingly, treatment with AMDE-1 resulted in impairment in autophagic flux and inhibition of long-lived protein degradation. This inhibition was correlated with a reduction in lysosomal degradation capacity but not with autophagosome-lysosome fusion. Further analysis indicated that AMDE-1 caused a reduction in lysosome acidity and lysosomal proteolytic activity, suggesting that it suppressed general lysosome function. AMDE-1 thus also impaired endocytosis-mediated EGF receptor degradation. The dual effects of AMDE-1 on autophagy induction and lysosomal degradation suggested that its net effect would likely lead to autophagic stress and lysosome dysfunction, and therefore cell death. Indeed, AMDE-1 triggered necroptosis and was preferentially cytotoxic to cancer cells. In conclusion, this study identified a new class of autophagy modulators with dual effects, which can be explored for potential uses in cancer therapy. PMID:25894744

  14. Optimism

    PubMed Central

    Carver, Charles S.; Scheier, Michael F.; Segerstrom, Suzanne C.

    2010-01-01

    Optimism is an individual difference variable that reflects the extent to which people hold generalized favorable expectancies for their future. Higher levels of optimism have been related prospectively to better subjective well-being in times of adversity or difficulty (i.e., controlling for previous well-being). Consistent with such findings, optimism has been linked to higher levels of engagement coping and lower levels of avoidance, or disengagement, coping. There is evidence that optimism is associated with taking proactive steps to protect one's health, whereas pessimism is associated with health-damaging behaviors. Consistent with such findings, optimism is also related to indicators of better physical health. The energetic, task-focused approach that optimists take to goals also relates to benefits in the socioeconomic world. Some evidence suggests that optimism relates to more persistence in educational efforts and to higher later income. Optimists also appear to fare better than pessimists in relationships. Although there are instances in which optimism fails to convey an advantage, and instances in which it may convey a disadvantage, those instances are relatively rare. In sum, the behavioral patterns of optimists appear to provide models of living for others to learn from. PMID:20170998

  15. Towards an Optimal Gradient-dependent Energy Functional of the PZ-SIC Form

    DOE PAGES

    Jónsson, Elvar Örn; Lehtola, Susi; Jónsson, Hannes

    2015-06-01

    Results of Perdew–Zunger self-interaction corrected (PZ-SIC) density functional theory calculations of the atomization energy of 35 molecules are compared to those of high-level quantum chemistry calculations. While the PBE functional, which is commonly used in calculations of condensed matter, is known to predict on average too high atomization energy (overbinding of the molecules), the application of PZ-SIC gives a large overcorrection and leads to significant underestimation of the atomization energy. The exchange enhancement factor that is optimal for the generalized gradient approximation within the Kohn-Sham (KS) approach may not be optimal for the self-interaction corrected functional. The PBEsol functional, wheremore » the exchange enhancement factor was optimized for solids, gives poor results for molecules in KS but turns out to work better than PBE in PZ-SIC calculations. The exchange enhancement is weaker in PBEsol and the functional is closer to the local density approximation. Furthermore, the drop in the exchange enhancement factor for increasing reduced gradient in the PW91 functional gives more accurate results than the plateaued enhancement in the PBE functional. A step towards an optimal exchange enhancement factor for a gradient dependent functional of the PZ-SIC form is taken by constructing an exchange enhancement factor that mimics PBEsol for small values of the reduced gradient, and PW91 for large values. The average atomization energy is then in closer agreement with the high-level quantum chemistry calculations, but the variance is still large, the F2 molecule being a notable outlier.« less

  16. Towards an Optimal Gradient-dependent Energy Functional of the PZ-SIC Form

    SciTech Connect

    Jónsson, Elvar Örn; Lehtola, Susi; Jónsson, Hannes

    2015-06-01

    Results of Perdew–Zunger self-interaction corrected (PZ-SIC) density functional theory calculations of the atomization energy of 35 molecules are compared to those of high-level quantum chemistry calculations. While the PBE functional, which is commonly used in calculations of condensed matter, is known to predict on average too high atomization energy (overbinding of the molecules), the application of PZ-SIC gives a large overcorrection and leads to significant underestimation of the atomization energy. The exchange enhancement factor that is optimal for the generalized gradient approximation within the Kohn-Sham (KS) approach may not be optimal for the self-interaction corrected functional. The PBEsol functional, where the exchange enhancement factor was optimized for solids, gives poor results for molecules in KS but turns out to work better than PBE in PZ-SIC calculations. The exchange enhancement is weaker in PBEsol and the functional is closer to the local density approximation. Furthermore, the drop in the exchange enhancement factor for increasing reduced gradient in the PW91 functional gives more accurate results than the plateaued enhancement in the PBE functional. A step towards an optimal exchange enhancement factor for a gradient dependent functional of the PZ-SIC form is taken by constructing an exchange enhancement factor that mimics PBEsol for small values of the reduced gradient, and PW91 for large values. The average atomization energy is then in closer agreement with the high-level quantum chemistry calculations, but the variance is still large, the F2 molecule being a notable outlier.

  17. Effects of increasing carbon nanofiber density in polyurethane composites for inhibiting bladder cancer cell functions.

    PubMed

    Tsang, Melissa; Chun, Young Wook; Im, Yeon Min; Khang, Dongwoo; Webster, Thomas J

    2011-07-01

    Polyurethane (PU) is a versatile elastomer that is commonly used in biomedical applications. In turn, materials derived from nanotechnology, specifically carbon nanofibers (CNFs), have received increasing attention for their potential use in biomedical applications. Recent studies have shown that the dispersion of CNFs in PU significantly enhances composite nanoscale surface roughness, tensile properties, and thermal stability. Although there have been studies concerning normal primary cell functions on such nanocomposites, there have been few studies detailing cancer cell responses. Since many patients who require bladder transplants have suffered from bladder cancer, the ideal bladder prosthetic material should not only promote normal primary human urothelial cell (HUC) function, but also inhibit the return of bladder cancerous cell activity. This study examined the correlation between transitional (UMUC) and squamous (or SCaBER) urothelial carcinoma cells and HUC on PU:CNF nanocomposites of varying PU and CNF weight ratios (from pure PU to 4:1 [PU:CNF volume ratios], 2:1, 1:1, 1:2, and 1:4 composites to pure CNF). Composites were characterized for mechanical properties, wettability, surface roughness, and chemical composition by atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and goniometry. The adhesion and proliferation of UMUC and SCaBER cancer cells were assessed by MTS assays. Cellular responses were further quantified by measuring the amounts of nuclear mitotic protein 22 (NMP-22), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Results demonstrated that both UMUC and SCaBER cell proliferation rates decreased over time on substrates with increased CNF in PU. In addition, with the exception of VEGF from UMUC (which was the same across all materials), composites containing the most CNF activated cancer cells (UMUC and SCaBER) the least, as shown by

  18. Feedback Functions, Optimization, and the Relation of Response Rate to Reinforcer Rate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soto, Paul L.; McDowell, Jack J.; Dallery, Jesse

    2006-01-01

    The present experiment arranged a series of inverted U-shaped feedback functions relating reinforcer rate to response rate to test whether responding was consistent with an optimization account or with a one-to-one relation of response rate to reinforcer rate such as linear system theory's rate equation or Herrnstein's hyperbola. Reinforcer rate…

  19. Application of Sigmoidal Transformation Functions in Optimization of Micellar Liquid Chromatographic Separation of Six Quinolone Antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Hadjmohammadi, Mohammadreza; Salary, Mina

    2016-03-01

    A chemometrics approach has been used to optimize the separation of six quinolone compounds by micellar liquid chromatography (MLC). A Derringer's desirability function, a multicriteria decision-making (MCDM) method, was tested for evaluation of two different measures of chromatographic performance (resolution and analysis time). The effect of three experimental parameters on a chromatographic response function (CRF) expressed as a product of two sigmoidal desirability functions was investigated. The sigmoidal functions were used to transform the optimization criteria, resolution and analysis time into the desirability values. The factors studied were the concentration of sodium dodecyl sulfate, butanol content and pH of the mobile phase. The experiments were done according to the face-centered cube central composite design, and the calculated CRF values were fitted to a polynomial model to correlate the CRF values with the variables and their interactions. The developed regression model showed good descriptive and predictive ability (R(2) = 0.815, F = 6.919, SE = 0.038, [Formula: see text]) and used, by a grid search algorithm, to optimize the chromatographic conditions for the separation of the mixture. The efficiency of prediction of polynomial model was confirmed by performing the experiment under the optimal conditions.

  20. Balancing Multicultural Competence with Social Justice: Feminist Beliefs and Optimal Psychological Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoder, Janice D.; Snell, Andrea F.; Tobias, Ann

    2012-01-01

    To identify a multivariate configuration of feminist beliefs best associated with optimal psychological functioning, 215 mostly White college women completed an online survey measuring their feminist beliefs (Feminist Perspectives Scale, Attitudes toward Feminism and the Women's Movement, sense of common fate, and Feminist Identity Composite) and…

  1. Quantum discord of X-states as optimization of a one variable function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jing, Naihuan; Yu, Bing

    2016-09-01

    We solve the quantum discord completely as an optimization of a certain one variable function for an arbitrary two qubit X state. Exact solutions of the quantum discord are obtained for several nontrivial regions of the five parametric space for the quantum state. Exceptional solutions are determined via an iterative algorithm.

  2. Nonlinear stability in reaction-diffusion systems via optimal Lyapunov functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, S.; Mulone, G.; Trovato, M.

    2008-06-01

    We define optimal Lyapunov functions to study nonlinear stability of constant solutions to reaction-diffusion systems. A computable and finite radius of attraction for the initial data is obtained. Applications are given to the well-known Brusselator model and a three-species model for the spatial spread of rabies among foxes.

  3. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide inhibition as a potent diagnostic tool for gene function in plant biology

    SciTech Connect

    Jansson, Christer; Sun, Chuanxin; Ghebramedhin, Haile; Hoglund, Anna-Stina; Jansson, Christer

    2008-01-15

    Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) inhibition emerges as an effective means for probing gene function in plant cells. Employing this method we have established the importance of the SUSIBA2 transcription factor for regulation of starch synthesis in barley endosperm, and arrived at a model for the role of the SUSIBAs in sugar signaling and source-sink commutation during cereal endosperm development. In this addendum we provide additional data demonstrating the suitability of the antisense ODN technology in studies on starch branching enzyme activities in barley leaves. We also comment on the mechanism for ODN uptake in plant cells. Antisense ODNs are short (12-25 nt-long) stretches of single-stranded ODNs that hybridize to the cognate mRNA in a sequence-specific manner, thereby inhibiting gene expression. They are naturally occurring in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes where they partake in gene regulation and defense against viral infection. The mechanisms for antisense ODN inhibition are not fully understood but it is generally considered that the ODN either sterically interferes with translation or promotes transcript degradation by RNase H activation. The earliest indication of the usefulness of antisense ODN technology for the purposes of molecular biology and medical therapy was the demonstration in 1978 that synthetic ODNs complementary to Raos sarcoma virus could inhibit virus replication in tissue cultures of chick embryo fibroblasts. Since then the antisense ODN technology has been widely used in animal sciences and as an important emerging therapeutic approach in clinical medicine. However, antisense ODN inhibition has been an under-exploited strategy for plant tissues, although the prospects for plant cells in suspension cultures to take up single-stranded ODNs was reported over a decade ago. In 2001, two reports from Malho and coworker demonstrated the use of cationic-complexed antisense ODNs to suppress expression of genes encoding pollen

  4. The optimization of single mode basis functions for polyatomic vibrational problems with application to the water molecule

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwenke, David W.

    1992-01-01

    The optimization of the wave functions is considered for coupled vibrations represented by linear combinations of products of functions depending only on a single vibrational coordinate. The functions themselves are optimized as well as configuration list. For the H2O molecule highly accurate results are obtained for the lowest 15 levels using significantly shorter expansions than would otherwise be possible.

  5. Structural and Inhibition Studies of the RNase H Function of Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus Reverse Transcriptase

    PubMed Central

    Kirby, Karen A.; Marchand, Bruno; Ong, Yee Tsuey; Ndongwe, Tanyaradzwa P.; Hachiya, Atsuko; Michailidis, Eleftherios; Leslie, Maxwell D.; Sietsema, Daniel V.; Fetterly, Tracy L.; Dorst, Christopher A.; Singh, Kamalendra; Wang, Zhengqiang; Parniak, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    RNase H inhibitors (RNHIs) have gained attention as potential HIV-1 therapeutics. Although several RNHIs have been studied in the context of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) RNase H, there is no information on inhibitors that might affect the RNase H activity of other RTs. We performed biochemical, virological, crystallographic, and molecular modeling studies to compare the RNase H function and inhibition profiles of the gammaretroviral xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) and Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMLV) RTs to those of HIV-1 RT. The RNase H activity of XMRV RT is significantly lower than that of HIV-1 RT and comparable to that of MoMLV RT. XMRV and MoMLV, but not HIV-1 RT, had optimal RNase H activities in the presence of Mn2+ and not Mg2+. Using hydroxyl-radical footprinting assays, we demonstrated that the distance between the polymerase and RNase H domains in the MoMLV and XMRV RTs is longer than that in the HIV-1 RT by ∼3.4 Å. We identified one naphthyridinone and one hydroxyisoquinolinedione as potent inhibitors of HIV-1 and XMRV RT RNases H with 50% inhibitory concentrations ranging from ∼0.8 to 0.02 μM. Two acylhydrazones effective against HIV-1 RT RNase H were less potent against the XMRV enzyme. We also solved the crystal structure of an XMRV RNase H fragment at high resolution (1.5 Å) and determined the molecular details of the XMRV RNase H active site, thus providing a framework that would be useful for the design of antivirals that target RNase H. PMID:22252812

  6. Structural and inhibition studies of the RNase H function of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus reverse transcriptase.

    PubMed

    Kirby, Karen A; Marchand, Bruno; Ong, Yee Tsuey; Ndongwe, Tanyaradzwa P; Hachiya, Atsuko; Michailidis, Eleftherios; Leslie, Maxwell D; Sietsema, Daniel V; Fetterly, Tracy L; Dorst, Christopher A; Singh, Kamalendra; Wang, Zhengqiang; Parniak, Michael A; Sarafianos, Stefan G

    2012-04-01

    RNase H inhibitors (RNHIs) have gained attention as potential HIV-1 therapeutics. Although several RNHIs have been studied in the context of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) RNase H, there is no information on inhibitors that might affect the RNase H activity of other RTs. We performed biochemical, virological, crystallographic, and molecular modeling studies to compare the RNase H function and inhibition profiles of the gammaretroviral xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) and Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMLV) RTs to those of HIV-1 RT. The RNase H activity of XMRV RT is significantly lower than that of HIV-1 RT and comparable to that of MoMLV RT. XMRV and MoMLV, but not HIV-1 RT, had optimal RNase H activities in the presence of Mn²⁺ and not Mg²⁺. Using hydroxyl-radical footprinting assays, we demonstrated that the distance between the polymerase and RNase H domains in the MoMLV and XMRV RTs is longer than that in the HIV-1 RT by ∼3.4 Å. We identified one naphthyridinone and one hydroxyisoquinolinedione as potent inhibitors of HIV-1 and XMRV RT RNases H with 50% inhibitory concentrations ranging from ∼0.8 to 0.02 μM. Two acylhydrazones effective against HIV-1 RT RNase H were less potent against the XMRV enzyme. We also solved the crystal structure of an XMRV RNase H fragment at high resolution (1.5 Å) and determined the molecular details of the XMRV RNase H active site, thus providing a framework that would be useful for the design of antivirals that target RNase H. PMID:22252812

  7. Inhibition of Fatty Acid Oxidation Modulates Immunosuppressive Functions of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells and Enhances Cancer Therapies.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Fokhrul; Al-Khami, Amir A; Wyczechowska, Dorota; Hernandez, Claudia; Zheng, Liqin; Reiss, Krzystoff; Valle, Luis Del; Trillo-Tinoco, Jimena; Maj, Tomasz; Zou, Weiping; Rodriguez, Paulo C; Ochoa, Augusto C

    2015-11-01

    Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) promote tumor growth by inhibiting T-cell immunity and promoting malignant cell proliferation and migration. The therapeutic potential of blocking MDSC in tumors has been limited by their heterogeneity, plasticity, and resistance to various chemotherapy agents. Recent studies have highlighted the role of energy metabolic pathways in the differentiation and function of immune cells; however, the metabolic characteristics regulating MDSC remain unclear. We aimed to determine the energy metabolic pathway(s) used by MDSC, establish its impact on their immunosuppressive function, and test whether its inhibition blocks MDSC and enhances antitumor therapies. Using several murine tumor models, we found that tumor-infiltrating MDSC (T-MDSC) increased fatty acid uptake and activated fatty acid oxidation (FAO). This was accompanied by an increased mitochondrial mass, upregulation of key FAO enzymes, and increased oxygen consumption rate. Pharmacologic inhibition of FAO blocked immune inhibitory pathways and functions in T-MDSC and decreased their production of inhibitory cytokines. FAO inhibition alone significantly delayed tumor growth in a T-cell-dependent manner and enhanced the antitumor effect of adoptive T-cell therapy. Furthermore, FAO inhibition combined with low-dose chemotherapy completely inhibited T-MDSC immunosuppressive effects and induced a significant antitumor effect. Interestingly, a similar increase in fatty acid uptake and expression of FAO-related enzymes was found in human MDSC in peripheral blood and tumors. These results support the possibility of testing FAO inhibition as a novel approach to block MDSC and enhance various cancer therapies.

  8. Inhibition of Fatty Acid Oxidation Modulates Immunosuppressive Functions of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells and Enhances Cancer Therapies

    PubMed Central

    Hossain, Fokhrul; Al-Khami, Amir A.; Wyczechowska, Dorota; Hernandez, Claudia; Zheng, Liqin; Reiss, Krzystoff; Del Valle, Luis; Trillo-Tinoco, Jimena; Maj, Tomasz; Zou, Weiping; Rodriguez, Paulo C.; Ochoa, Augusto C.

    2015-01-01

    Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) promote tumor growth by inhibiting T-cell immunity and promoting malignant cell proliferation and migration. The therapeutic potential of blocking MDSCs in tumors has been limited by their heterogeneity, plasticity, and resistance to various chemotherapy agents. Recent studies have highlighted the role of energy metabolic pathways in the differentiation and function of immune cells; however, the metabolic characteristics regulating MDSCs remain unclear. We aimed to determine the energy metabolic pathway(s) used by MDSCs, establish its impact on their immunosuppressive function, and test whether its inhibition blocks MDSCs and enhances antitumor therapies. Using several murine tumor models, we found that tumor-infiltrating MDSCs (T-MDSC) increased fatty acid uptake and activated fatty acid oxidation (FAO). This was accompanied by an increased mitochondrial mass, upregulation of key FAO enzymes, and increased oxygen consumption rate. Pharmacologic inhibition of FAO blocked immune inhibitory pathways and functions in T-MDSCs and decreased their production of inhibitory cytokines. FAO inhibition alone significantly delayed tumor growth in a T cell-dependent manner and enhanced the antitumor effect of adoptive T-cell therapy. Furthermore, FAO inhibition combined with low-dose chemotherapy completely inhibited T-MDSCs immunosuppressive effects and induced a significant antitumor effect. Interestingly, a similar increase in fatty acid uptake and expression of FAO-related enzymes was found in human MDSCs in peripheral blood and tumors. These results support the possibility of testing FAO inhibition as a novel approach to block MDSCs and enhance various cancer therapies. PMID:26025381

  9. Tai Chi Chuan optimizes the functional organization of the intrinsic human brain architecture in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Gao-Xia; Dong, Hao-Ming; Yang, Zhi; Luo, Jing; Zuo, Xi-Nian

    2014-01-01

    Whether Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) can influence the intrinsic functional architecture of the human brain remains unclear. To examine TCC-associated changes in functional connectomes, resting-state functional magnetic resonance images were acquired from 40 older individuals including 22 experienced TCC practitioners (experts) and 18 demographically matched TCC-naïve healthy controls, and their local functional homogeneities across the cortical mantle were compared. Compared to the controls, the TCC experts had significantly greater and more experience-dependent functional homogeneity in the right post-central gyrus (PosCG) and less functional homogeneity in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. Increased functional homogeneity in the PosCG was correlated with TCC experience. Intriguingly, decreases in functional homogeneity (improved functional specialization) in the left ACC and increases in functional homogeneity (improved functional integration) in the right PosCG both predicted performance gains on attention network behavior tests. These findings provide evidence for the functional plasticity of the brain’s intrinsic architecture toward optimizing locally functional organization, with great implications for understanding the effects of TCC on cognition, behavior and health in aging population. PMID:24860494

  10. Tai Chi Chuan optimizes the functional organization of the intrinsic human brain architecture in older adults.

    PubMed

    Wei, Gao-Xia; Dong, Hao-Ming; Yang, Zhi; Luo, Jing; Zuo, Xi-Nian

    2014-01-01

    Whether Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) can influence the intrinsic functional architecture of the human brain remains unclear. To examine TCC-associated changes in functional connectomes, resting-state functional magnetic resonance images were acquired from 40 older individuals including 22 experienced TCC practitioners (experts) and 18 demographically matched TCC-naïve healthy controls, and their local functional homogeneities across the cortical mantle were compared. Compared to the controls, the TCC experts had significantly greater and more experience-dependent functional homogeneity in the right post-central gyrus (PosCG) and less functional homogeneity in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. Increased functional homogeneity in the PosCG was correlated with TCC experience. Intriguingly, decreases in functional homogeneity (improved functional specialization) in the left ACC and increases in functional homogeneity (improved functional integration) in the right PosCG both predicted performance gains on attention network behavior tests. These findings provide evidence for the functional plasticity of the brain's intrinsic architecture toward optimizing locally functional organization, with great implications for understanding the effects of TCC on cognition, behavior and health in aging population.

  11. An Automated, Adaptive Framework for Optimizing Preprocessing Pipelines in Task-Based Functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Churchill, Nathan W; Spring, Robyn; Afshin-Pour, Babak; Dong, Fan; Strother, Stephen C

    2015-01-01

    BOLD fMRI is sensitive to blood-oxygenation changes correlated with brain function; however, it is limited by relatively weak signal and significant noise confounds. Many preprocessing algorithms have been developed to control noise and improve signal detection in fMRI. Although the chosen set of preprocessing and analysis steps (the "pipeline") significantly affects signal detection, pipelines are rarely quantitatively validated in the neuroimaging literature, due to complex preprocessing interactions. This paper outlines and validates an adaptive resampling framework for evaluating and optimizing preprocessing choices by optimizing data-driven metrics of task prediction and spatial reproducibility. Compared to standard "fixed" preprocessing pipelines, this optimization approach significantly improves independent validation measures of within-subject test-retest, and between-subject activation overlap, and behavioural prediction accuracy. We demonstrate that preprocessing choices function as implicit model regularizers, and that improvements due to pipeline optimization generalize across a range of simple to complex experimental tasks and analysis models. Results are shown for brief scanning sessions (<3 minutes each), demonstrating that with pipeline optimization, it is possible to obtain reliable results and brain-behaviour correlations in relatively small datasets.

  12. An Automated, Adaptive Framework for Optimizing Preprocessing Pipelines in Task-Based Functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Churchill, Nathan W.; Spring, Robyn; Afshin-Pour, Babak; Dong, Fan; Strother, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    BOLD fMRI is sensitive to blood-oxygenation changes correlated with brain function; however, it is limited by relatively weak signal and significant noise confounds. Many preprocessing algorithms have been developed to control noise and improve signal detection in fMRI. Although the chosen set of preprocessing and analysis steps (the “pipeline”) significantly affects signal detection, pipelines are rarely quantitatively validated in the neuroimaging literature, due to complex preprocessing interactions. This paper outlines and validates an adaptive resampling framework for evaluating and optimizing preprocessing choices by optimizing data-driven metrics of task prediction and spatial reproducibility. Compared to standard “fixed” preprocessing pipelines, this optimization approach significantly improves independent validation measures of within-subject test-retest, and between-subject activation overlap, and behavioural prediction accuracy. We demonstrate that preprocessing choices function as implicit model regularizers, and that improvements due to pipeline optimization generalize across a range of simple to complex experimental tasks and analysis models. Results are shown for brief scanning sessions (<3 minutes each), demonstrating that with pipeline optimization, it is possible to obtain reliable results and brain-behaviour correlations in relatively small datasets. PMID:26161667

  13. Strategies for inhibiting function of HIV-1 accessory proteins: a necessary route to AIDS therapy?

    PubMed

    Richter, S N; Frasson, I; Palù, G

    2009-01-01

    The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) genome encodes three major structural proteins common to all retroviruses (Gag, Pol and Env), two regulatory proteins (Tat and Rev) that are essential for viral replication, and four accessory proteins (Nef, Vif, Vpu, Vpr). While accessory proteins were initially reported to be unnecessary for viral growth, their importance as virulence factors is now being more and more appreciated: they can dramatically alter the course and severity of viral infection, replication and disease progression. None of the HIV accessory proteins display enzymatic activity: they rather act altering cellular pathways via multiple protein-protein interactions with a number of host cell factors. All currently approved anti-HIV drugs target pol and env encoded proteins. Therefore, widening the molecular targets of HIV therapy by additionally targeting accessory proteins may expand treatment options, resulting in high impact effective new therapy. In this review we present the state of the art of compounds that target HIV accessory proteins. Most of the research has focused on the inhibition of specific accessory proteins/host cell partner interactions. Promising compounds have been found within different classes of molecules: small natural and synthetic molecules, peptides and proteins, oligonucleotides, in particular those used as RNA interference (RNAi) tools. With the assortment of compounds available, especially against Nef and Vif functions, the demonstration of the clinical efficacy of the new anti-HIV-1 drugs targeting accessory proteins is next challenge.

  14. Inhibition of endothelial cell functions and of angiogenesis by the metastasis inhibitor NAMI-A

    PubMed Central

    Vacca, A; Bruno, M; Boccarelli, A; Coluccia, M; Ribatti, D; Bergamo, A; Garbisa, S; Sartor, L; Sava, G

    2002-01-01

    NAMI-A is a ruthenium-based compound with selective anti-metastasis activity in experimental models of solid tumours. We studied whether this activity was dependent on anti-angiogenic ability of NAMI-A. We thus investigated its in vitro effects on endothelial cell functions necessary for angiogenesis to develop, as well as its in vivo effects in the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane model. Endothelial cell proliferation, chemotaxis, and secretion of the matrix-degrading enzyme metalloproteinase-2 were inhibited by NAMI-A in a dose-dependent manner, and without morphologic signs of cell apoptosis or necrosis. Lastly, NAMI-A displayed a dose-dependent in vivo anti-angiogenic activity in the chorioallantoic membrane model. These data suggest that the anti-angiogenic activity of NAMI-A can contribute to its anti-metastatic efficacy in mice bearing malignant solid tumours. British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 993–998. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600176 www.bjcancer.com © 2002 Cancer Research UK PMID:11953835

  15. Development of inhibition as a function of the presence of a supernatural agent.

    PubMed

    King, Ashley C

    2011-01-01

    In this study the author examined the developmental differences in inhibition and cognition of 4-8-year-old children as a function of the suggested presence of a supernatural agent. Previous evolutionarily-relevant research has suggested that humans are naturally primed to think in terms of supernatural agents and that, given the correct context, individuals readily accept novel supernatural entities and alter their behavior accordingly. All children in this study played 4 games designed to assess their present level of inhibitory and cognitive development. Children in the experimental condition were also introduced to an invisible Princess Alice and were told that she was watching during the games. Following these measures, all children engaged in a resistance-to-temptation task. Results revealed that cognitively advanced children were more likely to express belief in Princess Alice than were less cognitively advanced children. This research provides support that cognitive maturity, rather than immaturity, may be necessary for children to express belief in novel supernatural agents.

  16. The microbial metabolite butyrate regulates intestinal macrophage function via histone deacetylase inhibition.

    PubMed

    Chang, Pamela V; Hao, Liming; Offermanns, Stefan; Medzhitov, Ruslan

    2014-02-11

    Given the trillions of microbes that inhabit the mammalian intestines, the host immune system must constantly maintain a balance between tolerance to commensals and immunity against pathogens to avoid unnecessary immune responses against otherwise harmless bacteria. Misregulated responses can lead to inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. The mechanisms by which the immune system maintains this critical balance remain largely undefined. Here, we demonstrate that the short-chain fatty acid n-butyrate, which is secreted in high amounts by commensal bacteria, can modulate the function of intestinal macrophages, the most abundant immune cell type in the lamina propria. Treatment of macrophages with n-butyrate led to the down-regulation of lipopolysaccharide-induced proinflammatory mediators, including nitric oxide, IL-6, and IL-12, but did not affect levels of TNF-α or MCP-1. These effects were independent of toll-like receptor signaling and activation of G-protein-coupled receptors, two pathways that could be affected by short-chain fatty acids. In this study, we provide several lines of evidence that suggest that these effects are due to the inhibition of histone deacetylases by n-butyrate. These findings elucidate a pathway in which the host may maintain tolerance to intestinal microbiota by rendering lamina propria macrophages hyporesponsive to commensal bacteria through the down-regulation of proinflammatory effectors.

