3,392 research outputs found

    The electronic structure of liquid water within density functional theory

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    In the last decade, computational studies of liquid water have mostly concentrated on ground state properties. However recent spectroscopic measurements have been used to infer the structure of water, and the interpretation of optical and x-ray spectra requires accurate theoretical models of excited electronic states, not only of the ground state. To this end, we investigate the electronic properties of water at ambient conditions using ab initio density functional theory within the generalized gradient approximation (DFT/GGA), focussing on the unoccupied subspace of Kohn-Sham eigenstates. We generate long (250 ps) classical trajectories for large supercells, up to 256 molecules, from which uncorrelated configurations of water molecules are extracted for use in DFT/GGA calculations of the electronic structure. We find that the density of occupied states of this molecular liquid is well described with 32 molecule supercells using a single k-point (k = 0) to approximate integration over the first Brillouin zone. However, the description of the density of unoccupied states (u-EDOS) is sensitive to finite size effects. Small, 32 molecule supercell calculations, using Gamma-the point approximation, yield a spuriously isolated state above the Fermi level. Nevertheless, the more accurate u-EDOS of large, 256 molecule supercells may be reproduced using smaller supercells and increased k-point sampling. This indicates that the electronic structure of molecular liquids like water is relatively insensitive to the long-range disorder in the molecular structure. These results have important implications for efficiently increasing the accuracy of spectral calculations for water and other molecular liquids.Comment: 12 pages, 11 figures (low quality) Submitted to JChemPhy

    CD4+ T cell hyporesponsiveness after repeated exposure to Schistosoma mansoni larvae is dependent upon interleukin-10

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    The effect that multiple percutaneous exposures to Schistosoma larvae has on the development of early CD4+ lymphocyte reactivity is unclear, yet it is important in the context of humans living in areas where schistosomiasis is endemic. In a murine model of multiple infections, we show that exposure of mice to repeated doses (4×) of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae, compared to a single dose (1×), results in CD4+ T cell hyporesponsiveness within the skin-draining lymph nodes (sdLN), manifested as reduced CD4+ cell proliferation and cytokine production. FoxP3+ CD4+ regulatory T cells were present in similar numbers in the sdLN of 4× and 1× mice and thus are unlikely to have a role in effecting hyporesponsiveness. Moreover, anergy of the CD4+ cell population from 4× mice was slight, as proliferation was only partly circumvented through the in vitro addition of exogenous interleukin-2 (IL-2), and the in vivo blockade of the regulatory molecule PD1 had a minimal effect on restoring responsiveness. In contrast, IL-10 was observed to be critical in mediating hyporesponsiveness, as CD4+ cells from the sdLN of 4× mice deficient for IL-10 were readily able to proliferate, unlike those from 4× wild-type cohorts. CD4+ cells from the sdLN of 4× mice exhibited higher levels of apoptosis and cell death, but in the absence of IL-10, there was significantly less cell death. Combined, our data show that IL-10 is a key factor in the development of CD4+ T cell hyporesponsiveness after repeated parasite exposure involving CD4+ cell apoptosis

    Antimetabolite TTL-315 selectively kills glucose-deprived cancer cells and enhances responses to cytotoxic chemotherapy in preclinical models of cancer.

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    Maintaining thiol homeostasis is an imperative for cancer cell survival in the nutrient-deprived microenvironment of solid tumors. Despite this metabolic vulnerability, a selective approach has yet to be developed to disrupt thiol homeostasis in solid tumors for therapeutic purposes. In this study, we report the identification of 2-mercaptopropionyl glycine disulfide (TTL-315) as a novel antimetabolite that blocks cell survival in a manner conditional on glucose deprivation. In the presence of glucose, TTL-315 lacks cytotoxic effects in normal cells where it is detoxified by reduction to 2-mercaptopropionyl glycine, a compound with known clinical pharmacologic and safety profiles. In several rodent models of aggressive breast, lung and skin cancers, TTL-315 blocked tumor growth and cooperated with the DNA damaging drug cisplatin to trigger tumor regression. Our results offer preclinical proof of concept for TTL-315 as a novel antimetabolite to help selectively eradicate solid tumors by exploiting the glucose-deprived conditions of the tumor microenvironment

