ResearchPad - structural-characterization 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[The molecular structure of β-alanine is resistant to sterilising doses of gamma radiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c76d5eed0c484bd2752

β-alanine is the rate-limiting point for the endogenous synthesis of carnosine in skeletal muscle. Carnosine has a wide range of implications for health, normal function and exercise performance. Whilst the physiological relevance of carnosine to different tissues remains enigmatic, β-alanine administration is a useful strategy to investigate the physiological roles of carnosine in humans. Intravenous administration of β-alanine is an interesting approach to study carnosine metabolism. However, sterilisation is mandatory due to the nature of the administration route. We evaluated whether sterilising doses of gamma radiation damages the molecular structure and leads to the loss of functional characteristics of β-alanine. Pure β-alanine was sterilised by gamma radiation in sealed glass vials using a 60Co multipurpose irradiator at a dose rate of 8.5 kGy.hour-1 totalising 10, 20, 25 30 and 40 kGy. The molecular integrity was assessed by X-ray Diffraction and changes in content were determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (UV-HPLC) and Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (HPLC/MS-MS). Sterility assurance was evaluated by inoculation assay. To examine whether functional properties were preserved, β-alanine was infused in one participant, who rated the level of paraesthesia on the skin using a 0–3 scale. Urinary β-alanine was quantified before and 24-h following β-alanine infusion using HPLC-ESI+-MS/MS. Irradiation resulted in no change in the crystal structure of β-alanine, no degradation, and no new peaks were identified in the dose range assayed. The inoculation assay showed the absence of viable microorganisms in all β-alanine samples, including those that did not undergo irradiation. Intravenous infusion of β-alanine resulted in paraesthesia and it detected in the urine as per normal. We conclude that gamma radiation is a suitable technique for the sterilisation of β-alanine. It does not lead to degradation, damage to the β-alanine structure, content or loss of function within the evaluated irradiation conditions.

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<![CDATA[Conformational sampling of CpxA: Connecting HAMP motions to the histidine kinase function]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2400b7d5eed0c484098be2

In the histidine kinase family, the HAMP and DHp domains are considered to play an important role into the transmission of signal arising from environmental conditions to the auto-phosphorylation site and to the binding site of response regulator. Several conformational motions inside HAMP have been proposed to transmit this signal: (i) the gearbox model, (ii) α helices rotations, pistons and scissoring, (iii) transition between ordered and disordered states. In the present work, we explore by temperature-accelerated molecular dynamics (TAMD), an enhanced sampling technique, the conformational space of the cytoplasmic region of histidine kinase CpxA. Several HAMP motions, corresponding to α helices rotations, pistoning and scissoring have been detected and correlated to the segmental motions of HAMP and DHp domains of CpxA.

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<![CDATA[Biotransformation of a potent anabolic steroid, mibolerone, with Cunninghamella blakesleeana, C. echinulata, and Macrophomina phaseolina, and biological activity evaluation of its metabolites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbeab

