ResearchPad - polymerization https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Concept of an artificial muscle design on polypyrrole nanofiber scaffolds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8464 Here we present the synthesis and characterization of two new conducting materials having a high electro-chemo-mechanical activity for possible applications as artificial muscles or soft smart actuators in biomimetic structures. Glucose-gelatin nanofiber scaffolds (CFS) were coated with polypyrrole (PPy) first by chemical polymerization followed by electrochemical polymerization doped with dodecylbenzensulfonate (DBS-) forming CFS-PPy/DBS films, or with trifluoromethanesulfonate (CF3SO3-, TF) giving CFS-PPy/TF films. The composition, electronic and ionic conductivity of the materials were determined using different techniques. The electro-chemo-mechanical characterization of the films was carried out by cyclic voltammetry and square wave potential steps in bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonimide lithium solutions of propylene carbonate (LiTFSI-PC). Linear actuation of the CFS-PPy/DBS material exhibited 20% of strain variation with a stress of 0.14 MPa, rather similar to skeletal muscles. After 1000 cycles, the creeping effect was as low as 0,2% having a good long-term stability showing a strain variation per cycle of -1.8% (after 1000 cycles). Those material properties are excellent for future technological applications as artificial muscles, batteries, smart membranes, and so on.

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<![CDATA[Aspirin-triggered resolvin D1 attenuates PDGF-induced vascular smooth muscle cell migration via the cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc0e7

Background and objectives

Resolvin D1 (RvD1) is a specialized pro-resolving lipid mediator that has been previously shown to attenuate vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration, a key process in the development of intimal hyperplasia. We sought to investigate the role of the cAMP/PKA pathway in mediating the effects of the aspirin-triggered epimer 17R-RvD1 (AT-RvD1) on VSMC migration.

Methods

VSMCs were harvested from human saphenous veins. VSMCs were analyzed for intracellular cAMP levels and PKA activity after exposure to AT-RvD1. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced migration and cytoskeletal changes in VSMCs were observed through scratch, Transwell, and cell shape assays in the presence or absence of a PKA inhibitor (Rp-8-Br-cAMP). Further investigation of the pathways involved in AT-RvD1 signaling was performed by measuring Rac1 activity, vasodilator stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) phosphorylation and paxillin translocation. Finally, we examined the role of RvD1 receptors (GPR32 and ALX/FPR2) in AT-RvD1 induced effects on VSMC migration and PKA activity.

Results

Treatment with AT-RvD1 induced a significant increase in cAMP levels and PKA activity in VSMCs at 5 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively. AT-RvD1 attenuated PDGF-induced VSMC migration and cytoskeletal rearrangements. These effects were attenuated by the PKA inhibitor Rp-8-Br-cAMP, suggesting cAMP/PKA involvement. Treatment of VSMC with AT-RvD1 inhibited PDGF-stimulated Rac1 activity, increased VASP phosphorylation, and attenuated paxillin localization to focal adhesions; these effects were negated by the addition of Rp-8-Br-cAMP. The effects of AT-RvD1 on VSMC migration and PKA activity were attenuated by blocking ALX/FPR2, suggesting an important role of this G-protein coupled receptor.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that AT-RvD1 attenuates PDGF-induced VSMC migration via ALX/FPR2 and cAMP/PKA. Interference with Rac1, VASP and paxillin function appear to mediate the downstream effects of AT-RvD1 on VSMC migration.

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<![CDATA[Drought stress affects the protein and dietary fiber content of wholemeal wheat flour in wheat/Aegilops addition lines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633936d5eed0c484ae624e