  17. The microbial metabolite butyrate regulates intestinal macrophage function via histone deacetylase inhibition.

    PubMed

    Chang, Pamela V; Hao, Liming; Offermanns, Stefan; Medzhitov, Ruslan

    2014-02-11

    Given the trillions of microbes that inhabit the mammalian intestines, the host immune system must constantly maintain a balance between tolerance to commensals and immunity against pathogens to avoid unnecessary immune responses against otherwise harmless bacteria. Misregulated responses can lead to inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. The mechanisms by which the immune system maintains this critical balance remain largely undefined. Here, we demonstrate that the short-chain fatty acid n-butyrate, which is secreted in high amounts by commensal bacteria, can modulate the function of intestinal macrophages, the most abundant immune cell type in the lamina propria. Treatment of macrophages with n-butyrate led to the down-regulation of lipopolysaccharide-induced proinflammatory mediators, including nitric oxide, IL-6, and IL-12, but did not affect levels of TNF-α or MCP-1. These effects were independent of toll-like receptor signaling and activation of G-protein-coupled receptors, two pathways that could be affected by short-chain fatty acids. In this study, we provide several lines of evidence that suggest that these effects are due to the inhibition of histone deacetylases by n-butyrate. These findings elucidate a pathway in which the host may maintain tolerance to intestinal microbiota by rendering lamina propria macrophages hyporesponsive to commensal bacteria through the down-regulation of proinflammatory effectors. PMID:24390544

  18. Low-power laser irradiation of blood inhibits platelet function: role of cyclic GMP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brill, Alexander G.; Brill, Gregory E.; Shenkman, Boris; Tamarin, Ilya; Dardik, Rima; Varon, David; Savion, Naphtali

    1998-12-01

    The aim of the present work was to investigate effect of low power laser irradiation (LPLI) on platelet function in vitro. He-Ne laser (Optronix, USA; (lambda) - 632.8 nm, output power - 7 mW) was employed. Platelet adhesion and aggregation in whole blood (WB) under defined shear conditions were assayed by a Cone and Plate(let) Analyzer. Platelet activation was evaluated by flow cytometry. Level of platelet cGMP was estimated by immunoenzyme assay. Experiments performed showed that LPLI of WB resulted in decrease of platelet deposition on extracellular matrix at high shear rate (1300 s-1). Similar results were obtained using surfaces precoated with either collagen type I or von Willebrand factor. LPLI inhibited fibrinogen binding as well as P-selectin expression on the platelet membrane, induced by thrombin analogue. It was found out that primary acceptor of laser energy responsible for the effect on platelets was located in platelets themselves and not in blood plasma or in other blood cells. LPLI of gel- filtered platelets resulted in increase of intracellular level of cGMP both in the absence and in presence of izobutylmethylxantine (phosphodiesterase inhibitor) suggesting stimulation of synthesis rather than destruction of cGMP under the influence of LPLI. It is suggested that guanylate cyclase and/or NO-synthase might serve as primary acceptors of He-Ne laser light in platelets.

  19. Inhibition of TFG function causes hereditary axon degeneration by impairing endoplasmic reticulum structure

    PubMed Central

    Beetz, Christian; Johnson, Adam; Schuh, Amber L.; Thakur, Seema; Varga, Rita-Eva; Fothergill, Thomas; Hertel, Nicole; Bomba-Warczak, Ewa; Thiele, Holger; Nürnberg, Gudrun; Altmüller, Janine; Saxena, Renu; Chapman, Edwin R.; Dent, Erik W.; Nürnberg, Peter; Audhya, Anjon

    2013-01-01

    Hereditary spastic paraplegias are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of gait disorders. Their pathological hallmark is a length-dependent distal axonopathy of nerve fibers in the corticospinal tract. Involvement of other neurons can cause additional neurological symptoms, which define a diverse set of complex hereditary spastic paraplegias. We present two siblings who have the unusual combination of early-onset spastic paraplegia, optic atrophy, and neuropathy. Genome-wide SNP-typing, linkage analysis, and exome sequencing revealed a homozygous c.316C>T (p.R106C) variant in the Trk-fused gene (TFG) as the only plausible mutation. Biochemical characterization of the mutant protein demonstrated a defect in its ability to self-assemble into an oligomeric complex, which is critical for normal TFG function. In cell lines, TFG inhibition slows protein secretion from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and alters ER morphology, disrupting organization of peripheral ER tubules and causing collapse of the ER network onto the underlying microtubule cytoskeleton. The present study provides a unique link between altered ER architecture and neurodegeneration. PMID:23479643

  20. Achyrocline satureioides (Lam.) D.C. Hydroalcoholic Extract Inhibits Neutrophil Functions Related to Innate Host Defense

    PubMed Central

    Barioni, Eric Diego; Machado, Isabel Daufenback; Rodrigues, Stephen Fernandes de Paula; Ferraz-de-Paula, Viviane; Wagner, Theodoro Marcel; Cogliati, Bruno; Corrêa dos Santos, Matheus; Machado, Marina da Silva; de Andrade, Sérgio Faloni; Niero, Rivaldo; Farsky, Sandra Helena Poliselli

    2013-01-01

    Achyrocline satureioides (Lam.) D.C. is a herb native to South America, and its inflorescences are popularly employed to treat inflammatory diseases. Here, the effects of the in vivo actions of the hydroalcoholic extract obtained from inflorescences of A. satureioides on neutrophil trafficking into inflamed tissue were investigated. Male Wistar rats were orally treated with A. satureioides extract, and inflammation was induced one hour later by lipopolysaccharide injection into the subcutaneous tissue. The number of leukocytes and the amount of chemotactic mediators were quantified in the inflammatory exudate, and adhesion molecule and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) expressions and phorbol-myristate-acetate- (PMA-) stimulated oxidative burst were quantified in circulating neutrophils. Leukocyte-endothelial interactions were quantified in the mesentery tissue. Enzymes and tissue morphology of the liver and kidney were evaluated. Treatment with A. satureioides extract reduced neutrophil influx and secretion of leukotriene B4 and CINC-1 in the exudates, the number of rolling and adhered leukocytes in the mesentery postcapillary venules, neutrophil L-selectin, β2-integrin and TLR-4 expression, and oxidative burst, but did not cause an alteration in the morphology and activities of liver and kidney. Together, the data show that A. satureioides extract inhibits neutrophil functions related to the innate response and does not cause systemic toxicity. PMID:23476704

  1. Achyrocline satureioides (Lam.) D.C. Hydroalcoholic Extract Inhibits Neutrophil Functions Related to Innate Host Defense.

    PubMed

    Barioni, Eric Diego; Santin, José Roberto; Machado, Isabel Daufenback; Rodrigues, Stephen Fernandes de Paula; Ferraz-de-Paula, Viviane; Wagner, Theodoro Marcel; Cogliati, Bruno; Corrêa Dos Santos, Matheus; Machado, Marina da Silva; de Andrade, Sérgio Faloni; Niero, Rivaldo; Farsky, Sandra Helena Poliselli

    2013-01-01

    Achyrocline satureioides (Lam.) D.C. is a herb native to South America, and its inflorescences are popularly employed to treat inflammatory diseases. Here, the effects of the in vivo actions of the hydroalcoholic extract obtained from inflorescences of A. satureioides on neutrophil trafficking into inflamed tissue were investigated. Male Wistar rats were orally treated with A. satureioides extract, and inflammation was induced one hour later by lipopolysaccharide injection into the subcutaneous tissue. The number of leukocytes and the amount of chemotactic mediators were quantified in the inflammatory exudate, and adhesion molecule and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) expressions and phorbol-myristate-acetate- (PMA-) stimulated oxidative burst were quantified in circulating neutrophils. Leukocyte-endothelial interactions were quantified in the mesentery tissue. Enzymes and tissue morphology of the liver and kidney were evaluated. Treatment with A. satureioides extract reduced neutrophil influx and secretion of leukotriene B4 and CINC-1 in the exudates, the number of rolling and adhered leukocytes in the mesentery postcapillary venules, neutrophil L-selectin, β 2-integrin and TLR-4 expression, and oxidative burst, but did not cause an alteration in the morphology and activities of liver and kidney. Together, the data show that A. satureioides extract inhibits neutrophil functions related to the innate response and does not cause systemic toxicity.

  2. ΔNp73α regulates MDR1 expression by inhibiting p53 function

    PubMed Central

    Vilgelm, A; Wei, JX; Piazuelo, MB; Washington, MK; Prassolov, V; El-Rifai, W; Zaika, A

    2014-01-01

    The p73 protein is a transcription factor and member of the p53 protein family that expresses as a complex variety of isoforms. ΔNp73α is an N-terminally truncated isoform of p73. We found that ΔNp73 protein is upregulated in human gastric carcinoma suggesting that ΔNp73 may play an oncogenic role in these tumors. Although it has been shown that ΔNp73α inhibits apoptosis and counteracts the effect of chemotherapeutic drugs, the underlying mechanism by which this p73 isoform contributes to chemotherapeutic drug response remains to be explored. We found that ΔNp73α upregulates MDR1 mRNA and p-glycoprotein (p-gp), which is involved in chemotherapeutic drug transport. This p-gp upregulation was accompanied by increased p-gp functional activity in gastric cancer cells. Our data suggest that upregulation of MDR1 by ΔNp73α is mediated by interaction with p53 at the MDR1 promoter. PMID:17952118

  3. DeltaNp73alpha regulates MDR1 expression by inhibiting p53 function.

    PubMed

    Vilgelm, A; Wei, J X; Piazuelo, M B; Washington, M K; Prassolov, V; El-Rifai, W; Zaika, A

    2008-04-01

    The p73 protein is a transcription factor and member of the p53 protein family that expresses as a complex variety of isoforms. DeltaNp73alpha is an N-terminally truncated isoform of p73. We found that DeltaNp73 protein is upregulated in human gastric carcinoma suggesting that DeltaNp73 may play an oncogenic role in these tumors. Although it has been shown that DeltaNp73alpha inhibits apoptosis and counteracts the effect of chemotherapeutic drugs, the underlying mechanism by which this p73 isoform contributes to chemotherapeutic drug response remains to be explored. We found that DeltaNp73alpha upregulates MDR1 mRNA and p-glycoprotein (p-gp), which is involved in chemotherapeutic drug transport. This p-gp upregulation was accompanied by increased p-gp functional activity in gastric cancer cells. Our data suggest that upregulation of MDR1 by DeltaNp73alpha is mediated by interaction with p53 at the MDR1 promoter.

  4. Inhibition of autophagy, lysosome and VCP function impairs stress granule assembly

    PubMed Central

    Seguin, S J; Morelli, F F; Vinet, J; Amore, D; De Biasi, S; Poletti, A; Rubinsztein, D C; Carra, S

    2014-01-01

    Stress granules (SGs) are mRNA-protein aggregates induced during stress, which accumulate in many neurodegenerative diseases. Previously, the autophagy-lysosome pathway and valosin-containing protein (VCP), key players of the protein quality control (PQC), were shown to regulate SG degradation. This is consistent with the idea that PQC may survey and/or assist SG dynamics. However, despite these observations, it is currently unknown whether the PQC actively participates in SG assembly. Here, we describe that inhibition of autophagy, lysosomes and VCP causes defective SG formation after induction. Silencing the VCP co-factors UFD1L and PLAA, which degrade defective ribosomal products (DRIPs) and 60S ribosomes, also impaired SG assembly. Intriguingly, DRIPs and 60S, which are released from disassembling polysomes and are normally excluded from SGs, were significantly retained within SGs in cells with impaired autophagy, lysosome or VCP function. Our results suggest that deregulated autophagy, lysosomal or VCP activities, which occur in several neurodegenerative (VCP-associated) diseases, may alter SG morphology and composition. PMID:25034784

  5. Expanded explorations into the optimization of an energy function for protein design

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yao-ming; Bystroff, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Nature possesses a secret formula for the energy as a function of the structure of a protein. In protein design, approximations are made to both the structural representation of the molecule and to the form of the energy equation, such that the existence of a general energy function for proteins is by no means guaranteed. Here we present new insights towards the application of machine learning to the problem of finding a general energy function for protein design. Machine learning requires the definition of an objective function, which carries with it the implied definition of success in protein design. We explored four functions, consisting of two functional forms, each with two criteria for success. Optimization was carried out by a Monte Carlo search through the space of all variable parameters. Cross-validation of the optimized energy function against a test set gave significantly different results depending on the choice of objective function, pointing to relative correctness of the built-in assumptions. Novel energy cross-terms correct for the observed non-additivity of energy terms and an imbalance in the distribution of predicted amino acids. This paper expands on the work presented at ACM-BCB, Orlando FL , October 2012. PMID:24384706

  6. Expanded explorations into the optimization of an energy function for protein design.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yao-Ming; Bystroff, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Nature possesses a secret formula for the energy as a function of the structure of a protein. In protein design, approximations are made to both the structural representation of the molecule and to the form of the energy equation, such that the existence of a general energy function for proteins is by no means guaranteed. Here, we present new insights toward the application of machine learning to the problem of finding a general energy function for protein design. Machine learning requires the definition of an objective function, which carries with it the implied definition of success in protein design. We explored four functions, consisting of two functional forms, each with two criteria for success. Optimization was carried out by a Monte Carlo search through the space of all variable parameters. Cross-validation of the optimized energy function against a test set gave significantly different results depending on the choice of objective function, pointing to relative correctness of the built-in assumptions. Novel energy cross terms correct for the observed nonadditivity of energy terms and an imbalance in the distribution of predicted amino acids. This paper expands on the work presented at the 2012 ACM-BCB.

  7. Estimating Contrast Transfer Function and Associated Parameters by Constrained Nonlinear Optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Chao; Jiang, Wen; Chen, Dong-Hua; Adiga, Umesh; Ng, Esmond G.; Chiu, Wah

    2008-07-28

    The three-dimensional reconstruction of macromolecules from two-dimensional single-particle electron images requires determination and correction of the contrast transfer function (CTF) and envelope function. A computational algorithm based on constrained non-linear optimization is developed to estimate the essential parameters in the CTF and envelope function model simultaneously and automatically. The application of this estimation method is demonstrated with focal series images of amorphous carbon film as well as images of ice-embedded icosahedral virus particles suspended across holes.

  8. Applications of a quadratic extended interior penalty function for structural optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haftka, R. T.; Starnes, J. H., Jr.

    1975-01-01

    A quadratic extended interior penalty function formulation especially well suited for second-order unconstrained optimization procedures is presented. Analytical derivatives of constraints and an approximate analysis technique are used. Minimum-mass design results are presented which indicate that the combination of these procedures can help make mathematical programming a useful optimization tool for large-order structural design problems with a large number of design variables and multiple constraints. Examples include statically loaded high- and low-aspect-ratio wings simultaneously subjected to stress, displacement, minimum gage and, in some cases, maximum strain constraints.

  9. Optimization of global model composed of radial basis functions using the term-ranking approach

    SciTech Connect

    Cai, Peng; Tao, Chao Liu, Xiao-Jun

    2014-03-15

    A term-ranking method is put forward to optimize the global model composed of radial basis functions to improve the predictability of the model. The effectiveness of the proposed method is examined by numerical simulation and experimental data. Numerical simulations indicate that this method can significantly lengthen the prediction time and decrease the Bayesian information criterion of the model. The application to real voice signal shows that the optimized global model can capture more predictable component in chaos-like voice data and simultaneously reduce the predictable component (periodic pitch) in the residual signal.

  10. A Sequential Optimization Sampling Method for Metamodels with Radial Basis Functions

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Guang; Ye, Pengcheng; Yang, Zhidong

    2014-01-01

    Metamodels have been widely used in engineering design to facilitate analysis and optimization of complex systems that involve computationally expensive simulation programs. The accuracy of metamodels is strongly affected by the sampling methods. In this paper, a new sequential optimization sampling method is proposed. Based on the new sampling method, metamodels can be constructed repeatedly through the addition of sampling points, namely, extrema points of metamodels and minimum points of density function. Afterwards, the more accurate metamodels would be constructed by the procedure above. The validity and effectiveness of proposed sampling method are examined by studying typical numerical examples. PMID:25133206

  11. Phenothiazines inhibit S100A4 function by inducing protein oligomerization

    SciTech Connect

    Malashkevich, Vladimir N.; Dulyaninova, Natalya G.; Ramagopal, Udupi A.; Liriano, Melissa A.; Varney, Kristen M.; Knight, David; Brenowitz, Michael; Weber, David J.; Almo, Steven C.; Bresnick, Anne R.

    2010-06-22

    S100A4, a member of the S100 family of Ca{sup 2+}-binding proteins, regulates carcinoma cell motility via interactions with myosin-IIA. Numerous studies indicate that S100A4 is not simply a marker for metastatic disease, but rather has a direct role in metastatic progression. These observations suggest that S100A4 is an excellent target for therapeutic intervention. Using a unique biosensor-based assay, trifluoperazine (TFP) was identified as an inhibitor that disrupts the S100A4/myosin-IIA interaction. To examine the interaction of S100A4 with TFP, we determined the 2.3 {angstrom} crystal structure of human Ca{sup 2+}-S100A4 bound to TFP. Two TFP molecules bind within the hydrophobic target binding pocket of Ca{sup 2+}-S100A4 with no significant conformational changes observed in the protein upon complex formation. NMR chemical shift perturbations are consistent with the crystal structure and demonstrate that TFP binds to the target binding cleft of S100A4 in solution. Remarkably, TFP binding results in the assembly of five Ca{sup 2+}-S100A4/TFP dimers into a tightly packed pentameric ring. Within each pentamer most of the contacts between S100A4 dimers occurs through the TFP moieties. The Ca{sup 2+}-S100A4/prochlorperazine (PCP) complex exhibits a similar pentameric assembly. Equilibrium sedimentation and cross-linking studies demonstrate the cooperative formation of a similarly sized S100A4/TFP oligomer in solution. Assays examining the ability of TFP to block S100A4-mediated disassembly of myosin-IIA filaments demonstrate that significant inhibition of S100A4 function occurs only at TFP concentrations that promote S100A4 oligomerization. Together these studies support a unique mode of inhibition in which phenothiazines disrupt the S100A4/myosin-IIA interaction by sequestering S100A4 via small molecule-induced oligomerization.

  12. Membrane Vesicles Released by Intestinal Epithelial Cells Infected with Rotavirus Inhibit T-Cell Function

    PubMed Central

    Barreto, Alfonso; Rodríguez, Luz-Stella; Rojas, Olga Lucía; Wolf, Marie; Greenberg, Harry B.; Franco, Manuel A.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Rotavirus (RV) predominantly replicates in intestinal epithelial cells (IEC), and “danger signals” released by these cells may modulate viral immunity. We have recently shown that human model IEC (Caco-2 cells) infected with rhesus-RV release a non-inflammatory group of immunomodulators that includes heat shock proteins (HSPs) and TGF-β1. Here we show that both proteins are released in part in association with membrane vesicles (MV) obtained from filtrated Caco-2 supernatants concentrated by ultracentrifugation. These MV express markers of exosomes (CD63 and others), but not of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or nuclei. Larger quantities of proteins associated with MV were released by RV-infected cells than by non-infected cells. VP6 co-immunoprecipitated with CD63 present in these MV, and VP6 co-localized with CD63 in RV-infected cells, suggesting that this viral protein is associated with the MV, and that this association occurs intracellularly. CD63 present in MV preparations from stool samples from 36 children with gastroenteritis due or not due to RV were analyzed. VP6 co-immunoprecipitated with CD63 in 3/8 stool samples from RV-infected children, suggesting that these MV are released by RV-infected cells in vivo. Moreover, fractions that contained MV from RV-infected cells induced death and inhibited proliferation of CD4+ T cells to a greater extent than fractions from non-infected cells. These effects were in part due to TGF-β, because they were reversed by treatment of the T cells with the TGF-β-receptor inhibitor ALK5i. MV from RV-infected and non-infected cells were heterogeneous, with morphologies and typical flotation densities described for exosomes (between 1.10 and 1.18 g/mL), and denser vesicles (>1.24 g/mL). Both types of MV from RV-infected cells were more efficient at inhibiting T-cell function than were those from non-infected cells. We propose that RV infection of IEC releases MV that modulate viral immunity. PMID:21142445

  13. Inhibition of PK-PBAN-mediated functions in insects: Discovery of selective and non-selective inhibitors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The antagonistic properties of a few linear and backbone cyclic (BBC) conformationally constraint peptide libraries and their analogs, were tested for the ability to inhibit pyrokinin/pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PK/PBAN) mediated functions: sex pheromone biosynthesis in Heliothis...

  14. A Preliminary Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study of Cortical Inhibition and Excitability in High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Enticott, Peter G.; Rinehart, Nicole J.; Tonge, Bruce J.; Bradshaw, John L.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.

    2010-01-01

    Aim: Controversy surrounds the distinction between high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger disorder, but motor abnormalities are associated features of both conditions. This study examined motor cortical inhibition and excitability in HFA and Asperger disorder using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Method: Participants were diagnosed by…

  15. Optimization of in vitro inhibition of HT-29 colon cancer cell cultures by Solanum tuberosum L. extracts.

    PubMed

    Zuber, T; Holm, D; Byrne, P; Ducreux, L; Taylor, M; Kaiser, M; Stushnoff, C

    2015-01-01

    Secondary metabolites in potato have been reported to possess bioactive properties, including growth inhibition of cancer cells. Because potatoes are widely consumed globally, potential health benefits may have broad application. Thus we investigated growth inhibition of HT-29 colon cancer cell cultures by extracts from 13 diverse genetic breeding clones. Extracts from three pigmented selections (CO97226-2R/R, CO97216-1P/P, CO04058-3RW/RW) inhibited growth of in vitro HT-29 cell cultures more effectively than other clones tested. While inhibition was highest from pigmented selections and pigmented tuber tissue sectors, not all pigmented breeding lines tested had appreciable inhibitory properties. Thus, inhibition was not uniquely linked to pigmentation. Immature tubers had the highest inhibitory properties, and in most cases mature tubers retained very low inhibition properties. Flowers and skins inhibited strongly at lower extract concentrations. An extract consisting of 7.2 mg mL⁻¹ cell culture medium was the lowest effective concentration. While raw tuber extracts inhibited most effectively, a few clones at higher concentrations retained inhibition after cooking. Heated whole tubers retained higher inhibition than heated aqueous extracts. While all aqueous extracts from the two tuber selections (CO97216-1P/P and CO97226-2R/R) inhibited HT-29 cell cultures, inhibition was significantly enhanced in purple pigmented tubers of CO97216-1P/P prepared cryogenically as liquid nitrogen powders compared to extracts from freeze dried samples. Upregulation of caspase-3 protease activity, indicative of apoptosis, was highest among the most inhibitory clone samples. The unique sectorial red pigment expressing selection (CO04058-3RW/RW) provided a model system that isolated expression in pigmented sectors, and thus eliminated developmental, environmental and genetic confounding. PMID:25338312

  16. Optimization of in vitro inhibition of HT-29 colon cancer cell cultures by Solanum tuberosum L. extracts.

    PubMed

    Zuber, T; Holm, D; Byrne, P; Ducreux, L; Taylor, M; Kaiser, M; Stushnoff, C

    2015-01-01

    Secondary metabolites in potato have been reported to possess bioactive properties, including growth inhibition of cancer cells. Because potatoes are widely consumed globally, potential health benefits may have broad application. Thus we investigated growth inhibition of HT-29 colon cancer cell cultures by extracts from 13 diverse genetic breeding clones. Extracts from three pigmented selections (CO97226-2R/R, CO97216-1P/P, CO04058-3RW/RW) inhibited growth of in vitro HT-29 cell cultures more effectively than other clones tested. While inhibition was highest from pigmented selections and pigmented tuber tissue sectors, not all pigmented breeding lines tested had appreciable inhibitory properties. Thus, inhibition was not uniquely linked to pigmentation. Immature tubers had the highest inhibitory properties, and in most cases mature tubers retained very low inhibition properties. Flowers and skins inhibited strongly at lower extract concentrations. An extract consisting of 7.2 mg mL⁻¹ cell culture medium was the lowest effective concentration. While raw tuber extracts inhibited most effectively, a few clones at higher concentrations retained inhibition after cooking. Heated whole tubers retained higher inhibition than heated aqueous extracts. While all aqueous extracts from the two tuber selections (CO97216-1P/P and CO97226-2R/R) inhibited HT-29 cell cultures, inhibition was significantly enhanced in purple pigmented tubers of CO97216-1P/P prepared cryogenically as liquid nitrogen powders compared to extracts from freeze dried samples. Upregulation of caspase-3 protease activity, indicative of apoptosis, was highest among the most inhibitory clone samples. The unique sectorial red pigment expressing selection (CO04058-3RW/RW) provided a model system that isolated expression in pigmented sectors, and thus eliminated developmental, environmental and genetic confounding.

  17. Functional inhibition of chemokine receptor CCR2 by dicer-substrate-siRNA prevents pain development

    PubMed Central

    Midavaine, Élora; Dansereau, Marc-André; Tétreault, Pascal; Longpré, Jean-Michel; Jacobi, Ashley M; Rose, Scott D; Behlke, Mark A; Beaudet, Nicolas; Sarret, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Background Accumulating evidence suggests that the C-C chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2, or monocyte chemoattractant protein 1) acts as a neuromodulator in the central nervous system through its binding to the C-C chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2). Notably, it is well established that the CCL2/CCR2 axis plays a key role in neuron-glia communication as well as in spinal nociceptive transmission. Gene silencing through RNA interference has recently emerged as a promising avenue in research and drug development, including therapeutic management of chronic pain. In the present study, we used 27-mer Dicer-substrate small interfering RNA (DsiRNA) targeting CCR2 and assessed their ability to reverse the nociceptive behaviors induced by spinal CCL2 injection or following intraplantar injection of complete Freund’s adjuvant. Results To this end, we first developed high-potency DsiRNAs designed to target different sequences distributed across the rat CCR2 (rCCR2) messenger RNA. For optimization, methyl groups were added to the two most potent DsiRNA candidates (Evader and M7 2′-O-methyl modified duplexes) in order to improve in vivo duplex stability and to reduce potential immunostimulatory activity. Our results demonstrated that all modified candidates formulated with the cell-penetrating peptide reagent Transductin showed strong RNAi activity following intrathecal delivery, exhibiting >50% rCCR2 knockdown in lumbar dorsal root ganglia. Accordingly, we found that these DsiRNA duplexes were able to reduce spinal microglia activation and were effective at blocking CCL2-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. Along with similar reductions of rCCR2 messenger RNA, both sequences and methylation patterns were similarly effective in inhibiting the CCL2 nociceptive action for the whole seven days testing period, compared to mismatch DsiRNA. DsiRNAs against CCR2 also reversed the hypernociceptive responses observed in the complete Freund’s adjuvant-induced inflammatory chronic pain model

  18. Functional inhibition in direction-selective retinal ganglion cells: spatiotemporal extent and intralaminar interactions.

    PubMed

    Stasheff, Steven F; Masland, Richard H

    2002-08-01

    We recorded from ON-OFF direction-selective ganglion cells (DS cells) in the rabbit retina to investigate in detail the inhibition that contributes to direction selectivity in these cells. Using paired stimuli moving sequentially across the cells' receptive fields in the preferred direction, we directly confirmed the prediction of that a wave of inhibition accompanies any moving excitatory stimulus on its null side, at a fixed spatial offset. Varying the interstimulus distance, stimulus size, luminance, and speed yielded a spatiotemporal map of the strength of inhibition within this region. This "null" inhibition was maximal at an intermediate distance behind a moving stimulus: 1/2 to 11/2 times the width of the receptive field. The strength of inhibition depended more on the distance behind the stimulus than on stimulus speed, and the inhibition often lasted 1-2 s. These spatial and temporal parameters appear to account for the known spatial frequency and velocity tuning of ON-OFF DS cells to drifting contrast gratings. Stimuli that elicit distinct ON and OFF responses to leading and trailing edges revealed that an excitatory response of either polarity could inhibit a subsequent response of either polarity. For example, an OFF response inhibited either an ON or OFF response of a subsequent stimulus. This inhibition apparently is conferred by a neural element or network spanning the ON and OFF sublayers of the inner plexiform layer, such as a multistratified amacrine cell. Trials using a stationary flashing spot as a probe demonstrated that the total amount of inhibition conferred on the DS cell was equivalent for stimuli moving in either the null or preferred direction. Apparently the cell does not act as a classic "integrate and fire" neuron, summing all inputs at the soma. Rather, computation of stimulus direction likely involves interactions between excitatory and inhibitory inputs in local regions of the dendrites. PMID:12163551

  19. Altered brain activation during response inhibition and error processing in subjects with Internet gaming disorder: a functional magnetic imaging study.

    PubMed

    Ko, Chih-Hung; Hsieh, Tsyh-Jyi; Chen, Chiao-Yun; Yen, Cheng-Fang; Chen, Cheng-Sheng; Yen, Ju-Yu; Wang, Peng-Wei; Liu, Gin-Chung

    2014-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impulsivity and brain correlates of response inhibition and error processing among subjects with Internet gaming disorder (IGD). We evaluated the response inhibition and error processing by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in subjects with IGD and controls. Twenty-six men with IGD for at least 2 years and 23 controls with no history of IGD were recruited as the IGD and control groups, respectively. All subjects performed the event-related designed Go/No-go task under fMRI and completed questionnaires related to Internet addiction and impulsivity. The IGD group exhibited a higher score for impulsivity than the control group. The IGD group also exhibited higher brain activation when processing response inhibition over the left orbital frontal lobe and bilateral caudate nucleus than controls. Both the IGD and control groups exhibited activation of the insula and anterior cingulate cortex during error processing. The activation over the right insula was lower in the subjects with IGD than the control group. Our results support the fact that the fronto-striatal network involved in response inhibition, and the salience network, anchored by the anterior cingulate and insula, contributes to error processing. Further, adults with IGD have impaired insular function in error processing and greater activation of the fronto-striatal network in order to maintain their response inhibition performance. PMID:24469099

  20. Altered brain activation during response inhibition and error processing in subjects with Internet gaming disorder: a functional magnetic imaging study.

    PubMed

    Ko, Chih-Hung; Hsieh, Tsyh-Jyi; Chen, Chiao-Yun; Yen, Cheng-Fang; Chen, Cheng-Sheng; Yen, Ju-Yu; Wang, Peng-Wei; Liu, Gin-Chung

    2014-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impulsivity and brain correlates of response inhibition and error processing among subjects with Internet gaming disorder (IGD). We evaluated the response inhibition and error processing by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in subjects with IGD and controls. Twenty-six men with IGD for at least 2 years and 23 controls with no history of IGD were recruited as the IGD and control groups, respectively. All subjects performed the event-related designed Go/No-go task under fMRI and completed questionnaires related to Internet addiction and impulsivity. The IGD group exhibited a higher score for impulsivity than the control group. The IGD group also exhibited higher brain activation when processing response inhibition over the left orbital frontal lobe and bilateral caudate nucleus than controls. Both the IGD and control groups exhibited activation of the insula and anterior cingulate cortex during error processing. The activation over the right insula was lower in the subjects with IGD than the control group. Our results support the fact that the fronto-striatal network involved in response inhibition, and the salience network, anchored by the anterior cingulate and insula, contributes to error processing. Further, adults with IGD have impaired insular function in error processing and greater activation of the fronto-striatal network in order to maintain their response inhibition performance.