Seven metabolites were obtained from the microbial transformation of anabolic-androgenic steroid mibolerone (1) with Cunninghamella blakesleeana, C. echinulata, and Macrophomina phaseolina. Their structures were determined as 10β,17β-dihydroxy-7α,17α-dimethylestr-4-en-3-one (2), 6β,17β-dihydroxy-7α,17α-dimethylestr-4-en-3-one (3), 6β,10β,17β-trihydroxy-7α,17α-dimethylestr-4-en-3-one (4), 11β,17β-dihydroxy-(20-hydroxymethyl)-7α,17α-dimethylestr-4-en-3-one (5), 1α,17β-dihydroxy-7α,17α-dimethylestr-4-en-3-one (6), 1α,11β,17β-trihydroxy-7α,17α-dimethylestr-4-en-3-one (7), and 11β,17β-dihydroxy-7α,17α-dimethylestr-4-en-3-one (8), on the basis of spectroscopic studies. All metabolites, except 8, were identified as new compounds. This study indicates that C. blakesleeana, and C. echinulata are able to catalyze hydroxylation at allylic positions, while M. phaseolina can catalyze hydroxylation of CH2 and CH3 groups of substrate 1. Mibolerone (1) was found to be a moderate inhibitor of β-glucuronidase enzyme (IC50 = 42.98 ± 1.24 μM) during random biological screening, while its metabolites 24, and 8 were found to be inactive. Mibolerone (1) was also found to be significantly active against Leishmania major promastigotes (IC50 = 29.64 ± 0.88 μM). Its transformed products 3 (IC50 = 79.09 ± 0.06 μM), and 8 (IC50 = 70.09 ± 0.05 μM) showed a weak leishmanicidal activity, while 2 and 4 were found to be inactive. In addition, substrate 1 (IC50 = 35.7 ± 4.46 μM), and its metabolite 8 (IC50 = 34.16 ± 5.3 μM) exhibited potent cytotoxicity against HeLa cancer cell line (human cervical carcinoma). Metabolite 2 (IC50 = 46.5 ± 5.4 μM) also showed a significant cytotoxicity, while 3 (IC50 = 107.8 ± 4.0 μM) and 4 (IC50 = 152.5 ± 2.15 μM) showed weak cytotoxicity against HeLa cancer cell line. Compound 1 (IC50 = 46.3 ± 11.7 μM), and its transformed products 2 (IC50 = 43.3 ± 7.7 μM), 3 (IC50 = 65.6 ± 2.5 μM), and 4 (IC50 = 89.4 ± 2.7 μM) were also found to be moderately toxic to 3T3 cell line (mouse fibroblast). Interestingly, metabolite 8 showed no cytotoxicity against 3T3 cell line. Compounds 14, and 8 were also evaluated for inhibition of tyrosinase, carbonic anhydrase, and α-glucosidase enzymes, and all were found to be inactive.

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<![CDATA[Preparation and Characterization of Octenyl Succinic Anhydride Modified Taro Starch Nanoparticles]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db07ab0ee8fa60bc89e5

The polar surface and hydrophilicity of starch nanoparticles (SNPs) result in their poor dispersibility in nonpolar solvent and poor compatibility with hydrophobic polymers, which limited the application in hydrophobic system. To improve their hydrophobicity, SNPs prepared through self-assembly of short chain amylose debranched from cooked taro starch, were modified by octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA). Size via dynamic light scattering of OSA-SNPs increased compared with SNPs. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy data indicated the OSA-SNPs had a new absorption peak at 1727 cm-1, which was the characteristic peak of carbonyl, indicating the formation of the ester bond. The dispersibility of the modified SNPs in the mixture of water with nonpolar solvent increased with increasing of degree of substitution (DS). OSA-SNPs appear to be a potential agent to stabilize the oil-water systems.

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<![CDATA[Engineering Amyloid-Like Assemblies from Unstructured Peptides via Site-Specific Lipid Conjugation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da34ab0ee8fa60b85b8d

Aggregation of amyloid beta (Aβ) into oligomers and fibrils is believed to play an important role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To gain further insight into the principles of aggregation, we have investigated the induction of β-sheet secondary conformation from disordered native peptide sequences through lipidation, in 1–2% hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) in phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Several parameters, such as type and number of lipid chains, peptide sequence, peptide length and net charge, were explored keeping the ratio peptide/HFIP constant. The resulting lipoconjugates were characterized by several physico-chemical techniques: Circular Dichroism (CD), Attenuated Total Reflection InfraRed (ATR-IR), Thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence, Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (ssNMR) spectroscopy and Electron Microscopy (EM). Our data demonstrate the generation of β-sheet aggregates from numerous unstructured peptides under physiological pH, independent of the amino acid sequence. The amphiphilicity pattern and hydrophobicity of the scaffold were found to be key factors for their assembly into amyloid-like structures.