Wild relatives of wheat, such as Aegilops spp. are potential sources of genes conferring tolerance to drought stress. As drought stress affects seed composition, the main goal of the present study was to determine the effects of drought stress on the content and composition of the grain storage protein (gliadin (Gli), glutenin (Glu), unextractable polymeric proteins (UPP%) and dietary fiber (arabinoxylan, β-glucan) components of hexaploid bread wheat (T. aestivum) lines containing added chromosomes from Ae. biuncialis or Ae. geniculata. Both Aegilops parents have higher contents of protein and β-glucan and higher proportions of water-soluble arabinoxylans (determined as pentosans) than wheat when grown under both well-watered and drought stress conditions. In general, drought stress resulted in increased contents of protein and total pentosans in the addition lines, while the β-glucan content decreased in many of the addition lines. The differences found between the wheat/Aegilops addition lines and wheat parents under well-watered conditions were also manifested under drought stress conditions: Namely, elevated β-glucan content was found in addition lines containing chromosomes 5Ug, 7Ug and 7Mb, while chromosomes 1Ub and 1Mg affected the proportion of polymeric proteins (determined as Glu/Gli and UPP%, respectively) under both well-watered and drought stress conditions. Furthermore, the addition of chromosome 6Mg decreased the WE-pentosan content under both conditions. The grain composition of the Aegilops accessions was more stable under drought stress than that of wheat, and wheat lines with the added Aegilops chromosomes 2Mg and 5Mg also had more stable grain protein and pentosan contents. The negative effects of drought stress on both the physical and compositional properties of wheat were also reduced by the addition of these. These results suggest that the stability of the grain composition could be improved under drought stress conditions by the intraspecific hybridization of wheat with its wild relatives.

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<![CDATA[Antifungal activity of well-defined chito-oligosaccharide preparations against medically relevant yeasts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4fd7d5eed0c484d79991

Due to their antifungal activity, chitosan and its derivatives have potential to be used for treating yeast infections in humans. However, to be considered for use in human medicine, it is necessary to control and know the chemical composition of the compound, which is not always the case for polymeric chitosans. Here, we analyze the antifungal activity of a soluble and well-defined chito-oligosaccharide (CHOS) with an average polymerization degree (DPn) of 32 and fraction of acetylation (FA) of 0.15 (C32) on 52 medically relevant yeast strains. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) varied widely among yeast species, strains and isolates (from > 5000 to < 9.77 μg mL-1) and inhibition patterns showed a time- and dose-dependencies. The antifungal activity was predominantly fungicidal and was inversely proportional to the pH, being maximal at pH 4.5, the lowest tested pH. Furthermore, antifungal effects of CHOS fractions with varying average molecular weight indicated that those fractions with an intermediate degree of polymerization, i.e. DP 31 and 54, had the strongest inhibitory effects. Confocal imaging showed that C32 adsorbs to the cell surface, with subsequent cell disruption and accumulation of C32 in the cytoplasm. Thus, C32 has potential to be used as a therapy for fungal infections.

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<![CDATA[Lrrk promotes tau neurotoxicity through dysregulation of actin and mitochondrial dynamics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254541d5eed0c48442c395

Mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) are the most common cause of familial Parkinson disease. Genetics and neuropathology link Parkinson disease with the microtubule-binding protein tau, but the mechanism of action of LRRK2 mutations and the molecular connection between tau and Parkinson disease are unclear. Here, we investigate the interaction of LRRK and tau in Drosophila and mouse models of tauopathy. We find that either increasing or decreasing the level of fly Lrrk enhances tau neurotoxicity, which is further exacerbated by expressing Lrrk with dominantly acting Parkinson disease—associated mutations. At the cellular level, altering Lrrk expression promotes tau neurotoxicity via excess stabilization of filamentous actin (F-actin) and subsequent mislocalization of the critical mitochondrial fission protein dynamin-1-like protein (Drp1). Biochemically, monomeric LRRK2 exhibits actin-severing activity, which is reduced as increasing concentrations of wild-type LRRK2, or expression of mutant forms of LRRK2 promote oligomerization of the protein. Overall, our findings provide a potential mechanistic basis for a dominant negative mechanism in LRRK2-mediated Parkinson disease, suggest a common molecular pathway with other familial forms of Parkinson disease linked to abnormalities of mitochondrial dynamics and quality control, and raise the possibility of new therapeutic approaches to Parkinson disease and related disorders.

