ResearchPad - lipid-structure https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Microbeam X-ray diffraction study of lipid structure in stratum corneum of human skin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7631 Human skin, not previously frozen, was studied by small-angle X-ray diffraction. The samples were folded so that a 6μm X-ray beam passed through the top layer of skin, stratum corneum. Diffraction patterns recorded with this method consisted of peaks at about q = 0.5, 1.0 and 1.4 nm-1 in the direction perpendicular to the skin surface more clearly than in previous studies. These peaks are interpreted to arise from lipids between corneocytes. A simple unit of a linear electron density profile with three minima was used to account for the observed intensity profiles. Combinations of calculated diffraction from models with one, two and three units accounted for the major part of the observed diffraction pattern, showing the diversity in the structure of the intercellular lipids.

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<![CDATA[Elevated cellular cholesterol in Familial Alzheimer’s presenilin 1 mutation is associated with lipid raft localization of β-amyloid precursor protein]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79afead5eed0c4841e3a1a

Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD)-associated presenilin 1 (PS1) serves as a catalytic subunit of γ-secretase complex, which mediates the proteolytic liberation of β-amyloid (Aβ) from β-amyloid precursor protein (APP). In addition to its proteolytic role, PS1 is involved in non-proteolytic functions such as protein trafficking and ion channel regulation. Furthermore, postmortem AD brains as well as AD patients showed dysregulation of cholesterol metabolism. Since cholesterol has been implicated in regulating Aβ production, we investigated whether the FAD PS1-associated cholesterol elevation could influence APP processing. We found that in CHO cells stably expressing FAD-associated PS1 ΔE9, total cholesterol levels are elevated compared to cells expressing wild-type PS1. We also found that localization of APP in cholesterol-enriched lipid rafts is substantially increased in the mutant cells. Reducing the cholesterol levels by either methyl-β-cyclodextrin or an inhibitor of CYP51, an enzyme mediating the elevated cholesterol in PS1 ΔE9-expressing cells, significantly reduced lipid raft-associated APP. In contrast, exogenous cholesterol increased lipid raft-associated APP. These data suggest that in the FAD PS1 ΔE9 cells, the elevated cellular cholesterol level contributes to the altered APP processing by increasing APP localized in lipid rafts.

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<![CDATA[Binding of the general anesthetic sevoflurane to ion channels]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c059df1d5eed0c4849c981e

The direct-site hypothesis assumes general anesthetics bind ion channels to impact protein equilibrium and function, inducing anesthesia. Despite advancements in the field, a first principle all-atom demonstration of this structure-function premise is still missing. We focus on the clinically used sevoflurane interaction to anesthetic-sensitive Kv1.2 mammalian channel to resolve if sevoflurane binds protein’s well-characterized open and closed structures in a conformation-dependent manner to shift channel equilibrium. We employ an innovative approach relying on extensive docking calculations and free-energy perturbation of all potential binding sites revealed by the latter, and find sevoflurane binds open and closed structures at multiple sites under complex saturation and concentration effects. Results point to a non-trivial interplay of site and conformation-dependent modes of action involving distinct binding sites that increase channel open-probability at diluted ligand concentrations. Given the challenge in exploring more complex processes potentially impacting channel-anesthetic interaction, the result is revealing as it demonstrates the process of multiple anesthetic binding events alone may account for open-probability shifts recorded in measurements.

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<![CDATA[LipidWrapper: An Algorithm for Generating Large-Scale Membrane Models of Arbitrary Geometry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad6ab0ee8fa60bb7e2a

As ever larger and more complex biological systems are modeled in silico, approximating physiological lipid bilayers with simple planar models becomes increasingly unrealistic. In order to build accurate large-scale models of subcellular environments, models of lipid membranes with carefully considered, biologically relevant curvature will be essential. In the current work, we present a multi-scale utility called LipidWrapper capable of creating curved membrane models with geometries derived from various sources, both experimental and theoretical. To demonstrate its utility, we use LipidWrapper to examine an important mechanism of influenza virulence. A copy of the program can be downloaded free of charge under the terms of the open-source FreeBSD License from http://nbcr.ucsd.edu/lipidwrapper. LipidWrapper has been tested on all major computer operating systems.