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<![CDATA[New Anti-Inflammatory Metabolites by Microbial Transformation of Medrysone]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0aab0ee8fa60bc9c44

Microbial transformation of the anti-inflammatory steroid medrysone (1) was carried out for the first time with the filamentous fungi Cunninghamella blakesleeana (ATCC 8688a), Neurospora crassa (ATCC 18419), and Rhizopus stolonifer (TSY 0471). The objective was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory potential of the substrate (1) and its metabolites. This yielded seven new metabolites, 14α-hydroxy-6α-methylpregn-4-ene-3,11,20-trione (2), 6β-hydroxy-6α-methylpregn-4-ene-3,11,20-trione (3), 15β-hydroxy-6α-methylpregn-4-ene-3,11,20-trione (4), 6β,17α-dihydroxy-6α-methylpregn-4-ene-3,11,20-trione (5), 6β,20S-dihydroxy-6α-methylpregn-4-ene-3,11-dione (6), 11β,16β-dihydroxy-6α-methylpregn-4-ene-3,11-dione (7), and 15β,20R-dihydroxy-6α-methylpregn-4-ene-3,11-dione (8). Single-crystal X-ray diffraction technique unambiguously established the structures of the metabolites 2, 4, 6, and 8. Fungal transformation of 1 yielded oxidation at the C-6β, -11β, -14α, -15β, -16β positions. Various cellular anti-inflammatory assays, including inhibition of phagocyte oxidative burst, T-cell proliferation, and cytokine were performed. Among all the tested compounds, metabolite 6 (IC50 = 30.3 μg/mL) moderately inhibited the reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced from zymosan-induced human whole blood cells. Compounds 1, 4, 5, 7, and 8 strongly inhibited the proliferation of T-cells with IC50 values between <0.2–10.4 μg/mL. Compound 7 was found to be the most potent inhibitor (IC50 < 0.2 μg/mL), whereas compounds 2, 3, and 6 showed moderate levels of inhibition (IC50 = 14.6–20.0 μg/mL). Compounds 1, and 7 also inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α. All these compounds were found to be non-toxic to 3T3 cells (mouse fibroblast), and also showed no activity when tested against HeLa (human epithelial carcinoma), or against PC3 (prostate cancer) cancer cell lines.

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<![CDATA[Atomic Resolution Structure of a Protein Prepared by Non-Enzymatic His-Tag Removal. Crystallographic and NMR Study of GmSPI-2 Inhibitor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daecab0ee8fa60bbf9de

Purification of suitable quantity of homogenous protein is very often the bottleneck in protein structural studies. Overexpression of a desired gene and attachment of enzymatically cleavable affinity tags to the protein of interest made a breakthrough in this field. Here we describe the structure of Galleria mellonella silk proteinase inhibitor 2 (GmSPI-2) determined both by X-ray diffraction and NMR spectroscopy methods. GmSPI-2 was purified using a new method consisting in non-enzymatic His-tag removal based on a highly specific peptide bond cleavage reaction assisted by Ni(II) ions. The X-ray crystal structure of GmSPI-2 was refined against diffraction data extending to 0.98 Å resolution measured at 100 K using synchrotron radiation. Anisotropic refinement with the removal of stereochemical restraints for the well-ordered parts of the structure converged with R factor of 10.57% and Rfree of 12.91%. The 3D structure of GmSPI-2 protein in solution was solved on the basis of 503 distance constraints, 10 hydrogen bonds and 26 torsion angle restraints. It exhibits good geometry and side-chain packing parameters. The models of the protein structure obtained by X-ray diffraction and NMR spectroscopy are very similar to each other and reveal the same β2αβ fold characteristic for Kazal-family serine proteinase inhibitors.

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<![CDATA[Role of α-Globin H Helix in the Building of Tetrameric Human Hemoglobin: Interaction with α-Hemoglobin Stabilizing Protein (AHSP) and Heme Molecule]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da90ab0ee8fa60b9fcde