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<![CDATA[IgA tetramerization improves target breadth but not peak potency of functionality of anti-influenza virus broadly neutralizing antibody]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7b8d5eed0c484490a6e

Mucosal immunoglobulins comprise mainly secretory IgA antibodies (SIgAs), which are the major contributor to pathogen-specific immune responses in mucosal tissues. These SIgAs are highly heterogeneous in terms of their quaternary structure. A recent report shows that the polymerization status of SIgA defines their functionality in the human upper respiratory mucosa. Higher order polymerization of SIgA (i.e., tetramers) leads to a marked increase in neutralizing activity against influenza viruses. However, the precise molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of SIgA polymerization remain elusive. Here, we developed a method for generating recombinant tetrameric monoclonal SIgAs. We then compared the anti-viral activities of these tetrameric SIgAs, which possessed variable regions identical to that of a broadly neutralizing anti-influenza antibody F045-092 against influenza A viruses, with that of monomeric IgG or IgA. The tetrameric SIgA showed anti-viral inhibitory activity superior to that of other forms only when the antibody exhibits low-affinity binding to the target. By contrast, SIgA tetramerization did not substantially modify anti-viral activity against targets with high-affinity binding. Taken together, the data suggest that tetramerization of SIgA improved target breadth, but not peak potency of antiviral functions of the broadly neutralizing anti-influenza antibody. This phenomenon presumably represents one of the mechanisms by which SIgAs present in human respiratory mucosa prevent infection by antigen-drifted influenza viruses. Understanding the mechanisms involved in cross neutralization of viruses by SIgAs might facilitate the development of vaccine strategies against viral infection of mucosal tissues.

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<![CDATA[Regulation of gastric smooth muscle contraction via Ca2+-dependent and Ca2+-independent actin polymerization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254570d5eed0c48442c760

In gastrointestinal smooth muscle, acetylcholine induced muscle contraction is biphasic, initial peak followed by sustained contraction. Contraction is regulated by phosphorylation of 20 kDa myosin light chain (MLC) at Ser19, interaction of actin and myosin, and actin polymerization. The present study characterized the signaling mechanisms involved in actin polymerization during initial and sustained muscle contraction in response to muscarinic M3 receptor activation in gastric smooth muscle cells by targeting the effectors of initial (phospholipase C (PLC)-β/Ca2+ pathway) and sustained (RhoA/focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/Rho kinase pathway) contraction. The initial Ca2+ dependent contraction and actin polymerization is mediated by sequential activation of PLC-β1 via Gαq, IP3 formation, Ca2+ release and Ca2+ dependent phosphorylation of proline-rich-tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) at Tyr402. The sustained Ca2+ independent contraction and actin polymerization is mediated by activation of RhoA, and phosphorylation of FAK at Tyr397. Both phosphorylation of Pyk2 and FAK leads to phosphorylation of paxillin at Tyr118 and association of phosphorylated paxillin with the GEF proteins p21-activated kinase (PAK) interacting exchange factor α, β (α and β PIX) and DOCK 180. These GEF proteins stimulate Cdc42 leading to the activation of nucleation promoting factor N-WASP (neuronal Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein), which interacts with actin related protein complex 2/3 (Arp2/3) to induce actin polymerization and muscle contraction. Acetylcholine induced muscle contraction is inhibited by actin polymerization inhibitors. Thus, our results suggest that a novel mechanism for the regulation of smooth muscle contraction is mediated by actin polymerization in gastrointestinal smooth muscle which is independent of MLC20 phosphorylation.