  1. Functional connectivity delineates distinct roles of the inferior frontal cortex and pre-supplementary motor area in stop signal inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Duann, Jeng-Ren; Ide, Jaime S.; Luo, Xi; Li, Chiang-shan Ray

    2009-01-01

    The neural basis of motor response inhibition has drawn considerable attention in recent imaging literature. Many studies have employed the go/no-go or stop signal task to examine the neural processes underlying motor response inhibition. In particular, showing greater activity during no-go (stop) as compared to go trials and during stop success as compared to stop error trials, the right inferior prefrontal cortex (IFC) has been suggested by numerous studies as the cortical area mediating response inhibition. Many of these same studies as well as others have also implicated the pre-supplementary motor area (preSMA) in this process, in accord with a function of the medial prefrontal cortex in goal-directed action. Here we employed connectivity analyses to delineate the roles of IFC and preSMA during stop signal inhibition. Specifically, we hypothesized that, as an integral part of the ventral attention system, the IFC responds to a stop signal and expedites the stop process in the preSMA, the primary site of motor response inhibition. This hypothesis predicted that preSMA and primary motor cortex would show functional interconnectivity via the basal ganglia circuitry to mediate response execution or inhibition, whereas the IFC would influence the basal ganglia circuitry via connectivity with preSMA. The results of Granger causality analyses in 57 participants confirmed this hypothesis. Furthermore, psychophysiological interaction showed that, as compared to stop errors, stop successes evoked greater effective connectivity between the IFC and preSMA, providing additional support for this hypothesis. These new findings provided evidence critically differentiating the roles of IFC and preSMA during stop signal inhibition and have important implications for our understanding of the component processes of inhibitory control. PMID:19675251

  2. Multiobjective evolutionary optimization of the size, shape, and position parameters of radial basis function networks for function approximation.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, J; Rojas, I; Ortega, J; Pomares, H; Fernandez, F J; Diaz, A F

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents a multiobjective evolutionary algorithm to optimize radial basis function neural networks (RBFNNs) in order to approach target functions from a set of input-output pairs. The procedure allows the application of heuristics to improve the solution of the problem at hand by including some new genetic operators in the evolutionary process. These new operators are based on two well-known matrix transformations: singular value decomposition (SVD) and orthogonal least squares (OLS), which have been used to define new mutation operators that produce local or global modifications in the radial basis functions (RBFs) of the networks (the individuals in the population in the evolutionary procedure). After analyzing the efficiency of the different operators, we have shown that the global mutation operators yield an improved procedure to adjust the parameters of the RBFNNs.

  3. Experimental design and multiple response optimization. Using the desirability function in analytical methods development.

    PubMed

    Candioti, Luciana Vera; De Zan, María M; Cámara, María S; Goicoechea, Héctor C

    2014-06-01

    A review about the application of response surface methodology (RSM) when several responses have to be simultaneously optimized in the field of analytical methods development is presented. Several critical issues like response transformation, multiple response optimization and modeling with least squares and artificial neural networks are discussed. Most recent analytical applications are presented in the context of analytLaboratorio de Control de Calidad de Medicamentos (LCCM), Facultad de Bioquímica y Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, C.C. 242, S3000ZAA Santa Fe, ArgentinaLaboratorio de Control de Calidad de Medicamentos (LCCM), Facultad de Bioquímica y Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, C.C. 242, S3000ZAA Santa Fe, Argentinaical methods development, especially in multiple response optimization procedures using the desirability function.

  4. Optimization of a hybrid exchange-correlation functional for silicon carbides

    SciTech Connect

    Oda, Takuji; Zhang, Yanwen; Weber, William J

    2013-01-01

    A hybrid exchange-correlation functional is optimized in order to accurately describe the nature of silicon carbides (SiC) in the framework of ab-initio calculations based on density functional theory (DFT), especially with an aim toward future applications in defect studies. It is shown that the Heyd-Scuseria-Ernzerhof (HSE) hybrid functional with the screening parameter of 0.15 -1 outperforms conventional exchange-correlation functionals and other popular hybrid functionals regarding description of band structures in SiC. High transferability is proven through assessment over various SiC polytypes, silicon and diamond. Excellent performance is also confirmed for other fundamental material properties including elastic constants and phonon frequency.

  5. Water extract of the fungi from Fuzhuan brick tea improves the beneficial function on inhibiting fat deposition.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yuxuan; Xiong, Zhe; Li, Juan; Huang, Jian-An; Teng, Cuiqin; Gong, Yushun; Liu, Zhonghua

    2014-08-01

    Fuzhuan brick tea (FBT) is traditionally consumed by the ethnic group in the border region of northwest China. The unique yellow fungal (Eurotium cristatum) growth phase is considered to be the key process point in the manufacture of the brick tea. The fungi from FBT are not only strongly correlated to the quality of brick tea, but also have the potential function of preventing obesity. The water extract of fungi (100 μg/mL) can significantly inhibit fat deposition in 3T3-L1 adipocyte and Caenorhabditis elegans. Furthermore, the inhibition of 3T3-L1 adipocyte formation was not due to the suppression on cell viability.

  6. Limonene inhibits methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity via regulation of 5-HT neuronal function and dopamine release.

    PubMed

    Yun, Jaesuk

    2014-05-15

    Methamphetamine is a psychomotor stimulant that produces hyperlocomotion in rodents. Limonene (a cyclic terpene from citrus essential oils) has been reported to induce sedative effects. In this study, we demonstrated that limonene administration significantly inhibited serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT)-induced head twitch response in mice. In rats, pretreatment with limonene decreased hyperlocomotion induced by methamphetamine injection. In addition, limonene reversed the increase in dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens of rats given methamphetamine. These results suggest that limonene may inhibit stimulant-induced behavioral changes via regulating dopamine levels and 5-HT receptor function.

  7. Geometry Design Optimization of Functionally Graded Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering: A Mechanobiological Approach

    PubMed Central

    Boccaccio, Antonio; Uva, Antonio Emmanuele; Fiorentino, Michele; Mori, Giorgio; Monno, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Functionally Graded Scaffolds (FGSs) are porous biomaterials where porosity changes in space with a specific gradient. In spite of their wide use in bone tissue engineering, possible models that relate the scaffold gradient to the mechanical and biological requirements for the regeneration of the bony tissue are currently missing. In this study we attempt to bridge the gap by developing a mechanobiology-based optimization algorithm aimed to determine the optimal graded porosity distribution in FGSs. The algorithm combines the parametric finite element model of a FGS, a computational mechano-regulation model and a numerical optimization routine. For assigned boundary and loading conditions, the algorithm builds iteratively different scaffold geometry configurations with different porosity distributions until the best microstructure geometry is reached, i.e. the geometry that allows the amount of bone formation to be maximized. We tested different porosity distribution laws, loading conditions and scaffold Young’s modulus values. For each combination of these variables, the explicit equation of the porosity distribution law–i.e the law that describes the pore dimensions in function of the spatial coordinates–was determined that allows the highest amounts of bone to be generated. The results show that the loading conditions affect significantly the optimal porosity distribution. For a pure compression loading, it was found that the pore dimensions are almost constant throughout the entire scaffold and using a FGS allows the formation of amounts of bone slightly larger than those obtainable with a homogeneous porosity scaffold. For a pure shear loading, instead, FGSs allow to significantly increase the bone formation compared to a homogeneous porosity scaffolds. Although experimental data is still necessary to properly relate the mechanical/biological environment to the scaffold microstructure, this model represents an important step towards optimizing geometry

  8. Optimization of the dressing parameters in cylindrical grinding based on a generalized utility function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleksandrova, Irina

    2016-01-01

    The existing studies, concerning the dressing process, focus on the major influence of the dressing conditions on the grinding response variables. However, the choice of the dressing conditions is often made, based on the experience of the qualified staff or using data from reference books. The optimal dressing parameters, which are only valid for the particular methods and dressing and grinding conditions, are also used. The paper presents a methodology for optimization of the dressing parameters in cylindrical grinding. The generalized utility function has been chosen as an optimization parameter. It is a complex indicator determining the economic, dynamic and manufacturing characteristics of the grinding process. The developed methodology is implemented for the dressing of aluminium oxide grinding wheels by using experimental diamond roller dressers with different grit sizes made of medium- and high-strength synthetic diamonds type ??32 and ??80. To solve the optimization problem, a model of the generalized utility function is created which reflects the complex impact of dressing parameters. The model is built based on the results from the conducted complex study and modeling of the grinding wheel lifetime, cutting ability, production rate and cutting forces during grinding. They are closely related to the dressing conditions (dressing speed ratio, radial in-feed of the diamond roller dresser and dress-out time), the diamond roller dresser grit size/grinding wheel grit size ratio, the type of synthetic diamonds and the direction of dressing. Some dressing parameters are determined for which the generalized utility function has a maximum and which guarantee an optimum combination of the following: the lifetime and cutting ability of the abrasive wheels, the tangential cutting force magnitude and the production rate of the grinding process. The results obtained prove the possibility of control and optimization of grinding by selecting particular dressing

  9. Sparstolonin B Inhibits Pro-Angiogenic Functions and Blocks Cell Cycle Progression in Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Bateman, Henry R.; Liang, Qiaoli; Fan, Daping; Rodriguez, Vanessa; Lessner, Susan M.

    2013-01-01

    Sparstolonin B (SsnB) is a novel bioactive compound isolated from Sparganium stoloniferum, an herb historically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an anti-tumor agent. Angiogenesis, the process of new capillary formation from existing blood vessels, is dysregulated in many pathological disorders, including diabetic retinopathy, tumor growth, and atherosclerosis. In functional assays, SsnB inhibited endothelial cell tube formation (Matrigel method) and cell migration (Transwell method) in a dose-dependent manner. Microarray experiments with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) demonstrated differential expression of several hundred genes in response to SsnB exposure (916 and 356 genes, respectively, with fold change ≥2, p<0.05, unpaired t-test). Microarray data from both cell types showed significant overlap, including genes associated with cell proliferation and cell cycle. Flow cytometric cell cycle analysis of HUVECs treated with SsnB showed an increase of cells in the G1 phase and a decrease of cells in the S phase. Cyclin E2 (CCNE2) and Cell division cycle 6 (CDC6) are regulatory proteins that control cell cycle progression through the G1/S checkpoint. Both CCNE2 and CDC6 were downregulated in the microarray data. Real Time quantitative PCR confirmed that gene expression of CCNE2 and CDC6 in HUVECs was downregulated after SsnB exposure, to 64% and 35% of controls, respectively. The data suggest that SsnB may exert its anti-angiogenic properties in part by downregulating CCNE2 and CDC6, halting progression through the G1/S checkpoint. In the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay, SsnB caused significant reduction in capillary length and branching number relative to the vehicle control group. Overall, SsnB caused a significant reduction in angiogenesis (ANOVA, p<0.05), demonstrating its ex vivo efficacy. PMID:23940584

  10. Inhibition of Escherichia coli biofilm formation by self-assembled monolayers of functional alkanethiols on gold.

    PubMed

    Hou, Shuyu; Burton, Erik A; Simon, Karen A; Blodgett, Dustin; Luk, Yan-Yeung; Ren, Dacheng

    2007-07-01

    Bacterial biofilms cause serious problems, such as antibiotic resistance and medical device-related infections. To further understand bacterium-surface interactions and to develop efficient control strategies, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiols presenting different functional groups on gold films were analyzed to determine their resistance to biofilm formation. Escherichia coli was labeled with green florescence protein, and its biofilm formation on SAM-modified surfaces was monitored by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The three-dimensional structures of biofilms were analyzed with the COMSTAT software to obtain information about biofilm thickness and surface coverage. SAMs presenting methyl, L-gulonamide (a sugar alcohol tethered with an amide bond), and tri(ethylene glycol) (TEG) groups were tested. Among these, the TEG-terminated SAM was the most resistant to E. coli biofilm formation; e.g., it repressed biofilm formation by E. coli DH5alpha by 99.5% +/- 0.1% for 1 day compared to the biofilm formation on a bare gold surface. When surfaces were patterned with regions consisting of methyl-terminated SAMs surrounded by TEG-terminated SAMs, E. coli formed biofilms only on methyl-terminated patterns. Addition of TEG as a free molecule to growth medium at concentrations of 0.1 and 1.0% also inhibited biofilm formation, while TEG at concentrations up to 1.5% did not have any noticeable effects on cell growth. The results of this study suggest that the reduction in biofilm formation on surfaces modified with TEG-terminated SAMs is a result of multiple factors, including the solvent structure at the interface, the chemorepellent nature of TEG, and the inhibitory effect of TEG on cell motility.

  11. Optimizing Structural Active Control Force Using the Exterior Penalty Function Method

    SciTech Connect

    Tavassoli, Mohammad Reza; Amini, Fereidoun

    2008-07-08

    A new method for optimizing the control force in a closed-open loop control system has been developed. In this method which applies the complete feedback, structural responses including displacement, velocity, acceleration and also the excitation forces are used to determine the required control forces. In a closed-open loop control system, applying control force is equivalent to making changes in the mass, damping and stiffness matrices of the structure and the external force vector. Assuming these changes are linear and proportional to their initial values, the minimization of control force depends on the optimal values of the proportion coefficients. This idea leads to a constrained optimization problem of n-variable, which has been solved by using the exterior penalty function method and the Powell's search algorithm. The peak control force is the objective function of this optimization problem and the proportion coefficients are the design variables. The supposed limitation of the structural responses comprises the constraints of the problem. The effectiveness of the proposed method is demonstrated by some numerical examples.

  12. Optimizing Structural Active Control Force Using the Exterior Penalty Function Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavassoli, Mohammad Reza; Amini, Fereidoun

    2008-07-01

    A new method for optimizing the control force in a closed-open loop control system has been developed. In this method which applies the complete feedback, structural responses including displacement, velocity, acceleration and also the excitation forces are used to determine the required control forces. In a closed-open loop control system, applying control force is equivalent to making changes in the mass, damping and stiffness matrices of the structure and the external force vector. Assuming these changes are linear and proportional to their initial values, the minimization of control force depends on the optimal values of the proportion coefficients. This idea leads to a constrained optimization problem of n-variable, which has been solved by using the exterior penalty function method and the Powell's search algorithm. The peak control force is the objective function of this optimization problem and the proportion coefficients are the design variables. The supposed limitation of the structural responses comprises the constraints of the problem. The effectiveness of the proposed method is demonstrated by some numerical examples.

  13. Optimizing the general linear model for functional near-infrared spectroscopy: an adaptive hemodynamic response function approach

    PubMed Central

    Uga, Minako; Dan, Ippeita; Sano, Toshifumi; Dan, Haruka; Watanabe, Eiju

    2014-01-01

    Abstract. An increasing number of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) studies utilize a general linear model (GLM) approach, which serves as a standard statistical method for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data analysis. While fMRI solely measures the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal, fNIRS measures the changes of oxy-hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) and deoxy-hemoglobin (deoxy-Hb) signals at a temporal resolution severalfold higher. This suggests the necessity of adjusting the temporal parameters of a GLM for fNIRS signals. Thus, we devised a GLM-based method utilizing an adaptive hemodynamic response function (HRF). We sought the optimum temporal parameters to best explain the observed time series data during verbal fluency and naming tasks. The peak delay of the HRF was systematically changed to achieve the best-fit model for the observed oxy- and deoxy-Hb time series data. The optimized peak delay showed different values for each Hb signal and task. When the optimized peak delays were adopted, the deoxy-Hb data yielded comparable activations with similar statistical power and spatial patterns to oxy-Hb data. The adaptive HRF method could suitably explain the behaviors of both Hb parameters during tasks with the different cognitive loads during a time course, and thus would serve as an objective method to fully utilize the temporal structures of all fNIRS data. PMID:26157973

  14. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Glycoprotein B and US3 Collaborate To Inhibit CD1d Antigen Presentation and NKT Cell Function

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Ping; Pham, Hong Thanh; Kulkarni, Arpita; Yang, Yang; Liu, Xueqiao; Knipe, David M.; Cresswell, Peter; Yuan, Weiming

    2011-01-01

    Herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) are prevalent human pathogens that establish latency in human neuronal cells and efficiently evade the immune system. It has been a major medical challenge to eradicate them and, despite intensive efforts, an effective vaccine is not available. We previously showed that upon infection of antigen-presenting cells, HSV type 1 (HSV-1) rapidly and efficiently downregulates the major histocompatibility complex class I-like antigen-presenting molecule, CD1d, and potently inhibits its recognition by CD1d-restricted natural killer T (NKT) cells. It suppresses CD1d expression primarily by inhibiting its recycling to the cell surface after endocytosis. We identify here the viral glycoprotein B (gB) as the predominant CD1d-interacting protein. gB initiates the interaction with CD1d in the endoplasmic reticulum and stably associates with it throughout CD1d trafficking. However, an additional HSV-1 component, the serine-threonine kinase US3, is required for optimal CD1d downregulation. US3 expression in infected cells leads to gB enrichment in the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and enhances the relocalization of both gB and CD1d to this compartment, suggesting that following internalization CD1d is translocated from the endocytic pathway to the TGN by its association with gB. Importantly, both US3 and gB are required for efficient inhibition of CD1d antigen presentation and NKT cell activation. In summary, our results suggest that HSV-1 uses gB and US3 to rapidly inhibit NKT cell function in the initial antiviral response. PMID:21653669

  15. YY1 inhibits differentiation and function of regulatory T cells by blocking Foxp3 expression and activity.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Soo Seok; Jang, Sung Woong; Kim, Min Kyung; Kim, Lark Kyun; Kim, Bong-Sung; Kim, Hyeong Su; Kim, Kiwan; Lee, Wonyong; Flavell, Richard A; Lee, Gap Ryol

    2016-01-01

    Regulatory T (T(reg)) cells are essential for maintenance of immune homeostasis. Foxp3 is the key transcription factor for T(reg)-cell differentiation and function; however, molecular mechanisms for its negative regulation are poorly understood. Here we show that YY1 expression is lower in T(reg) cells than T(conv) cells, and its overexpression causes a marked reduction of Foxp3 expression and abrogation of suppressive function of Treg cells. YY1 is increased in T(reg) cells under inflammatory conditions with concomitant decrease of suppressor activity in dextran sulfate-induced colitis model. YY1 inhibits Smad3/4 binding to and chromatin remodelling of the Foxp3 locus. In addition, YY1 interrupts Foxp3-dependent target gene expression by physically interacting with Foxp3 and by directly binding to the Foxp3 target genes. Thus, YY1 inhibits differentiation and function of T(reg) cells by blocking Foxp3. PMID:26892542

  16. Self-consistently optimized energy functions for protein structure prediction by molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Koretke, K K; Luthey-Schulten, Z; Wolynes, P G

    1998-03-17

    The protein energy landscape theory is used to obtain optimal energy functions for protein structure prediction via simulated annealing. The analysis here takes advantage of a more complete statistical characterization of the protein energy landscape and thereby improves on previous approximations. This schema partially takes into account correlations in the energy landscape. It also incorporates the relationships between folding dynamics and characteristic energy scales that control the collapse of the proteins and modulate rigidity of short-range interactions. Simulated annealing for the optimal energy functions, which are associative memory hamiltonians using a database of folding patterns, generally leads to quantitatively correct structures. In some cases the algorithm achieves "creativity," i.e., structures result that are better than any homolog in the database.

  17. Optimized scattering functions and amplitudes for electron impact ionization and the post-prior symmetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahn, Y. K.; Zerrad, E.

    2011-08-01

    The electron impact ionization of hydrogen, in the all-s-wave approximation, is treated by the improved distorted wave theory. The leading corrections to the distorted wave Born amplitude are calculated in the POST form, using simple variational trial functions. The localized virial conditions are imposed for the determination of nonlinear parameters, thus optimizing the scattering function of the initial state. It is shown that the singly differential cross section can be adequately described by including up to three linear parameters. The calculated cross sections agree with that of the PRIOR form, and also compare well with the existing theoretical data. Furthermore, the procedure for accuracy estimates based on the post-prior comparison is critically re-examined, showing that the DWBA comparison can lead to erroneous conclusion. The fully optimized, distorted wavefunctions are extremely simple, and should be suitable for various applications.

  18. Parametric Optimization of Some Critical Operating System Functions--An Alternative Approach to the Study of Operating Systems Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sobh, Tarek M.; Tibrewal, Abhilasha

    2006-01-01

    Operating systems theory primarily concentrates on the optimal use of computing resources. This paper presents an alternative approach to teaching and studying operating systems design and concepts by way of parametrically optimizing critical operating system functions. Detailed examples of two critical operating systems functions using the…

  19. Inhibition of platelet function with clopidogrel, as measured with a novel whole blood impedance aggregometer in horses.

    PubMed

    Roscher, Katja A; Failing, Klaus; Moritz, Andreas

    2015-03-01

    This study aimed to validate a loading and maintenance clopidogrel dosing scheme for the inhibition of platelet function, measured by whole blood impedance aggregometry in healthy adult horses. Ten Warmblood horses received oral clopidogrel once daily. Doses were based on 50 kg weight categories and resulted in one loading dose of 6-6.5 mg/kg bodyweight and maintenance doses of 1.2-1.4 mg/kg over the next 4 days. Platelet function was measured via whole blood multiple electrode impedance aggregometry prior to (T0) and at 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, 96, 144, 192 and 240 h following the loading dose. Aggregometries for collagen (COLtest), arachidonic acid (ASPItest), adenosine diphosphate (ADPtest) and ADP with prostaglandin E1 (ADPtestHS) were performed. Statistical analyses included one way repeated measures ANOVAs and subsequent Dunnett's tests. Platelet aggregation induced by collagen remained unchanged. There were significant inhibitions in the ASPItest (P <0.01 at 192 h, and P <0.05 at 240 h) and the ADPtest and ADPtestHS (P < 0.01, with the exception of 240 h). The loading dose of clopidogrel induced rapid inhibition of platelet function within hours, and the low dose was suitable for maintaining the inhibition over the 4 days of therapy. Recovery of platelet function was restored 6 days after the cessation of medication, determined with the ADPtest and ADPtestHS, but remained inhibited with the ASPItest. The prolonged effect of clopidogrel may indicate differences in the activation of platelets between horses and humans that were previously unknown.

  20. Social Inhibition as a Function of Observation and Recording of Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laughlin, Patrick R.; Wong-McCarthy, William J.

    1975-01-01

    In order to compare the relative effects of observation of performance and recording of information about performance on social facilitation/inhibition, 256 college students solved three concept-attainment problems in an orthogonal design. (Editor)

  1. Binding of Hepatitis A Virus to its Cellular Receptor 1 Inhibits T-Regulatory Cell Functions in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Manangeeswaran, Mohanraj; Jacques, Jérôme; Tami, Cecilia; Konduru, Krishnamurthy; Amharref, Nadia; Perrella, Oreste; Casasnovas, Jose M.; Umetsu, Dale T.; DeKruyff, Rosemarie H.; Freeman, Gordon J.; Perrella, Alessandro; Kaplan, Gerardo G.

    2012-01-01

    Background & Aims CD4+ T regulatory (Treg) cells suppress immune responses and control self-tolerance and immunity to pathogens, cancer, and alloantigens. Most pathogens activate Treg cells to minimize immune-mediated tissue damage and prevent clearance, which promotes chronic infections. However, hepatitis A virus (HAV) temporarily inhibits Treg-cell functions. We investigated whether the interaction of HAV with its cellular receptor 1 (HAVCR1), a T-cell co-stimulatory molecule, inhibits the function of Treg cells to control HAV infection. Methods We studied the effects of HAV interaction with HAVCR1 on human T cells using binding, signal transduction, apoptosis, activation, suppression, cytokine production, and confocal microscopy analyses. Cytokines were analyzed in sera from 14 patients with HAV infection using bead arrays. Results Human Treg cells constitutively express HAVCR1. Binding of HAV to HAVCR1 blocked phosphorylation of Akt, prevented activation of the T-cell receptor, and inhibited function of Treg cells. At the peak viremia, patients with acute HAV infection had no Treg-cell suppression function, produced low levels of transforming growth factor-β (TGF–β), which limited leukocyte recruitment and survival, and high levels of interleukin-22, which prevented liver damage. Conclusions Interaction between HAV and its receptor HAVCR1 inhibits Treg cell function, resulting in an immune imbalance that allows viral expansion with limited hepatocellular damage during early stages of infection—a characteristic of HAV pathogenesis. The mechanism by which HAV is cleared in the absence of Treg-cell function could be used as a model to develop anti-cancer therapies, modulate autoimmune and allergic responses, and prevent transplant rejection. PMID:22430395

  2. Estimation of an Optimal Stimulus Amplitude for Using Vestibular Stochastic Stimulation to Improve Balance Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goel, R.; Kofman, I.; DeDios, Y. E.; Jeevarajan, J.; Stepanyan, V.; Nair, M.; Congdon, S.; Fregia, M.; Peters, B.; Cohen, H.; Wood, S.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.

    2015-01-01

    Sensorimotor changes such as postural and gait instabilities can affect the functional performance of astronauts when they transition across different gravity environments. We are developing a method, based on stochastic resonance (SR), to enhance information transfer by applying non-zero levels of external noise on the vestibular system (vestibular stochastic resonance, VSR). The goal of this project was to determine optimal levels of stimulation for SR applications by using a defined vestibular threshold of motion detection.

  3. Solution of nonlinear optimal control problems by the interpolating scaling functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foroozandeh, Z.; Shamsi, M.

    2012-03-01

    This paper presents a numerical method for solving nonlinear optimal control problems including state and control inequality constraints. The method is based upon interpolating scaling functions. The differential and integral expressions which arise in the system dynamics, the performance index and the boundary conditions are converted into some algebraic equations which can be solved for the unknown coefficients. Illustrative examples are included to demonstrate the validity and applicability of the technique.

  4. Combined genetic algorithm optimization and regularized orthogonal least squares learning for radial basis function networks.

    PubMed

    Chen, S; Wu, Y; Luk, B L

    1999-01-01

    The paper presents a two-level learning method for radial basis function (RBF) networks. A regularized orthogonal least squares (ROLS) algorithm is employed at the lower level to construct RBF networks while the two key learning parameters, the regularization parameter and the RBF width, are optimized using a genetic algorithm (GA) at the upper level. Nonlinear time series modeling and prediction is used as an example to demonstrate the effectiveness of this hierarchical learning approach.

  5. Inhibition of Murine Splenic and Mucosal Lymphocyte Function by Enteric Bacterial Products

    PubMed Central

    Malstrom, Carolyn; James, Stephen

    1998-01-01

    Previously we showed that lysates of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) inhibit lymphokine production by mitogen-activated human peripheral blood and lamina propria mononuclear cells. The aims of the present study were to determine whether EPEC-inhibitory factors have similar effects on murine lymphoid populations in order to further delineate the mechanisms of alteration of cytokine production. Preexposure to EPEC lysates inhibited mitogen-stimulated interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) production by murine spleen cells, but IL-10 production was increased. The inhibition was not due to increased apoptosis and was not blocked by neutralizating antibodies against IL-10 or transforming growth factor β (TGF-β). EPEC lysates also inhibited mitogen-stimulated IL-2 and IFN-γ production by CD11b-depleted spleen cells, IL-2 and IL-4 production by intraepithelial and Peyer’s patch lymphocytes, IL-2 production by the human T-cell line Jurkat, and antigen-stimulated IL-2 production by murine spleen cells. Lysates obtained from Shiga-like toxin-producing E. coli, E. coli RDEC-1, Citrobacter rodentium, and an EPEC espB insertion mutant all inhibited IL-2 and IL-4 production by mitogen-stimulated lymphoid cells. In conclusion, lysates of EPEC and related bacteria directly inhibit cytokine production by lymphoid cells from multiple sites by a mechanism that does not increase apoptosis or result from secondary effects of IL-10 or TGF-β. PMID:9632575

  6. Molecular structure‐function relationship of dietary polyphenols for inhibiting VEGF‐induced VEGFR‐2 activity

    PubMed Central

    Cerezo, Ana B.; Winterbone, Mark S.; Moyle, Christina W. A.; Needs, Paul W.

    2015-01-01

    1 Scope We recently reported potent inhibition of VEGF signalling by two flavanols at sub‐micromolar concentrations, mediated by direct binding of the flavanols to VEGF. The aim of this study was to quantify the inhibitory potency and binding affinity of a wide range of dietary polyphenols and determine the structural requirements for VEGF inhibition. 2 Methods and results The concentration of polyphenol required to cause 50% inhibition (IC50) of VEGF‐dependent VEGFR‐2 activation in HUVECS was determined after pretreating VEGF with polyphenols at various concentations. Binding affinities and binding sites on VEGF were predicted using in‐silico modelling. Ellagic acid and 15 flavonoids had IC50 values ≤10 μM while 28 other polyhenols were weak/non‐inhibitors. Structural features associated with potent inhibition included 3‐galloylation, C‐ring C2=C3, total OH, B‐ring catechol, C‐ring 3‐OH of flavonoids. Potency was not associated with polyphenol hydrophobicity. There was a strong correlation between potency of inhibition and binding affinities, and all polyphenols were predicted to bind to a region on VEGF involved in VEGFR‐2 binding. 3 Conclusion Specific polyphenols bind directly to a discrete region of VEGF and inhibit VEGF signalling, and this potentially explains the associations between consumption of these polyphenols and CVD risk. PMID:26250940

  7. Density-functional geometry optimization of the 150 000-atom photosystem-I trimer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canfield, Peter; Dahlbom, Mats G.; Hush, Noel S.; Reimers, Jeffrey R.

    2006-01-01

    We present a linear-scaling method based on the use of density-functional theory (DFT) for the system-wide optimization of x-ray structural coordinates and apply it to optimize the 150 000 atoms of the photosystem-I (PS-I) trimer. The method is based on repetitive applications of a multilevel ONIOM procedure using the PW91/6-31G(d ) DFT calculations for the high level and PM3 for the lower level; this method treats all atoms in the structure equivalently, a structure in which the majority of the atoms can be considered as part of some internal "active site." To obtain a realistic single structure, some changes to the original protein model were necessary but these are kept to a minimum in order that the optimized structure most closely resembles the original x-ray one. Optimization has profound effects on the perceived electronic properties of the cofactors, with, e.g., optimization lowering the internal energy of the chlorophylls by on average 53kcalmol-1 and eliminates the enormous 115kcalmol-1 energy spread depicted by the original x-ray heavy-atom coordinates. A highly precise structure for PS-I results that is suitable for analysis of device function. Significant qualitative features of the structure are also improved such as correction of an error in the stereochemistry of one of the chlorophylls in the "special pair" of the reaction center, as well as the replacement of a water molecule with a metal cation in a critical region on the C3 axis. The method also reveals other unusual features of the structure, leading both to suggestions concerning device functionality and possible mutations between gene sequencing and x-ray structure determination. The optimization scheme is thus shown to augment the molecular modeling schemes that are currently used to add medium-resolution structural information to the raw scattering data in order to obtain atomically resolved structures. System-wide optimization is now a feasible process and its use within protein x-ray data

  8. Optimization of current modulation function for proton spread-out Bragg peak fields

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, H.-M.; Kooy, Hanne

    2006-05-15

    Proton treatments with spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) fields often use a rotating modulation wheel of varying thickness to modulate the pristine Bragg peak in depth and intensity. The technique of modulating also the beam current independently over the wheel rotation provides an additional control over the intensities of the pulled-back Bragg peaks. As a result, a single wheel can be used over a large range of energies and SOBP parameters and field-specific wheels are no longer necessary. An essential task in commissioning a particular treatment depth is the determination of this current modulation function. We have developed a method for the optimization of the current modulation function. The basic idea is to treat the entire beam nozzle, housing the various beam scattering and modulating components, as a whole and to characterize its effect as a transformation from a modulating beam current to a depth-dose distribution. While this transformation is difficult to calculate theoretically due to the complex scattering paths in the nozzle and the phantom, it can, however, be determined by time-resolved dose measurements. Using this transformation, we can calculate SOBP depth-dose distributions for any current modulation function and optimize it by a simple numerical optimization. We have applied the new method to a number of proton beams with satisfactory results.