Alpha-Hemoglobin Stabilizing Protein (AHSP) binds to α-hemoglobin (α-Hb) or α-globin and maintains it in a soluble state until its association with the β-Hb chain partner to form Hb tetramers. AHSP specifically recognizes the G and H helices of α-Hb. To investigate the degree of interaction of the various regions of the α-globin H helix with AHSP, this interface was studied by stepwise elimination of regions of the α-globin H helix: five truncated α-Hbs α-Hb1-138, α-Hb1-134, α-Hb1-126, α-Hb1-123, α-Hb1-117 were co-expressed with AHSP as two glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins. SDS-PAGE and Western Blot analysis revealed that the level of expression of each truncated α-Hb was similar to that of the wild type α-Hb except the shortest protein α-Hb1-117 which displayed a decreased expression. While truncated GST-α-Hb1-138 and GST-α-Hb1-134 were normally soluble; the shorter globins GST-α-Hb1-126 and GST-α-Hb1-117 were obtained in very low quantities, and the truncated GST-α-Hb1-123 provided the least material. Absorbance and fluorescence studies of complexes showed that the truncated α-Hb1-134 and shorter forms led to modified absorption spectra together with an increased fluorescence emission. This attests that shortening the H helix leads to a lower affinity of the α-globin for the heme. Upon addition of β-Hb, the increase in fluorescence indicates the replacement of AHSP by β-Hb. The CO binding kinetics of different truncated AHSPWT/α-Hb complexes showed that these Hbs were not functionally normal in terms of the allosteric transition. The N-terminal part of the H helix is primordial for interaction with AHSP and C-terminal part for interaction with heme, both features being required for stability of α-globin chain.

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<![CDATA[A Novel Phenanthridionone Based Scaffold As a Potential Inhibitor of the BRD2 Bromodomain: Crystal Structure of the Complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fdab0ee8fa60b72cd5

Bromodomain containing proteins recognize the level of histone acetylation and regulate epigenetically controlled processes like gene transcription and chromatin modification. The BET (bromodomain and extra-terminal) family proteins, which are transcriptional co-regulators, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and defects in embryonic stem cell differentiation. Inhibitors selectively targeting the BET bromodomains can pave the path for new drug discovery against several forms of major diseases. By a rational structure-based approach, we have identified a new inhibitor (NSC127133) of the second bromodomain (BD2) of the BET family protein BRD2 using the NCI Diversity Set III library. A high-resolution crystal structure of the BRD2-BD2 in complex with this compound and in apo- form is refined to 0.91 and 0.94 Å, respectively. The compound, which is a phenanthridinone derivative, binds well to the acetyl-lysine binding pocket of BD2 and displays significant hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions. Moreover, the atomic resolution data obtained in this study allowed us to visualize certain structural features of BD2 which remained unobserved so far. We propose that the discovered compound may be a potential molecule to develop a new library for inhibiting the BRD2-BD2 function.

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<![CDATA[The Structure, Stability and Pheromone Binding of the Male Mouse Protein Sex Pheromone Darcin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ffab0ee8fa60b73460

Mouse urine contains highly polymorphic major urinary proteins that have multiple functions in scent communication through their abilities to bind, transport and release hydrophobic volatile pheromones. The mouse genome encodes for about 20 of these proteins and are classified, based on amino acid sequence similarity and tissue expression patterns, as either central or peripheral major urinary proteins. Darcin is a male specific peripheral major urinary protein and is distinctive in its role in inherent female attraction. A comparison of the structure and biophysical properties of darcin with MUP11, which belongs to the central class, highlights similarity in the overall structure between the two proteins. The thermodynamic stability, however, differs between the two proteins, with darcin being much more stable. Furthermore, the affinity of a small pheromone mimetic is higher for darcin, although darcin is more discriminatory, being unable to bind bulkier ligands. These attributes are due to the hydrophobic ligand binding cavity of darcin being smaller, caused by the presence of larger amino acid side chains. Thus, the physical and chemical characteristics of the binding cavity, together with its extreme stability, are consistent with darcin being able to exert its function after release into the environment.