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<![CDATA[Comparative Study of the Fatty Acid Binding Process of a New FABP from Cherax quadricarinatus by Fluorescence Intensity, Lifetime and Anisotropy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadeab0ee8fa60bbae13

Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are small cytosolic proteins, largely distributed in invertebrates and vertebrates, which accomplish uptake and intracellular transport of hydrophobic ligands such as fatty acids. Although long chain fatty acids play multiple crucial roles in cellular functions (structural, energy metabolism, regulation of gene expression), the precise functions of FABPs, especially those of invertebrate species, remain elusive. Here, we have identified and characterized a novel FABP family member, Cq-FABP, from the hepatopancreas of red claw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus. We report the characterization of fatty acid-binding affinity of Cq-FABP by four different competitive fluorescence-based assays. In the two first approaches, the fluorescent probe 8-Anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonate (ANS), a binder of internal cavities of protein, was used either by directly monitoring its fluorescence emission or by monitoring the fluorescence resonance energy transfer occurring between the single tryptophan residue of Cq-FABP and ANS. The third and the fourth approaches were based on the measurement of the fluorescence emission intensity of the naturally fluorescent cis-parinaric acid probe or the steady-state fluorescence anisotropy measurements of a fluorescently labeled fatty acid (BODIPY-C16), respectively. The four methodologies displayed consistent equilibrium constants for a given fatty acid but were not equivalent in terms of analysis. Indeed, the two first methods were complicated by the existence of non specific binding modes of ANS while BODIPY-C16 and cis-parinaric acid specifically targeted the fatty acid binding site. We found a relationship between the affinity and the length of the carbon chain, with the highest affinity obtained for the shortest fatty acid, suggesting that steric effects primarily influence the interaction of fatty acids in the binding cavity of Cq-FABP. Moreover, our results show that the binding affinities of several fatty acids closely parallel their prevalences in the hepatopancreas of C. quadricarinatus as measured under specific diet conditions.

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<![CDATA[Fish Oil Supplementation Alters the Plasma Lipidomic Profile and Increases Long-Chain PUFAs of Phospholipids and Triglycerides in Healthy Subjects]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa0ab0ee8fa60ba58d3

Background

While beneficial health effects of fish and fish oil consumption are well documented, the incorporation of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in plasma lipid classes is not completely understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of fish oil supplementation on the plasma lipidomic profile in healthy subjects.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In a double-blinded randomized controlled parallel-group study, healthy subjects received capsules containing either 8 g/d of fish oil (FO) (1.6 g/d EPA+DHA) (n = 16) or 8 g/d of high oleic sunflower oil (HOSO) (n = 17) for seven weeks. During the first three weeks of intervention, the subjects completed a fully controlled diet period. BMI and total serum triglycerides, total-, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol were unchanged during the intervention period. Lipidomic analyses were performed using Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography (UPLC) coupled to electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (QTOFMS), where 568 lipids were detected and 260 identified. Both t-tests and Multi-Block Partial Least Square Regression (MBPLSR) analysis were performed for analysing differences between the intervention groups. The intervention groups were well separated by the lipidomic data after three weeks of intervention. Several lipid classes such as phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, lysophosphatidylcholine, sphingomyelin, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, and triglycerides contributed strongly to this separation. Twenty-three lipids were significantly decreased (FDR<0.05) in the FO group after three weeks compared with the HOSO group, whereas fifty-one were increased including selected phospholipids and triglycerides of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. After seven weeks of intervention the two intervention groups showed similar grouping.