    Alternate cyclin D1 mRNA splicing modulates P27\u3csup\u3eKlP1\u3c/sup\u3e binding and cell migration

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    Cyclin D1 is an important cell cycle regulator but in cancer its overexpression also increases cellular migration mediated by p27KlP1 stabilization and RhoA inhibition. Recently, a common polymorphism at the exon 4-intron 4 boundary of the human cyclin D1 gene within a splice donor region was associated with an altered risk of developing cancer. Altered RNA splicing caused by this polymorphism gives rise to a variant cyclin D1 isoform termed cyclin D1b, which has the same N-terminus as the canonical cyclin D1a isoform but a distinct C-terminus. In this study we show that these different isoforms have unique properties with regard to the cellular migration function of cyclin D1. Whereas they displayed little difference in transcriptional co-repression assays on idealized reporter genes, microarray cDNA expression analysis revealed differential regulation of genes including those that influence cellular migration. Additionally, while cyclin D1a stabilized p27KIP1 and inhibited RhoA-induced ROCK kinase activity, promoting cellular migration, cyclin D1b failed to stabilize p27KIP1 or inhibit ROCK kinase activity and had no effect on migration. Our findings argue that alternate splicing is an important determinant of the function of cyclin D1 in cellular migration

    Inflammation and cytomegalovirus viremia during pregnancy drive sex-differentiated differences in mortality and immune development in HIV-exposed infants

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    Children who are HIV-exposed but uninfected have increased infectious mortality compared to HIV-unexposed children, raising the possibility of immune abnormalities following exposure to maternal viraemia, immune dysfunction, and co-infections during pregnancy. In a secondary analysis of the SHINE trial in rural Zimbabwe we explored biological pathways underlying infant mortality, and maternal factors shaping immune development in HIV-exposed uninfected infants. Maternal inflammation and cytomegalovirus viraemia were independently associated with infant deaths: mortality doubled for each log10 rise in maternal C-reactive protein (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 2.09; 95% CI 1.33–3.27), and increased 1.6-fold for each log10 rise in maternal cytomegalovirus viral load (aHR 1.62; 95% CI 1.11–2.36). In girls, mortality was more strongly associated with maternal C-reactive protein than cytomegalovirus; in boys, mortality was more strongly associated with cytomegalovirus than C-reactive protein. At age one month, HIV-exposed uninfected infants had a distinct immune milieu, characterised by raised soluble CD14 and an altered CD8 + T-cell compartment. Alterations in immunophenotype and systemic inflammation were generally greater in boys than girls. Collectively, these findings show how the pregnancy immune environment in women with HIV underlies mortality and immune development in their offspring in a sex-differentiated manner, and highlights potential new intervention strategies to transform outcomes of HIV-exposed children. ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01824940

    IDO1 is an Integral Mediator of Inflammatory Neovascularization.

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    The immune tolerogenic effects of IDO1 (indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1) have been well documented and genetic studies in mice have clearly established the significance of IDO1 in tumor promotion. Dichotomously, the primary inducer of IDO1, the inflammatory cytokine IFNγ (interferon-γ), is a key mediator of immune-based tumor suppression. One means by which IFNγ can exert an anti-cancer effect is by decreasing tumor neovascularization. We speculated that IDO1 might contribute to cancer promotion by countering this anti-neovascular effect of IFNγ, possibly through IDO1-potentiated elevation of the pro-tumorigenic inflammatory cytokine IL6 (interleukin-6). In this study, we investigated how genetic loss of IDO1 affects neovascularization in mouse models of oxygen-induced retinopathy and lung metastasis. Neovascularization in both models was significantly reduced in mice lacking IDO1, was similarly reduced with loss of IL6, and was restored in both cases by concomitant loss of IFNγ. Likewise, the lack of IDO1 or IL6 resulted in reduced metastatic tumor burden and increased survival, which the concomitant loss of IFNγ abrogated. This insight into IDO1\u27s involvement in pro-tumorigenic inflammatory neovascularization may have important ramifications for IDO1 inhibitor development, not only in cancer where clinical trials are currently ongoing, but in other disease indications associated with neovascularization as well