302 research outputs found

    Unbinding Transition Induced by Osmotic Pressure in Relation to Unilamellar Vesicle Formation

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    Small-angle X-ray scattering and phase-contrast microscopy experiments were performed to investigate the effect of the osmotic pressure on vesicle formation in a dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC)/water/NaI system. Multi-lamellar vesicles were formed when a pure lipid film was hydrated with an aqueous solution of NaI. On the other hand, uni-lamellar vesicles (ULVs) were formed when a lipid film mixed with an enough amount of NaI was hydrated. To confirm the effect of the osmotic pressure due to NaI, a free-energy calculation was performed. This result showed that the osmotic pressure induced an unbinding transition on the hydration process, which resulted in ULV formation

    Synthesizing non-natural parts from natural genomic template

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The current knowledge of genes and proteins comes from 'naturally designed' coding and non-coding regions. It would be interesting to move beyond natural boundaries and make user-defined parts. To explore this possibility we made six non-natural proteins in <it>E. coli</it>. We also studied their potential tertiary structure and phenotypic outcomes.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The chosen intergenic sequences were amplified and expressed using pBAD 202/D-TOPO vector. All six proteins showed significantly low similarity to the known proteins in the NCBI protein database. The protein expression was confirmed through Western blot. The endogenous expression of one of the proteins resulted in the cell growth inhibition. The growth inhibition was completely rescued by culturing cells in the inducer-free medium. Computational structure prediction suggests globular tertiary structure for two of the six non-natural proteins synthesized.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>To our best knowledge, this is the first study that demonstrates artificial synthesis of non-natural proteins from existing genomic template, their potential tertiary structure and phenotypic outcome. The work presented in this paper opens up a new avenue of investigating fundamental biology. Our approach can also be used to synthesize large numbers of non-natural RNA and protein parts for useful applications.</p

    Molecular basis for governing the morphology of type-I collagen fibrils by Osteomodulin

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    Small leucine-rich repeat proteoglycan (SLRP) proteins have an important role in the organization of the extracellular matrix, especially in the formation of collagen fibrils. However, the mechanism governing the shape of collagen fibrils is poorly understood. Here, we report that the protein Osteomodulin (OMD) of the SLRP family is a monomeric protein in solution that interacts with type-I collagen. This interaction is dominated by weak electrostatic forces employing negatively charged residues of OMD, in particular Glu284 and Glu303, and controlled by entropic factors. The protein OMD establishes a fast-binding equilibrium with collagen, where OMD may engage not only with individual collagen molecules, but also with the growing fibrils. This weak electrostatic interaction is carefully balanced so it modulates the shape of the fibrils without compromising their viability

    PRELP secreted from mural cells protects the function of blood brain barrier through regulation of endothelial cell-cell integrity

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    INTRODUCTION: Proline/arginine-rich end leucine-rich repeat protein (PRELP), is a small secreted proteoglycan expressed by pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells surrounding the brain vasculature of adult mouse. METHODS: We utilised a Prelp knockout (Prelp−/−) mouse model to interrogate vasculature integrity in the brain alongside performing in vitro assays to characterise PRELP application to endothelial cells lines. Our findings were supplemented with RNA expression profiling to elucidate the mechanism of how PRELP maintains neurovasculature function. RESULTS: Prelp−/− mice presented with neuroinflammation and reducedneurovasculature integrity, resulting in IgG and dextran leakage in the cerebellum and cortex. Histological analysis of Prelp−/− mice revealed reducedcell-cell integrity of the blood brain barrier, capillary attachment of pericytes andastrocyte end-feet. RNA-sequencing analysis found that cell-cell adhesion andinflammation are affected in Prelp−/− mice and gene ontology analysis as well as gene set enrichment analysis demonstrated that inflammation related processes and adhesion related processes such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition and apical junctions were significantly affected, suggesting PRELP is a regulator of cell-cell adhesion. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that adhesion junction protein expression levels of cadherin, claudin-5, and ZO-1, was suppressed in Prelp−/− mice neurovasculature. Additionally, in vitro studies revealed that PRELP application to endothelial cells enhances cell-cell integrity, induces mesenchymal-endothelial transition and inhibits TGF-β mediated damage to cell-cell adhesion. DISCUSSION: Our study indicates that PRELP is a novel endogenous secreted regulator of neurovasculature integrity and that PRELP application may be a potential treatment for diseases associated with neurovascular damage