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<![CDATA[Ubiquitination of alpha-synuclein filaments by Nedd4 ligases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b60175f463d7e3bf2e777da

Alpha-synuclein can form beta-sheet filaments, the accumulation of which plays a key role in the development of Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy. It has previously been shown that alpha-synuclein is a substrate for the HECT domain-containing ubiquitin ligase Nedd4, and is subject to ubiquitin-mediated endosomal degradation. We show here that alpha-synuclein filaments are much better substrates for ubiquitination in vitro than monomeric alpha-synuclein, and that this increased susceptibility cannot be mimicked by the mere clustering of monomers. Recognition by Nedd4 family enzymes is not through the conventional binding of PPxY-containing sequences to WW domains of the ligase, but it also involves C2 and HECT domains. The disease-causing alpha-synuclein mutant A53T is a much less efficient substrate for Nedd4 ligases than the wild-type protein. We suggest that preferential recognition, ubiquitination and degradation of beta-sheet-containing filaments may help to limit toxicity, and that A53T alpha-synuclein may be more toxic, at least in part because it avoids this fate.

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<![CDATA[Role of Bicaudal C1 in renal gluconeogenesis and its novel interaction with the CTLH complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5fed7a463d7e1703b809c1

Altered glucose and lipid metabolism fuel cystic growth in polycystic kidneys, but the cause of these perturbations is unclear. Renal cysts also associate with mutations in Bicaudal C1 (Bicc1) or in its self-polymerizing sterile alpha motif (SAM). Here, we found that Bicc1 maintains normoglycemia and the expression of the gluconeogenic enzymes FBP1 and PEPCK in kidneys. A proteomic screen revealed that Bicc1 interacts with the C-Terminal to Lis-Homology domain (CTLH) complex. Since the orthologous Gid complex in S. cerevisae targets FBP1 and PEPCK for degradation, we mapped the topology among CTLH subunits and found that SAM-mediated binding controls Bicc1 protein levels, whereas Bicc1 inhibited the accumulation of several CTLH subunits. Under the conditions analyzed, Bicc1 increased FBP1 protein levels independently of the CTLH complex. Besides linking Bicc1 to cell metabolism, our findings reveal new layers of complexity in the regulation of renal gluconeogenesis compared to lower eukaryotes.

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<![CDATA[Papaverine Prevents Vasospasm by Regulation of Myosin Light Chain Phosphorylation and Actin Polymerization in Human Saphenous Vein]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad6ab0ee8fa60bb7eee

Objective

Papaverine is used to prevent vasospasm in human saphenous veins (HSV) during vein graft preparation prior to implantation as a bypass conduit. Papaverine is a nonspecific inhibitor of phosphodiesterases, leading to increases in both intracellular cGMP and cAMP. We hypothesized that papaverine reduces force by decreasing intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca2+]i) and myosin light chain phosphorylation, and increasing actin depolymerization via regulation of actin regulatory protein phosphorylation.

Approach and Results

HSV was equilibrated in a muscle bath, pre-treated with 1 mM papaverine followed by 5 μM norepinephrine, and force along with [Ca2+]i levels were concurrently measured. Filamentous actin (F-actin) level was measured by an in vitro actin assay. Tissue was snap frozen to measure myosin light chain and actin regulatory protein phosphorylation. Pre-treatment with papaverine completely inhibited norepinephrine-induced force generation, blocked increases in [Ca2+]i and led to a decrease in the phosphorylation of myosin light chain. Papaverine pre-treatment also led to increased phosphorylation of the heat shock-related protein 20 (HSPB6) and the vasodilator stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), as well as decreased filamentous actin (F-actin) levels suggesting depolymerization of actin.

Conclusions

These results suggest that papaverine-induced force inhibition of HSV involves [Ca2+]i-mediated inhibition of myosin light chain phosphorylation and actin regulatory protein phosphorylation-mediated actin depolymerization. Thus, papaverine induces sustained inhibition of contraction of HSV by the modulation of both myosin cross-bridge formation and actin cytoskeletal dynamics and is a pharmacological alternative to high pressure distention to prevent vasospasm.