  9. Numerical Methods for a Kohn-Sham Density Functional Model Based on Optimal Transport.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huajie; Friesecke, Gero; Mendl, Christian B

    2014-10-14

    In this paper, we study numerical discretizations to solve density functional models in the "strictly correlated electrons" (SCE) framework. Unlike previous studies, our work is not restricted to radially symmetric densities. In the SCE framework, the exchange-correlation functional encodes the effects of the strong correlation regime by minimizing the pairwise Coulomb repulsion, resulting in an optimal transport problem. We give a mathematical derivation of the self-consistent Kohn-Sham-SCE equations, construct an efficient numerical discretization for this type of problem for N = 2 electrons, and apply it to the H2 molecule in its dissociating limit. PMID:26588133

  10. Optimal approximation method to characterize the resource trade-off functions for media servers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Ray-I.

    1999-08-01

    We have proposed an algorithm to smooth the transmission of the pre-recorded VBR media stream. It takes O(n) time complexity, where n is large, this algorithm is not suitable for online resource management and admission control in media servers. To resolve this drawback, we have explored the optimal tradeoff among resources by an O(nlogn) algorithm. Based on the pre-computed resource tradeoff function, the resource management and admission control procedure is as simple as table hashing. However, this approach requires O(n) space to store and maintain the resource tradeoff function. In this paper, while giving some extra resources, a linear-time algorithm is proposed to approximate the resource tradeoff function by piecewise line segments. We can prove that the number of line segments in the obtained approximation function is minimized for the given extra resources. The proposed algorithm has been applied to approximate the bandwidth-buffer-tradeoff function of the real-world Star War movie. While an extra 0.1 Mbps bandwidth is given, the storage space required for the approximation function is over 2000 times smaller than that required for the original function. While an extra 10 KB buffer is given, the storage space for the approximation function is over 2200 over times smaller than that required for the original function. The proposed algorithm is really useful for resource management and admission control in real-world media servers.

  11. Adolescent development of inhibition as a function of SES and gender: Converging evidence from behavior and fMRI.

    PubMed

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Galarce, Ezequiel M; Ladouceur, Cecile D; McMakin, Dana L; Olino, Thomas M; Forbes, Erika E; Silk, Jennifer S; Ryan, Neal D; Dahl, Ronald E

    2015-08-01

    The ability to adaptively inhibit responses to tempting/distracting stimuli in the pursuit of goals is an essential set of skills necessary for adult competence and wellbeing. These inhibitory capacities develop throughout childhood, with growing evidence of important maturational changes occurring in adolescence. There also has been intense interest in the role of social adversity on the development of executive function, including inhibitory control. We hypothesized that the onset of adolescence could be a time of particular opportunity/vulnerability in the development of inhibition due to the large degree of maturational changes in neural systems involved in regulatory control. We investigated this hypothesis in a longitudinal study of adolescents by examining the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on the maturation of inhibition and concurrent brain function. Furthermore, we examined gender as a potential moderator of this relationship, given evidence of gender-specificity in the developmental pathways of inhibition as well as sex differences in adolescent development. Results reveal that lower SES is associated with worse behavioral inhibition over time and a concurrent increase in anterior cingulate (ACC) activation, but only in girls. We also found that lower SES girls exhibited decreased ACC ↔ dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) coupling over time. Our findings suggest that female adolescents with lower SES appear to develop less efficient inhibitory processing in dlPFC, requiring greater and relatively unsuccessful compensatory recruitment of ACC. In summary, the present study provides a novel window into the neural mechanisms by which the influence of SES on inhibition may be transmitted during adolescence.

  12. Adolescent Development of Inhibition as a Function of SES & Gender: Converging Evidence from Behavior & fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M.; Galarce, Ezequiel M.; Ladouceur, Cecile D.; McMakin, Dana L.; Olino, Thomas M.; Forbes, Erika E.; Silk, Jennifer S.; Ryan, Neal D.; Dahl, Ronald E.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to adaptively inhibit responses to tempting/distracting stimuli in the pursuit of goals is an essential set of skills necessary for adult competence and wellbeing. These inhibitory capacities develop throughout childhood, with growing evidence of important maturational changes occurring in adolescence. There also has been intense interest in the role of social adversity on the development of executive function, including inhibitory control. We hypothesized that the onset of adolescence could be a time of particular opportunity/vulnerability in the development of inhibition due to the large degree of maturational changes in neural systems involved in regulatory control. We investigated this hypothesis in a longitudinal study of adolescents by examining the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on the maturation of inhibition and concurrent brain function. Furthermore, we examined gender as a potential moderator of this relationship, given evidence of gender-specificity in the developmental pathways of inhibition as well as sex differences in adolescent development. Results reveal that lower SES is associated with worse behavioral inhibition over time and a concurrent increase in anterior cingulate (ACC) activation, but only in girls. We also found that lower SES girls exhibited decreased ACC↔dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) coupling over time. Our findings suggest that female adolescents with lower SES appear to develop less efficient inhibitory processing in dlPFC, requiring greater and relatively unsuccessful compensatory recruitment of ACC. In summary, the present study provides a novel window into the neural mechanisms by which the influence of SES on inhibition may be transmitted during adolescence. PMID:26010995

  13. Thymoquinone strongly inhibits fMLF-induced neutrophil functions and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties in vivo.

    PubMed

    Boudiaf, Kaouthar; Hurtado-Nedelec, Margarita; Belambri, Sahra Amel; Marie, Jean-Claude; Derradji, Yacine; Benboubetra, Mustapha; El-Benna, Jamel; Dang, Pham My-Chan

    2016-03-15

    Polymorphonuclear neutrophils are key players in host defense against pathogens through the robust production of superoxide anion by the NADPH oxidase and the release of antibacterial proteins from granules. However, inappropriate release of these agents in the extracellular environment induces severe tissue injury, thereby contributing to the physiopathology of acute and chronic inflammatory disorders. Many studies have been carried out to identify molecules capable of inhibiting phagocyte functions, in particular superoxide anion production, for therapeutic purposes. In the present study, we show that thymoquinone (TQ), the major component of the volatile oil from Nigella sativa (black cumin) seeds strongly inhibits fMLF-induced superoxide production and granules exocytosis in neutrophils. The inhibition of superoxide anion was not due to a scavenger effect, as TQ did not inhibit superoxide anion produced by the xanthine/xanthine oxidase system. Interestingly, TQ impaired the phosphorylation on Ser-304 and Ser-328 of p47(PHOX), a cytosolic subunit of the NADPH oxidase. TQ also attenuated specific and azurophilic granule exocytosis in fMLF-stimulated neutrophils as evidenced by decreased cell surface expression of gp91(PHOX) and CD11b, and release of myeloperoxidase. Furthermore, both the PKC and MAPK pathways, which are involved in p47(PHOX) phosphorylation and granules exocytosis, respectively, were inhibited by TQ in fMLF-stimulated neutrophils. Finally, in a model of pleurisy induced by λ-carrageenan in rats, TQ reduced neutrophil accumulation in the pleural space, showing that it not only inhibits PMN functions in vitro, but also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties in vivo. Thus, TQ possesses promising anti-inflammatory therapeutic potential. PMID:26774451

  14. Structure–function relationships of inhibition of mosquito cytochrome P450 enzymes by flavonoids of Andrographis paniculata.

    PubMed

    Kotewong, Rattanawadee; Duangkaew, Panida; Srisook, Ekaruth; Sarapusit, Songklod; Rongnoparut, Pornpimol

    2014-09-01

    The cytochrome P450 monooxygenases are known to play a major role in pyrethroid resistance, by means of increased rate of insecticide detoxification as a result of their overexpression. Inhibition of detoxification enzymes may help disrupting insect detoxifying defense system. The Anopheles minimus CYP6AA3 and CYP6P7 have shown pyrethroid degradation activity and been implicated in pyrethroid resistance. In this study inhibition of the extracts and constituents of Andrographis paniculata Nees. leaves and roots was examined against benzyloxyresorufin O-debenzylation (BROD) of CYP6AA3 and CYP6P7. Four purified flavones (5,7,4′-trihydroxyflavone, 5-hydroxy-7,8-dimethoxyflavone, 5-hydroxy-7,8,2′,3′-tetramethoxyflavone, and 5,4′-dihydroxy-7,8,2′,3′-tetramethoxyflavone), one flavanone (5-hydroxy-7,8-dimethoxyflavanone) and a diterpenoid (14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide) containing inhibitory effects toward both enzymes were isolated from A. paniculata. Structure–function relationships were observed for modes and kinetics of inhibition among flavones, while diterpenoid and flavanone were inferior to flavones. Docking of flavones onto enzyme homology models reinforced relationships on flavone structures and inhibition modes. Cell-based inhibition assays employing 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-y-l)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) cytotoxicity assays revealed that these flavonoids efficiently increased susceptibility of CYP6AA3- and CYP6P7-expressing Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells to cypermethrin toxicity, due to inhibition effects on mosquito enzymes. Thus synergistic effects on cypermethrin toxicity of A. paniculata compounds as a result of enzyme inhibition could be useful for mosquito vector control and insecticide resistance management in the future.

  15. Alternative derivation of an exchange-only density-functional optimized effective potential

    SciTech Connect

    Joubert, D. P.

    2007-10-15

    An alternative derivation of the exchange-only density-functional optimized effective potential equation is given. It is shown that the localized Hartree-Fock-common energy denominator Green's function approximation (LHF-CEDA) for the density-functional exchange potential proposed independently by Della Sala and Goerling [J. Chem. Phys. 115, 5718 (2001)] and Gritsenko and Baerends [Phys. Rev. A 64, 42506 (2001)] can be derived as an approximation to the OEP exchange potential in a similar way that the KLI approximation [Phys. Rev. A 45, 5453 (1992)] was derived. An exact expression for the correction term to the LHF-CEDA approximation can thus be found. The correction term can be expressed in terms of the first-order perturbation-theory many-electron wave function shift when the Kohn-Sham Hamiltonian is subjected to a perturbation equal to the difference between the density-functional exchange potential and the Hartree-Fock nonlocal potential, expressed in terms of the Kohn-Sham orbitals. An explicit calculation shows that the density weighted mean of the correction term is zero, confirming that the LHF-CEDA approximation can be interpreted as a mean-field approximation. The corrected LHF-CEDA equation and the optimized effective potential equation are shown to be identical, with information distributed differently between terms in the equations. For a finite system the correction term falls off at least as fast as 1/r{sup 4} for large r.

  16. Multimodal function optimization using minimal representation size clustering and its application to planning multipaths.

    PubMed

    Hocaoğlu, C; Sanderson, A C

    1997-01-01

    A novel genetic algorithm (GA) using minimal representation size cluster (MRSC) analysis is designed and implemented for solving multimodal function optimization problems. The problem of multimodal function optimization is framed within a hypothesize-and-test paradigm using minimal representation size (minimal complexity) for species formation and a GA. A multiple-population GA is developed to identify different species. The number of populations, thus the number of different species, is determined by the minimal representation size criterion. Therefore, the proposed algorithm reveals the unknown structure of the multimodal function when a priori knowledge about the function is unknown. The effectiveness of the algorithm is demonstrated on a number of multimodal test functions. The proposed scheme results in a highly parallel algorithm for finding multiple local minima. In this paper, a path-planning algorithm is also developed based on the MRSC_GA algorithm. The algorithm utilizes MRSC_GA for planning paths for mobile robots, piano-mover problems, and N-link manipulators. The MRSC_GA is used for generating multipaths to provide alternative solutions to the path-planning problem. The generation of alternative solutions is especially important for planning paths in dynamic environments. A novel iterative multiresolution path representation is used as a basis for the GA coding. The effectiveness of the algorithm is demonstrated on a number of two-dimensional path-planning problems.

  17. Analysis and selection of optimal function implementations in massively parallel computer

    DOEpatents

    Archer, Charles Jens; Peters, Amanda; Ratterman, Joseph D.

    2011-05-31

    An apparatus, program product and method optimize the operation of a parallel computer system by, in part, collecting performance data for a set of implementations of a function capable of being executed on the parallel computer system based upon the execution of the set of implementations under varying input parameters in a plurality of input dimensions. The collected performance data may be used to generate selection program code that is configured to call selected implementations of the function in response to a call to the function under varying input parameters. The collected performance data may be used to perform more detailed analysis to ascertain the comparative performance of the set of implementations of the function under the varying input parameters.

  18. Using optimally tuned range separated hybrid functionals in ground-state calculations: consequences and caveats.

    PubMed

    Karolewski, Andreas; Kronik, Leeor; Kümmel, Stephan

    2013-05-28

    Optimally tuned range separated hybrid functionals are a new class of implicitly defined functionals. Their important new aspect is that the range separation parameter in these functionals is determined individually for each system by iteratively tuning it until a fundamental, non-empirical condition is fulfilled. Such functionals have been demonstrated to be extremely successful in predicting electronic excitations. In this paper, we explore the use of the tuning approach for predicting ground state properties. This sheds light on one of its downsides - the violation of size consistency. By analyzing diatomic molecules, we reveal size consistency errors up to several electron volts and find that binding energies cannot be predicted reliably. Further consequences of the consistent ground-state use of the tuning approach are potential energy surfaces that are qualitatively in error and an incorrect prediction of spin states. We discuss these failures, their origins, and possibilities for overcoming them.

  19. The fungicide Pristine® inhibits mitochondrial function in vitro but not flight metabolic rates in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Jacob B; Nath, Rachna; Gadau, Juergen; Fox, Trevor; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Harrison, Jon F

    2016-03-01

    Honey bees and other pollinators are exposed to fungicides that act by inhibiting fungal mitochondria. Here we test whether a common fungicide (Pristine®) inhibits the function of mitochondria of honeybees, and whether consumption of ecologically-realistic concentrations can cause negative effects on the mitochondria of flight muscles, or the capability for flight, as judged by CO2 emission rates and thorax temperatures during flight. Direct exposure of mitochondria to Pristine® levels above 5 ppm strongly inhibited mitochondrial oxidation rates in vitro. However, bees that consumed pollen containing Pristine® at ecologically-realistic concentrations (≈ 1 ppm) had normal flight CO2 emission rates and thorax temperatures. Mitochondria isolated from the flight muscles of the Pristine®-consuming bees had higher state 3 oxygen consumption rates than control bees, suggesting that possibly Pristine®-consumption caused compensatory changes in mitochondria. It is likely that the lack of a strong functional effect of Pristine®-consumption on flight performance and the in vitro function of flight muscle mitochondria results from maintenance of Pristine® levels in the flight muscles at much lower levels than occur in the food, probably due to metabolism and detoxification. As Pristine® has been shown to negatively affect feeding rates and protein digestion of honey bees, it is plausible that Pristine® consumption negatively affects gut wall function (where mitochondria may be exposed to higher concentrations of Pristine®).

  20. Fucoidan, a Sulfated Polysaccharide, Inhibits Osteoclast Differentiation and Function by Modulating RANKL Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young Woo; Baek, Seung-Hoon; Lee, Sang-Han; Kim, Tae-Ho; Kim, Shin-Yoon

    2014-01-01

    Multinucleated osteoclasts differentiate from hematopoietic progenitors of the monocyte/macrophage lineage. Because of its pivotal role in bone resorption, regulation of osteoclast differentiation is a potential therapeutic approach to the treatment of erosive bone disease. In this study, we have found that fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide extracted from brown seaweed, inhibited osteoclast differentiation. In particular, addition of fucoidan into the early stage osteoclast cultures significantly inhibited receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast formation, thus suggesting that fucoidan affects osteoclast progenitors. Furthermore, fucoidan significantly inhibited the activation of RANKL-dependent mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) such as JNK, ERK, and p38, and also c-Fos and NFATc1, which are crucial transcription factors for osteoclastogenesis. In addition, the activation of NF-κB, which is an upstream transcription factor modulating NFATc1 expression, was alleviated in the fucoidan-treated cells. These results collectively suggest that fucoidan inhibits osteoclastogenesis from bone marrow macrophages by inhibiting RANKL-induced p38, JNK, ERK and NF-κB activation, and by downregulating the expression of genes that partake in both osteoclast differentiation and resorption. PMID:25334060

  1. Inhibition of chemomigration of a human prostatic carcinoma cell (TSU-pr1) line by inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor function.

    PubMed

    Zolfaghari, A; Djakiew, D

    1996-04-01

    Chemoattractants expressed at bony sites and pelvic lymph nodes are thought to promote the preferential metastasis of human prostate tumor cells to these organs. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a potent chemoattractant for several human metastatic prostate tumor cell lines, including the TSU-pr1 cell line, and EGF has been localized to the stroma of both bony sites and pelvic lymph nodes in humans. Hence, we investigated whether the TSU-pr1 cell line expresses a functional EGF receptor (EGFR), which when antagonized reduces EGF-mediated chemomigration of this cell line. In this context, the EGFR immunoprecipitated from cell lysates of TSU-pr1 cells comigrated with the EGFR from A431 cells at a molecular weight of 170 kD. Addition of human EGF (hEGF) to the TSU-pr1 cells for 5 min stimulated the dose-dependent biphasic phosphorylation of the EGFR, with maximal stimulation of EGFR phosphorylation occurring at 2 ng/ml hEGF. In addition, treatment of hEGF-stimulated (2 ng/ml) TSU-pr1 cells with 0.5 microgram/ml anti-hEGF monoclonal antibody or 100 nM staurosporine inhibited EGFR phosphorylation. Conversely, as negative controls, treatment of hEGF-stimulated (2 ng/ml) TSU-pr1 cells with K252a or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) vehicle did not inhibit EGFR phosphorylation. TSU-pr1 cells were stimulated to migration in 4 hr across Boyden chambers in response to 10 ng/ml hEGF. Treatment of the TSU-pr1 cells with anti-hEGFR monoclonal antibody inhibited in a dose-dependent manner the chemomigration of the TSU-pr1 cells across Boyden chambers. Similarly, treatment of the TSU-pr1 cells with staurosporine inhibited in a dose-dependent manner the chemomigration of the TSU-pr1 cells across Boyden chambers. These results demonstrate that antagonists of hEGF-mediated hEGFR phosphorylation also antagonize chemomigration of the TSU-pr1 cells across Boyden chambers, suggesting that antagonists of the EGFR in prostate cancer may be useful in the treatment of metastatic disease.

  2. Physiological geroscience: targeting function to increase healthspan and achieve optimal longevity.

    PubMed

    Seals, Douglas R; Justice, Jamie N; LaRocca, Thomas J

    2016-04-15

    Most nations of the world are undergoing rapid and dramatic population ageing, which presents great socio-economic challenges, as well as opportunities, for individuals, families, governments and societies. The prevailing biomedical strategy for reducing the healthcare impact of population ageing has been 'compression of morbidity' and, more recently, to increase healthspan, both of which seek to extend the healthy period of life and delay the development of chronic diseases and disability until a brief period at the end of life. Indeed, a recently established field within biological ageing research, 'geroscience', is focused on healthspan extension. Superimposed on this background are new attitudes and demand for 'optimal longevity' - living long, but with good health and quality of life. A key obstacle to achieving optimal longevity is the progressive decline in physiological function that occurs with ageing, which causes functional limitations (e.g. reduced mobility) and increases the risk of chronic diseases, disability and mortality. Current efforts to increase healthspan centre on slowing the fundamental biological processes of ageing such as inflammation/oxidative stress, increased senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired proteostasis and reduced stress resistance. We propose that optimization of physiological function throughout the lifespan should be a major emphasis of any contemporary biomedical policy addressing global ageing. Effective strategies should delay, reduce in magnitude or abolish reductions in function with ageing (primary prevention) and/or improve function or slow further declines in older adults with already impaired function (secondary prevention). Healthy lifestyle practices featuring regular physical activity and ideal energy intake/diet composition represent first-line function-preserving strategies, with pharmacological agents, including existing and new pharmaceuticals and novel 'nutraceutical' compounds, serving as potential

  3. Influenza C virus esterase: analysis of catalytic site, inhibition, and possible function.

    PubMed Central

    Vlasak, R; Muster, T; Lauro, A M; Powers, J C; Palese, P

    1989-01-01

    The active site serine of the acetylesterase of influenza C virus was localized to amino acid 71 of the hemagglutinin-esterase protein by affinity labeling with 3H-labeled diisopropylfluorophosphate. This serine and the adjacent amino acids (Phe-Gly-Asp-Ser) are part of a consensus sequence motif found in serine hydrolases. Since comparative analysis failed to reveal esterase sequence similarities with other serine hydrolases, we suggest that this viral enzyme is a serine hydrolase constituting a new family of serine esterases. Furthermore, we found that the influenza C virus esterase was inhibited by isocoumarin derivatives, with 3,4-dichloroisocoumarin being the most potent inhibitor. Addition of this compound prevented elution of influenza C virus from erythrocytes and inhibited virus infectivity, possibly through inhibition of virus entry into cells. Images PMID:2495370

  4. Influenza C virus esterase: analysis of catalytic site, inhibition, and possible function

    SciTech Connect

    Vlasak, R.; Muster, T.; Lauro, A.M.; Powers, J.C.; Palese, P.

    1989-05-01

    The active site serine of the acetylesterase of influenza C virus was localized to amino acid 71 of the hemagglutinin-esterase protein by affinity labeling with /sup 3/H-labeled diisopropylfluorophosphate. This serine and the adjacent amino acids (Phe-Gly-Asp-Ser) are part of a consensus sequence motif found in serine hydrolases. Since comparative analysis failed to reveal esterase sequence similarities with other serine hydrolases, the authors suggest that this viral enzyme is a serine hydrolase constituting a new family of serine esterases. Furthermore, they found that the influenza C virus esterase was inhibited by isocoumarin derivatives, with 3,4-dichloroisocoumarin being the most potent inhibitor. Addition of this compound prevented elution of influenza C virus from erythrocytes and inhibited virus infectivity, possibly through inhibition of virus entry into cells.

  5. Cognitive inhibition and interference in dissociative identity disorder: the effects of anxiety on specific executive functions.

    PubMed

    Dorahy, Martin J; McCusker, Chris G; Loewenstein, Richard J; Colbert, Kimberly; Mulholland, Ciaran

    2006-05-01

    Using an experimentally based, computer-presented task, this study assessed cognitive inhibition and interference in individuals from the dissociative identity disorder (DID; n=12), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; n=12) and non-clinical (n=12) populations. Participants were assessed in a neutral and emotionally negative (anxiety provoking) context, manipulated by experimental instructions and word stimuli. The DID sample displayed effective cognitive inhibition in the neutral but not the anxious context. The GAD sample displayed the opposite findings. However, the interaction between group and context failed to reach significance. There was no indication of an attentional bias to non-schema specific negative words in any sample. Results are discussed in terms of the potential benefit of weakened cognitive inhibition during anxious arousal in dissociative individuals.

  6. Development of Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid Derivatives of Aspirin for Inhibition of Platelet Function.

    PubMed

    Roy, Jahnabi; Adili, Reheman; Kulmacz, Richard; Holinstat, Michael; Das, Aditi

    2016-10-01

    The inhibition of platelet aggregation is key to preventing conditions such as myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. Aspirin is the most widely used drug to inhibit platelet aggregation. Aspirin absorption can be improved further to increase its permeability across biologic membranes via esterification or converting the carboxylic acid to an anhydride. There are several reports indicating that ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids such as linoleic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) separately inhibit platelet aggregation. Herein, we synthesize anhydride conjugates of aspirin with linoleic acid, EPA, and DHA to form aspirin anhydrides that are expected to have higher permeability across cellular membranes. These aspirin-fatty acid anhydrides inhibited platelet aggregation in washed human platelets and platelet-rich plasma in a dose-dependent manner. In particular, the aspirin-DHA anhydride displayed similar effectiveness to aspirin. Platelet aggregation studies conducted in the presence of various platelet agonists indicated that the aspirin-lipid conjugates act through inhibition of the cyclooxygenase (COX)-thromboxane synthase (TXAS) pathway. Hence, we performed detailed biochemical studies using purified COX-1 as well as TXAS stabilized in nanoscale lipid bilayers of nanodiscs to confirm results from the platelet aggregation studies. We show that although all of the aspirin conjugates act through the COX-TXAS pathway by inhibiting COX-1, the parent fatty acids do not act via this pathway. Finally, we studied the hydrolysis of these compounds in buffer and human plasma, and we demonstrate that all of the aspirin-fatty acid conjugates hydrolyze to the parent molecules aspirin and fatty acid in a controlled manner. PMID:27488919

  7. Feedback functions, optimization, and the relation of response rate to reinforcer rate.

    PubMed

    Soto, Paul L; McDowell, Jack J; Dallery, Jesse

    2006-01-01

    The present experiment arranged a series of inverted U-shaped feedback functions relating reinforcer rate to response rate to test whether responding was consistent with an optimization account or with a one-to-one relation of response rate to reinforcer rate such as linear system theory's rate equation or Herrnstein's hyperbola. Reinforcer rate was arranged according to a quadratic equation with a maximum at a unique response rate. The experiment consisted of two phases, during which 6 Long Evans rats lever pressed for food. In the first phase of the experiment, the rats responded on six fixed-interval-plus-quadratic-feedback schedules, and in the second phase the rats responded on three variable-interval-plus-quadratic-feedback schedules. Responding in both phases was inconsistent with a one-to-one relation of response rate to reinforcer rate. Instead, different response rates were obtained at equivalent reinforcer rates. Responding did vary directly with the vertex of the feedback function in both phases, a finding consistent with optimization of reinforcer rate. The present results suggest that the feedback function relating reinforcer rate to response rate imposed by a reinforcement schedule can be an important determinant of behavior. Furthermore, the present experiment illustrates the benefit of arranging feedback functions to investigate assumptions about the variables that control schedule performance.

  8. Optimization and characterization of a homogeneous carboxylic surface functionalization for silicon-based biosensing.

    PubMed

    Chiadò, Alessandro; Palmara, Gianluca; Ricciardi, Serena; Frascella, Francesca; Castellino, Micaela; Tortello, Mauro; Ricciardi, Carlo; Rivolo, Paola

    2016-07-01

    A well-organized immobilization of bio-receptors is a crucial goal in biosensing, especially to achieve high reproducibility, sensitivity and specificity. These requirements are usually attained with a controlled chemical/biochemical functionalization that creates a stable layer on a sensor surface. In this work, a chemical modification protocol for silicon-based surfaces to be applied in biosensing devices is presented. An anhydrous silanization step through 3-aminopropylsilane (APTES), followed by a further derivatization with succinic anhydride (SA), is optimized to generate an ordered flat layer of carboxylic groups. The properties of APTES/SA modified surface were compared with a functionalization in which glutaraldehyde (GA) is used as crosslinker instead of SA, in order to have a comparison with an established and largely applied procedure. Moreover, a functionalization based on the controlled deposition of a plasma polymerized acrylic acid (PPAA) thin film was used as a reference for carboxylic reactivity. Advantages and drawbacks of the considered methods are highlighted, through physico-chemical characterizations (OCA, XPS, and AFM) and by means of a functional Protein G/Antibody immunoassay. These analyses reveal that the most homogeneous, reproducible and active surface is achieved by using the optimized APTES/SA coupling. PMID:27022864

  9. Evaluation of the selection methods used in the exIWO algorithm based on the optimization of multidimensional functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostrzewa, Daniel; Josiński, Henryk

    2016-06-01

    The expanded Invasive Weed Optimization algorithm (exIWO) is an optimization metaheuristic modelled on the original IWO version inspired by dynamic growth of weeds colony. The authors of the present paper have modified the exIWO algorithm introducing a set of both deterministic and non-deterministic strategies of individuals' selection. The goal of the project was to evaluate the modified exIWO by testing its usefulness for multidimensional numerical functions optimization. The optimized functions: Griewank, Rastrigin, and Rosenbrock are frequently used as benchmarks because of their characteristics.

  10. Optimization of correlated multi-response quality engineering by the upside-down normal loss function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeybek, Melis; Köksoy, Onur

    2016-08-01

    Most of the published literature on robust design is basically concerned with a single response. However, the reality is that common industrial problems usually involve several quality characteristics, which are often correlated. Traditional approaches to multidimensional quality do not offer much information on how much better or worse a process is when finding optimal settings. Köksoy and Fan [Engineering Optimization 44 (8): 935-945] pointed out that the upside-down normal loss function provides a more reasonable risk assessment to the losses of being off-target in product engineering research. However, they only consider the single-response case. This article generalizes their idea to more than one response under possible correlations and co-movement effects of responses on the process loss. The response surface methodology has been adapted, estimating the expected multivariate upside-down normal loss function of a multidimensional system to find the optimal control factor settings of a given problem. The procedure and its merits are illustrated through an example.

  11. Optimization of flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery (FAIR) for perfusion functional MRI of rodent brain.

    PubMed

    Nasrallah, Fatima A; Lee, Eugene L Q; Chuang, Kai-Hsiang

    2012-11-01

    Arterial spin labeling (ASL) MRI provides a noninvasive method to image perfusion, and has been applied to map neural activation in the brain. Although pulsed labeling methods have been widely used in humans, continuous ASL with a dedicated neck labeling coil is still the preferred method in rodent brain functional MRI (fMRI) to maximize the sensitivity and allow multislice acquisition. However, the additional hardware is not readily available and hence its application is limited. In this study, flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery (FAIR) pulsed ASL was optimized for fMRI of rat brain. A practical challenge of FAIR is the suboptimal global inversion by the transmit coil of limited dimensions, which results in low effective labeling. By using a large volume transmit coil and proper positioning to optimize the body coverage, the perfusion signal was increased by 38.3% compared with positioning the brain at the isocenter. An additional 53.3% gain in signal was achieved using optimized repetition and inversion times compared with a long TR. Under electrical stimulation to the forepaws, a perfusion activation signal change of 63.7 ± 6.3% can be reliably detected in the primary somatosensory cortices using single slice or multislice echo planar imaging at 9.4 T. This demonstrates the potential of using pulsed ASL for multislice perfusion fMRI in functional and pharmacological applications in rat brain.