    Dynamics of the Drosophila Circadian Clock: Theoretical Anti-Jitter Network and Controlled Chaos

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    Background: Electronic clocks exhibit undesirable jitter or time variations in periodic signals. The circadian clocks of humans, some animals, and plants consist of oscillating molecular networks with peak-to-peak time of approximately 24 hours. Clockwork orange (CWO) is a transcriptional repressor of Drosophila direct target genes. Methodology/Principal Findings: Theory and data from a model of the Drosophila circadian clock support the idea that CWO controls anti-jitter negative circuits that stabilize peak-to-peak time in light-dark cycles (LD). The orbit is confined to chaotic attractors in both LD and dark cycles and is almost periodic in LD; furthermore, CWO diminishes the Euclidean dimension of the chaotic attractor in LD. Light resets the clock each day by restricting each molecular peak to the proximity of a prescribed time. Conclusions/Significance: The theoretical results suggest that chaos plays a central role in the dynamics of the Drosophila circadian clock and that a single molecule, CWO, may sense jitter and repress it by its negative loops

    Statistical-Mechanical Measure of Stochastic Spiking Coherence in A Population of Inhibitory Subthreshold Neurons

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    By varying the noise intensity, we study stochastic spiking coherence (i.e., collective coherence between noise-induced neural spikings) in an inhibitory population of subthreshold neurons (which cannot fire spontaneously without noise). This stochastic spiking coherence may be well visualized in the raster plot of neural spikes. For a coherent case, partially-occupied "stripes" (composed of spikes and indicating collective coherence) are formed in the raster plot. This partial occupation occurs due to "stochastic spike skipping" which is well shown in the multi-peaked interspike interval histogram. The main purpose of our work is to quantitatively measure the degree of stochastic spiking coherence seen in the raster plot. We introduce a new spike-based coherence measure MsM_s by considering the occupation pattern and the pacing pattern of spikes in the stripes. In particular, the pacing degree between spikes is determined in a statistical-mechanical way by quantifying the average contribution of (microscopic) individual spikes to the (macroscopic) ensemble-averaged global potential. This "statistical-mechanical" measure MsM_s is in contrast to the conventional measures such as the "thermodynamic" order parameter (which concerns the time-averaged fluctuations of the macroscopic global potential), the "microscopic" correlation-based measure (based on the cross-correlation between the microscopic individual potentials), and the measures of precise spike timing (based on the peri-stimulus time histogram). In terms of MsM_s, we quantitatively characterize the stochastic spiking coherence, and find that MsM_s reflects the degree of collective spiking coherence seen in the raster plot very well. Hence, the "statistical-mechanical" spike-based measure MsM_s may be used usefully to quantify the degree of stochastic spiking coherence in a statistical-mechanical way.Comment: 16 pages, 5 figures, to appear in the J. Comput. Neurosc

    Two Secreted Proteoglycans, Activators of Urothelial Cell–Cell Adhesion, Negatively Contribute to Bladder Cancer Initiation and Progression

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    Osteomodulin (OMD) and proline/arginine-rich end leucine repeat protein (PRELP) are secreted extracellular matrix proteins belonging to the small leucine-rich proteoglycans family. We found that OMD and PRELP were specifically expressed in umbrella cells in bladder epithelia, and their expression levels were dramatically downregulated in all bladder cancers from very early stages and various epithelial cancers. Our in vitro studies including gene expression profiling using bladder cancer cell lines revealed that OMD or PRELP application suppressed the cancer progression by inhibiting TGF-β and EGF pathways, which reversed epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), activated cell–cell adhesion, and inhibited various oncogenic pathways. Furthermore, the overexpression of OMD in bladder cancer cells strongly inhibited the anchorage-independent growth and tumorigenicity in mouse xenograft studies. On the other hand, we found that in the bladder epithelia, the knockout mice of OMD and/or PRELP gene caused partial EMT and a loss of tight junctions of the umbrella cells and resulted in formation of a bladder carcinoma in situ-like structure by spontaneous breakdowns of the umbrella cell layer. Furthermore, the ontological analysis of the expression profiling of an OMD knockout mouse bladder demonstrated very high similarity with those obtained from human bladder cancers. Our data indicate that OMD and PRELP are endogenous inhibitors of cancer initiation and progression by controlling EMT. OMD and/or PRELP may have potential for the treatment of bladder cancer

    Two Secreted Proteoglycans, Activators of Urothelial Cell-Cell Adhesion, Negatively Contribute to Bladder Cancer Initiation and Progression.

