156 research outputs found

    The affinity purification and characterization of ATP synthase complexes from mitochondria.

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    The mitochondrial F₁-ATPase inhibitor protein, IF₁, inhibits the hydrolytic, but not the synthetic activity of the F-ATP synthase, and requires the hydrolysis of ATP to form the inhibited complex. In this complex, the α-helical inhibitory region of the bound IF₁ occupies a deep cleft in one of the three catalytic interfaces of the enzyme. Its N-terminal region penetrates into the central aqueous cavity of the enzyme and interacts with the Îł-subunit in the enzyme's rotor. The intricacy of forming this complex and the binding mode of the inhibitor endow IF₁ with high specificity. This property has been exploited in the development of a highly selective affinity procedure for purifying the intact F-ATP synthase complex from mitochondria in a single chromatographic step by using inhibitor proteins with a C-terminal affinity tag. The inhibited complex was recovered with residues 1-60 of bovine IF₁ with a C-terminal green fluorescent protein followed by a His-tag, and the active enzyme with the same inhibitor with a C-terminal glutathione-S-transferase domain. The wide applicability of the procedure has been demonstrated by purifying the enzyme complex from bovine, ovine, porcine and yeast mitochondria. The subunit compositions of these complexes have been characterized. The catalytic properties of the bovine enzyme have been studied in detail. Its hydrolytic activity is sensitive to inhibition by oligomycin, and the enzyme is capable of synthesizing ATP in vesicles in which the proton-motive force is generated from light by bacteriorhodopsin. The coupled enzyme has been compared by limited trypsinolysis with uncoupled enzyme prepared by affinity chromatography. In the uncoupled enzyme, subunits of the enzyme's stator are degraded more rapidly than in the coupled enzyme, indicating that uncoupling involves significant structural changes in the stator region

    Anisotropic magnetoresistance in colossal magnetoresistive La1−xSrxMnO3 thin films

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    We report on magnetic field and temperature-dependent measurements of the anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) in epitaxial La1−xSrxMnO3 (LSMO) thin films. While in 3d ferromagnetic alloys increasing the magnetization, either by reducing the temperature or increasing the magnetic field, increases the AMR, we find that in LSMO films the AMR dependence on magnetization displays nonmonotonic behavior which becomes particularly pronounced in lightly doped compounds. We believe that this behavior is related to the inhomogeneity exhibited by these materials

    A subset of anti-rotavirus antibodies directed against the viral protein VP7 predicts the onset of celiac disease and induces typical features of the disease in the intestinal epithelial cell line T84.

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    Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine triggered by environmental factors in genetically predisposed individuals. A strong association between type 1 diabetes (T1DM) and CD has been reported. We have previously shown that rotavirus infection may be involved in the pathogenesis of CD through a mechanism of molecular mimicry. Indeed, we identified a subset of anti-transglutaminase IgA antibodies that recognize the rotavirus viral protein VP7. In this study, we aimed at evaluating whether such antibodies may predict the onset of CD in children affected by T1DM. Moreover, to further analyze the link between rotavirus infection and pathogenesis of CD, we analyzed the effect of anti-rotavirus VP7 antibodies on T84 intestinal epithelial cells using the gene-array technique, complemented by the analysis of molecules secreted in the supernatant of stimulated cells. We found that anti-rotavirus VP7 antibodies are present in the vast majority (81 %) of T1DM-CD tested sera, but are detectable also in a fraction (27 %) of T1DM children without CD. Moreover, we found that anti-rotavirus VP7 antibodies are present before the CD onset, preceding the detection of anti-tTG and anti-endomysium antibodies. The gene-array analysis showed that purified anti-rotavirus VP7 antibodies modulate genes that are involved in apoptosis, inflammation, and alteration of the epithelial barrier integrity in intestinal epithelial cells, all typical features of CD. Taken together, these new data further support the involvement of rotavirus infection in the pathogenesis of CD and suggest a predictive role of anti-rotavirus VP7 antibodies

    Androgen metabolism and inhibition of interleukin-1 synthesis in primary cultured human synovial macrophages

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    The presence of androgen receptors on synovial macrophages in human normal and rheumatoid synovial tissues has been described previously. It is now reported that primary cultured human macrophages obtained from normal and rheumatoid synovia express functional androgen receptors. We have investigated the capacity of cultured macrophages to metabolize androgens and have found that these cells were capable of metabolizing testosterone to the bioactive metabolite dihydrotestosterone. Therefore, macrophages contain the key enzymes of steroidogenesis, in particular the 5α-treductase. Furthermore, interleukin-1ÎČ production by primary cultured rheumatoid macrophages was analysed, following exposure to physiological concentrations of testosterone (10−8 M). A significant decrease of IL-1ÎČ levels in conditioned media after 24 h (p < 0.05) was observed. It is concluded that androgens may act directly on human macrophages and may interfere with some of their functions via receptor-dependent mechanisms

    Co-design, evaluation and the Northern Ireland Innovation Lab

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    Around the world there are more than 100 policy labs—multi-disciplinary government teams developing public services and policies using innovation methods to engage citizens and stakeholders. These policy labs use a range of innovation methods and approaches, including co-production, co-creation, co-design, behavioural insights, systems thinking, ethnography, data science, nudge theory and lean processes. Although the methods may vary, one element is consistent: policy labs actively, creatively and collaboratively engage the public and a wide range of stakeholders in jointly developing solutions. The Northern Ireland Public Sector Innovation Lab (iLab) is part of a growing UK and international community of policy labs using co-design to engage with users for value co-creation, aiming to improve public governance by creating a safe space to generate ideas, test prototypes and refine concepts with beneficiaries. Drawing on iLab’s experience, this paper explores three questions: What are the main determinants of effective co-design? What are the unintended consequences of co-design? And what lessons can be learned from iLab and shared with other policy labs

    Engineered swift equilibration of a Brownian particle

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    A fundamental and intrinsic property of any device or natural system is its relaxation time relax, which is the time it takes to return to equilibrium after the sudden change of a control parameter [1]. Reducing tautau relax , is frequently necessary, and is often obtained by a complex feedback process. To overcome the limitations of such an approach, alternative methods based on driving have been recently demonstrated [2, 3], for isolated quantum and classical systems [4--9]. Their extension to open systems in contact with a thermostat is a stumbling block for applications. Here, we design a protocol,named Engineered Swift Equilibration (ESE), that shortcuts time-consuming relaxations, and we apply it to a Brownian particle trapped in an optical potential whose properties can be controlled in time. We implement the process experimentally, showing that it allows the system to reach equilibrium times faster than the natural equilibration rate. We also estimate the increase of the dissipated energy needed to get such a time reduction. The method paves the way for applications in micro and nano devices, where the reduction of operation time represents as substantial a challenge as miniaturization [10]. The concepts of equilibrium and of transformations from an equilibrium state to another, are cornerstones of thermodynamics. A textbook illustration is provided by the expansion of a gas, starting at equilibrium and expanding to reach a new equilibrium in a larger vessel. This operation can be performed either very slowly by a piston, without dissipating energy into the environment, or alternatively quickly, letting the piston freely move to reach the new volume