  12. Chemical functionalization of bone implants with nanoparticle-stabilized chitosan and methotrexate for inhibiting both osteoclastoma formation and bacterial infection.

    PubMed

    Li, Li-Hua; Li, Mei; Li, Dan; He, Peng; Xia, Hong; Zhang, Yu; Mao, Chuanbin

    2014-09-28

    A great challenge in orthopedic tumor operation faced by orthopedic implants is the high recurrence and metastasis of bone tumor as well as the bacterial infection associated with the implants. Thus ideal titanium (Ti)-based bone implants should be able to not only inhibit cancer cell adhesion and proliferation, promote cancer cell apoptosis, but also resist bacterial infections. Towards this end, we developed a new approach to modify the surface of Ti-based bone implants so that they can restrain functions of osteoclastoma (Giant cell tumor of bone) cancer cells (GCTs) and inhibit the adhesion of bacteria. First, the surface of pristine Ti substrates was functionalized with dopamine (DA) to form DA-Ti substrates. Then nanoparticles electrostatically assembled from poly-lysine (PLL) and heparin (Hep) were chemically immobilized onto the DA-Ti substrates to form PLL/Hep-Ti substrates. Chitosan (CH) and methotrexate (MTX) were then electrostatically immobilized onto the PLL/Hep-Ti substrates to generate CH-MTX-Ti substrates. The successful functionalization of the Ti substrates was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. GCTs cultured on differently functionalized Ti substrates were investigated in terms of cell adhesion, cytoskeleton, proliferation, cytotoxicity and apoptosis. The growth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in the presence of different substrates was also assayed. Our results showed that CH-MTX-Ti substrates not only significantly inhibited the adhesion, proliferation and viability of GCTs, promoted the apoptosis of GCTs, but also prevented the adhesion of the bacteria and the subsequent formation of bacterial biofilms, when compared to other Ti substrates. Thus CH-MTX-Ti substrates are expected to be used as orthopedic prostheses in bone tumor surgery that can inhibit both osteoclastoma formation and bacterial infections.

  13. Optimizing Scoring Function of Protein-Nucleic Acid Interactions with Both Affinity and Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Zhiqiang; Wang, Jin

    2013-01-01

    Protein-nucleic acid (protein-DNA and protein-RNA) recognition is fundamental to the regulation of gene expression. Determination of the structures of the protein-nucleic acid recognition and insight into their interactions at molecular level are vital to understanding the regulation function. Recently, quantitative computational approach has been becoming an alternative of experimental technique for predicting the structures and interactions of biomolecular recognition. However, the progress of protein-nucleic acid structure prediction, especially protein-RNA, is far behind that of the protein-ligand and protein-protein structure predictions due to the lack of reliable and accurate scoring function for quantifying the protein-nucleic acid interactions. In this work, we developed an accurate scoring function (named as SPA-PN, SPecificity and Affinity of the Protein-Nucleic acid interactions) for protein-nucleic acid interactions by incorporating both the specificity and affinity into the optimization strategy. Specificity and affinity are two requirements of highly efficient and specific biomolecular recognition. Previous quantitative descriptions of the biomolecular interactions considered the affinity, but often ignored the specificity owing to the challenge of specificity quantification. We applied our concept of intrinsic specificity to connect the conventional specificity, which circumvents the challenge of specificity quantification. In addition to the affinity optimization, we incorporated the quantified intrinsic specificity into the optimization strategy of SPA-PN. The testing results and comparisons with other scoring functions validated that SPA-PN performs well on both the prediction of binding affinity and identification of native conformation. In terms of its performance, SPA-PN can be widely used to predict the protein-nucleic acid structures and quantify their interactions. PMID:24098651

  14. Methanandamide allosterically inhibits in vivo the function of peripheral nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing the alpha 7-subunit.

    PubMed

    Baranowska, Urszula; Göthert, Manfred; Rudz, Radoslaw; Malinowska, Barbara

    2008-09-01

    Methanandamide (MAEA), the stable analog of the endocannabinoid anandamide, has been proven in Xenopus oocytes to allosterically inhibit the function of the alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in a cannabinoid (CB) receptor-independent manner. The present study aimed at demonstrating that this mechanism can be activated in vivo. In anesthetized and vagotomized pithed rats treated with atropine, we determined the tachycardic response to electrical stimulation of preganglionic sympathetic nerves via the pithing rod or to i.v. nicotine (0.7 micromol/kg) activating nAChRs on the cardiac postganglionic sympathetic neurons. MAEA (3 and 10 micromol/kg) inhibited the electrically induced tachycardia (maximally by 15-20%; abolished by the CB(1) receptor antagonist AM 251 [N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide]; 3 micromol/kg) in pentobarbitone-anesthetized pithed rats, but not in urethane-anesthetized pithed rats, which, thus, are suitable to study the CB(1) receptor-independent inhibition of nicotine-evoked tachycardia. The subunit-nonselective nAChR antagonist hexamethonium (100 micromol/kg) and the selective alpha7-subunit antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA; 3 and 10 micromol/kg) decreased the nicotine-induced tachycardia by 100 and 40%, respectively (maximal effects), suggesting that nAChRs containing the alpha7-subunit account for 40% of the nicotine-induced tachycardia. MAEA (3 micromol/kg) produced an AM 251-insensitive inhibition (maximum again by 40%) of the nicotine-induced tachycardia. Simultaneous or sequential coadministration of MLA and MAEA inhibited the nicotine-induced tachycardia to the same extent (maximally by 40%) as each of the drugs alone. In conclusion, according to nonadditivity of the effects, MAEA mediates in vivo inhibition by the same receptors as MLA, namely alpha7-subunit-containing nAChRs, although at an allosteric instead of the orthosteric site.

  15. Optimized Effective Potential for Quantum Electrodynamical Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Camilla; Flick, Johannes; Tokatly, Ilya V; Appel, Heiko; Rubio, Angel

    2015-08-28

    We propose an orbital exchange-correlation functional for applying time-dependent density functional theory to many-electron systems coupled to cavity photons. The time nonlocal equation for the electron-photon optimized effective potential (OEP) is derived. In the static limit our OEP energy functional reduces to the Lamb shift of the ground state energy. We test the new approximation in the Rabi model. It is shown that the OEP (i) reproduces quantitatively the exact ground-state energy from the weak to the deep strong coupling regime and (ii) accurately captures the dynamics entering the ultrastrong coupling regime. The present formalism opens the path to a first-principles description of correlated electron-photon systems, bridging the gap between electronic structure methods and quantum optics for real material applications. PMID:26371646

  16. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging: modelling, inference and optimization.

    PubMed Central

    Josephs, O; Henson, R N

    1999-01-01

    Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging is a recent and popular technique for detecting haemodynamic responses to brief stimuli or events. However, the design of event-related experiments requires careful consideration of numerous issues of measurement, modelling and inference. Here we review these issues, with particular emphasis on the use of basis functions within a general linear modelling framework to model and make inferences about the haemodynamic response. With these models in mind, we then consider how the properties of functional magnetic resonance imaging data determine the optimal experimental design for a specific hypothesis, in terms of stimulus ordering and interstimulus interval. Finally, we illustrate various event-related models with examples from recent studies. PMID:10466147

  17. Numerical optimization in Hilbert space using inexact function and gradient evaluations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Richard G.

    1989-01-01

    Trust region algorithms provide a robust iterative technique for solving non-convex unstrained optimization problems, but in many instances it is prohibitively expensive to compute high accuracy function and gradient values for the method. Of particular interest are inverse and parameter estimation problems, since function and gradient evaluations involve numerically solving large systems of differential equations. A global convergence theory is presented for trust region algorithms in which neither function nor gradient values are known exactly. The theory is formulated in a Hilbert space setting so that it can be applied to variational problems as well as the finite dimensional problems normally seen in trust region literature. The conditions concerning allowable error are remarkably relaxed: relative errors in the gradient error condition is automatically satisfied if the error is orthogonal to the gradient approximation. A technique for estimating gradient error and improving the approximation is also presented.

  18. Parameter estimation of copula functions using an optimization-based method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdi, Amin; Hassanzadeh, Yousef; Talatahari, Siamak; Fakheri-Fard, Ahmad; Mirabbasi, Rasoul

    2016-02-01

    Application of the copulas can be useful for the accurate multivariate frequency analysis of hydrological phenomena. There are many copula functions and some methods were proposed for estimating the copula parameters. Since the copula functions are mathematically complicated, estimating of the copula parameter is an effortful work. In the present study, an optimization-based method (OBM) is proposed to obtain the parameters of copulas. The usefulness of the proposed method is illustrated on drought events. For this purpose, three commonly used copulas of Archimedean family, namely, Clayton, Frank, and Gumbel copulas are used to construct the joint probability distribution of drought characteristics of 60 gauging sites located in East-Azarbaijan province, Iran. The performance of OBM was compared with two conventional methods, namely, method of moments and inference function for margins. The results illustrate the supremacy of the OBM to estimate the copula parameters compared to the other considered methods.

  19. Niching Methods: Speciation Theory Applied for Multi-modal Function Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shir, Ofer M.; Bäck, Thomas

    While contemporary Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs) excel in various types of optimizations, their generalization to speciational subpopulations is much needed upon their deployment to multi-modal landscapes, mainly due to the typical loss of population diversity. The resulting techniques, known as niching methods, are the main focus of this chapter, which will provide the motivation, pose the problem both from the biological as well as computational perspectives, and describe algorithmic solutions. Biologically inspired by organic speciation processes, and armed with real-world incentive to obtain multiple solutions for better decision making, we shall present here the application of certain bioprocesses to multi-modal function optimization, by means of a broad overview of the existing work in the field, as well as a detailed description of specific test cases.

  20. Optimization of integration limit in the charge comparison method based on signal shape function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhonghai; Zeng, Jun; Zhu, Tonghua; Wang, Yudong; Yang, Chaowen; Zhou, Rong

    2014-10-01

    A novel method is proposed to analyze neutron and gamma-ray signal shapes in liquid scintillation detectors. Specifically, the signal shape functions for a BC501 detector were characterized and a statistical model was used to analyze the discrimination of neutrons and gamma rays. The model varied the starting points of tail integration in the charge comparison method (CCM), and an optimized starting point was determined. Experimental measurements were performed to verify the model, and the results indicated good agreement. For a BC501 scintillator with 8.07 ns and 74.63 ns decay time constants we found optimal time to start the tail integration at 24 ns past the decay maximum.

  1. Optimal social-networking strategy is a function of socioeconomic conditions.

    PubMed

    Oishi, Shigehiro; Kesebir, Selin

    2012-12-01

    In the two studies reported here, we examined the relation among residential mobility, economic conditions, and optimal social-networking strategy. In study 1, a computer simulation showed that regardless of economic conditions, having a broad social network with weak friendship ties is advantageous when friends are likely to move away. By contrast, having a small social network with deep friendship ties is advantageous when the economy is unstable but friends are not likely to move away. In study 2, we examined the validity of the computer simulation using a sample of American adults. Results were consistent with the simulation: American adults living in a zip code where people are residentially stable but economically challenged were happier if they had a narrow but deep social network, whereas in other socioeconomic conditions, people were generally happier if they had a broad but shallow networking strategy. Together, our studies demonstrate that the optimal social-networking strategy varies as a function of socioeconomic conditions.

  2. Targeting of the BLT2 in chronic myeloid leukemia inhibits leukemia stem/progenitor cell function.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Meifang; Ai, Hongmei; Li, Tao; Rajoria, Pasupati; Shahu, Prakash; Li, Xiansong

    2016-04-15

    Imatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) has significantly improved clinical outcome for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients. However, patients develop resistance when the disease progresses to the blast phase (BP) and the mechanisms are not well understood. Here we show that BCR-ABL activates BLT2 in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells to promote leukemogenesis and this involves the p53 signaling pathway. Compared to normal bone marrow (NBM), the mRNA and protein levels of BLT2 are significantly increased in BP-CML CD34(+) stem/progenitor cells. This is correlated with increasing BCR-ABL expression. In contrast, knockdown of BCR-ABL or inhibition of its tyrosine kinase activity decreases Blt2 protein level. BLT2 inhibition induces apoptosis, inhibits proliferation, colony formation and self-renewal capacity of CD34(+) cells from TKI-resistant BP-CML patients. Importantly, the inhibitory effects of BCR-ABL TKI on CML stem/progenitor cells are further enhanced upon combination with BLT2 inhibition. We further show that BLT2 activation selectively suppresses p53 but not Wnt or BMP-mediated luciferase activity and transcription. Our results demonstrate that BLT2 is a novel pathway activated by BCR-ABL and critically involved in the resistance of BP-CML CD34(+) stem/progenitors to TKIs treatment. Our findings suggest that BLT2 and p53 can serve as therapeutic targets for CML treatment. PMID:26966074

  3. Inhibition of Return: Sensitivity and Criterion as a Function of Response Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivanoff, Jason; Klein, Raymond M.

    2006-01-01

    Inhibition of return (IOR) refers to a mechanism that results in a performance disadvantage typically observed when targets are presented at a location once occupied by a cue. Although the time course of the phenomenon--from the cue to the target--has been well studied, the time course of the effect--from target to response--is unknown. In 2…

  4. New Verapamil Analogs Inhibit Intracellular Mycobacteria without Affecting the Functions of Mycobacterium-Specific T Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ruminiski, Peter G.; Kumar, Malkeet; Singh, Kawaljit; Hamzabegovic, Fahreta; Hoft, Daniel F.; Eickhoff, Christopher S.; Selimovic, Asmir; Campbell, Mary; Chibale, Kelly

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing interest in repurposing mycobacterial efflux pump inhibitors, such as verapamil, for tuberculosis (TB) treatment. To aid in the design of better analogs, we studied the effects of verapamil on macrophages and Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific T cells. Macrophage activation was evaluated by measuring levels of nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), and gamma interferon (IFN-γ). Since verapamil is a known autophagy inducer, the roles of autophagy induction in the antimycobacterial activities of verapamil and norverapamil were studied using bone marrow-derived macrophages from ATG5flox/flox (control) and ATG5flox/flox Lyz-Cre mice. Our results showed that despite the well-recognized effects of verapamil on calcium channels and autophagy, its action on intracellular M. tuberculosis does not involve macrophage activation or autophagy induction. Next, the effects of verapamil and norverapamil on M. tuberculosis-specific T cells were assessed using flow cytometry following the stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from TB-skin-test-positive donors with M. tuberculosis whole-cell lysate for 7 days in the presence or absence of drugs. We found that verapamil and norverapamil inhibit the expansion of M. tuberculosis-specific T cells. Additionally, three new verapamil analogs were found to inhibit intracellular Mycobacterium bovis BCG, and one of the three analogs (KSV21) inhibited intracellular M. tuberculosis replication at concentrations that did not inhibit M. tuberculosis-specific T cell expansion. KSV21 also inhibited mycobacterial efflux pumps to the same degree as verapamil. More interestingly, the new analog enhances the inhibitory activities of isoniazid and rifampin on intracellular M. tuberculosis. In conclusion, KSV21 is a promising verapamil analog on which to base structure-activity relationship studies aimed at identifying more effective analogs. PMID:26643325

  5. Different Culture Metabolites of the Red Sea Fungus Fusarium equiseti Optimize the Inhibition of Hepatitis C Virus NS3/4A Protease (HCV PR)

    PubMed Central

    Hawas, Usama W.; Al-Farawati, Radwan; Abou El-Kassem, Lamia T.; Turki, Adnan J.

    2016-01-01

    The endophytic fungus Fusarium equiseti was isolated from the brown alga Padina pavonica, collected from the Red Sea. The fungus was identified by its morphology and 18S rDNA. Cultivation of this fungal strain in biomalt-peptone medium led to isolation of 12 known metabolites of diketopeprazines and anthraquinones. The organic extract and isolated compounds were screened for their inhibition of hepatitis C virus NS3/4A protease (HCV PR). As a result, the fungal metabolites showed inhibition of HCV protease (IC50 from 19 to 77 μM), and the fungus was subjected to culture on Czapek’s (Cz) media, with a yield of nine metabolites with potent HCV protease inhibition ranging from IC50 10 to 37 μM. The Cz culture extract exhibited high-level inhibition of HCV protease (IC50 27.6 μg/mL) compared to the biomalt culture extract (IC50 56 μg/mL), and the most potent HCV PR isolated compound (Griseoxanthone C, IC50 19.8 μM) from the bio-malt culture extract showed less of an inhibitory effect compared to isolated ω-hydroxyemodin (IC50 10.7 μM) from the optimized Cz culture extract. Both HCV PR active inhibitors ω-hydroxyemodin and griseoxanthone C were considered as the lowest selective safe constituents against Trypsin inhibitory effect with IC50 48.5 and 51.3 μM, respectively. PMID:27775589

  6. Modified Sigmoid Function Based Gray Scale Image Contrast Enhancement Using Particle Swarm Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verma, Harish Kumar; Pal, Sandeep

    2016-06-01

    The main objective of an image enhancement is to improve eminence by maximizing the information content in the test image. Conventional contrast enhancement techniques either often fails to produce reasonable results for a broad variety of low-contrast and high contrast images, or cannot be automatically applied to different images, because they are parameters dependent. Hence this paper introduces a novel hybrid image enhancement approach by taking both the local and global information of an image. In the present work, sigmoid function is being modified on the basis of contrast of the images. The gray image enhancement problem is treated as nonlinear optimization problem with several constraints and solved by particle swarm optimization. The entropy and edge information is included in the objective function as quality measure of an image. The effectiveness of modified sigmoid function based enhancement over conventional methods namely linear contrast stretching, histogram equalization, and adaptive histogram equalization are better revealed by the enhanced images and further validated by statistical analysis of these images.

  7. Oseltamivir produces hypothermic and neuromuscular effects by inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor functions: comparison to procaine and bupropion.

    PubMed

    Fukushima, Akihiro; Chazono, Kaori; Hashimoto, Yuichi; Iwajima, Yui; Yamamoto, Shohei; Maeda, Yasuhiro; Ohsawa, Masahiro; Ono, Hideki

    2015-09-01

    Oseltamivir, an anti-influenza virus drug, induces marked hypothermia in normal mice. We have proposed that the hypothermic effect arises from inhibition of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function of sympathetic ganglion neurons which innervate the brown adipose tissue (a heat generator). It has been reported that local anesthetics inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function by acting on its ionic channels, and that bupropion, a nicotinic antagonist, induces hypothermia. In this study, we compared the effects of oseltamivir, procaine and bupropion on body temperature, cardiovascular function and neuromuscular transmission. Intraperitoneal administration of oseltamivir (100mg/kg), procaine (86.6mg/kg) and bupropion (86.7mg/kg) lowered the core body temperature of normal mice. At lower doses (10-30mg/kg oseltamivir, 8.7-26mg/kg procaine and bupropion), when administered subcutaneously, the three drugs antagonized the hypothermia induced by intraperitoneal injection of nicotine (1mg/kg). In anesthetized rats, intravenous oseltamivir (30-100mg/kg), procaine (10mg/kg) and bupropion (10mg/kg) induced hypotension and bradycardia. Oseltamivir alone (100mg/kg) did not inhibit neuromuscular twitch contraction of rats, but at 3-30mg/kg it augmented the muscle-relaxing effect of d-tubocurarine. Similar effects were observed when lower doses of procaine (10-30mg/kg) and bupropion (3-10mg/kg) were administered, suggesting that systemic administration of oseltamivir inhibits muscular nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These results support the idea that the hypothermic effect of oseltamivir is due to its effects on sympathetic ganglia which innervate the brown adipose tissue, and suggest that oseltamivir may exert non-selective ion channel blocking effects like those of ester-type local anesthetics.

  8. Oseltamivir produces hypothermic and neuromuscular effects by inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor functions: comparison to procaine and bupropion.

    PubMed

    Fukushima, Akihiro; Chazono, Kaori; Hashimoto, Yuichi; Iwajima, Yui; Yamamoto, Shohei; Maeda, Yasuhiro; Ohsawa, Masahiro; Ono, Hideki

    2015-09-01

    Oseltamivir, an anti-influenza virus drug, induces marked hypothermia in normal mice. We have proposed that the hypothermic effect arises from inhibition of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function of sympathetic ganglion neurons which innervate the brown adipose tissue (a heat generator). It has been reported that local anesthetics inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function by acting on its ionic channels, and that bupropion, a nicotinic antagonist, induces hypothermia. In this study, we compared the effects of oseltamivir, procaine and bupropion on body temperature, cardiovascular function and neuromuscular transmission. Intraperitoneal administration of oseltamivir (100mg/kg), procaine (86.6mg/kg) and bupropion (86.7mg/kg) lowered the core body temperature of normal mice. At lower doses (10-30mg/kg oseltamivir, 8.7-26mg/kg procaine and bupropion), when administered subcutaneously, the three drugs antagonized the hypothermia induced by intraperitoneal injection of nicotine (1mg/kg). In anesthetized rats, intravenous oseltamivir (30-100mg/kg), procaine (10mg/kg) and bupropion (10mg/kg) induced hypotension and bradycardia. Oseltamivir alone (100mg/kg) did not inhibit neuromuscular twitch contraction of rats, but at 3-30mg/kg it augmented the muscle-relaxing effect of d-tubocurarine. Similar effects were observed when lower doses of procaine (10-30mg/kg) and bupropion (3-10mg/kg) were administered, suggesting that systemic administration of oseltamivir inhibits muscular nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These results support the idea that the hypothermic effect of oseltamivir is due to its effects on sympathetic ganglia which innervate the brown adipose tissue, and suggest that oseltamivir may exert non-selective ion channel blocking effects like those of ester-type local anesthetics. PMID:26049014

  9. Inhibition of NAMPT pathway by FK866 activates the function of p53 in HEK293T cells

    SciTech Connect

    Thakur, Basant Kumar; Dittrich, Tino; Chandra, Prakash; Becker, Annette; Lippka, Yannick; Selvakumar, Divakarvel; Klusmann, Jan-Henning; Reinhardt, Dirk; Welte, Karl

    2012-08-03

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer In 293T cells, p53 is considered to be inactive due to its interaction with the large T-antigen. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Acetylation of p53 at lysine 382 is important for its functional activation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer First evidence to document the presence of a functional p53 in 293T cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Inhibition of NAMPT/SIRT pathway by FK866 in 293T cells increases the functional activity of p53. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer This activation of p53 involves reversible acetylation of p53 at lysine 382. -- Abstract: Inactivation of p53 protein by endogenous and exogenous carcinogens is involved in the pathogenesis of different human malignancies. In cancer associated with SV-40 DNA tumor virus, p53 is considered to be non-functional mainly due to its interaction with the large T-antigen. Using the 293T cell line (HEK293 cells transformed with large T antigen) as a model, we provide evidence that p53 is one of the critical downstream targets involved in FK866-mediated killing of 293T cells. A reduced rate of apoptosis and an increased number of cells in S-phase was accompanied after knockdown of p53 in these cells. Inhibition of NAMPT by FK866, or inhibition of SIRT by nicotinamide decreased proliferation and triggered death of 293T cells involving the p53 acetylation pathway. Additionally, knockdown of p53 attenuated the effect of FK866 on cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest. The data presented here shed light on two important facts: (1) that p53 in 293T cells is active in the presence of FK866, an inhibitor of NAMPT pathway; (2) the apoptosis induced by FK866 in 293T cells is associated with increased acetylation of p53 at Lys382, which is required for the functional activity of p53.

  10. The E-domain region of mechano-growth factor inhibits cellular apoptosis and preserves cardiac function during myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Mavrommatis, Evangelos; Shioura, Krystyna M; Los, Tamara; Goldspink, Paul H

    2013-09-01

    Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) isoforms are expressed via alternative splicing. Expression of the minor isoform IGF-1Eb [also known as mechano-growth factor (MGF)] is responsive to cell stress. Since IGF-1 isoforms differ in their E-domain regions, we are interested in determining the biological function of the MGF E-domain. To do so, a synthetic peptide analog was used to gain mechanistic insight into the actions of the E-domain. Treatment of H9c2 cells indicated a rapid cellular uptake mechanism that did not involve IGF-1 receptor activation but resulted in a nuclear localization. Peptide treatment inhibited the intrinsic apoptotic pathway in H9c2 cells subjected to cell stress with sorbitol by preventing the collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential and inhibition of caspase-3 activation. Therefore, we administered the peptide at the time of myocardial infarction (MI) in mice. At 2 weeks post-MI cardiac function, gene expression and cell death were assayed. A significant decline in both systolic and diastolic function was evident in untreated mice based on PV loop analysis. Delivery of the E-peptide ameliorated the decline in function and resulted in significant preservation of cardiac contractility. Associated with these changes were an inhibition of pathologic hypertrophy and significantly fewer apoptotic nuclei in the viable myocardium of E-peptide-treated mice post-MI. We conclude that administration of the MGF E-domain peptide may provide a means of modulating local tissue IGF-1 autocrine/paracrine actions to preserve cardiac function, prevent cell death, and pathologic remodeling in the heart.

  11. The MAPK ERK5, but not ERK1/2, inhibits the progression of monocytic phenotype to the functioning macrophage

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Xuening; Pesakhov, Stella; Harrison, Jonathan S; Kafka, Michael; Danilenko, Michael; Studzinski, George P

    2015-01-01

    Intracellular signaling pathways present targets for pharmacological agents with potential for treatment of neoplastic diseases, with some disease remissions already recorded. However, cellular compensatory mechanisms usually negate the initial success. For instance, attempts to interrupt aberrant signaling downstream of the frequently mutated ras by inhibiting ERK1/2 has shown only limited usefulness for cancer therapy. Here, we examined how ERK5, that overlaps the functions of ERK1/2 in cell proliferation and survival, functions in a manner distinct from ERK1/2 in human AML cells induced to differentiate by 1,25D-dihydroxyvitamin D{sub 3} (1,25D). Using inhibitors of ERK1/2 and of MEK5/ERK5 at concentrations specific for each kinase in HL60 and U937 cells, we observed that selective inhibition of the kinase activity of ERK5, but not of ERK1/2, in the presence of 1,25D resulted in macrophage-like cell morphology and enhancement of phagocytic activity. Importantly, this was associated with increased expression of the macrophage colony stimulating factor receptor (M-CSFR), but was not seen when M-CSFR expression was knocked down. Interestingly, inhibition of ERK1/2 led to activation of ERK5 in these cells. Our results support the hypothesis that ERK5 negatively regulates the expression of M-CSFR, and thus has a restraining function on macrophage differentiation. The addition of pharmacological inhibitors of ERK5 may influence trials of differentiation therapy of AML. - Highlights: • ERK5 has at least some functions in AML cells which are distinct from those of ERK1/2. • ERK5 activity negatively controls the expression of M-CSFR. • ERK5 retards the progression of differentiation from monocyte to functional macrophage.

  12. Advanced Targeting Cost Function Design for Evolutionary Optimization of Control of Logistic Equation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senkerik, Roman; Zelinka, Ivan; Davendra, Donald; Oplatkova, Zuzana

    2010-06-01

    This research deals with the optimization of the control of chaos by means of evolutionary algorithms. This work is aimed on an explanation of how to use evolutionary algorithms (EAs) and how to properly define the advanced targeting cost function (CF) securing very fast and precise stabilization of desired state for any initial conditions. As a model of deterministic chaotic system, the one dimensional Logistic equation was used. The evolutionary algorithm Self-Organizing Migrating Algorithm (SOMA) was used in four versions. For each version, repeated simulations were conducted to outline the effectiveness and robustness of used method and targeting CF.

  13. Genetically controlled random search: a global optimization method for continuous multidimensional functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsoulos, Ioannis G.; Lagaris, Isaac E.

    2006-01-01

    A new stochastic method for locating the global minimum of a multidimensional function inside a rectangular hyperbox is presented. A sampling technique is employed that makes use of the procedure known as grammatical evolution. The method can be considered as a "genetic" modification of the Controlled Random Search procedure due to Price. The user may code the objective function either in C++ or in Fortran 77. We offer a comparison of the new method with others of similar structure, by presenting results of computational experiments on a set of test functions. Program summaryTitle of program: GenPrice Catalogue identifier:ADWP Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/ADWP Program available from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University of Belfast, N. Ireland Computer for which the program is designed and others on which it has been tested: the tool is designed to be portable in all systems running the GNU C++ compiler Installation: University of Ioannina, Greece Programming language used: GNU-C++, GNU-C, GNU Fortran-77 Memory required to execute with typical data: 200 KB No. of bits in a word: 32 No. of processors used: 1 Has the code been vectorized or parallelized?: no No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.:13 135 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 78 512 Distribution format: tar. gz Nature of physical problem: A multitude of problems in science and engineering are often reduced to minimizing a function of many variables. There are instances that a local optimum does not correspond to the desired physical solution and hence the search for a better solution is required. Local optimization techniques are frequently trapped in local minima. Global optimization is hence the appropriate tool. For example, solving a nonlinear system of equations via optimization, employing a "least squares" type of objective, one may encounter many local minima that do not correspond to solutions, i.e. minima with values

  14. Structure, Function and Inhibition of the Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferases of the Human Malaria Parasites Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    SciTech Connect

    Garg, Aprajita; Lukk, Tiit; Kumar, Vidya; Choi, Jae-Yeon; Augagneur, Yoann; Voelker, Dennis R.; Nair, Satish; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2015-03-12

    Phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) catalyze the three-step methylation of phosphoethanolamine to form phosphocholine, a critical step in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine in a select number of eukaryotes including human malaria parasites, nematodes and plants. Genetic studies in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that the methyltransferase PfPMT plays a critical function in parasite development and differentiation. The presence of PMT orthologs in other malaria parasites that infect humans and their absence in mammals make them ideal targets for the development of selective antimalarials with broad specificity against different Plasmodium species. Here we describe the X-ray structures and biochemical properties of PMT orthologs from Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi and show that both enzymes are inhibited by amodiaquine and NSC158011, two drugs with potent antimalarial activity. Metabolic studies in a yeast mutant that relies on PkPMT or PvPMT for survival demonstrated that these compounds inhibit phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis from ethanolamine. Our structural and functional data provide insights into the mechanism of catalysis and inhibition of PMT enzymes and set the stage for a better design of more specific and selective antimalarial drugs.