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<![CDATA[Subfamily-Specific Adaptations in the Structures of Two Penicillin-Binding Proteins from Mycobacterium tuberculosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab5ab0ee8fa60bac79b

Beta-lactam antibiotics target penicillin-binding proteins including several enzyme classes essential for bacterial cell-wall homeostasis. To better understand the functional and inhibitor-binding specificities of penicillin-binding proteins from the pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we carried out structural and phylogenetic analysis of two predicted D,D-carboxypeptidases, Rv2911 and Rv3330. Optimization of Rv2911 for crystallization using directed evolution and the GFP folding reporter method yielded a soluble quadruple mutant. Structures of optimized Rv2911 bound to phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride and Rv3330 bound to meropenem show that, in contrast to the nonspecific inhibitor, meropenem forms an extended interaction with the enzyme along a conserved surface. Phylogenetic analysis shows that Rv2911 and Rv3330 belong to different clades that emerged in Actinobacteria and are not represented in model organisms such as Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. Clade-specific adaptations allow these enzymes to fulfill distinct physiological roles despite strict conservation of core catalytic residues. The characteristic differences include potential protein-protein interaction surfaces and specificity-determining residues surrounding the catalytic site. Overall, these structural insights lay the groundwork to develop improved beta-lactam therapeutics for tuberculosis.

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<![CDATA[Elucidating the structure of an infectious protein]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf286 ]]> <![CDATA[Extended Ultrastructural Characterization of Chordoma Cells: The Link to New Therapeutic Options]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da14ab0ee8fa60b7a806

Chordomas are rare bone tumors, developed from the notochord and largely resistant to chemotherapy. A special feature of this tumor is the heterogeneity of its cells. By combining high pressure freezing (HPF) with electron tomography we were able to illustrate the connections within the cells, the cell-cell interface, and the mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane complex that appears to play a special role among the characteristics of chordoma. These lipid raft-like regions are responsible for lipid syntheses and for calcium signaling. Compared to other tumor cells, chordoma cells show a close connection of rough endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, which may influence the sphingolipid metabolism and calcium release. We quantified levels of ceramide and glycosylceramide species by the methyl tert-butyl ether extraction method and we assessed the intracellular calcium concentration with the ratiometric fluorescent dye Fura-2AM. Measurements of the changes in the intracellular calcium concentration revealed an increase in calcium due to the application of acetylcholine. With regard to lipid synthesis, glucosylceramide levels in the chordoma cell line were significantly higher than those in normal healthy cells. The accumulation of glycosylceramide in drug resistant cancer cells has been confirmed in many types of cancer and may also account for drug resistance in chordoma. This study aimed to provide a deep morphological description of chordoma cells, it demonstrated that HPF analysis is useful in elucidating detailed structural information. Furthermore we demonstrate how an accumulation of glycosylceramide in chordoma provides links to drug resistance and opens up the field for new research options.

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<![CDATA[Synthesis and Behavior of Cetyltrimethyl Ammonium Bromide Stabilized Zn1+xSnO3+x (0 ≤ x ≤1) Nano-Crystallites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da98ab0ee8fa60ba293b

We report synthesis of cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) stabilized Zn1+xSnO3+x (0 ≤ x ≤1) nano-crystallites by facile cost-effective wet chemistry route. The X-ray diffraction patterns of as-synthesized powders at the Zn/Sn ratio of 1 exhibited formation of ZnSn(OH)6. Increasing the Zn/Sn ratio further resulted in the precipitation of an additional phase corresponding to Zn(OH)2. The decomposition of these powders at 650°C for 3h led to the formation of the orthorhombic phase of ZnSnO3 and tetragonal SnO2-type phase of Zn2SnO4 at the Zn/Sn ratio of 1 and 2, respectively, with the formation of their mixed phases at intermediate compositions, i.e., at Zn/Sn ratio of 1.25, 1.50 and 1.75, respectively. The lattice parameters of orthorhombic and tetragonal phases were a ~ 3.6203 Å, b ~ 4.2646 Å and c ~ 12.8291Å (for ZnSnO3) and a = b ~ 5.0136 Å and c ~ 3.3055Å (for Zn2SnO4). The transmission electron micrographs revealed the formation of nano-crystallites with aspect ratio ~ 2; the length and thickness being 24, 13 nm (for ZnSnO3) and 47, 22 nm (for Zn2SnO4), respectively. The estimated direct bandgap values for the ZnSnO3 and Zn2SnO4 were found to be 4.21 eV and 4.12 eV, respectively. The ac conductivity values at room temperature (at 10 kHz) for the ZnSnO3 and Zn2SnO4 samples were 8.02 × 10−8-1 cm-1 and 6.77 × 10−8-1 cm-1, respectively. The relative permittivity was found to increase with increase in temperature, the room temperature values being 14.24 and 25.22 for the samples ZnSnO3 and Zn2SnO4, respectively. Both the samples, i.e., ZnSnO3 and Zn2SnO4, exhibited low values of loss tangent up to 300 K, the room temperature values being 0.89 and 0.72, respectively. A dye-sensitized solar cell has been fabricated using the optimized sample of zinc stannate photo-anode, i.e., Zn2SnO4. The cyclic voltammetry revealed oxidation and reduction around 0.40 V (current density ~ 11.1 mA/cm2) and 0.57 V (current density– 11.7 mA/cm2) for Zn2SnO4 photo-anode in presence of light.