Conclusions/Significance

In healthy subjects, fish oil supplementation alters lipid metabolism and increases the proportion of phospholipids and triglycerides containing long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Whether the beneficial effects of fish oil supplementation may be explained by a remodeling of the plasma lipids into phospholipids and triglycerides of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids needs to be further investigated.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01034423

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<![CDATA[HDL Size is More Accurate than HDL Cholesterol to Predict Carotid Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Individuals Classified as Low Cardiovascular Risk]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa9ab0ee8fa60ba8bf3

Background

Misclassification of patients as low cardiovascular risk (LCR) remains a major concern and challenges the efficacy of traditional risk markers. Due to its strong association with cholesterol acceptor capacity, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) size has been appointed as a potential risk marker. Hence, we investigate whether HDL size improves the predictive value of HDL-cholesterol in the identification of carotid atherosclerotic burden in individuals stratified to be at LCR.

Methods and Findings

284 individuals (40–75 years) classified as LCR by the current US guidelines were selected in a three-step procedure from primary care centers of the cities of Campinas and Americana, SP, Brazil. Apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins were precipitated by polyethylene glycol and HDL size was measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS) technique. Participants were classified in tertiles of HDL size (<7.57; 7.57–8.22; >8.22 nm). Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) <0.90 mm (80th percentile) was determined by high resolution ultrasonography and multivariate ordinal regression models were used to assess the association between cIMT across HDL size and levels of lipid parameters. HDL-cholesterol was not associated with cIMT. In contrast, HDL size >8.22 nm was independently associated with low cIMT in either unadjusted and adjusted models for age, gender and Homeostasis Model Assessment 2 index for insulin sensitivity, ethnicity and body mass index (Odds ratio 0.23; 95% confidence interval 0.07–0.74, p = 0.013).

Conclusion

The mean HDL size estimated with DLS constitutes a better predictor for subclinical carotid atherosclerosis than the conventional measurements of plasma HDL-cholesterol in individuals classified as LCR.

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<![CDATA[Remodeling Lipid Metabolism and Improving Insulin Responsiveness in Human Primary Myotubes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db18ab0ee8fa60bcd863

Objective

Disturbances in lipid metabolism are strongly associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D). We hypothesized that activation of cAMP/PKA and calcium signaling pathways in cultured human myotubes would provide further insight into regulation of lipid storage, lipolysis, lipid oxidation and insulin responsiveness.

Methods

Human myoblasts were isolated from vastus lateralis, purified, cultured and differentiated into myotubes. All cells were incubated with palmitate during differentiation. Treatment cells were pulsed 1 hour each day with forskolin and ionomycin (PFI) during the final 3 days of differentiation to activate the cAMP/PKA and calcium signaling pathways. Control cells were not pulsed (control). Mitochondrial content, 14C lipid oxidation and storage were measured, as well as lipolysis and insulin-stimulated glycogen storage. Myotubes were stained for lipids and gene expression measured.

Results

PFI increased oxidation of oleate and palmitate to CO2 (p<0.001), isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis (p = 0.01), triacylglycerol (TAG) storage (p<0.05) and mitochondrial DNA copy number (p = 0.01) and related enzyme activities. Candidate gene and microarray analysis revealed increased expression of genes involved in lipolysis, TAG synthesis and mitochondrial biogenesis. PFI increased the organization of lipid droplets along the myofibrillar apparatus. These changes in lipid metabolism were associated with an increase in insulin-mediated glycogen storage (p<0.001).

Conclusions

Activation of cAMP/PKA and calcium signaling pathways in myotubes induces a remodeling of lipid droplets and functional changes in lipid metabolism. These results provide a novel pharmacological approach to promote lipid metabolism and improve insulin responsiveness in myotubes, which may be of therapeutic importance for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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<![CDATA[Translation Inhibitors Induce Formation of Cholesterol Ester-Rich Lipid Droplets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2aab0ee8fa60b823b6