  15. Structure, Function and Inhibition of the Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferases of the Human Malaria Parasites Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    DOE PAGES

    Garg, Aprajita; Lukk, Tiit; Kumar, Vidya; Choi, Jae-Yeon; Augagneur, Yoann; Voelker, Dennis R.; Nair, Satish; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2015-03-12

    Phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) catalyze the three-step methylation of phosphoethanolamine to form phosphocholine, a critical step in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine in a select number of eukaryotes including human malaria parasites, nematodes and plants. Genetic studies in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that the methyltransferase PfPMT plays a critical function in parasite development and differentiation. The presence of PMT orthologs in other malaria parasites that infect humans and their absence in mammals make them ideal targets for the development of selective antimalarials with broad specificity against different Plasmodium species. Here we describe the X-ray structures and biochemical properties ofmore » PMT orthologs from Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi and show that both enzymes are inhibited by amodiaquine and NSC158011, two drugs with potent antimalarial activity. Metabolic studies in a yeast mutant that relies on PkPMT or PvPMT for survival demonstrated that these compounds inhibit phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis from ethanolamine. Our structural and functional data provide insights into the mechanism of catalysis and inhibition of PMT enzymes and set the stage for a better design of more specific and selective antimalarial drugs.« less

  16. Structure, Function and Inhibition of the Phosphoethanolamine Methyltransferases of the Human Malaria Parasites Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi

    PubMed Central

    Garg, Aprajita; Lukk, Tiit; Kumar, Vidya; Choi, Jae-Yeon; Augagneur, Yoann; Voelker, Dennis R.; Nair, Satish; Mamoun, Choukri Ben

    2015-01-01

    Phosphoethanolamine methyltransferases (PMTs) catalyze the three-step methylation of phosphoethanolamine to form phosphocholine, a critical step in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine in a select number of eukaryotes including human malaria parasites, nematodes and plants. Genetic studies in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that the methyltransferase PfPMT plays a critical function in parasite development and differentiation. The presence of PMT orthologs in other malaria parasites that infect humans and their absence in mammals make them ideal targets for the development of selective antimalarials with broad specificity against different Plasmodium species. Here we describe the X-ray structures and biochemical properties of PMT orthologs from Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi and show that both enzymes are inhibited by amodiaquine and NSC158011, two drugs with potent antimalarial activity. Metabolic studies in a yeast mutant that relies on PkPMT or PvPMT for survival demonstrated that these compounds inhibit phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis from ethanolamine. Our structural and functional data provide insights into the mechanism of catalysis and inhibition of PMT enzymes and set the stage for a better design of more specific and selective antimalarial drugs. PMID:25761669

  17. Rapid functional definition of extended spectrum β-lactamase activity in bacterial cultures via competitive inhibition of fluorescent substrate cleavage.

    PubMed

    Sallum, Ulysses W; Zheng, Xiang; Verma, Sarika; Hasan, Tayyaba

    2010-01-01

    The functional definition of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) activity is a clinical challenge. Here we report a rapid and convenient assay of β-lactamase activity through the competitive inhibition of fluorescent substrate hydrolysis that provides a read-out nearly 40× more rapidly than conventional techniques for functional definition. A panel of β-lactam antibiotics was used for competition against β-lactamase enzyme-activated photosensitizer (β-LEAP) yielding a competitive index (C(i)) in 30 min. Significant differences in the relative C(i) values of the panel of β-lactams were determined in vitro for Bacillus cereus penicillinase. Additionally, the relative C(i) values for whole bacterial cell suspensions of B. cereus 5/β were compared with the relative minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values and a correlation coefficient of 0.899 was determined. We further demonstrated the ability of β-LEAP to probe the capacity of ceftazidime to inhibit the enzyme activity of a panel of ESBL-producing Escherichia coli. The bacteria were assayed for susceptibility to ceftazidime and the relative MIC values were compared with the relative C(i) values for ceftazidime yielding a correlation coefficient of 0.984. This work demonstrates for the first time the whole cell assay of the competitive inhibition of β-lactamase enzyme activity and derivation of associated constants.

  18. BTK inhibition results in impaired CXCR4 chemokine receptor surface expression, signaling and function in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Chen, S-S; Chang, B Y; Chang, S; Tong, T; Ham, S; Sherry, B; Burger, J A; Rai, K R; Chiorazzi, N

    2016-01-01

    Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) is involved in the regulation of B-cell growth, migration and adhesion. The importance of BTK in cell trafficking is emphasized by the clonal contraction proceeded by lymphocytosis typical for the enzyme inhibitor, ibrutinib, in B-cell malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Here, we investigated BTK regulation of leukemic B-cell trafficking in a mouse model of aggressive TCL1 CLL-like disease. Inhibiting BTK by ibrutinib reduced surface membrane (sm) levels of CXCR4 but not CXCR5, CD49d and other adhesion/homing receptors. Decreased smCXCR4 levels resulted from blocking receptor signal transduction, which in turn aborted cycling from and to the membrane. This resulted in rapid re-distribution of CLL cells from spleens and lymph nodes into the circulation. CLL cells with impaired smCXCR4 from BTK inhibition failed to home to spleens. These functional changes mainly resulted from inhibition of CXCR4 phosphorylation at Ser339, mediated directly by blocking BTK enzymatic activity and indirectly by affecting the function of downstream targets PLCγ2 and PKCμ, and eventually synthesis of PIM-1 and BTK itself. Our data identify CXCR4 as a key regulator in BTK-mediated CLL-cell retention and have elucidated a complex set of not previously described mechanisms responsible for these effects. PMID:26582643

  19. BTK inhibition results in impaired CXCR4 chemokine receptor surface expression, signaling and function in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Chen, S-S; Chang, B Y; Chang, S; Tong, T; Ham, S; Sherry, B; Burger, J A; Rai, K R; Chiorazzi, N

    2016-04-01

    Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) is involved in the regulation of B-cell growth, migration and adhesion. The importance of BTK in cell trafficking is emphasized by the clonal contraction proceeded by lymphocytosis typical for the enzyme inhibitor, ibrutinib, in B-cell malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Here, we investigated BTK regulation of leukemic B-cell trafficking in a mouse model of aggressive TCL1 CLL-like disease. Inhibiting BTK by ibrutinib reduced surface membrane (sm) levels of CXCR4 but not CXCR5, CD49d and other adhesion/homing receptors. Decreased smCXCR4 levels resulted from blocking receptor signal transduction, which in turn aborted cycling from and to the membrane. This resulted in rapid re-distribution of CLL cells from spleens and lymph nodes into the circulation. CLL cells with impaired smCXCR4 from BTK inhibition failed to home to spleens. These functional changes mainly resulted from inhibition of CXCR4 phosphorylation at Ser339, mediated directly by blocking BTK enzymatic activity and indirectly by affecting the function of downstream targets PLCγ2 and PKCμ, and eventually synthesis of PIM-1 and BTK itself. Our data identify CXCR4 as a key regulator in BTK-mediated CLL-cell retention and have elucidated a complex set of not previously described mechanisms responsible for these effects. PMID:26582643

  20. A Synergy-Based Optimally Designed Sensing Glove for Functional Grasp Recognition.

    PubMed

    Ciotti, Simone; Battaglia, Edoardo; Carbonaro, Nicola; Bicchi, Antonio; Tognetti, Alessandro; Bianchi, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    Achieving accurate and reliable kinematic hand pose reconstructions represents a challenging task. The main reason for this is the complexity of hand biomechanics, where several degrees of freedom are distributed along a continuous deformable structure. Wearable sensing can represent a viable solution to tackle this issue, since it enables a more natural kinematic monitoring. However, the intrinsic accuracy (as well as the number of sensing elements) of wearable hand pose reconstruction (HPR) systems can be severely limited by ergonomics and cost considerations. In this paper, we combined the theoretical foundations of the optimal design of HPR devices based on hand synergy information, i.e., the inter-joint covariation patterns, with textile goniometers based on knitted piezoresistive fabrics (KPF) technology, to develop, for the first time, an optimally-designed under-sensed glove for measuring hand kinematics. We used only five sensors optimally placed on the hand and completed hand pose reconstruction (described according to a kinematic model with 19 degrees of freedom) leveraging upon synergistic information. The reconstructions we obtained from five different subjects were used to implement an unsupervised method for the recognition of eight functional grasps, showing a high degree of accuracy and robustness. PMID:27271621

  1. Formulation for a practical implementation of electromagnetic induction coils optimized using stream functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, Mark A.; Scott, Waymond R.

    2016-05-01

    Continuous-wave (CW) electromagnetic induction (EMI) systems used for subsurface sensing typically employ separate transmit and receive coils placed in close proximity. The closeness of the coils is desirable for both packaging and object pinpointing; however, the coils must have as little mutual coupling as possible. Otherwise, the signal from the transmit coil will couple into the receive coil, making target detection difficult or impossible. Additionally, mineralized soil can be a significant problem when attempting to detect small amounts of metal because the soil effectively couples the transmit and receive coils. Optimization of wire coils to improve their performance is difficult but can be made possible through a stream-function representation and the use of partially convex forms. Examples of such methods have been presented previously, but these methods did not account for certain practical issues with coil implementation. In this paper, the power constraint introduced into the optimization routine is modified so that it does not penalize areas of high current. It does this by representing the coils as plates carrying surface currents and adjusting the sheet resistance to be inversely proportional to the current, which is a good approximation for a wire-wound coil. Example coils are then optimized for minimum mutual coupling, maximum sensitivity, and minimum soil response at a given height with both the earlier, constant sheet resistance and the new representation. The two sets of coils are compared both to each other and other common coil types to show the method's viability.

  2. Design optimization of cementless metal-backed cup prostheses using the concept of functionally graded material.

    PubMed

    Hedia, H S; El-Midany, T T; Shabara, M A N; Fouda, N

    2006-09-01

    Metal backing has been widely used in acetabular cup design. A stiff backing for a polyethylene liner was initially believed to be mechanically favourable. Yet, recent studies of the load transfer around acetabular cups have shown that a stiff backing causes two problems. It generates higher stress peaks around the acetabular rim than those caused by full polyethylene cups and reduces the stresses transferred to the dome of the acetabulum causing stress shielding. The aim of this study is to overcome these two problems by improving the design of cementless metal-backed acetabular cups using the two-dimensional functionally graded material (FGM) concept through finite-element analysis and optimization techniques. It is found that the optimal 2D FGM model must have three bioactive materials of hydroxyapatite, Bioglass and collagen. This optimal material reduces the stress shielding at the dome of the acetabulum by 40% and 37% compared with stainless steel and titanium metal backing shells, respectively. In addition, using the 2D FGM model reduces the maximum interface shear stress in the bone by 31% compared to the titanium metal backing shell.

  3. A Synergy-Based Optimally Designed Sensing Glove for Functional Grasp Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Ciotti, Simone; Battaglia, Edoardo; Carbonaro, Nicola; Bicchi, Antonio; Tognetti, Alessandro; Bianchi, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    Achieving accurate and reliable kinematic hand pose reconstructions represents a challenging task. The main reason for this is the complexity of hand biomechanics, where several degrees of freedom are distributed along a continuous deformable structure. Wearable sensing can represent a viable solution to tackle this issue, since it enables a more natural kinematic monitoring. However, the intrinsic accuracy (as well as the number of sensing elements) of wearable hand pose reconstruction (HPR) systems can be severely limited by ergonomics and cost considerations. In this paper, we combined the theoretical foundations of the optimal design of HPR devices based on hand synergy information, i.e., the inter-joint covariation patterns, with textile goniometers based on knitted piezoresistive fabrics (KPF) technology, to develop, for the first time, an optimally-designed under-sensed glove for measuring hand kinematics. We used only five sensors optimally placed on the hand and completed hand pose reconstruction (described according to a kinematic model with 19 degrees of freedom) leveraging upon synergistic information. The reconstructions we obtained from five different subjects were used to implement an unsupervised method for the recognition of eight functional grasps, showing a high degree of accuracy and robustness. PMID:27271621

  4. Lowering bone mineral affinity of bisphosphonates as a therapeutic strategy to optimize skeletal tumor growth inhibition in vivo.

    PubMed

    Fournier, Pierrick G J; Daubiné, Florence; Lundy, Mark W; Rogers, Michael J; Ebetino, Frank H; Clézardin, Philippe

    2008-11-01

    Bisphosphonates bind avidly to bone mineral and are potent inhibitors of osteoclast-mediated bone destruction. They also exhibit antitumor activity in vitro. Here, we used a mouse model of human breast cancer bone metastasis to examine the effects of risedronate and NE-10790, a phosphonocarboxylate analogue of the bisphosphonate risedronate, on osteolysis and tumor growth. Osteolysis was measured by radiography and histomorphometry. Tumor burden was measured by fluorescence imaging and histomorphometry. NE-10790 had a 70-fold lower bone mineral affinity compared with risedronate. It was 7-fold and 8,800-fold less potent than risedronate at reducing, respectively, breast cancer cell viability in vitro and bone loss in ovariectomized animals. We next showed that risedronate given at a low dosage in animals bearing human B02-GFP breast tumors reduced osteolysis by inhibiting bone resorption, whereas therapy with higher doses also inhibited skeletal tumor burden. Conversely, therapy with NE-10790 substantially reduced skeletal tumor growth at a dosage that did not inhibit osteolysis, a higher dosage being able to also reduce bone destruction. The in vivo antitumor activity of NE-10790 was restricted to bone because it did not inhibit the growth of subcutaneous B02-GFP tumor xenografts nor the formation of B16-F10 melanoma lung metastases. Moreover, NE-10790, in combination with risedronate, reduced both osteolysis and skeletal tumor burden, whereas NE-10790 or risedronate alone only decreased either tumor burden or osteolysis, respectively. In conclusion, our study shows that decreasing the bone mineral affinity of bisphosphonates is an effective therapeutic strategy to inhibit skeletal tumor growth in vivo.

  5. Mapping the Pareto Optimal Design Space for a Functionally Deimmunized Biotherapeutic Candidate

    PubMed Central

    Salvat, Regina S.; Parker, Andrew S.; Choi, Yoonjoo; Bailey-Kellogg, Chris; Griswold, Karl E.

    2015-01-01

    The immunogenicity of biotherapeutics can bottleneck development pipelines and poses a barrier to widespread clinical application. As a result, there is a growing need for improved deimmunization technologies. We have recently described algorithms that simultaneously optimize proteins for both reduced T cell epitope content and high-level function. In silico analysis of this dual objective design space reveals that there is no single global optimum with respect to protein deimmunization. Instead, mutagenic epitope deletion yields a spectrum of designs that exhibit tradeoffs between immunogenic potential and molecular function. The leading edge of this design space is the Pareto frontier, i.e. the undominated variants for which no other single design exhibits better performance in both criteria. Here, the Pareto frontier of a therapeutic enzyme has been designed, constructed, and evaluated experimentally. Various measures of protein performance were found to map a functional sequence space that correlated well with computational predictions. These results represent the first systematic and rigorous assessment of the functional penalty that must be paid for pursuing progressively more deimmunized biotherapeutic candidates. Given this capacity to rapidly assess and design for tradeoffs between protein immunogenicity and functionality, these algorithms may prove useful in augmenting, accelerating, and de-risking experimental deimmunization efforts. PMID:25568954

  6. Mapping the Pareto optimal design space for a functionally deimmunized biotherapeutic candidate.

    PubMed

    Salvat, Regina S; Parker, Andrew S; Choi, Yoonjoo; Bailey-Kellogg, Chris; Griswold, Karl E

    2015-01-01

    The immunogenicity of biotherapeutics can bottleneck development pipelines and poses a barrier to widespread clinical application. As a result, there is a growing need for improved deimmunization technologies. We have recently described algorithms that simultaneously optimize proteins for both reduced T cell epitope content and high-level function. In silico analysis of this dual objective design space reveals that there is no single global optimum with respect to protein deimmunization. Instead, mutagenic epitope deletion yields a spectrum of designs that exhibit tradeoffs between immunogenic potential and molecular function. The leading edge of this design space is the Pareto frontier, i.e. the undominated variants for which no other single design exhibits better performance in both criteria. Here, the Pareto frontier of a therapeutic enzyme has been designed, constructed, and evaluated experimentally. Various measures of protein performance were found to map a functional sequence space that correlated well with computational predictions. These results represent the first systematic and rigorous assessment of the functional penalty that must be paid for pursuing progressively more deimmunized biotherapeutic candidates. Given this capacity to rapidly assess and design for tradeoffs between protein immunogenicity and functionality, these algorithms may prove useful in augmenting, accelerating, and de-risking experimental deimmunization efforts.

  7. Water extract of the fungi from Fuzhuan brick tea improves the beneficial function on inhibiting fat deposition.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yuxuan; Xiong, Zhe; Li, Juan; Huang, Jian-An; Teng, Cuiqin; Gong, Yushun; Liu, Zhonghua

    2014-08-01

    Fuzhuan brick tea (FBT) is traditionally consumed by the ethnic group in the border region of northwest China. The unique yellow fungal (Eurotium cristatum) growth phase is considered to be the key process point in the manufacture of the brick tea. The fungi from FBT are not only strongly correlated to the quality of brick tea, but also have the potential function of preventing obesity. The water extract of fungi (100 μg/mL) can significantly inhibit fat deposition in 3T3-L1 adipocyte and Caenorhabditis elegans. Furthermore, the inhibition of 3T3-L1 adipocyte formation was not due to the suppression on cell viability. PMID:24634994

  8. Optimization of a parallel permutation testing function for the SPRINT R package.

    PubMed

    Petrou, Savvas; Sloan, Terence M; Mewissen, Muriel; Forster, Thorsten; Piotrowski, Michal; Dobrzelecki, Bartosz; Ghazal, Peter; Trew, Arthur; Hill, Jon

    2011-12-10

    The statistical language R and its Bioconductor package are favoured by many biostatisticians for processing microarray data. The amount of data produced by some analyses has reached the limits of many common bioinformatics computing infrastructures. High Performance Computing systems offer a solution to this issue. The Simple Parallel R Interface (SPRINT) is a package that provides biostatisticians with easy access to High Performance Computing systems and allows the addition of parallelized functions to R. Previous work has established that the SPRINT implementation of an R permutation testing function has close to optimal scaling on up to 512 processors on a supercomputer. Access to supercomputers, however, is not always possible, and so the work presented here compares the performance of the SPRINT implementation on a supercomputer with benchmarks on a range of platforms including cloud resources and a common desktop machine with multiprocessing capabilities. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:23335858

  9. Measurement and optimization of the lattice functions in the debuncher ring at Fermilab.

    SciTech Connect

    Nagaslaev, V.; Gollwitzer, K.; Lebedev, V.; Valishev, A.; Sajaev, V.; Accelerator Systems Division; FNAL

    2006-01-01

    A goal of the Tevatron Run-II upgrade requires substantial increase of antiproton production. The central step towards this goal is increasing the Debuncher ring admittance. Detailed understanding of the Debuncher's optics, aperture limitations and lattice functions is necessary. The method of the response matrix optimization has been used to determine quadrupole errors and corrections to the design functions. The measurement accuracy is about 5% due to the Beam Position Monitor system resolution and the small number of steering elements in the machine. We have used these accurate measurements to redesign the machine optics to maximize the acceptance of the Debuncher where the main limiting apertures are the stochastic cooling pickups and kickers. Accuracy of the measurements and the limitations are discussed as well as details of the optics modification.

  10. Particle swarm optimization-based radial basis function network for estimation of reference evapotranspiration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petković, Dalibor; Gocic, Milan; Shamshirband, Shahaboddin; Qasem, Sultan Noman; Trajkovic, Slavisa

    2016-08-01

    Accurate estimation of the reference evapotranspiration (ET0) is important for the water resource planning and scheduling of irrigation systems. For this purpose, the radial basis function network with particle swarm optimization (RBFN-PSO) and radial basis function network with back propagation (RBFN-BP) were used in this investigation. The FAO-56 Penman-Monteith equation was used as reference equation to estimate ET0 for Serbia during the period of 1980-2010. The obtained simulation results confirmed the proposed models and were analyzed using the root mean-square error (RMSE), the mean absolute error (MAE), and the coefficient of determination ( R 2). The analysis showed that the RBFN-PSO had better statistical characteristics than RBFN-BP and can be helpful for the ET0 estimation.

  11. Optimism, social support and psychosocial functioning among women with breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Lois C; Kalidas, Mamta; Elledge, Richard; Chang, Jenny; Romero, Catherine; Husain, Inna; Dulay, Mario F; Liscum, Kathleen R

    2006-07-01

    Personality, psychosocial, demographic and medical variables have been identified as correlates of adjustment to breast cancer and quality of life (QoL). Most studies have examined relationships between personality, social support and adjustment to cancer in predominantly middle-class Caucasian samples, thus limiting the generalizability of their findings. Eighty-one female outpatients at a medical oncology breast clinic in a county general hospital serving primarily indigent Hispanic and African-American patients completed measures assessing demographic and medical information, health-related QoL, cancer-specific distress, mood disturbance, dispositional optimism and satisfaction with social support. Older age, receipt of treatment and greater optimism accounted for 41% of the variance in emotional well-being (p<0.01). Absence of family history of breast cancer, receipt of treatment and optimism accounted for 43% of the variance in functional well-being (p<0.01). Optimism and satisfaction with social support accounted for 43% of the variance in social/family well-being (p<0.01). Absence of treatment (not yet treated) and pessimism accounted for 31% of the variance in cancer-specific distress (p<0.01). Finally, family history of breast cancer and pessimism accounted for 48% of the variance in mood disturbance (p<0.001). Family history of breast cancer and pessimism were related to mood disturbance (p<0.001). No between-group differences were found for race/ethnicity for any of the variables. Encouraging positive expectations and facilitating social support may help women in public sector medical settings cope with the stressful demands of diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer regardless of race/ethnicity.

  12. Effect of heparin and alendronate coating on titanium surfaces on inhibition of osteoclast and enhancement of osteoblast function

    SciTech Connect

    Moon, Ho-Jin; Yun, Young-Pil; Han, Choong-Wan; Kim, Min Sung; Kim, Sung Eun; Bae, Min Soo; Kim, Gyu-Tae; Choi, Yong-Suk; Hwang, Eui-Hwan; Lee, Joon Woo; Lee, Jin-Moo; Lee, Chang-Hoon; Kim, Duck-Su; Kwon, Il Keun

    2011-09-23

    Highlights: {yields} We examine bone metabolism of engineered alendronate attached to Ti surfaces. {yields} Alendronate-immobilized Ti enhances activation of osteoblast differentiation. {yields} Alendronate-immobilized Ti inhibits osteoclast differentiation. {yields} Alendronate-immobilized Ti may be a bioactive implant with dual functions. -- Abstract: The failure of orthopedic and dental implants has been attributed mainly to loosening of the implant from host bone, which may be due to weak bonding of the implant material to bone tissue. Titanium (Ti) is used in the field of orthopedic and dental implants because of its excellent biocompatibility and outstanding mechanical properties. Therefore, in the field of materials science and tissue engineering, there has been extensive research to immobilize bioactive molecules on the surface of implant materials in order to provide the implants with improved adhesion to the host bone tissue. In this study, chemically active functional groups were introduced on the surface of Ti by a grafting reaction with heparin and then the Ti was functionalized by immobilizing alendronate onto the heparin-grafted surface. In the MC3T3-E1 cell osteogenic differentiation study, the alendronate-immobilized Ti substrates significantly enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP) and calcium content. Additionally, nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast differentiation of RAW264.7 cells was inhibited with the alendronate-immobilized Ti as confirmed by TRAP analysis. Real time PCR analysis showed that mRNA expressions of osteocalcin and osteopontin, which are markers for osteogenesis, were upregulated in MC3T3-E1 cells cultured on alendronate-immobilized Ti. The mRNA expressions of TRAP and Cathepsin K, markers for osteoclastogenesis, in RAW264.7 cells cultured on alendronate-immobilized Ti were down-regulated. Our study suggests that alendronate-immobilized Ti may be a bioactive implant with dual functions to enhance

  13. The functional influences of common ABCB1 genetic variants on the inhibition of P-glycoprotein by Antrodia cinnamomea extracts.

    PubMed

    Sheu, Ming-Jyh; Teng, Yu-Ning; Chen, Ying-Yi; Hung, Chin-Chuan

    2014-01-01

    Antrodia cinnamomea is a traditional healthy food that has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and anticacer effects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the ethanolic extract of A. cinnamomea (EEAC) can affect the efflux function of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and the effect of ABCB1 genetic variants on the interaction between EEAC and P-gp. To investigate the mechanism of this interaction, Flp-In™-293 cells stably transfected with various genotypes of human P-gp were established and the expression of P-gp was confirmed by Western blot. The results of the rhodamine 123 efflux assay demonstrated that EEAC efficiently inhibited wild-type P-gp function at an IC50 concentration of 1.51 ± 0.08 µg/mL through non-competitive inhibition. The IC50 concentrations for variant-type 1236T-2677T-3435T P-gp and variant-type 1236T-2677A-3435T P-gp were 5.56 ± 0.49 µg/mL and 3.33±0.67 µg/mL, respectively. In addition, the inhibition kinetics of EEAC also changed to uncompetitive inhibition in variant-type 1236T-2677A-3435T P-gp. The ATPase assay revealed that EEAC was an ATPase stimulator and was capable of reducing verapamil-induced ATPase levels. These results indicate that EEAC may be a potent P-gp inhibitor and higher dosages may be required in subjects carrying variant-types P-gp. Further studies are required to translate this basic knowledge into clinical applications.

  14. Optimal conditions to prepare fine globular granules with a multi-functional rotor processor.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Shin-ichiro; Iwao, Yasunori; Ishida, Masayuki; Uchimoto, Takeaki; Miyagishima, Atsuo; Sonobe, Takashi; Itai, Shigeru

    2010-05-31

    The optimal manufacturing conditions to obtain fine globular granules with a narrow size of particle distribution were investigated for a multi-functional rotor processor. A fractional factorial design analysis was undertaken to find out the significant operational conditions influencing the following physical characteristics of the obtained granules: size distribution, roundness and water content. Operational conditions tested were binder flow rate, atomization pressure, slit air flow rate, rotating speed and temperature of inlet air. It was observed that: the proportion of fine particles (106-212 microm) was positively affected by the atomization pressure, while negatively affected by the slit air flow rate; and roundness and water content were positively affected by the binder flow rate. Furthermore, the multiple regression analysis enabled the identification of an optimal operating window for production of fine globular granules. Therefore, the present study demonstrated that the combination of experimental design and multiple regression analysis allows a better understanding of complicated granulating process of multi-functional rotor processor to obtain fine globular granules.

  15. Modulation of NMDA receptor function by inhibition of D-amino acid oxidase in rodent brain.

    PubMed

    Strick, Christine A; Li, Cheryl; Scott, Liam; Harvey, Brian; Hajós, Mihály; Steyn, Stefanus J; Piotrowski, Mary A; James, Larry C; Downs, James T; Rago, Brian; Becker, Stacey L; El-Kattan, Ayman; Xu, Youfen; Ganong, Alan H; Tingley, F David; Ramirez, Andres D; Seymour, Patricia A; Guanowsky, Victor; Majchrzak, Mark J; Fox, Carol B; Schmidt, Christopher J; Duplantier, Allen J

    2011-01-01

    Observations that N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) antagonists produce symptoms in humans that are similar to those seen in schizophrenia have led to the current hypothesis that schizophrenia might result from NMDA receptor hypofunction. Inhibition of D-amino acid oxidase (DAAO), the enzyme responsible for degradation of D-serine, should lead to increased levels of this co-agonist at the NMDA receptor, and thereby provide a therapeutic approach to schizophrenia. We have profiled some of the preclinical biochemical, electrophysiological, and behavioral consequences of administering potent and selective inhibitors of DAAO to rodents to begin to test this hypothesis. Inhibition of DAAO activity resulted in a significant dose and time dependent increase in D-serine only in the cerebellum, although a time delay was observed between peak plasma or brain drug concentration and cerebellum D-serine response. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling employing a mechanism-based indirect response model was used to characterize the correlation between free brain drug concentration and D-serine accumulation. DAAO inhibitors had little or no activity in rodent models considered predictive for antipsychotic activity. The inhibitors did, however, affect cortical activity in the Mescaline-Induced Scratching model, produced a modest but significant increase in NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic currents in primary neuronal cultures from rat hippocampus, and resulted in a significant increase in evoked hippocampal theta rhythm, an in vivo electrophysiological model of hippocampal activity. These findings demonstrate that although DAAO inhibition did not cause a measurable increase in D-serine in forebrain, it did affect hippocampal and cortical activity, possibly through augmentation of NMDA receptor-mediated currents.

  16. PPARγ antagonist attenuates mouse immune-mediated bone marrow failure by inhibition of T cell function

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Kazuya; Feng, Xingmin; Chen, Jichun; Li, Jungang; Muranski, Pawel; Desierto, Marie J.; Keyvanfar, Keyvan; Malide, Daniela; Kajigaya, Sachiko; Young, Neal S.

    2016-01-01

    Acquired aplastic anemia is an immune-mediated disease, in which T cells target hematopoietic cells; at presentation, the bone marrow is replaced by fat. It was reported that bone marrow adipocytes were negative regulators of hematopoietic microenvironment. To examine the role of adipocytes in bone marrow failure, we investigated peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor gamma, a key transcription factor in adipogenesis, utilizing an antagonist of this factor called bisphenol-A-diglycidyl-ether. While bisphenol-A-diglycidyl-ether inhibited adipogenesis as expected, it also suppressed T cell infiltration of bone marrow, reduced plasma inflammatory cytokines, decreased expression of multiple inflammasome genes, and ameliorated marrow failure. In vitro, bisphenol-A-diglycidyl-ether suppressed activation and proliferation, and reduced phospholipase C gamma 1 and nuclear factor of activated T-cells 1 expression, as well as inhibiting calcium flux in T cells. The in vivo effect of bisphenol-A-diglycidyl-ether on T cells was confirmed in a second immune-mediated bone marrow failure model, using different strains and non-major histocompatibility antigen mismatched: bisphenol-A-diglycidyl-ether ameliorated marrow failure by inhibition of T cell infiltration of bone marrow. Our data indicate that peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor gamma antagonists may attenuate murine immune-mediated bone marrow failure, at least in part, by suppression of T cell activation, which might hold implications in the application of peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor gamma antagonists in immune-mediated pathophysiologies, both in the laboratory and in the clinic. Genetically “fatless” mice developed bone marrow failure with accumulation of marrow adipocytes in our model, even in the absence of body fat, suggesting different mechanisms of systematic and marrow adipogenesis and physiologic versus pathophysiologic fat accumulation. PMID:26589913

  17. Trace amines inhibit insect odorant receptor function through antagonism of the co-receptor subunit

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Sisi; Luetje, Charles W.