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<![CDATA[Solving the Problem of Building Models of Crosslinked Polymers: An Example Focussing on Validation of the Properties of Crosslinked Epoxy Resins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db34ab0ee8fa60bd26a7

The construction of molecular models of crosslinked polymers is an area of some difficulty and considerable interest. We report here a new method of constructing these models and validate the method by modelling three epoxy systems based on the epoxy monomers bisphenol F diglycidyl ether (BFDGE) and triglycidyl-p-amino phenol (TGAP) with the curing agent diamino diphenyl sulphone (DDS). The main emphasis of the work concerns the improvement of the techniques for the molecular simulation of these epoxies and specific attention is paid towards model construction techniques, including automated model building and prediction of glass transition temperatures (Tg). Typical models comprise some 4200–4600 atoms (ca. 120–130 monomers). In a parallel empirical study, these systems have been cast, cured and analysed by dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) to measure Tg. Results for the three epoxy systems yield good agreement with experimental Tg ranges of 200–220°C, 270–285°C and 285–290°C with corresponding simulated ranges of 210–230°C, 250–300°C, and 250–300°C respectively.

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<![CDATA[Functional Analysis of the Cytoskeleton Protein MreB from Chlamydophila pneumoniae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da32ab0ee8fa60b84bbc

In rod-shaped bacteria, the bacterial actin ortholog MreB is considered to organize the incorporation of cell wall precursors into the side-wall, whereas the tubulin homologue FtsZ is known to tether incorporation of cell wall building blocks at the developing septum. For intracellular bacteria, there is no need to compensate osmotic pressure by means of a cell wall, and peptidoglycan has not been reliably detected in Chlamydiaceae. Surprisingly, a nearly complete pathway for the biosynthesis of the cell wall building block lipid II has been found in the genomes of Chlamydiaceae. In a previous study, we discussed the hypothesis that conservation of lipid II biosynthesis in cell wall-lacking bacteria may reflect the intimate molecular linkage of cell wall biosynthesis and cell division and thus an essential role of the precursor in cell division. Here, we investigate why spherical-shaped chlamydiae harbor MreB which is almost exclusively found in elongated bacteria (i.e. rods, vibrios, spirilla) whereas they lack the otherwise essential division protein FtsZ. We demonstrate that chlamydial MreB polymerizes in vitro and that polymerization is not inhibited by the blocking agent A22. As observed for MreB from Bacillus subtilis, chlamydial MreB does not require ATP for polymerization but is capable of ATP hydrolysis in phosphate release assays. Co-pelleting and bacterial two-hybrid experiments indicate that MreB from Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae interacts with MurF, MraY and MurG, three key components in lipid II biosynthesis. In addition, MreB polymerization is improved in the presence of MurF. Our findings suggest that MreB is involved in tethering biosynthesis of lipid II and as such may be necessary for maintaining a functional divisome machinery in Chlamydiaceae.

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<![CDATA[The Adaptor Protein Swiprosin-1/EFhd2 Is Dispensable for Platelet Function in Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da34ab0ee8fa60b85b80

Background

Platelets are anuclear cell fragments derived from bone marrow megakaryocytes that safeguard vascular integrity, but may also cause pathological vessel occlusion. Reorganizations of the platelet cytoskeleton and agonist-induced intracellular Ca2+-mobilization are crucial for platelet hemostatic function. EF-hand domain containing 2 (EFhd2, Swiprosin-1) is a Ca2+-binding cytoskeletal adaptor protein involved in actin remodeling in different cell types, but its function in platelets is unknown.

Objective

Based on the described functions of EFhd2 in immune cells, we tested the hypothesis that EFhd2 is a crucial adaptor protein for platelet function acting as a regulator of Ca2+-mobilization and cytoskeletal rearrangements.

Methods and Results

We generated EFhd2-deficient mice and analyzed their platelets in vitro and in vivo. Efhd2-/- mice displayed normal platelet count and size, exhibited an unaltered in vivo life span and showed normal Ca2+-mobilization and activation/aggregation responses to classic agonists. Interestingly, upon stimulation of the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif-coupled receptor glycoprotein (GP) VI, Efhd2-/- platelets showed a slightly increased coagulant activity. Furthermore, absence of EFhd2 had no significant impact on integrin-mediated clot retraction, actomyosin rearrangements and spreading of activated platelets on fibrinogen. In vivo EFhd2-deficiency resulted in unaltered hemostatic function and unaffected arterial thrombus formation.