Lipid droplets (LDs) in non-adipocytes contain triglycerides (TG) and cholesterol esters (CE) in variable ratios. TG-rich LDs are generated when unsaturated fatty acids are administered, but the conditions that induce CE-rich LD formation are less well characterized. In the present study, we found that protein translation inhibitors such as cycloheximide (CHX) induced generation of CE-rich LDs and that TIP47 (perilipin 3) was recruited to the LDs, although the expression of this protein was reduced drastically. Electron microscopy revealed that LDs formed in CHX-treated cells possess a distinct electron-dense rim that is not found in TG-rich LDs, whose formation is induced by oleic acid. CHX treatment caused upregulation of mTORC1, but the CHX-induced increase in CE-rich LDs occurred even when rapamycin or Torin1 was given along with CHX. Moreover, the increase in CE was seen in both wild-type and autophagy-deficient Atg5-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts, indicating that mTORC1 activation and suppression of autophagy are not necessary to induce the observed phenomenon. The results showed that translation inhibitors cause a significant change in the lipid ester composition of LDs by a mechanism independent of mTORC1 signaling and autophagy.

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<![CDATA[Identification of Novel Regulatory Cholesterol Metabolite, 5-Cholesten, 3β,25-Diol, Disulfate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da12ab0ee8fa60b79f33

Oxysterol sulfation plays an important role in regulation of lipid metabolism and inflammatory responses. In the present study, we report the discovery of a novel regulatory sulfated oxysterol in nuclei of primary rat hepatocytes after overexpression of the gene encoding mitochondrial cholesterol delivery protein (StarD1). Forty-eight hours after infection of the hepatocytes with recombinant StarD1 adenovirus, a water-soluble oxysterol product was isolated and purified by chemical extraction and reverse-phase HPLC. Tandem mass spectrometry analysis identified the oxysterol as 5-cholesten-3β, 25-diol, disulfate (25HCDS), and confirmed the structure by comparing with a chemically synthesized compound. Administration of 25HCDS to human THP-1-derived macrophages or HepG2 cells significantly inhibited cholesterol synthesis and markedly decreased lipid levels in vivo in NAFLD mouse models. RT-PCR showed that 25HCDS significantly decreased SREBP-1/2 activities by suppressing expression of their responding genes, including ACC, FAS, and HMG-CoA reductase. Analysis of lipid profiles in the liver tissues showed that administration of 25HCDS significantly decreased cholesterol, free fatty acids, and triglycerides by 30, 25, and 20%, respectively. The results suggest that 25HCDS inhibits lipid biosynthesis via blocking SREBP signaling. We conclude that 25HCDS is a potent regulator of lipid metabolism and propose its biosynthetic pathway.

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<![CDATA[A Mechanistic Model of Early FcεRI Signaling: Lipid Rafts and the Question of Protection from Dephosphorylation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da02ab0ee8fa60b749a5

We present a model of the early events in mast cell signaling mediated by FcεRI where the plasma membrane is composed of many small ordered lipid domains (rafts), surrounded by a non-order region of lipids consisting of the remaining plasma membrane. The model treats the rafts as transient structures that constantly form and breakup, but that maintain a fixed average number per cell. The rafts have a high propensity for harboring Lyn kinase, aggregated, but not unaggregated receptors, and the linker for the activation of T cells (LAT). Phosphatase activity in the rafts is substantially reduced compared to the nonraft region. We use the model to analyze published experiments on the rat basophilic leukemia (RBL)-2H3 cell line that seem to contradict the notion that rafts offer protection. In these experiments IgE was cross-linked with a multivalent antigen and then excess monovalent hapten was added to break-up cross-links. The dephosphorylation of the unaggregated receptor (nonraft associated) and of LAT (raft associated) were then monitored in time and found to decay at similar rates, leading to the conclusion that rafts offer no protection from dephosphorylation. In the model, because the rafts are transient, a protein that is protected while in a raft will be subject to dephosphorylation when the raft breaks up and the protein finds itself in the nonraft region of the membrane. We show that the model is consistent with the receptor and LAT dephosphorylation experiments while still allowing rafts to enhance signaling by providing substantial protection from phosphatases.