    2014-01-01

    Many insect behaviors are driven by olfaction, making insect olfactory receptors (ORs) appealing targets for insect control.  Insect ORs are odorant-gated ion channels, with each receptor thought to be composed of a representative from a large, variable family of odorant binding subunits and a highly conserved co-receptor subunit (Orco), assembled in an unknown stoichiometry.  Synthetic Orco directed agonists and antagonists have recently been identified.  Several Orco antagonists have been shown to act via an allosteric mechanism to inhibit OR activation by odorants.  The high degree of conservation of Orco across insect species results in Orco antagonists having broad activity at ORs from a variety of insect species and suggests that the binding site for Orco ligands may serve as a modulatory site for compounds endogenous to insects or may be a target of exogenous compounds, such as those produced by plants.  To test this idea, we screened a series of biogenic and trace amines, identifying several as Orco antagonists.  Of particular interest were tryptamine, a plant-produced amine, and tyramine, an amine endogenous to the insect nervous system.  Tryptamine was found to be a potent antagonist of Orco, able to block Orco activation by an Orco agonist and to allosterically inhibit activation of ORs by odorants.  Tyramine had effects similar to those of tryptamine, but was less potent.  Importantly, both tryptamine and tyramine displayed broad activity, inhibiting odorant activation of ORs of species from three different insect orders (Diptera, Lepidoptera and Coleoptera), as well as odorant activation of six diverse ORs from a single species (the human malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae).  Our results suggest that endogenous and exogenous natural compounds serve as Orco ligands modulating insect olfaction and that Orco can be an important target for the development of novel insect repellants. PMID:25075297

  18. Sirtuin 3 deficiency is associated with inhibited mitochondrial function and pulmonary arterial hypertension in rodents and humans.

    PubMed

    Paulin, Roxane; Dromparis, Peter; Sutendra, Gopinath; Gurtu, Vikram; Zervopoulos, Sotirios; Bowers, Lyndsay; Haromy, Alois; Webster, Linda; Provencher, Steeve; Bonnet, Sebastien; Michelakis, Evangelos D

    2014-11-01

    Suppression of mitochondrial function promoting proliferation and apoptosis suppression has been described in the pulmonary arteries and extrapulmonary tissues in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), but the cause of this metabolic remodeling is unknown. Mice lacking sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), a mitochondrial deacetylase, have increased acetylation and inhibition of many mitochondrial enzymes and complexes, suppressing mitochondrial function. Sirt3KO mice develop spontaneous PAH, exhibiting previously described molecular features of PAH pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMC). In human PAH PASMC and rats with PAH, SIRT3 is downregulated, and its normalization with adenovirus gene therapy reverses the disease phenotype. A loss-of-function SIRT3 polymorphism, linked to metabolic syndrome, is associated with PAH in an unbiased cohort of 162 patients and controls. If confirmed in large patient cohorts, these findings may facilitate biomarker and therapeutic discovery programs in PAH.

  19. Optimized on-line enantioselective capillary electrophoretic method for kinetic and inhibition studies of drug metabolism mediated by cytochrome P450 enzymes.

    PubMed

    Řemínek, Roman; Glatz, Zdeněk; Thormann, Wolfgang

    2015-06-01

    Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of a chiral drug can significantly differ between application of the racemate and single enantiomers. During drug development, the characteristics of candidate compounds have to be assessed prior to clinical testing. Since biotransformation significantly influences drug actions in an organism, metabolism studies represent a crucial part of such tests. Hence, an optimized and economical capillary electrophoretic method for on-line studies of the enantioselective drug metabolism mediated by cytochrome P450 enzymes was developed. It comprises a diffusion-based procedure, which enables mixing of the enzyme with virtually any compound inside the nanoliter-scale capillary reactor and without the need of additional optimization of mixing conditions. For CYP3A4, ketamine as probe substrate and highly sulfated γ-cyclodextrin as chiral selector, improved separation conditions for ketamine and norketamine enantiomers compared to a previously published electrophoretically mediated microanalysis method were elucidated. The new approach was thoroughly validated for the CYP3A4-mediated N-demethylation pathway of ketamine and applied to the determination of its kinetic parameters and the inhibition characteristics in presence of ketoconazole and dexmedetomidine. The determined parameters were found to be comparable to literature data obtained with different techniques. The presented method constitutes a miniaturized and cost-effective tool, which should be suitable for the assessment of the stereoselective aspects of kinetic and inhibition studies of cytochrome P450-mediated metabolic steps within early stages of the development of a new drug.

  20. Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3-β improves liver microcirculation and hepatocellular function after hemorrhagic shock.

    PubMed

    Jellestad, Lena; Fink, Tobias; Pradarutti, Sascha; Kubulus, Darius; Wolf, Beate; Bauer, Inge; Thiemermann, Chris; Rensing, Hauke

    2014-02-01

    Ischemia and reperfusion may cause liver injury and are characterized by hepatic microperfusion failure and a decreased hepatocellular function. Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3β, a serine-threonine kinase that has recently emerged as a key regulator in the modulation of the inflammatory response after stress events, may be protective in conditions like sepsis, inflammation and shock. Therefore, aim of the study was to assess the role of GSK-3β in liver microcirculation and hepatocellular function after hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation (H/R). Anesthetized male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent pretreatment with Ringer´s solution, vehicle (DMSO) or TDZD-8 (1 mg/kg), a selective GSK-3β inhibitor, 30 min before induction of hemorrhagic shock (mean arterial pressure 35±5 mmHg for 90 min) and were resuscitated with shed blood and Ringer´s solution (2h). 5h after resuscitation hepatic microcirculation was assessed by intravital microscopy. Propidium iodide (PI) positive cells, liver enzymes and alpha-GST were measured as indicators of hepatic injury. Liver function was estimated by assessment of indocyanine green plasma disappearance rate. H/R led to a significant decrease in sinusoidal diameters and impairment of liver function compared to sham operation. Furthermore, the number of PI positive cells in the liver as well as serum activities of liver enzymes and alpha-GST increased significantly after H/R. Pretreatment with TDZD-8 prevented the changes in liver microcirculation, hepatocellular injury and liver function after H/R. A significant rise in the plasma level of IL-10 was observed. Thus, inhibition of GSK-3β before hemorrhagic shock modulates the inflammatory response and improves hepatic microcirculation and hepatocellular function.

  1. Memory CD8(+) T Cells Require Increased Concentrations of Acetate Induced by Stress for Optimal Function.

    PubMed

    Balmer, Maria L; Ma, Eric H; Bantug, Glenn R; Grählert, Jasmin; Pfister, Simona; Glatter, Timo; Jauch, Annaïse; Dimeloe, Sarah; Slack, Emma; Dehio, Philippe; Krzyzaniak, Magdalena A; King, Carolyn G; Burgener, Anne-Valérie; Fischer, Marco; Develioglu, Leyla; Belle, Réka; Recher, Mike; Bonilla, Weldy V; Macpherson, Andrew J; Hapfelmeier, Siegfried; Jones, Russell G; Hess, Christoph

    2016-06-21

    How systemic metabolic alterations during acute infections impact immune cell function remains poorly understood. We found that acetate accumulates in the serum within hours of systemic bacterial infections and that these increased acetate concentrations are required for optimal memory CD8(+) T cell function in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, upon uptake by memory CD8(+) T cells, stress levels of acetate expanded the cellular acetyl-coenzyme A pool via ATP citrate lyase and promoted acetylation of the enzyme GAPDH. This context-dependent post-translational modification enhanced GAPDH activity, catalyzing glycolysis and thus boosting rapid memory CD8(+) T cell responses. Accordingly, in a murine Listeria monocytogenes model, transfer of acetate-augmented memory CD8(+) T cells exerted superior immune control compared to control cells. Our results demonstrate that increased systemic acetate concentrations are functionally integrated by CD8(+) T cells and translate into increased glycolytic and functional capacity. The immune system thus directly relates systemic metabolism with immune alertness. PMID:27212436

  2. Mechanisms underlying the endogenous dopaminergic inhibition of spinal locomotor circuit function in Xenopus tadpoles

    PubMed Central

    Picton, Laurence D.; Sillar, Keith T.

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine plays important roles in the development and modulation of motor control circuits. Here we show that dopamine exerts potent effects on the central pattern generator circuit controlling locomotory swimming in post-embryonic Xenopus tadpoles. Dopamine (0.5–100 μM) reduced fictive swim bout occurrence and caused both spontaneous and evoked episodes to become shorter, slower and weaker. The D2-like receptor agonist quinpirole mimicked this repertoire of inhibitory effects on swimming, whilst the D4 receptor antagonist, L745,870, had the opposite effects. The dopamine reuptake inhibitor bupropion potently inhibited fictive swimming, demonstrating that dopamine constitutes an endogenous modulatory system. Both dopamine and quinpirole also inhibited swimming in spinalised preparations, suggesting spinally located dopamine receptors. Dopamine and quinpirole hyperpolarised identified rhythmically active spinal neurons, increased rheobase and reduced spike probability both during swimming and in response to current injection. The hyperpolarisation was TTX-resistant and was accompanied by decreased input resistance, suggesting that dopamine opens a K+ channel. The K+ channel blocker barium chloride (but not TEA, glybenclamide or tertiapin-Q) significantly occluded the hyperpolarisation. Overall, we show that endogenously released dopamine acts upon spinally located D2-like receptors, leading to a rapid inhibitory modulation of swimming via the opening of a K+ channel. PMID:27760989

  3. Inhibition of Porcine Pancreatic Amylase Activity by Sulfamethoxazole: Structural and Functional Aspect.

    PubMed

    Maity, Sujan; Mukherjee, Koel; Banerjee, Amrita; Mukherjee, Suman; Dasgupta, Dipak; Gupta, Suvroma

    2016-06-01

    Combating Type-2 diabetes mellitus is a pivotal challenge in front of the present world. Several lines of therapy are in practice for resisting this deadly disease which often culminates with cardiovascular complexities, neuropathy and retinopathy. Among various therapies, administration of alpha glucosidase inhibitors is common and widely practiced. Sulfonylurea category of anti diabetic drug often suffers from cross reactivity with sulfamethoxazole (SMX), a common drug in use to treat a handful of microbial infections. However the specific cellular target generating postprandial hypoglycemia on SMX administration is till date unraveled. The present work has been initiated to elucidate the effects of a group of sulfonamide drugs inclusive of SMX for their amylase inhibitory role. SMX inhibits porcine pancreatic amylase (PPA) in a noncompetitive mode with an average IC50 value 0.94 mM respectively. Interaction of SMX with PPA is manifested with gradual quenching of tryptophan fluorescence with concomitant shift in lambda max value (λmax). Binding is governed by entropy driven factor (24.8 cal mol(-1) K(-1)) with unfavorable contribution from enthalpy change. SMX interferes with the activity of acarbose in a synergistic mode to reduce the effective dose of acarbose as evident from the in vitro PPA inhibition study. In summary, loss of PPA activity in presence of SMX is indicative of structural changes of PPA which is further augmented in the presence of acarbose as explained in the schematic model and docking study. PMID:27272220

  4. RARα-PLZF oncogene inhibits C/EBPα function in myeloid cells

    PubMed Central

    Girard, Nathalie; Tremblay, Mathieu; Humbert, Magali; Grondin, Benoît; Haman, André; Labrecque, Jean; Chen, Bing; Chen, Zhu; Chen, Sai-Juan; Hoang, Trang

    2013-01-01

    In acute promyelocytic leukemia, granulocytic differentiation is arrested at the promyelocyte stage. The variant t(11;17) translocation produces two fusion proteins, promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger-retinoic acid receptor α (PLZF-RARα) and RARα-PLZF, both of which participate in leukemia development. Here we provide evidence that the activity of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα), a master regulator of granulocytic differentiation, is severely impaired in leukemic promyelocytes with the t(11;17) translocation compared with those associated with the t(15;17) translocation. We show that RARα-PLZF inhibits myeloid cell differentiation through interactions with C/EBPα tethered to DNA, using ChIP and DNA capture assays. Furthermore, RARα-PLZF recruits HDAC1 and causes histone H3 deacetylation at C/EBPα target loci, thereby decreasing the expression of C/EBPα target genes. In line with these results, HDAC inhibitors restore in part C/EBPα target gene expression. These findings provide molecular evidence for a mechanism through which RARα-PLZF acts as a modifier oncogene that subverts differentiation in the granulocytic lineage by associating with C/EBPα and inhibiting its activity. PMID:23898169

  5. Inhibition of human natural killer cell functional activity by human aspartyl β-hydroxylase.

    PubMed

    Huyan, Ting; Li, Qi; Ye, Lin-Jie; Yang, Hui; Xue, Xiao-Ping; Zhang, Ming-Jie; Huang, Qing-Sheng; Yin, Da-Chuan; Shang, Peng

    2014-12-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells are a key component of the innate immune system and play pivotal roles as inflammatory regulators and in tumor surveillance. Human aspartyl β-hydroxylase (HAAH) is a plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum protein with hydroxylation activity, which is over-expressed in many malignant neoplasms and can be detected from the sera of tumor patients. HAAH is involved in regulating tumor cell infiltration and metastasis. Escaping from immune surveillance may help tumor cell infiltration and metastasis. However, the effects of HAAH on tumor immune surveillance have not yet been investigated carefully. The present study investigated the potential use of HAAH as an immune regulator of human NK cells. We assessed the effects of recombinant HAAH (r-HAAH) on primary human NK cell morphology, viability, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, receptors expression and cytokine/cytolytic proteins production. Our results demonstrated that r-HAAH negatively affects NK cell activity in a time and dose-dependent manner. It noticeably reduces the viability of the NK cells by increasing apoptosis and necrosis via caspase signaling pathways. Moreover, r-HAAH reduces the NK cell cytotoxicity by inhibiting surface expression of NKG2D, NKp44 and IFN-γ secretion. These findings suggest that one of the ways by which HAAH actively promotes tumor formation and proliferation is by inhibiting NK cell-surveillance activity.

  6. Computational insights into function and inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase.

    PubMed

    Palermo, Giulia; Rothlisberger, Ursula; Cavalli, Andrea; De Vivo, Marco

    2015-02-16

    The Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme is a membrane-bound serine hydrolase responsible for the deactivating hydrolysis of a family of naturally occurring fatty acid amides. FAAH is a critical enzyme of the endocannabinoid system, being mainly responsible for regulating the level of its main cannabinoid substrate anandamide. For this reason, pharmacological inhibition of FAAH, which increases the level of endogenous anandamide, is a promising strategy to cure a variety of diseases including pain, inflammation, and cancer. Much structural, mutagenesis, and kinetic data on FAAH has been generated over the last couple of decades. This has prompted several informative computational investigations to elucidate, at the atomic-level, mechanistic details on catalysis and inhibition of this pharmaceutically relevant enzyme. Here, we review how these computational studies - based on classical molecular dynamics, full quantum mechanics, and hybrid QM/MM methods - have clarified the binding and reactivity of some relevant substrates and inhibitors of FAAH. We also discuss the experimental implications of these computational insights, which have provided a thoughtful elucidation of the complex physical and chemical steps of the enzymatic mechanism of FAAH. Finally, we discuss how computations have been helpful for building structure-activity relationships of potent FAAH inhibitors. PMID:25240419

  7. Reducing GABAergic inhibition restores cognitive functions in a mouse model of Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Potier, Marie-Claude; Braudeau, Jérôme; Dauphinot, Luce; Delatour, Benoît

    2014-02-01

    Alterations in excitatory-inhibitory balance occur in Down syndrome and could be responsible for cognitive deficits observed through the life of all individuals carrying an extra copy of chromosome 21. Excess of inhibition in the adult could produce synaptic plasticity deficits that may be a primary mechanism contributing to learning and memory impairments. In this study we discuss pharmacological treatments that could potentially alleviate neuronal inhibition and have been tested in a mouse model of Down syndrome. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mature central nervous system that binds to GABA-benzodiazepine receptors, opens a chloride channel and reduces neuronal excitability. These receptors have been extensively studied as targets for treatment of epilepsy, anxiety, sleep, cognitive disorders and the induction of sedation. Molecules that are either antagonists or inverse agonists of the GABA-benzodiazepine receptors are able to reduce inhibitory GABAergic transmission. However modulating the excitatory-inhibitory balance towards increase of cognition without inducing seizures remains difficult particularly when using GABA antagonists. In this study we review data from the literature obtained using inverse agonists selective for the α5-subunit containing receptor. Such inverse agonists, initially developed as cognitive enhancers for treatment of memory impairments, proved to be very efficient in reversing learning and memory deficits in a Down syndrome mouse model after acute treatment.

  8. A novel regulatory mechanism of naringenin through inhibition of T lymphocyte function in contact hypersensitivity suppression

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, Feng; Tang, Yijun; Gao, Zhe; Xu, Qiang

    2010-06-25

    Naringenin, a flavonoid in grapefruits and citrus fruits, has been reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative activities. Contact hypersensitivity (CHS) is a T cell-mediated immune reaction, and the factors released from macrophages also contribute to this response. Previous studies showed that naringenin suppressed CHS by inhibiting activation and migration of macrophages. However, little is known about naringenin's effects on T lymphocytes. Our study indicated that naringenin potently suppressed picryl chloride (PCl)-induced contact hypersensitivity by inhibiting the proliferation and activation of T lymphocytes. In vitro, both of the activated hapten-specific T cells and the T cells stimulated with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 showed growth arrest after naringenin treatment. Furthermore, naringenin reduced CD69 (the protein level) and cytokines such as IL-2, TNF-{alpha}, and IFN-{gamma} (the mRNA level) expressions which highly expressed by activated T cells. Meanwhile, naringenin also induced T cell apoptosis by upregulation of Bax, Bad, PARP, cleaved-caspase 3 and downregulation of phosphorylated Akt, Bcl-2. These findings suggest that, besides its anti-inflammatory activities in macrophages, naringenin also showed inhibitory effects on the activation and proliferation of T cells to alleviate symptoms of contact hypersensitivity.

  9. PEDF improves cardiac function in rats with acute myocardial infarction via inhibiting vascular permeability and cardiomyocyte apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hao; Wang, Zheng; Feng, Shou-Jie; Xu, Lei; Shi, He-Xian; Chen, Li-Li; Yuan, Guang-Da; Yan, Wei; Zhuang, Wei; Zhang, Yi-Qian; Zhang, Zhong-Ming; Dong, Hong-Yan

    2015-03-11

    Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is a pleiotropic gene with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-angiogenic properties. However, recent reports about the effects of PEDF on cardiomyocytes are controversial, and it is not known whether and how PEDF acts to inhibit hypoxic or ischemic endothelial injury in the heart. In the present study, adult Sprague-Dawley rat models of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were surgically established. PEDF-small interfering RNA (siRNA)-lentivirus (PEDF-RNAi-LV) or PEDF-LV was delivered into the myocardium along the infarct border to knockdown or overexpress PEDF, respectively. Vascular permeability, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, myocardial infarct size and animal cardiac function were analyzed. We also evaluated PEDF's effect on the suppression of the endothelial permeability and cardiomyocyte apoptosis under hypoxia in vitro. The results indicated that PEDF significantly suppressed the vascular permeability and inhibited hypoxia-induced endothelial permeability through PPARγ-dependent tight junction (TJ) production. PEDF protected cardiomyocytes against ischemia or hypoxia-induced cell apoptosis both in vivo and in vitro via preventing the activation of caspase-3. We also found that PEDF significantly reduced myocardial infarct size and enhanced cardiac function in rats with AMI. These data suggest that PEDF could protect cardiac function from ischemic injury, at least by means of reducing vascular permeability, cardiomyocyte apoptosis and myocardial infarct size.

  10. THE MAPK ERK5, BUT NOT ERK1/2, INHIBITS THE PROGRESSION OF MONOCYTIC PHENOTYPE TO THE FUNCTIONING MACROPHAGE

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xuening; Pesakhov, Stella; Harrison, Jonathan S; Kafka, Michael; Danilenko, Michael; Studzinski, George P

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular signaling pathways present targets for pharmacological agents with potential for treatment of neoplastic diseases, with some disease remissions already recorded. However, cellular compensatory mechanisms usually negate the initial success. For instance, attempts to interrupt aberrant signaling downstream of the frequently mutated ras by inhibiting ERK1/2 has shown only limited usefulness for cancer therapy. Here, we examined how ERK5, that overlaps the functions of ERK1/2 in cell proliferation and survival, functions in a manner distinct from ERK1/2 in human AML cells induced to differentiate by 1,25D-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D). Using inhibitors of ERK1/2 and of MEK5/ERK5 at concentrations specific for each kinase in HL60 and U937 cells, we observed that selective inhibition of the kinase activity of ERK5, but not of ERK1/2, in the presence of 1,25D resulted in macrophage-like cell morphology and enhancement of phagocytic activity. Importantly, this was associated with increased expression of the macrophage colony stimulating factor receptor (M-CSFR), but was not seen when M-CSFR expression was knocked down. Interestingly, inhibition of ERK1/2 led to activation of ERK5 in these cells. Our results support the hypothesis that ERK5 negatively regulates the expression of M-CSFR, and thus has a restraining function on macrophage differentiation. The addition of pharmacological inhibitors of ERK5 may influence trials of differentiation therapy of AML. PMID:25447310

  11. MicroRNA-96 inhibits FoxO3a function in IPF fibroblasts on type I collagen matrix

    PubMed Central

    Im, Jintaek; Ho, Yen-Yi; Hergert, Polla

    2014-01-01

    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a lethal and progressive lung disease characterized by persistent (myo)fibroblasts and the relentless accumulation of collagen matrix. Unlike normal lung fibroblasts, IPF lung fibroblasts have suppressed forkhead box O3a (FoxO3a) activity, which allows them to expand in this diseased environment. microRNA-96 (miR-96) has recently been found to directly bind to the 3′-untranslated region of FoxO3a mRNA, which subsequently inhibits its function. We examined whether aberrantly low FoxO3a expression is in part due to increased miR-96 levels in IPF fibroblasts on polymerized collagen, thereby causing IPF fibroblasts to maintain their pathological properties. miR-96 expression was upregulated in IPF fibroblasts compared with control fibroblasts when cultured on collagen. In contrast, FoxO3a mRNA levels were reduced in most IPF fibroblasts. However, when miR-96 function was inhibited, FoxO3a mRNA and protein expression were increased, suppressing IPF fibroblast proliferation and promoting their cell death in a dose-dependent fashion. Likewise, FoxO3a and its target proteins p21, p27, and Bim expression was also increased in the presence of a miR-96 inhibitor in IPF fibroblasts. However, when control fibroblasts were treated with miR-96 mimic, FoxO3a, p27, p21, and Bim mRNA and protein levels were decreased. In situ hybridization analysis further revealed the presence of enhanced miR-96 expression in cells within the fibroblastic foci of IPF lung tissue. Our results suggest that when IPF fibroblasts interact with collagen-rich matrix, pathologically altered miR-96 expression inhibits FoxO3a function, causing IPF fibroblasts to maintain their pathological phenotype, which may contribute to the progression of IPF. PMID:25172912

  12. Breathing Stimulant Compounds Inhibit TASK-3 Potassium Channel Function Likely by Binding at a Common Site in the Channel Pore

    PubMed Central

    Chokshi, Rikki H.; Larsen, Aaron T.; Bhayana, Brijesh

    2015-01-01

    Compounds PKTHPP (1-{1-[6-(biphenyl-4-ylcarbonyl)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydropyrido[4,3-d]-pyrimidin-4-yl]piperidin-4-yl}propan-1-one), A1899 (2ʹ′-[(4-methoxybenzoylamino)methyl]biphenyl-2-carboxylic acid 2,4-difluorobenzylamide), and doxapram inhibit TASK-1 (KCNK3) and TASK-3 (KCNK9) tandem pore (K2P) potassium channel function and stimulate breathing. To better understand the molecular mechanism(s) of action of these drugs, we undertook studies to identify amino acid residues in the TASK-3 protein that mediate this inhibition. Guided by homology modeling and molecular docking, we hypothesized that PKTHPP and A1899 bind in the TASK-3 intracellular pore. To test our hypothesis, we mutated each residue in or near the predicted PKTHPP and A1899 binding site (residues 118–128 and 228–248), individually, to a negatively charged aspartate. We quantified each mutation's effect on TASK-3 potassium channel concentration response to PKTHPP. Studies were conducted on TASK-3 transiently expressed in Fischer rat thyroid epithelial monolayers; channel function was measured in an Ussing chamber. TASK-3 pore mutations at residues 122 (L122D, E, or K) and 236 (G236D) caused the IC50 of PKTHPP to increase more than 1000-fold. TASK-3 mutants L122D, G236D, L239D, and V242D were resistant to block by PKTHPP, A1899, and doxapram. Our data are consistent with a model in which breathing stimulant compounds PKTHPP, A1899, and doxapram inhibit TASK-3 function by binding at a common site within the channel intracellular pore region, although binding outside the channel pore cannot yet be excluded. PMID:26268529

  13. Determine Optimal Stimulus Amplitude for Using Vestibular Stochastic Stimulation to Improve Balance Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goel, R.; Kofman, I.; DeDios, Y. E.; Jeevarajan, J.; Stepanyan, V.; Nair, M.; Congdon, S.; Fregia, M.; Cohen, H.; Bloomberg, J.J.; Mulavara, A.P.

    2015-01-01

    Sensorimotor changes such as postural and gait instabilities can affect the functional performance of astronauts when they transition across different gravity environments. We are developing a method, based on stochastic resonance (SR), to enhance information transfer by applying non-zero levels of external noise on the vestibular system (vestibular stochastic resonance, VSR). Our previous work has shown the advantageous effects of VSR in a balance task of standing on an unstable surface [1]. This technique to improve detection of vestibular signals uses a stimulus delivery system that provides imperceptibly low levels of white noise-based binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system. The goal of this project is to determine optimal levels of stimulation for SR applications by using a defined vestibular threshold of motion detection. A series of experiments were carried out to determine a robust paradigm to identify a vestibular threshold that can then be used to recommend optimal stimulation levels for sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training applications customized to each crewmember. The amplitude of stimulation to be used in the VSR application has varied across studies in the literature such as 60% of nociceptive stimulus thresholds [2]. We compared subjects' perceptual threshold with that obtained from two measures of body sway. Each test session was 463s long and consisted of several 15s long sinusoidal stimuli, at different current amplitudes (0-2 mA), interspersed with 20-20.5s periods of no stimulation. Subjects sat on a chair with their eyes closed and had to report their perception of motion through a joystick. A force plate underneath the chair recorded medio-lateral shear forces and roll moments. Comparison of threshold of motion detection obtained from joystick data versus body sway suggests that perceptual thresholds were significantly lower. In the balance task, subjects stood on an unstable surface and had to maintain balance

  14. Self-Regulation and Inhibition in Comorbid ADHD Children: An Evaluation of Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarkis, Stephanie Moulton; Sarkis, Elias H.; Marshall, David; Archer, James

    2005-01-01

    The relationship between executive function and comorbid diagnoses in ADHD children is examined. One hundred six children between 7 and 15 years of age are assessed using the Tower of London (TOL), a test of executive function, and the Kiddie Schedule of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia, Present and Lifetime Version, a diagnostic interview.…

  15. A functional connection between pRB and transforming growth factor beta in growth inhibition and mammary gland development.

    PubMed

    Francis, Sarah M; Bergsied, Jacqueline; Isaac, Christian E; Coschi, Courtney H; Martens, Alison L; Hojilla, Carlo V; Chakrabarti, Subrata; Dimattia, Gabriel E; Khoka, Rama; Wang, Jean Y J; Dick, Frederick A

    2009-08-01

    Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) is a crucial mediator of breast development, and loss of TGF-beta-induced growth arrest is a hallmark of breast cancer. TGF-beta has been shown to inhibit cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) activity, which leads to the accumulation of hypophosphorylated pRB. However, unlike other components of TGF-beta cytostatic signaling, pRB is thought to be dispensable for mammary development. Using gene-targeted mice carrying subtle missense changes in pRB (Rb1(DeltaL) and Rb1(NF)), we have discovered that pRB plays a critical role in mammary gland development. In particular, Rb1 mutant female mice have hyperplastic mammary epithelium and defects in nursing due to insensitivity to TGF-beta growth inhibition. In contrast with previous studies that highlighted the inhibition of cyclin/CDK activity by TGF-beta signaling, our experiments revealed that active transcriptional repression of E2F target genes by pRB downstream of CDKs is also a key component of TGF-beta cytostatic signaling. Taken together, our work demonstrates a unique functional connection between pRB and TGF-beta in growth control and mammary gland development.

  16. Heteromeric geranyl diphosphate synthase from mint: construction of a functional fusion protein and inhibition by bisphosphonate substrate analogs.

    PubMed

    Burke, Charles; Klettke, Karin; Croteau, Rodney

    2004-02-01

    Geranyl diphosphate synthase catalyzes the condensation of dimethylallyl diphosphate (C(5)) with isopentenyl diphosphate (C(5)) to produce geranyl diphosphate (C(10)), the essential precursor of monoterpenes. The enzyme from peppermint and spearmint (Menthaxpiperita and Mentha spicata, respectively) functions as a heterodimer or heterotetramer consisting of a 40kDa subunit and 33kDa subunit. The DNAs encoding each subunit were joined with different sized linkers and in both possible orders, and expressed in Escherichia coli to yield the corresponding fused protein. The properties of the recombinant fused version, in which the small subunit was followed by the large subunit with a 10 amino acid linker, resembled those of the native heteromeric enzyme in kinetics, product chain-length specificity, and architecture, and this form thus provided a suitable single gene transcript for biotechnological purposes. Bisphosphonate substrate analogs of the type that inhibit farnesyl diphosphate synthase (C(15)) and geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (C(20)) also inhibited the fused geranyl diphosphate synthase, apparently by interacting at both the allylic and homoallylic co-substrate binding sites. The results of inhibition studies, along with the previously established role of the small subunit and related mutagenesis experiments, suggest that geranyl diphosphate synthase employs a different mechanism for chain-length determination than do other short-chain prenyltransferases.