Conclusion

These results show that EFhd2 is not essential for platelet function in mice indicating that other cytoskeletal adaptors may functionally compensate its loss.

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<![CDATA[Membrane Tension Acts Through PLD2 and mTORC2 to Limit Actin Network Assembly During Neutrophil Migration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb4acc

For efficient polarity and migration, cells need to regulate the magnitude and spatial distribution of actin assembly. This process is coordinated by reciprocal interactions between the actin cytoskeleton and mechanical forces. Actin polymerization-based protrusion increases tension in the plasma membrane, which in turn acts as a long-range inhibitor of actin assembly. These interactions form a negative feedback circuit that limits the magnitude of membrane tension in neutrophils and prevents expansion of the existing front and the formation of secondary fronts. It has been suggested that the plasma membrane directly inhibits actin assembly by serving as a physical barrier that opposes protrusion. Here we show that efficient control of actin polymerization-based protrusion requires an additional mechanosensory feedback cascade that indirectly links membrane tension with actin assembly. Specifically, elevated membrane tension acts through phospholipase D2 (PLD2) and the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) to limit actin nucleation. In the absence of this pathway, neutrophils exhibit larger leading edges, higher membrane tension, and profoundly defective chemotaxis. Mathematical modeling suggests roles for both the direct (mechanical) and indirect (biochemical via PLD2 and mTORC2) feedback loops in organizing cell polarity and motility—the indirect loop is better suited to enable competition between fronts, whereas the direct loop helps spatially organize actin nucleation for efficient leading edge formation and cell movement. This circuit is essential for polarity, motility, and the control of membrane tension.

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<![CDATA[Autographa californica Multiple Nucleopolyhedrovirus Ac34 Protein Retains Cellular Actin-Related Protein 2/3 Complex in the Nucleus by Subversion of CRM1-Dependent Nuclear Export]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da59ab0ee8fa60b8f760

Actin, nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs), and the actin-related protein 2/3 complex (Arp2/3) are key elements of the cellular actin polymerization machinery. With nuclear actin polymerization implicated in ever-expanding biological processes and the discovery of the nuclear import mechanisms of actin and NPFs, determining Arp2/3 nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling mechanism is important for understanding the function of nuclear actin. A unique feature of alphabaculovirus infection of insect cells is the robust nuclear accumulation of Arp2/3, which induces actin polymerization in the nucleus to assist in virus replication. We found that Ac34, a viral late gene product encoded by the alphabaculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), is involved in Arp2/3 nuclear accumulation during virus infection. Further assays revealed that the subcellular distribution of Arp2/3 under steady-state conditions is controlled by chromosomal maintenance 1 (CRM1)-dependent nuclear export. Upon AcMNPV infection, Ac34 inhibits CRM1 pathway and leads to Arp2/3 retention in the nucleus.

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<![CDATA[Screening and Development of New Inhibitors of FtsZ from M. Tuberculosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da28ab0ee8fa60b81726

A variety of commercial analogs and a newer series of Sulindac derivatives were screened for inhibition of M. tuberculosis (Mtb) in vitro and specifically as inhibitors of the essential mycobacterial tubulin homolog, FtsZ. Due to the ease of preparing diverse analogs and a favorable in vivo pharmacokinetic and toxicity profile of a representative analog, the Sulindac scaffold may be useful for further development against Mtb with respect to in vitro bacterial growth inhibition and selective activity for Mtb FtsZ versus mammalian tubulin. Further discovery efforts will require separating reported mammalian cell activity from both antibacterial activity and inhibition of Mtb FtsZ. Modeling studies suggest that these analogs bind in a specific region of the Mtb FtsZ polymer that differs from human tubulin and, in combination with a pharmacophore model presented herein, future hybrid analogs of the reported active molecules that more efficiently bind in this pocket may improve antibacterial activity while improving other drug characteristics.