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<![CDATA[Real-Time Tracking of BODIPY-C12 Long-Chain Fatty Acid in Human Term Placenta Reveals Unique Lipid Dynamics in Cytotrophoblast Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4bab0ee8fa60bda67e

While the human placenta must provide selected long-chain fatty acids to support the developing fetal brain, little is known about the mechanisms underlying the transport process. We tracked the movement of the fluorescently labeled long-chain fatty acid analogue, BODIPY-C12, across the cell layers of living explants of human term placenta. Although all layers took up the fatty acid, rapid esterification of long-chain fatty acids and incorporation into lipid droplets was exclusive to the inner layer cytotrophoblast cells rather than the expected outer syncytiotrophoblast layer. Cytotrophoblast is a progenitor cell layer previously relegated to a repair role. As isolated cytotrophoblasts differentiated into syncytialized cells in culture, they weakened their lipid processing capacity. Syncytializing cells suppress previously active genes that regulate fatty-acid uptake (SLC27A2/FATP2, FABP4, ACSL5) and lipid metabolism (GPAT3, LPCAT3). We speculate that cytotrophoblast performs a previously unrecognized role in regulating placental fatty acid uptake and metabolism.

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<![CDATA[Dynamics of Ceramide Channels Detected Using a Microfluidic System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1eab0ee8fa60b7de3a

Ceramide, a proapoptotic sphingolipid, has been shown to form channels, in mitochondrial outer membranes, large enough to translocate proteins. In phospholipid membranes, electrophysiological studies and electron microscopic visualization both report that these channels form in a range of sizes with a modal value of 10 nm in diameter. A hydrogen bonded barrel-like structure consisting of hundreds of ceramide molecules has been proposed for the structure of the channel and this is supported by electrophysiological studies and molecular dynamic simulations. To our knowledge, the mechanical strength and deformability of such a large diameter but extremely thin cylindrical structure has never been reported. Here we present evidence for a reversible mechanical distortion of the cylinder following the addition of La3+. A microfluidic system was used to repeatedly lower and then restore the conductance by alternatively perfusing La3+ and EDTA. Although aspects of the kinetics of conductance drop and recovery are consistent with a disassembly/diffusion/reassembly model, others are inconsistent with the expected time scale of lateral diffusion of disassembled channel fragments in the membrane. The presence of a residual conductance following La3+ treatment and the relationship between the residual conductance and the initial conductance were both indicative of a distortion/recovery process in analogy with a pressure-induced distortion of a flexible cylinder.

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<![CDATA[Dissecting structures and functions of SecA-only protein-conducting channels: ATPase, pore structure, ion channel activity, protein translocation, and interaction with SecYEG/SecDF•YajC]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be02a4

SecA is an essential protein in the major bacterial Sec-dependent translocation pathways. E. coli SecA has 901 aminoacyl residues which form multi-functional domains that interact with various ligands to impart function. In this study, we constructed and purified tethered C-terminal deletion fragments of SecA to determine the requirements for N-terminal domains interacting with lipids to provide ATPase activity, pore structure, ion channel activity, protein translocation and interactions with SecYEG-SecDF•YajC. We found that the N-terminal fragment SecAN493 (SecA1-493) has low, intrinsic ATPase activity. Larger fragments have greater activity, becoming highest around N619-N632. Lipids greatly stimulated the ATPase activities of the fragments N608-N798, reaching maximal activities around N619. Three helices in amino-acyl residues SecA619-831, which includes the “Helical Scaffold” Domain (SecA619-668) are critical for pore formation, ion channel activity, and for function with SecYEG-SecDF•YajC. In the presence of liposomes, N-terminal domain fragments of SecA form pore-ring structures at fragment-size N640, ion channel activity around N798, and protein translocation capability around N831. SecA domain fragments ranging in size between N643-N669 are critical for functional interactions with SecYEG-SecDF•YajC. In the presence of liposomes, inactive C-terminal fragments complement smaller non-functional N-terminal fragments to form SecA-only pore structures with ion channel activity and protein translocation ability. Thus, SecA domain fragment interactions with liposomes defined critical structures and functional aspects of SecA-only channels. These data provide the mechanistic basis for SecA to form primitive, low-efficiency, SecA-only protein-conducting channels, as well as the minimal parameters for SecA to interact functionally with SecYEG-SecDF•YajC to form high-efficiency channels.

