2,124 research outputs found

    Backbone 1H, 13C, and 15N resonance assignments for lysozyme from bacteriophage lambda

    Get PDF
    Lysozyme from lambda bacteriophage (位 lysozyme) is an 18 kDa globular protein displaying some of the structural features common to all lysozymes; in particular, 位 lysozyme consists of two structural domains connected by a helix, and has its catalytic residues located at the interface between these two domains. An interesting feature of 位 lysozyme, when compared to the well-characterised hen egg-white lysozyme, is its lack of disulfide bridges; this makes 位 lysozyme an interesting system for studies of protein folding. A comparison of the folding properties of 位 lysozyme and hen lysozyme will provide important insights into the role that disulfide bonds play in the refolding pathway of the latter protein. Here we report the 1H, 13C and 15N backbone resonance assignments for 位 lysozyme by heteronuclear multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. These assignments provide the starting point for detailed investigation of the refolding pathway using pulse-labelling hydrogen/deuterium exchange experiments monitored by NMR

    Moisture transport by Atlantic tropical cyclones onto the North American continent

    Get PDF
    Tropical Cyclones (TCs) are an important source of freshwater for the North American continent. Many studies have tried to estimate this contribution by identifying TC-induced precipitation events, but few have explicitly diagnosed the moisture fluxes across continental boundaries. We design a set of attribution schemes to isolate the column-integrated moisture fluxes that are directly associated with TCs and to quantify the flux onto the North American Continent due to TCs. Averaged over the 2004鈥2012 hurricane seasons and integrated over the western, southern and eastern coasts of North America, the seven schemes attribute 7 to 18 % (mean 14 %) of total net onshore flux to Atlantic TCs. A reduced contribution of 10 % (range 9 to 11 %) was found for the 1980鈥2003 period, though only two schemes could be applied to this earlier period. Over the whole 1980鈥2012 period, a further 8 % (range 6 to 9 % from two schemes) was attributed to East Pacific TCs, resulting in a total TC contribution of 19 % (range 17 to 22 %) to the ocean-to-land moisture transport onto the North American continent between May and November. Analysis of the attribution uncertainties suggests that incorporating details of individual TC size and shape adds limited value to a fixed radius approach and TC positional errors in the ERA-Interim reanalysis do not affect the results significantly, but biases in peak wind speeds and TC sizes may lead to underestimates of moisture transport. The interannual variability does not appear to be strongly related to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation phenomenon

    Extreme drought pushes stream invertebrate communities over functional thresholds

    Get PDF
    Functional traits are increasingly being used to predict extinction risks and range shifts under long鈥恡erm climate change scenarios, but have rarely been used to study vulnerability to extreme climatic events, such as supraseasonal droughts. In streams, drought intensification can cross thresholds of habitat loss, where marginal changes in environmental conditions trigger disproportionate biotic responses. However, these thresholds have been studied only from a structural perspective, and the existence of functional nonlinearity remains unknown. We explored trends in invertebrate community functional traits along a gradient of drought intensity, simulated over 18 months, using mesocosms analogous to lowland headwater streams. We modelled the responses of 16 traits based on a priori predictions of trait filtering by drought, and also examined the responses of trait profile groups (TPGs) identified via hierarchical cluster analysis. As responses to drought intensification were both linear and nonlinear, generalized additive models (GAMs) were chosen to model response curves, with the slopes of fitted splines used to detect functional thresholds during drought. Drought triggered significant responses in 12 (75%) of the a priori鈥恠elected traits. Behavioural traits describing movement (dispersal, locomotion) and diet were sensitive to moderate鈥恑ntensity drought, as channels fragmented into isolated pools. By comparison, morphological and physiological traits showed little response until surface water was lost, at which point we observed sudden shifts in body size, respiration mode and thermal tolerance. Responses varied widely among TPGs, ranging from population collapses of non鈥恆erial dispersers as channels fragmented to irruptions of small, eurythermic dietary generalists upon extreme dewatering. Our study demonstrates for the first time that relatively small changes in drought intensity can trigger disproportionately large functional shifts in stream communities, suggesting that traits鈥恇ased approaches could be particularly useful for diagnosing catastrophic ecological responses to global change