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<![CDATA[Optical Properties of Ferroelectric Epitaxial K0.5Na0.5NbO3 Films in Visible to Ultraviolet Range]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da40ab0ee8fa60b899d6

The complex index of refraction in the spectral range of 0.74 to 4.5 eV is studied by variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry in ferroelectric K0.5Na0.5NbO3 films. The 20-nm-thick cube-on-cube-type epitaxial films are grown on SrTiO3(001) and DyScO3(011) single-crystal substrates. The films are transparent and exhibit a significant difference between refractive indices Δn = 0.5 at photon energies below 3 eV. The energies of optical transitions are in the range of 3.15–4.30 eV and differ by 0.2–0.3 eV in these films. The observed behavior is discussed in terms of lattice strain and strain-induced ferroelectric polarization in epitaxial perovskite oxide films.

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<![CDATA[High Resolution Mapping of Bactericidal Monoclonal Antibody Binding Epitopes on Staphylococcus aureus Antigen MntC]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da76ab0ee8fa60b96a00

The Staphylococcus aureus manganese transporter protein MntC is under investigation as a component of a prophylactic S.aureus vaccine. Passive immunization with monoclonal antibodies mAB 305-78-7 and mAB 305-101-8 produced using MntC was shown to significantly reduce S. aureus burden in an infant rat model of infection. Earlier interference mapping suggested that a total of 23 monoclonal antibodies generated against MntC could be subdivided into three interference groups, representing three independent immunogenic regions. In the current work binding epitopes for selected representatives of each of these interference groups (mAB 305-72-5 – group 1, mAB 305-78-7 – group 2, and mAB 305-101-8 – group 3) were mapped using Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry (DXMS). All of the identified epitopes are discontinuous, with binding surface formed by structural elements that are separated within the primary sequence of the protein but adjacent in the context of the three-dimensional structure. The approach was validated by co-crystallizing the Fab fragment of one of the antibodies (mAB 305-78-7) with MntC and solving the three-dimensional structure of the complex. X-ray results themselves and localization of the mAB 305-78-7 epitope were further validated using antibody binding experiments with MntC variants containing substitutions of key amino acid residues. These results provided insight into the antigenic properties of MntC and how these properties may play a role in protecting the hostagainst S. aureus infection by preventing the capture and transport of Mn2+, a key element that the pathogen uses to evade host immunity.

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<![CDATA[Structural and Biochemical Insights into the Peptidoglycan Hydrolase Domain of FlgJ from Salmonella typhimurium]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da41ab0ee8fa60b8a229