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<![CDATA[Detailed Structural Analysis of Lipids Directly on Tissue Specimens Using a MALDI-SpiralTOF-Reflectron TOF Mass Spectrometer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafcab0ee8fa60bc520a

Direct tissue analysis using a novel tandem time-of-flight (TOF-TOF) mass spectrometer is described. This system consists of a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization ion source, a spiral ion trajectory TOF mass spectrometer “SpiralTOF (STOF)”, a collision cell, and an offset parabolic reflectron (RTOF). The features of this system are high precursor ion selectivity due to a 17-m flight path length in STOF and elimination of post-source decay (PSD) ions. The acceleration energy is 20 keV, so that high-energy collision-induced dissociation (HE-CID) is possible. Elimination of PSD ions allows observation of the product ions inherent to the HE-CID process. By using this tandem TOF instrument, the product ion spectrum of lipids provided detailed structural information of fatty acid residues.

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<![CDATA[Dynamics of the Ethanolamine Glycerophospholipid Remodeling Network]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac5ab0ee8fa60bb20cc

Acyl chain remodeling in lipids is a critical biochemical process that plays a central role in disease. However, remodeling remains poorly understood, despite massive increases in lipidomic data. In this work, we determine the dynamic network of ethanolamine glycerophospholipid (PE) remodeling, using data from pulse-chase experiments and a novel bioinformatic network inference approach. The model uses a set of ordinary differential equations based on the assumptions that (1) sn1 and sn2 acyl positions are independently remodeled; (2) remodeling reaction rates are constant over time; and (3) acyl donor concentrations are constant. We use a novel fast and accurate two-step algorithm to automatically infer model parameters and their values. This is the first such method applicable to dynamic phospholipid lipidomic data. Our inference procedure closely fits experimental measurements and shows strong cross-validation across six independent experiments with distinct deuterium-labeled PE precursors, demonstrating the validity of our assumptions. In constrast, fits of randomized data or fits using random model parameters are worse. A key outcome is that we are able to robustly distinguish deacylation and reacylation kinetics of individual acyl chain types at the sn1 and sn2 positions, explaining the established prevalence of saturated and unsaturated chains in the respective positions. The present study thus demonstrates that dynamic acyl chain remodeling processes can be reliably determined from dynamic lipidomic data.

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<![CDATA[Increased Expression of Phosphatidylcholine (16:0/18:1) and (16:0/18:2) in Thyroid Papillary Cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da69ab0ee8fa60b92940

A good prognosis can be expected for most, but not all, cases of thyroid papillary cancer. Numerous molecular studies have demonstrated beneficial treatment and prognostic factors in various molecular markers. Whereas most previous reports have focused on genomics and proteomics, few have focused on lipidomics. With the advent of mass spectrometry (MS), it has become possible to identify many types of molecules, and this analytical tool has become critical in the field of omics. Recently, imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) was developed. After a simple pretreatment process, IMS can be used to examine tissue sections on glass slides with location information.

Here, we conducted an IMS analysis of seven cases of thyroid papillary cancer by comparison of cancerous with normal tissues, focusing on the distribution of phospholipids. We identified that phosphatidylcholine (16:0/18:1) and (16:0/18:2) and sphingomyelin (d18:0/16:1) are significantly higher in thyroid papillary cancer than in normal thyroid tissue as determined by tandem mass (MS/MS) analysis. These distributional differences may be associated with the biological behavior of thyroid papillary cancer.