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<![CDATA[Enhancement of Dose Response and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Image of PAGAT Polymer Gel Dosimeter by Adding Silver Nanoparticles]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b6a1a0

In the present study, the normoxic polyacrylamide gelatin and tetrakis hydroxy methyl phosphoniun chloride (PAGAT) polymer gel dosimeters were synthesized with and without the presence of silver (Ag) nanoparticles. The amount of Ag nanoparticles varied from 1 to 3 ml with concentration 3.14 g/l, thus forming two types of PAGAT polymer gel dosimeters before irradiating them with 6 to 25 Gy produced by 1.25-MeV 60Co gamma rays. In this range, the predominant gamma ray interaction with matter is by Compton scattering effect, as the photoelectric absorption effect diminishes. MRI was employed when evaluating the polymerization of the dosimeters and the gray scale of the MRI film was determined via an optical densitometer. Subsequent analyses of optical densities revealed that the extent of polymerization increased with the increase in the absorbed dose, while the increase of penetration depth within the dosimeters has a reverse effect. Moreover, a significant increase in the optical density-dose response (11.82%) was noted for dosimeters containing 2 ml Ag nanoparticles.

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<![CDATA[Formin DAAM1 Organizes Actin Filaments in the Cytoplasmic Nodal Actin Network]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daabab0ee8fa60ba94f9

A nodal cytoplasmic actin network underlies actin cytoplasm cohesion in the absence of stress fibers. We previously described such a network that forms upon Latrunculin A (LatA) treatment, in which formin DAAM1 was localized at these nodes. Knock down of DAAM1 reduced the mobility of actin nodes but the nodes remained. Here we have investigated DAAM1 containing nodes after LatA washout. DAAM1 was found to be distributed between the cytoplasm and the plasma membrane. The membrane binding likely occurs through an interaction with lipid rafts, but is not required for F-actin assembly. Interesting the forced interaction of DAAM1 with plasma membrane through a rapamycin-dependent linkage, enhanced F-actin assembly at the cell membrane (compared to the cytoplasm) after the LatA washout. However, immediately after addition of both rapamycin and LatA, the cytoplasmic actin nodes formed transiently, before DAAM1 moved to the membrane. This was consistent with the idea that DAAM1 was initially anchored to cytoplasmic actin nodes. Further, photoactivatable tracking of DAAM1 showed DAAM1 was immobilized at these actin nodes. Thus, we suggest that DAAM1 organizes actin filaments into a nodal complex, and such nodal complexes seed actin network recovery after actin depolymerization.

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<![CDATA[A unique profilin-actin interface is important for malaria parasite motility]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be0243

Profilin is an actin monomer binding protein that provides ATP-actin for incorporation into actin filaments. In contrast to higher eukaryotic cells with their large filamentous actin structures, apicomplexan parasites typically contain only short and highly dynamic microfilaments. In apicomplexans, profilin appears to be the main monomer-sequestering protein. Compared to classical profilins, apicomplexan profilins contain an additional arm-like β-hairpin motif, which we show here to be critically involved in actin binding. Through comparative analysis using two profilin mutants, we reveal this motif to be implicated in gliding motility of Plasmodium berghei sporozoites, the rapidly migrating forms of a rodent malaria parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. Force measurements on migrating sporozoites and molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the interaction between actin and profilin fine-tunes gliding motility. Our data suggest that evolutionary pressure to achieve efficient high-speed gliding has resulted in a unique profilin-actin interface in these parasites.

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<![CDATA[Genetic PEGylation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da12ab0ee8fa60b7a1a3

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was genetically incorporated into a polypeptide. Stop-anticodon-containing tRNAs were acylated with PEG-containing amino acids and were then translated into polypeptides corresponding to DNA sequences containing the stop codons. The molecular weights of the PEG used were 170, 500, 700, 1000, and 2000 Da, and the translation was confirmed by mass spectrometry. The PEG incorporation ratio decreased as the molecular weight of PEG increased, and PEG with a molecular weight of 1000 Da was only slightly incorporated. Although improvement is required to increase the efficiency of the process, this study demonstrates the possibility of genetic PEGylation.

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