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    Osteomodulin (OMD) and proline/arginine-rich end leucine repeat protein (PRELP) are secreted extracellular matrix proteins belonging to the small leucine-rich proteoglycans family. We found that OMD and PRELP were specifically expressed in umbrella cells in bladder epithelia, and their expression levels were dramatically downregulated in all bladder cancers from very early stages and various epithelial cancers. Our in vitro studies including gene expression profiling using bladder cancer cell lines revealed that OMD or PRELP application suppressed the cancer progression by inhibiting TGF-β and EGF pathways, which reversed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), activated cell-cell adhesion, and inhibited various oncogenic pathways. Furthermore, the overexpression of OMD in bladder cancer cells strongly inhibited the anchorage-independent growth and tumorigenicity in mouse xenograft studies. On the other hand, we found that in the bladder epithelia, the knockout mice of OMD and/or PRELP gene caused partial EMT and a loss of tight junctions of the umbrella cells and resulted in formation of a bladder carcinoma in situ-like structure by spontaneous breakdowns of the umbrella cell layer. Furthermore, the ontological analysis of the expression profiling of an OMD knockout mouse bladder demonstrated very high similarity with those obtained from human bladder cancers. Our data indicate that OMD and PRELP are endogenous inhibitors of cancer initiation and progression by controlling EMT. OMD and/or PRELP may have potential for the treatment of bladder cancer

    Production and characterisation of a recombinant scFv reactive with human gastrointestinal carcinomas

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    SC142-reactive antigen are highly glycosylated glycoproteins expressed on tissues of gastric and colon cancers but not on normal tissues. Murine SC142 antibody specific for the SC142-reactive antigen has been produced by immunisation with SNU16 stomach cancer cells. However, SC142 antibody has several potential problems such as high immunogenicity and poor tumour penetration owing to their large size. To improve tumour penetration potential in vivo, recombinant single-chain fragments have been produced using the original hybridoma cells as a source of variable heavy- and variable light-chain-encoding antibody genes. The use of the polymerase chain reaction, expression cloning technology and gene expression systems in E. coli has led to the production of SC142 single-chain fragments, which was similar in activity to the SC142 parent antibody confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Analysis by DNA sequencing, SDS–PAGE and Western blotting has demonstrated the integrity of the single-chain fragments. Competitive ELISA showed that SC142 single-chain fragments originated from parent SC142 antibody. BIAcore biosensor binding experiments showed that the SC142 single-chain fragments had an ideal dissociation rate constant as a tumour imaging reagent. These results illustrate the potential application of these novel products as an immunodiagnostic and further immunotherapeutic reagent

    Modeling Light Adaptation in Circadian Clock: Prediction of the Response That Stabilizes Entrainment

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    Periods of biological clocks are close to but often different from the rotation period of the earth. Thus, the clocks of organisms must be adjusted to synchronize with day-night cycles. The primary signal that adjusts the clocks is light. In Neurospora, light transiently up-regulates the expression of specific clock genes. This molecular response to light is called light adaptation. Does light adaptation occur in other organisms? Using published experimental data, we first estimated the time course of the up-regulation rate of gene expression by light. Intriguingly, the estimated up-regulation rate was transient during light period in mice as well as Neurospora. Next, we constructed a computational model to consider how light adaptation had an effect on the entrainment of circadian oscillation to 24-h light-dark cycles. We found that cellular oscillations are more likely to be destabilized without light adaption especially when light intensity is very high. From the present results, we predict that the instability of circadian oscillations under 24-h light-dark cycles can be experimentally observed if light adaptation is altered. We conclude that the functional consequence of light adaptation is to increase the adjustability to 24-h light-dark cycles and then adapt to fluctuating environments in nature
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