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<![CDATA[Ultralong C100 Mycolic Acids Support the Assignment of Segniliparus as a New Bacterial Genus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1bab0ee8fa60b7d0c6

Mycolic acid-producing bacteria isolated from the respiratory tract of human and non-human mammals were recently assigned as a distinct genus, Segniliparus, because they diverge from rhodococci and mycobacteria in genetic and chemical features. Using high accuracy mass spectrometry, we determined the chemical composition of 65 homologous mycolic acids in two Segniliparus species and separately analyzed the three subclasses to measure relative chain length, number and stereochemistry of unsaturations and cyclopropyl groups within each class. Whereas mycobacterial mycolate subclasses are distinguished from one another by R groups on the meromycolate chain, Segniliparus species synthesize solely non-oxygenated α-mycolates with high levels of cis unsaturation. Unexpectedly Segniliparus α-mycolates diverge into three subclasses based on large differences in carbon chain length with one bacterial culture producing mycolates that range from C58 to C100. Both the overall chain length (C100) and the chain length diversity (C42) are larger than previously seen for mycolic acid-producing organisms and provide direct chemical evidence for assignment of Segniliparus as a distinct genus. Yet, electron microscopy shows that the long and diverse mycolates pack into a typical appearing membrane. Therefore, these new and unexpected extremes of mycolic acid chemical structure raise questions about the modes of mycolic acid packing and folding into a membrane.

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<![CDATA[Three-Dimensional cryoEM Reconstruction of Native LDL Particles to 16Å Resolution at Physiological Body Temperature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadaab0ee8fa60bb965b

Background

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles, the major carriers of cholesterol in the human circulation, have a key role in cholesterol physiology and in the development of atherosclerosis. The most prominent structural components in LDL are the core-forming cholesteryl esters (CE) and the particle-encircling single copy of a huge, non-exchangeable protein, the apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB-100). The shape of native LDL particles and the conformation of native apoB-100 on the particles remain incompletely characterized at the physiological human body temperature (37°C).

Methodology/Principal Findings

To study native LDL particles, we applied cryo-electron microscopy to calculate 3D reconstructions of LDL particles in their hydrated state. Images of the particles vitrified at 6°C and 37°C resulted in reconstructions at ∼16 Å resolution at both temperatures. 3D variance map analysis revealed rigid and flexible domains of lipids and apoB-100 at both temperatures. The reconstructions showed less variability at 6°C than at 37°C, which reflected increased order of the core CE molecules, rather than decreased mobility of the apoB-100. Compact molecular packing of the core and order in a lipid-binding domain of apoB-100 were observed at 6°C, but not at 37°C. At 37°C we were able to highlight features in the LDL particles that are not clearly separable in 3D maps at 6°C. Segmentation of apoB-100 density, fitting of lipovitellin X-ray structure, and antibody mapping, jointly revealed the approximate locations of the individual domains of apoB-100 on the surface of native LDL particles.

Conclusions/Significance

Our study provides molecular background for further understanding of the link between structure and function of native LDL particles at physiological body temperature.

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<![CDATA[Receptor-Independent Interaction of Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide with Lipid and Lymphocyte Membranes; the Role of Cholesterol]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da96ab0ee8fa60ba1d53

Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major constituent of bacterial outer membranes where it makes up the bulk of the outer leaflet and plays a key role as determinant of bacterial interactions with the host. Membrane-free LPS is known to activate T-lymphocytes through interactions with Toll-like receptor 4 via multiprotein complexes. In the present study, we investigate the role of cholesterol and membrane heterogeneities as facilitators of receptor-independent LPS binding and insertion, which underpin bacterial interactions with the host in symbiosis, pathogenesis and cell invasion. We use fluorescence spectroscopy to investigate the interactions of membrane-free LPS from intestinal Gram-negative organisms with cholesterol-containing model membranes and with T-lymphocytes. LPS preparations from Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella enterica were found to bind preferentially to mixed lipid membranes by comparison to pure PC bilayers. The same was observed for LPS from the symbiote Escherichia coli but with an order of magnitude higher dissociation constant. Insertion of LPS into model membranes confirmed the preference for sphimgomyelin/cholesterol-containing systems. LPS insertion into Jurkat T-lymphocyte membranes reveals that they have a significantly greater LPS-binding capacity by comparison to methyl-β-cyclodextrin cholesterol-depleted lymphocyte membranes, albeit at slightly lower binding rates.

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