    TUIs vs. GUIs : comparing the learning potential with preschoolers

    Get PDF
    In an effort to better understand the learning potential of a tangible interface, we conducted a comparison study between a tangible and a traditional graphical user interface for teaching preschoolers (In Portugal, children enter preschool at the age of three and they attend it till entering school, normally at the age of six) about good oral hygiene. The study was carried with two groups of children aged 4 to 5 years. Questionnaires to parents, children鈥檚 drawings, and interviews were used for data collection and analysis and revealed important indicators about children鈥檚 change of attitude, involvement, and preferences for the interfaces. The questionnaires showed a remarkable change of attitude toward tooth brushing in the children that interacted with the tangible interface; particularly children鈥檚 motivation increased significantly. Children鈥檚 drawings were used to assess their degree of involvement with the interfaces. The drawings from the children that interacted with the tangible interface were very complete and detailed suggesting that the children felt actively involved with the experience. The results suggest that the tangible interface was capable of promoting a stronger and long-lasting involvement having a greater potential to engage children, therefore potentially promoting learning. Evaluation through drawing seems to be a promising method to work with preliterate children; however,it is advisable to use it together with other methods.Funda莽茫o para a Ci锚ncia e Tecnologia (FCT

    Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphism in the promoter and protein expression of the chemokine Eotaxin-1 in colorectal cancer patients

    Get PDF
    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Previous studies suggest that chemokines (chemotactic cytokines) promote and regulate neoplastic progression including metastasis and angiogenesis. The chemokine eotaxin-1 is a powerful eosinophil attractant but also exerts chemotaxis of other leukocytes. Eotaxin-1 has been implicated in gastrointestinal disorders and may play an important role in colorectal mucosal immunity.</p> <p>Patients and methods</p> <p>The objective of this study was to assess the role of eotaxin-1 in colorectal cancer (CRC). Levels of eotaxin-1 protein in CRC tissues (n = 86) and paired normal mucosa were compared after determination by ELISA. Plasma eotaxin-1 levels from CRC patients (n = 67) were also compared with controls (n = 103) using the same method. Moreover, a TaqMan system was used to evaluate the -384A>G eotaxin-1 gene variant in CRC patients (n = 241) and in a control group (n = 253).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Eotaxin-1 protein levels in colorectal tumours were significantly (P < 0.0001) higher than in normal tissue. Immunohistochemistry revealed eotaxin-1 expression in stromal cells such as fibroblasts and leukocytes of the CRC tissue. The plasma eotaxin-1 level in CRC patients was lower compared with controls (P < 0.0001). Patients with tumours classified as Dukes' stage B and C had lower levels than patients with tumours in Dukes' stage A. We found no difference in genotype distribution but noted a difference regarding allele distribution (P = 0.036) and a dominance of allele G in rectal cancer patients.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The up-regulated eotaxin-1 protein expression in cancer tissue may reflect an eotaxin-1 mediated angiogenesis and/or a recruitment of leukocytes with potential antitumourigenic role. We noticed a dominance of the G allele in rectal cancer patients compared with colon cancer patients that was independent of eotaxin-1 expression.</p

    Long-term Benefits of Intensive Glucose Control for Preventing End-Stage Kidney Disease: ADVANCE-ON

    Get PDF
    OBJECTIVE The Action in Diabetes and Vascular Disease: Preterax and Diamicron MR Controlled Evaluation (ADVANCE) trial reported that intensive glucose control prevents end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) in patients with type 2 diabetes, but uncertainty about the balance between risks and benefits exists. Here, we examine the long-term effects of intensive glucose control on risk of ESKD and other outcomes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Survivors, previously randomized to intensive or standard glucose control, were invited to participate in post-trial follow-up. ESKD, defined as the need for dialysis or kidney transplantation, or death due to kidney disease, was documented overall and by baseline CKD stage, along with hypoglycemic episodes, major cardiovascular events, and death from other causes. RESULTS A total of 8,494 ADVANCE participants were followed for a median of 5.4 additional years. In-trial HbA1c differences disappeared by the first post-trial visit. The in-trial reductions in the risk of ESKD (7 vs. 20 events, hazard ratio [HR] 0.35, P = 0.02) persisted after 9.9 years of overall follow-up (29 vs. 53 events, HR 0.54, P 0.26). CONCLUSIONS Intensive glucose control was associated with a long-term reduction in ESKD, without evidence of any increased risk of cardiovascular events or death. These benefits were greater with preserved kidney function and with well-controlled blood pressure

    Integrating evolution into ecological modelling: accommodating phenotypic changes in agent based models.