  17. Inhibition of electrocatalytic O(2) reduction of functional CcO models by competitive, non-competitive, and mixed inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Collman, James P; Dey, Abhishek; Barile, Christopher J; Ghosh, Somdatta; Decréau, Richard A

    2009-11-16

    Electrocatalytic reduction of O(2) by functional cytochrome C Oxidase (CcO) models is studied in the presence of several known inhibitors like CO, N(3)(-), CN(-), and NO(2)(-). These models successfully reproduce the inhibitions observed in CcO at similar concentrations reported for these inhibitors. Importantly, the data show very different electrochemical responses depending on the nature of the inhibitor, that is, competitive, non-competitive and mixed. Chemical models have been provided for these observed differences in the electrochemical behavior. Using the benchmark electrochemical behaviors for known inhibitors, the inhibition by NO(2)(-) is investigated. Electrochemical data suggests that NO(2)(-) acts as a competitive inhibitor at high concentrations. Spectroscopic data suggests that NO released during oxidation of the reduced catalyst in presence of excess NO(2)(-) is the source of the competitive inhibition by NO(2)(-). Presence of the distal Cu(B) lowers the inhibitory effect of CN(-) and NO(2)(-). While for CN(-) it weakens its binding affinity to the reduced complex by approximately 4.5 times, for NO(2)(-), it allows regeneration of the active catalyst from a catalytically inactive, air stable ferrous nitrosyl complex via a proposed superoxide mediated pathway.

  18. Inhibition of electrocatalytic O(2) reduction of functional CcO models by competitive, non-competitive, and mixed inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Collman, James P; Dey, Abhishek; Barile, Christopher J; Ghosh, Somdatta; Decréau, Richard A

    2009-11-16

    Electrocatalytic reduction of O(2) by functional cytochrome C Oxidase (CcO) models is studied in the presence of several known inhibitors like CO, N(3)(-), CN(-), and NO(2)(-). These models successfully reproduce the inhibitions observed in CcO at similar concentrations reported for these inhibitors. Importantly, the data show very different electrochemical responses depending on the nature of the inhibitor, that is, competitive, non-competitive and mixed. Chemical models have been provided for these observed differences in the electrochemical behavior. Using the benchmark electrochemical behaviors for known inhibitors, the inhibition by NO(2)(-) is investigated. Electrochemical data suggests that NO(2)(-) acts as a competitive inhibitor at high concentrations. Spectroscopic data suggests that NO released during oxidation of the reduced catalyst in presence of excess NO(2)(-) is the source of the competitive inhibition by NO(2)(-). Presence of the distal Cu(B) lowers the inhibitory effect of CN(-) and NO(2)(-). While for CN(-) it weakens its binding affinity to the reduced complex by approximately 4.5 times, for NO(2)(-), it allows regeneration of the active catalyst from a catalytically inactive, air stable ferrous nitrosyl complex via a proposed superoxide mediated pathway. PMID:19894768

  19. Passive movement improves the learning and memory function of rats with cerebral infarction by inhibiting neuron cell apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Li, Man; Peng, Jun; Wang, Meng-Die; Song, Yan-Ling; Mei, Yuan-Wu; Fang, Yuan

    2014-02-01

    Passive movement has been found to improve evidently ischemic stroke patients' impaired capacity of learning and memory, but the optimal time window of initiating the therapy and the underlying mechanism are not fully understood. In this study, the effect of passive movement at different time windows on learning and memory of rats with cerebral infarction was detected. The results showed that the expression of caspase-3 and escape latency in the passive movement group were all considerably lower than those in the model group (P < 0.05), while the expression of Bcl-2 mRNA was significantly higher than those in the model group (P < 0.05). Moreover, we found that there were most significant changes of escape latency and expressions of Bcl-2 mRNA and caspase-3 when the therapy started at 24 h after focal cerebral infarction. These results suggest that passive movement is able to contribute to the recovery of learning and memory of rats with cerebral infarction, which is partially mediated by inhibiting neuron cell apoptosis, and the optimal therapeutic time is at 24 h after cerebral infarction.

  20. Noscapine inhibits hypoxia-mediated HIF-1alpha expression andangiogenesis in vitro: a novel function for an old drug.

    PubMed

    Newcomb, Elizabeth W; Lukyanov, Yevgeniy; Schnee, Tona; Ali, M Aktar; Lan, Li; Zagzag, David

    2006-05-01

    Overexpression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a common feature in solid malignancies related to oxygen deficiency. Since increased HIF-1 expression correlates with advanced disease stage, increased angiogenesis and poor prognosis, HIF-1 and its signaling pathway have become targets for cancer chemotherapy. In this study, we identified noscapine to be a novel small molecule inhibitor of the HIF-1 pathway based on its structure-function relation-ships with HIF-1 pathway inhibitors belonging to the benzylisoquinoline class of plant metabolites and/or to microtubule binding agents. We demonstrate that noscapine treatment of human glioma U87MG and T98G cell lines exposed to the hypoxic mimetic agent, CoCl2, inhibits hypoxia-mediated HIF-1alpha expression and transcriptional activity as measured by decreased secretion of VEGF, a HIF-1 target gene. Inhibition of hypoxia-mediated HIF-1alpha expression was due, in part, to its ability to inhibit accumulation of HIF-1alpha in the nucleus and target it for degradation via the proteasome. One mechanism of action of microtubule binding agents is their antiangiogenic activity associated with disruption of endothelial tubule formation. We show that noscapine has similar properties in vitro. Thus, noscapine may possess novel antiangiogenic activity associated with two broad mechanisms of action: first, by decreasing HIF-1alpha expression in hypoxic tumor cells, upregulation of target genes, such as VEGF, would be decreased concomitant with its associated angiogenic activity; second, by inhibiting endothelial cells from forming blood vessels in response to VEGF stimulation, it may limit the process of neo-vascularization, correlating with antitumor activity in vivo. For more than 75 years, noscapine has traditionally been used as an oral cough suppressant with no known toxic side effects in man. Thus, the studies reported here have found a novel function for an old drug. Given its low toxicity profile, its demonstrated

  1. Optimized Local Infarct Restraint Improves Left Ventricular Function and Limits Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Koomalsingh, Kevin J.; Witschey, Walter R.T.; McGarvey, Jeremy R.; Shuto, Takashi; Kondo, Norihiro; Xu, Chun; Jackson, Benjamin M.; Gorman, Joseph H.; Gorman, Robert C.; Pilla, James J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Preventing expansion and dyskinetic movement of a myocardial infarction (MI) can limit left ventricular (LV) remodeling. Using a device designed to produce variable alteration of infarct stiffness and geometry, we sought to understand how these parameters affect LV function and remodeling early after MI. Methods Ten pigs had posterolateral infarctions. An unexpanded device was placed in 5 animals at the time of infarction, and 5 animals served as untreated controls. One week after MI animals underwent MRI to assess LV size and regional function. In the treatment group, after initial imaging, the device was expanded with 2ml, 4ml, 6ml, 8ml and 10ml of saline. The optimal degree of inflation was defined as that which maximized stroke volume (SV). The device was left optimally inflated in the treatment animals for three additional weeks. Results One week after MI, device inflation to ≥6ml significantly (p<0.05) decreased endsystolic volume (ESV) (0ml:59.9ml±3.8, 6ml:54.0ml≥±3.1, 8ml:50.5ml±4.8, 10ml:46.1ml±2.2) and increased ejection fraction (EF) (0ml:34.6%±1.6, 6ml:39.7%±0.9, 8ml:43.1%±2.7, 10ml:44.1%±0.9). SV significantly (p<0.05) improved for the 6ml and 8ml volumes (0ml: 31.2ml±2.6, 6ml: 35.7ml±2.0, 8ml: 37.5ml±1.9) but trended downward for 10ml (36.6ml±2.8). At four-weeks after MI, end-diastolic volume and ESV were unchanged from one-week values in the treatment group while the control group continued to dilate. SV (38.2±4.4ml vs. 34.0.1±4.8ml, p=0.08) and EF (36.0±2.6% vs. 27.6±1.4%, p=0.04) were also better in the treatment animals. Conclusions Optimized isolated infarct restraint can limit adverse LV remodeling after MI. The tested device affords the potential for a patient-specific therapy to preserve cardiac function after MI. PMID:23146279

  2. EGFR inhibition evokes innate drug resistance in lung cancer cells by preventing Akt activity and thus inactivating Ets-1 function.

    PubMed

    Phuchareon, Janyaporn; McCormick, Frank; Eisele, David W; Tetsu, Osamu

    2015-07-21

    Nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. About 14% of NSCLCs harbor mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Despite remarkable progress in treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), only 5% of patients achieve tumor reduction >90%. The limited primary responses are attributed partly to drug resistance inherent in the tumor cells before therapy begins. Recent reports showed that activation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) is an important determinant of this innate drug resistance. In contrast, we demonstrate that EGFR inhibition promotes innate drug resistance despite blockade of RTK activity in NSCLC cells. EGFR TKIs decrease both the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Akt protein kinase pathways for a short time, after which the Ras/MAPK pathway becomes reactivated. Akt inhibition selectively blocks the transcriptional activation of Ets-1, which inhibits its target gene, dual specificity phosphatase 6 (DUSP6), a negative regulator specific for ERK1/2. As a result, ERK1/2 is activated. Furthermore, elevated c-Src stimulates Ras GTP-loading and activates Raf and MEK kinases. These observations suggest that not only ERK1/2 but also Akt activity is essential to maintain Ets-1 in an active state. Therefore, despite high levels of ERK1/2, Ets-1 target genes including DUSP6 and cyclins D1, D3, and E2 remain suppressed by Akt inhibition. Reduction of DUSP6 in combination with elevated c-Src renews activation of the Ras/MAPK pathway, which enhances cell survival by accelerating Bim protein turnover. Thus, EGFR TKIs evoke innate drug resistance by preventing Akt activity and inactivating Ets-1 function in NSCLC cells.

  3. Acetylcholine Protects against Candida albicans Infection by Inhibiting Biofilm Formation and Promoting Hemocyte Function in a Galleria mellonella Infection Model.

    PubMed

    Rajendran, Ranjith; Borghi, Elisa; Falleni, Monica; Perdoni, Federica; Tosi, Delfina; Lappin, David F; O'Donnell, Lindsay; Greetham, Darren; Ramage, Gordon; Nile, Christopher

    2015-08-01

    Both neuronal acetylcholine and nonneuronal acetylcholine have been demonstrated to modulate inflammatory responses. Studies investigating the role of acetylcholine in the pathogenesis of bacterial infections have revealed contradictory findings with regard to disease outcome. At present, the role of acetylcholine in the pathogenesis of fungal infections is unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine whether acetylcholine plays a role in fungal biofilm formation and the pathogenesis of Candida albicans infection. The effect of acetylcholine on C. albicans biofilm formation and metabolism in vitro was assessed using a crystal violet assay and phenotypic microarray analysis. Its effect on the outcome of a C. albicans infection, fungal burden, and biofilm formation were investigated in vivo using a Galleria mellonella infection model. In addition, its effect on modulation of host immunity to C. albicans infection was also determined in vivo using hemocyte counts, cytospin analysis, larval histology, lysozyme assays, hemolytic assays, and real-time PCR. Acetylcholine was shown to have the ability to inhibit C. albicans biofilm formation in vitro and in vivo. In addition, acetylcholine protected G. mellonella larvae from C. albicans infection mortality. The in vivo protection occurred through acetylcholine enhancing the function of hemocytes while at the same time inhibiting C. albicans biofilm formation. Furthermore, acetylcholine also inhibited inflammation-induced damage to internal organs. This is the first demonstration of a role for acetylcholine in protection against fungal infections, in addition to being the first report that this molecule can inhibit C. albicans biofilm formation. Therefore, acetylcholine has the capacity to modulate complex host-fungal interactions and plays a role in dictating the pathogenesis of fungal infections.

  4. Acetylcholine Protects against Candida albicans Infection by Inhibiting Biofilm Formation and Promoting Hemocyte Function in a Galleria mellonella Infection Model

    PubMed Central

    Rajendran, Ranjith; Borghi, Elisa; Falleni, Monica; Perdoni, Federica; Tosi, Delfina; Lappin, David F.; O'Donnell, Lindsay; Greetham, Darren; Ramage, Gordon

    2015-01-01

    Both neuronal acetylcholine and nonneuronal acetylcholine have been demonstrated to modulate inflammatory responses. Studies investigating the role of acetylcholine in the pathogenesis of bacterial infections have revealed contradictory findings with regard to disease outcome. At present, the role of acetylcholine in the pathogenesis of fungal infections is unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine whether acetylcholine plays a role in fungal biofilm formation and the pathogenesis of Candida albicans infection. The effect of acetylcholine on C. albicans biofilm formation and metabolism in vitro was assessed using a crystal violet assay and phenotypic microarray analysis. Its effect on the outcome of a C. albicans infection, fungal burden, and biofilm formation were investigated in vivo using a Galleria mellonella infection model. In addition, its effect on modulation of host immunity to C. albicans infection was also determined in vivo using hemocyte counts, cytospin analysis, larval histology, lysozyme assays, hemolytic assays, and real-time PCR. Acetylcholine was shown to have the ability to inhibit C. albicans biofilm formation in vitro and in vivo. In addition, acetylcholine protected G. mellonella larvae from C. albicans infection mortality. The in vivo protection occurred through acetylcholine enhancing the function of hemocytes while at the same time inhibiting C. albicans biofilm formation. Furthermore, acetylcholine also inhibited inflammation-induced damage to internal organs. This is the first demonstration of a role for acetylcholine in protection against fungal infections, in addition to being the first report that this molecule can inhibit C. albicans biofilm formation. Therefore, acetylcholine has the capacity to modulate complex host-fungal interactions and plays a role in dictating the pathogenesis of fungal infections. PMID:26092919

  5. Enhanced cytotoxic T-cell function and inhibition of tumor progression by Mst1 deficiency.

    PubMed

    Yasuda, Kaneki; Ueda, Yoshihiro; Ozawa, Madoka; Matsuda, Tadashi; Kinashi, Tatsuo

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian ste-20 like kinase Mst1 plays important roles during apoptosis, proliferation, cell polarity, and migration. Here, we report a novel role of Mst1 for cytotoxic T-cell responses and tumor suppression. The defect of Mst1 caused decreased levels of FoxO, and promoted cytotoxicity in vitro. Mst1(-/-) cytotoxic T cells also exhibited enhanced T-bet expression that was associated with elevated expression levels of IFNγ and granzyme B. Moreover, Mst1(-/-) cytotoxic T cells suppressed tumor growth in vivo. The data suggest that Mst1 inhibits cytotoxicity via T-bet suppression by FoxO1 and FoxO3a. Thus, Mst1 is a potential therapeutic target for tumor immunotherapy.

  6. Inhibition of return: sensitivity and criterion as a function of response time.

    PubMed

    Ivanoff, Jason; Klein, Raymond M

    2006-08-01

    Inhibition of return (IOR) refers to a mechanism that results in a performance disadvantage typically observed when targets are presented at a location once occupied by a cue. Although the time course of the phenomenon--from the cue to the target--has been well studied, the time course of the effect--from target to response--is unknown. In 2 experiments, the effect of IOR upon sensitivity and response criterion under different levels of speed stress was examined. In go/no-go and choice reaction time tasks, IOR had at least 2 distinct effects on information processing. Early in target processing, before sufficient target information has accrued, there is a bias against responding to cued targets. Later, as target information is allowed to accrue, IOR reduces sensitivity to the target's nonspatial feature. Three accounts relating to the early bias effect of IOR and the late effect of IOR on sensitivity are offered. PMID:16846287

  7. Decreased latent inhibition is associated with increased creative achievement in high-functioning individuals.

    PubMed

    Carson, Shelley H; Peterson, Jordan B; Higgins, Daniel M

    2003-09-01

    Reductions in latent inhibition (LI), the capacity to screen from conscious awareness stimuli previously experienced as irrelevant, have been generally associated with the tendency towards psychosis. However, "failure" to screen out previously irrelevant stimuli might also hypothetically contribute to original thinking, particularly in combination with high IQ. Meta-analysis of two studies, conducted on youthful high-IQ samples. demonstrated that high lifetime creative achievers had significantly lower LI scores than low creative achievers (r(effect size) = .31, p = .0003, one-tailed). Eminent creative achievers (participants under 21 years who reported unusually high scores in a single domain of creative achievement) were 7 times more likely to have low rather than high LI scores, chi2 (1, N = 25) = 10.69, phi = .47. p = .003.

  8. Structural and functional insights into Escherichia coli α2-macroglobulin endopeptidase snap-trap inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Ferrer, Irene; Arêde, Pedro; Gómez-Blanco, Josué; Luque, Daniel; Duquerroy, Stephane; Castón, José R.; Goulas, Theodoros; Gomis-Rüth, F. Xavier

    2015-01-01

    The survival of commensal bacteria requires them to evade host peptidases. Gram-negative bacteria from the human gut microbiome encode a relative of the human endopeptidase inhibitor, α2-macroglobulin (α2M). Escherichia coli α2M (ECAM) is a ∼180-kDa multidomain membrane-anchored pan-peptidase inhibitor, which is cleaved by host endopeptidases in an accessible bait region. Structural studies by electron microscopy and crystallography reveal that this cleavage causes major structural rearrangement of more than half the 13-domain structure from a native to a compact induced form. It also exposes a reactive thioester bond, which covalently traps the peptidase. Subsequently, peptidase-laden ECAM is shed from the membrane and may dimerize. Trapped peptidases are still active except against very large substrates, so inhibition potentially prevents damage of large cell envelope components, but not host digestion. Mechanistically, these results document a novel monomeric “snap trap.” PMID:26100869

  9. Structural and functional insights into Escherichia coli α2-macroglobulin endopeptidase snap-trap inhibition.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Ferrer, Irene; Arêde, Pedro; Gómez-Blanco, Josué; Luque, Daniel; Duquerroy, Stephane; Castón, José R; Goulas, Theodoros; Gomis-Rüth, F Xavier

    2015-07-01

    The survival of commensal bacteria requires them to evade host peptidases. Gram-negative bacteria from the human gut microbiome encode a relative of the human endopeptidase inhibitor, α2-macroglobulin (α2M). Escherichia coli α2M (ECAM) is a ∼ 180-kDa multidomain membrane-anchored pan-peptidase inhibitor, which is cleaved by host endopeptidases in an accessible bait region. Structural studies by electron microscopy and crystallography reveal that this cleavage causes major structural rearrangement of more than half the 13-domain structure from a native to a compact induced form. It also exposes a reactive thioester bond, which covalently traps the peptidase. Subsequently, peptidase-laden ECAM is shed from the membrane and may dimerize. Trapped peptidases are still active except against very large substrates, so inhibition potentially prevents damage of large cell envelope components, but not host digestion. Mechanistically, these results document a novel monomeric "snap trap."

  10. Tetrandrine potentiates the hypoglycemic efficacy of berberine by inhibiting P-glycoprotein function.

    PubMed

    Shan, Yong-Qiang; Zhu, Yan-Ping; Pang, Jing; Wang, Yan-Xiang; Song, Dan-Qing; Kong, Wei-Jia; Jiang, Jian-Dong

    2013-01-01

    This study was designed to improve the absorption and hypoglycemic efficacy of berberine (BBR), which is a substrate of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), by combination with a P-gp inhibitor tetrandrine (Tet). Flow cytometry and LC-MS/MS were used to determine the cellular efflux or retention of chemicals. Pharmacokinetic study was performed in ICR mice following oral administration of the study compounds. The hypoglycemic efficacies of the compounds were evaluated in diabetic KK-Ay mice. In the in vitro experiments, Tet significantly inhibited the efflux and increased the uptake of P-gp substrates rhodamine-123 as well as BBR in MCF7/DOX cells and Caco-2 intestinal cells. Meanwhile, Tet greatly reduced the expression of P-gp in Caco-2 cells. The inhibition of BBR efflux by Tet was translated into improved pharmacokinetics in vivo. When co-administered, Tet dose-dependently increased the average maximum concentration (C(max)) and area under concentration-time curve (AUC₀₋₂₄) of BBR in mice. Tet itself had no impact on glucose metabolism. However, it greatly potentiated the hypoglycemic efficacy of BBR in diabetic KK-Ay mice. In addition, we found that Tet had moderate inhibitory effect on the catalytic activity of CYP3A4, which played a role in the bio-transformation of BBR, and this may also take part in the improvement of the pharmacokinetics of BBR. In summary, combination with P-gp inhibitors such as Tet can improve the pharmacokinetics and hypoglycemic efficacy of BBR greatly; this implicates a feasible strategy for exploring the therapeutic effects of BBR and other pharmaceuticals which are substrates of P-gp. PMID:23924821

  11. Optimization of Spin-Unrestricted Density Functional Theory for Redox Properties of Rubredoxin Redox Site Analogues

    SciTech Connect

    Niu, Shuqiang; Nichols, Jeffery A.; Ichiye, Toshiko

    2009-05-01

    Systematic studies of the accuracy of density functional theory (DFT) methods, especially the recently developed hybrid generalized gradient approximation (GGA) functionals, for structural and energetic properties of iron-sulfur redox sites are essential before these methods can be used to answer important biological questions about these systems. Here, the geometries, electronic structures, and reduction potentials of redox site analogs of the iron-sulfur protein rubredoxin are investigated using DFT (B3LYP, B97gga1 and BHandH), the Moller-Plesset perturbation theory series (MP2, MP3, MP4SDQ), and coupled cluster (CCSD, CCSD(T)) methods. For the geometries of [Fe(SCH3)4]2-/1- and [Fe(SCH3)3]1-/0, the DFT optimizations give reasonable values and the inclusion of a core electron basis substantially reduces the errors in the calculated geometries. However, for the vertical detachment energy (VDE) and adiabatic detachment energy (ADE) of [Fe(SCH3)4]1- and [Fe(SCH3)3]1-, the B3LYP functional gives the most accurately computed ADE and VDE using DFT, which are comparable with those at the CCSD level of theory. When diffuse functions are added to the sulfur basis set, they have little effect on the geometry optimization but significantly improve the calculated VDE and ADE, which is important for the anionic reduced sites. When multiple polarization functions are added to the sulfur basis set, they lead to a slightly better description of the geometry by giving more angular flexibility but underestimate ADE and VDE, most likely due to overestimating the stabilizing energy of the oxidized sites. Overall, the B3LYP calculations with the more flexible full-core basis sets give a reasonable description both of the geometry and of the ADE and VDE. Thus, improving the basis sets seems to be an efficient and convenient way to obtain reliable reduction potentials of the high-spin iron-sulfur redox sites.

  12. Optimal Stimulus Amplitude for Vestibular Stochastic Stimulation to Improve Sensorimotor Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goel, R.; Kofman, I.; DeDios, Y. E.; Jeevarajan, J.; Stepanyan, V.; Nair, M.; Congdon, S.; Fregia, M.; Cohen, H.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.

    2014-01-01

    Sensorimotor changes such as postural and gait instabilities can affect the functional performance of astronauts when they transition across different gravity environments. We are developing a method, based on stochastic resonance (SR), to enhance information transfer by applying non-zero levels of external noise on the vestibular system (vestibular stochastic resonance, VSR). Our previous work has shown the advantageous effects of VSR in a balance task of standing on an unstable surface. This technique to improve detection of vestibular signals uses a stimulus delivery system that is wearable or portable and provides imperceptibly low levels of white noise-based binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system. The goal of this project is to determine optimal levels of stimulation for SR applications by using a defined vestibular threshold of motion detection. A series of experiments were carried out to determine a robust paradigm to identify a vestibular threshold that can then be used to recommend optimal stimulation levels for SR training applications customized to each crewmember. Customizing stimulus intensity can maximize treatment effects. The amplitude of stimulation to be used in the VSR application has varied across studies in the literature such as 60% of nociceptive stimulus thresholds. We compared subjects' perceptual threshold with that obtained from two measures of body sway. Each test session was 463s long and consisted of several 15s sinusoidal stimuli, at different current amplitudes (0-2 mA), interspersed with 20-20.5s periods of no stimulation. Subjects sat on a chair with their eyes closed and had to report their perception of motion through a joystick. A force plate underneath the chair recorded medio-lateral shear forces and roll moments. First we determined the percent time during stimulation periods for which perception of motion (activity above a pre-defined threshold) was reported using the joystick, and body sway (two

  13. Combinatorial atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition (cAPCVD): a route to functional property optimization.

    PubMed

    Kafizas, Andreas; Parkin, Ivan P

    2011-12-21

    We demonstrate how combinatorial atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition (cAPCVD) can be used as a synthetic tool for rapidly optimizing the functional properties of thin-films, by analyzing the self-cleaning properties of tungsten doped anatase as an example. By introducing reagents at separate points inside the reactor, a tungsten/titanium compositional gradient was formed and a diverse range of film growth conditions were obtained. By partially mixing the metal sources, a combinatorial film with a compositional profile that varied primarily in the lateral plane was synthesized. A combinatorial thin-film of anatase TiO(2) doped with an array of tungsten levels as a solid solution ranging from 0.38-13.8 W/Ti atom % was formed on a single glass substrate. The compositional-functional relationships were understood through comprehensively analyzing combinatorial phase space, with 200 positions investigated by high-throughput methods in this study. Physical and functional properties, and their compositional dependencies, were intercorrelated. It was found that increases in photocatalytic activity and conductivity were most highly dependent on film crystallinity within the 0.38-13.8 atom % W/Ti doping regime. However, enhancements in photoinduced surface wetting were primarily dependent on increases in preferred growth in the (211) crystal plane. PMID:22050427

  14. Interaction between Vestibular Compensation Mechanisms and Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy: 10 Recommendations for Optimal Functional Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Lacour, Michel; Bernard-Demanze, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    This review questions the relationships between the plastic events responsible for the recovery of vestibular function after a unilateral vestibular loss (vestibular compensation), which has been well described in animal models in the last decades, and the vestibular rehabilitation (VR) therapy elaborated on a more empirical basis for vestibular loss patients. The main objective is not to propose a catalog of results but to provide clinicians with an understandable view on when and how to perform VR therapy, and why VR may benefit from basic knowledge and may influence the recovery process. With this perspective, 10 major recommendations are proposed as ways to identify an optimal functional recovery. Among them are the crucial role of active and early VR therapy, coincidental with a post-lesion sensitive period for neuronal network remodeling, the instructive role that VR therapy may play in this functional reorganization, the need for progression in the VR therapy protocol, which is based mainly on adaptation processes, the necessity to take into account the sensorimotor, cognitive, and emotional profile of the patient to propose individual or “à la carte” VR therapies, and the importance of motivational and ecologic contexts. More than 10 general principles are very likely, but these principles seem crucial for the fast recovery of vestibular loss patients to ensure good quality of life. PMID:25610424

  15. Self-Consistent Optimization of Excited States within Density-Functional Tight-Binding.

    PubMed

    Kowalczyk, Tim; Le, Khoa; Irle, Stephan

    2016-01-12

    We present an implementation of energies and gradients for the ΔDFTB method, an analogue of Δ-self-consistent-field density functional theory (ΔSCF) within density-functional tight-binding, for the lowest singlet excited state of closed-shell molecules. Benchmarks of ΔDFTB excitation energies, optimized geometries, Stokes shifts, and vibrational frequencies reveal that ΔDFTB provides a qualitatively correct description of changes in molecular geometries and vibrational frequencies due to excited-state relaxation. The accuracy of ΔDFTB Stokes shifts is comparable to that of ΔSCF-DFT, and ΔDFTB performs similarly to ΔSCF with the PBE functional for vertical excitation energies of larger chromophores where the need for efficient excited-state methods is most urgent. We provide some justification for the use of an excited-state reference density in the DFTB expansion of the electronic energy and demonstrate that ΔDFTB preserves many of the properties of its parent ΔSCF approach. This implementation fills an important gap in the extended framework of DFTB, where access to excited states has been limited to the time-dependent linear-response approach, and affords access to rapid exploration of a valuable class of excited-state potential energy surfaces.

  16. Optimizing parameters of a technical system using quality function deployment method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baczkowicz, M.; Gwiazda, A.

    2015-11-01

    The article shows the practical use of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) on the example of a mechanized mining support. Firstly it gives a short description of this method and shows how the designing process, from the constructor point of view, looks like. The proposed method allows optimizing construction parameters and comparing them as well as adapting to customer requirements. QFD helps to determine the full set of crucial construction parameters and then their importance and difficulty of their execution. Secondly it shows chosen technical system and presents its construction with figures of the existing and future optimized model. The construction parameters were selected from the designer point of view. The method helps to specify a complete set of construction parameters, from the point of view, of the designed technical system and customer requirements. The QFD matrix can be adjusted depending on designing needs and not every part of it has to be considered. Designers can choose which parts are the most important. Due to this QFD can be a very flexible tool. The most important is to define relationships occurring between parameters and that part cannot be eliminated from the analysis.

  17. Optimization of the ITER electron cyclotron equatorial launcher for improved heating and current drive functional capabilities

    SciTech Connect

    Farina, D.; Figini, L.; Henderson, M.; Saibene, G.

    2014-06-15

    The design of the ITER Electron Cyclotron Heating and Current Drive (EC H and CD) system has evolved in the last years both in goals and functionalities by considering an expanded range of applications. A large effort has been devoted to a better integration of the equatorial and the upper launchers, both from the point of view of the performance and of the design impact on the engineering constraints. However, from the analysis of the ECCD performance in two references H-mode scenarios at burn (the inductive H-mode and the advanced non-inductive scenario), it was clear that the EC power deposition was not optimal for steady-state applications in the plasma region around mid radius. An optimization study of the equatorial launcher is presented here aiming at removing this limitation of the EC system capabilities. Changing the steering of the equatorial launcher from toroidal to poloidal ensures EC power deposition out to the normalized toroidal radius ρ ≈ 0.6, and nearly doubles the EC driven current around mid radius, without significant performance degradation in the core plasma region. In addition to the improved performance, the proposed design change is able to relax some engineering design constraints on both launchers.

  18. Optimizing protocols for imaging neural cells and tissues using functionalized quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pathak, Smita; Silva, Gabriel A.

    2008-02-01

    Chemically functionalized semiconductor quantum dot protocols were optimized for the specific labeling and imaging of neural cells, both neurons and macroglial cells. Beta-tubulin III was used to image primary cortical neurons and PC12 cells while glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was used to image primary spinal cord and cortical astrocytes and the rMC-1 retinal glial Muller cell line. Both proteins are the main components of intermediate filaments and are specific to the two classes of neural cells. We also specifically labeled and imaged at high resolutions using anti-GFAP conjugated quantum dots glial scars in situ in intact neural sensory retina in a rodent model of macular degeneration.

  19. Optimization of affinity, specificity and function of designed influenza inhibitors using deep sequencing

    <