FlgJ is a glycoside hydrolase (GH) enzyme belonging to the Carbohydrate Active enZyme (CAZy) family GH73. It facilitates passage of the bacterial flagellum through the peptidoglycan (PG) layer by cleaving the β-1,4 glycosidic bond between N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylmuramic acid sugars that comprise the glycan strands of PG. Here we describe the crystal structure of the GH domain of FlgJ from bacterial pathogen Salmonella typhimurium (StFlgJ). Interestingly, the active site of StFlgJ was blocked by the C-terminal α-helix of a neighbouring symmetry mate and a β-hairpin containing the putative catalytic glutamic acid residue Glu223 was poorly resolved and could not be completely modeled into the electron density, suggesting it is flexible. Previous reports have shown that the GH73 enzyme Auto from Listeria monocytogenes is inhibited by an N-terminal α-helix that may occlude the active site in similar fashion. To investigate if the C-terminus of StFlgJ inhibits GH activity, the glycolytic activity of StFlgJ was assessed with and without the C-terminal α-helix. The GH activity of StFlgJ was unaffected by the presence or absence of the α-helix, suggesting it is not involved in regulating activity. Removal of the C-terminal α-helix did, however, allow a crystal structure of the domain to be obtained where the flexible β-hairpin containing residue Glu223 was entirely resolved. The β-hairpin was positioned such that the active site groove was fully solvent-exposed, placing Glu223 nearly 21.6 Å away from the putative general acid/base residue Glu184, which is too far apart for these two residues to coordinate glycosidic bond hydrolysis. The mobile nature of the StFlgJ β-hairpin is consistent with structural studies of related GH73 enzymes, suggesting that a dynamic active site may be common to many GH73 enzymes, in which the active site opens to capture substrate and then closes to correctly orient active site residues for catalysis.

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<![CDATA[Architecture and Assembly of the Bacillus subtilis Spore Coat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9feab0ee8fa60b72fcb

Bacillus spores are encased in a multilayer, proteinaceous self-assembled coat structure that assists in protecting the bacterial genome from stresses and consists of at least 70 proteins. The elucidation of Bacillus spore coat assembly, architecture, and function is critical to determining mechanisms of spore pathogenesis, environmental resistance, immune response, and physicochemical properties. Recently, genetic, biochemical and microscopy methods have provided new insight into spore coat architecture, assembly, structure and function. However, detailed spore coat architecture and assembly, comprehensive understanding of the proteomic composition of coat layers, and specific roles of coat proteins in coat assembly and their precise localization within the coat remain in question. In this study, atomic force microscopy was used to probe the coat structure of Bacillus subtilis wild type and cotA, cotB, safA, cotH, cotO, cotE, gerE, and cotE gerE spores. This approach provided high-resolution visualization of the various spore coat structures, new insight into the function of specific coat proteins, and enabled the development of a detailed model of spore coat architecture. This model is consistent with a recently reported four-layer coat assembly and further adds several coat layers not reported previously. The coat is organized starting from the outside into an outermost amorphous (crust) layer, a rodlet layer, a honeycomb layer, a fibrous layer, a layer of “nanodot” particles, a multilayer assembly, and finally the undercoat/basement layer. We propose that the assembly of the previously unreported fibrous layer, which we link to the darkly stained outer coat seen by electron microscopy, and the nanodot layer are cotH- and cotE- dependent and cotE-specific respectively. We further propose that the inner coat multilayer structure is crystalline with its apparent two-dimensional (2D) nuclei being the first example of a non-mineral 2D nucleation crystallization pattern in a biological organism.

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<![CDATA[Detection and Monitoring of Toxic Chemical at Ultra Trace Level by Utilizing Doped Nanomaterial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8fab0ee8fa60b9f763

Composite nanoparticles were synthesized by eco-friendly hydrothermal process and characterized by different spectroscopic techniques. All the spectroscopic techniques suggested the synthesis of well crystalline optically active composite nanoparticles with average diameter of ∼30 nm. The synthesized nanoparticles were applied for the development of chemical sensor which was fabricated by coating the nanoparticles on silver electrode for the recognition of phthalimide using simple I–V technique. The developed sensor exhibited high sensitivity (1.7361 µA.mM−1.cm−2), lower detection limit (8.0 µM) and long range of detection (77.0 µM to 0.38 M). Further the resistances of composite nanoparticles based sensor was found to be 2.7 MΩ which change from 2.7 to 1.7 with change in phthalimide concentration. The major advantages of the designed sensor over existing sensors are its simple technique, low cost, lower detection limit, high sensitivity and long range of detection. It can detect phthalimide even at trace level and sense over wide range of concentrations. Therefore the composite nanoparticals would be a better choice for the fabrication of phthalimide chemical sensor and would be time and cost substituted implement for environmental safety.

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