    Get PDF
    PMCID: PMC3733718This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Evolutionary change is a characteristic of living organisms and forms one of the ways in which species adapt to changed conditions. However, most ecological models do not incorporate this ubiquitous phenomenon. We have developed a model that takes a 'phenotypic gambit' approach and focuses on changes in the frequency of phenotypes (which differ in timing of breeding and fecundity) within a population, using, as an example, seasonal breeding. Fitness per phenotype calculated as the individual's contribution to population growth on an annual basis coincide with the population dynamics per phenotype. Simplified model variants were explored to examine whether the complexity included in the model is justified. Outputs from the spatially implicit model underestimated the number of individuals across all phenotypes. When no phenotype transitions are included (i.e. offspring always inherit their parent's phenotype) numbers of all individuals are always underestimated. We conclude that by using a phenotypic gambit approach evolutionary dynamics can be incorporated into individual based models, and that all that is required is an understanding of the probability of offspring inheriting the parental phenotype

    Characterisation of the pathogenic effects of the in vivo expression of an ALS-linked mutation in D-amino acid oxidase: Phenotype and loss of spinal cord motor neurons

    Get PDF
    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult-onset neuromuscular disorder characterised by selective loss of motor neurons leading to fatal paralysis. Current therapeutic approaches are limited in their effectiveness. Substantial advances in understanding ALS disease mechanisms has come from the identification of pathogenic mutations in dominantly inherited familial ALS (FALS). We previously reported a coding mutation in D-amino acid oxidase (DAOR199W) associated with FALS. DAO metabolises D-serine, an essential co-agonist at the N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid glutamate receptor subtype (NMDAR). Using primary motor neuron cultures or motor neuron cell lines we demonstrated that expression of DAOR199W, promoted the formation of ubiquitinated protein aggregates, activated autophagy and increased apoptosis. The aim of this study was to characterise the effects of DAOR199W in vivo, using transgenic mice overexpressing DAOR199W. Marked abnormal motor features, e.g. kyphosis, were evident in mice expressing DAOR199W, which were associated with a significant loss (19%) of lumbar spinal cord motor neurons, analysed at 14 months. When separated by gender, this effect was greater in females (26%; p< 0.0132). In addition, we crossed the DAOR199W transgenic mouse line with the SOD1G93A mouse model of ALS to determine whether the effects of SOD1G93A were potentiated in the double transgenic line (DAOR199W/SOD1G93A). Although overall survival was not affected, onset of neurological signs was significantly earlier in female double transgenic animals than their female SOD1G93A littermates (125 days vs 131 days, P = 0.0239). In summary, some significant in vivo effects of DAOR199W on motor neuron function (i.e. kyphosis and loss of motor neurons) were detected which were most marked in females and could contribute to the earlier onset of neurological signs in double transgenic females compared to SOD1G93A littermates, highlighting the importance of recognizing gender effects present in animal models of ALS

    Escherichia coli induces apoptosis and proliferation of mammary cells

    Get PDF
    Mammary cell apoptosis and proliferation were assessed after injection of Escherichia coli into the left mammary quarters of six cows. Bacteriological analysis of foremilk samples revealed coliform infection in the injected quarters of four cows. Milk somatic cell counts increased in these quarters and peaked at 24 h after bacterial injection. Body temperature also increased, peaking at 12 h postinjection, The number of apoptotic cells was significantly higher in the mastitic tissue than in the uninfected control. Expression of Bax and interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme increased in the mastitic tissue at 24 h and 72 h postinfection, whereas Bcl-2 expression decreased at 24 h but did not differ significantly from the control at 72 h postinfection, Induction of matrix metalloproteinase-g, stromelysin-1 and urokinase-type plasminogen activator was also observed in the mastitic tissue. Moreover, cell proliferation increased in the infected tissue, These results demonstrate that Escherichia coli-induced mastitis promotes apoptosis and cell proliferation
    corecore