ResearchPad - surface-chemistry Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Concentration‐Dependent Seeding as a Strategy for Fabrication of Densely Packed Surface‐Mounted Metal–Organic Frameworks (SURMOF) Layers]]> Insights from in situ and ex situ investigation on the concentration dependency of the layer‐by‐layer (LbL) growth of metal–organic frameworks on surfaces markedly improve control of the LbL process. Even at reduced cycle numbers, by varying reactant concentrations, densely packed yet thin films could be produced, which are highly desired for various applications.

<![CDATA[Rebound of self-lubricating compound drops]]>

An oil shell encapsulating a water drop promotes rebound after impact on a solid surface, irrespective of substrate wettability.

<![CDATA[Automated structure discovery in atomic force microscopy]]>

We develop a deep learning method that predicts atomic structure directly from experimental atomic force microscopy images.

<![CDATA[Organothiol Monolayer Formation Directly on Muscovite Mica]]>


Organothiol monolayers on metal substrates (Au, Ag, Cu) and their use in a wide variety of applications have been extensively studied. Here, the growth of layers of organothiols directly onto muscovite mica is demonstrated using a simple procedure. Atomic force microscopy, surface X‐ray diffraction, and vibrational sum‐frequency generation IR spectroscopy studies revealed that organothiols with various functional endgroups could be self‐assembled into (water) stable and adaptable ultra‐flat organothiol monolayers over homogenous areas as large as 1 cm2. The strength of the mica–organothiol interactions could be tuned by exchanging the potassium surface ions for copper ions. Several of these organothiol monolayers were subsequently used as a template for calcite growth.

<![CDATA[Kinetic Analysis of an Efficient DNA-Dependent TNA Polymerase]]>

ja-2004-028255_0001.jpgα-l-Threofuranosyl nucleoside triphosphates (tNTPs) are tetrafuranose nucleoside derivatives and potential progenitors of present-day β-d-2‘-deoxyribofuranosyl nucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs). Therminator DNA polymerase, a variant of the 9°N DNA polymerase, is an efficient DNA-directed threosyl nucleic acid (TNA) polymerase. Here we report a detailed kinetic comparison of Therminator-catalyzed TNA and DNA syntheses. We examined the rate of single-nucleotide incorporation for all four tNTPs and dNTPs from a DNA primer−template complex and carried out parallel experiments with a chimeric DNA−TNA primer−DNA template containing five TNA residues at the primer 3‘-terminus. Remarkably, no drop in the rate of TNA incorporation was observed in comparing the DNA−TNA primer to the all-DNA primer, suggesting that few primer-enzyme contacts are lost with a TNA primer. Moreover, comparison of the catalytic efficiency of TNA synthesis relative to DNA synthesis at the downstream positions reveals a difference of no greater than 5-fold in favor of the natural DNA substrate. This disparity becomes negligible when the TNA synthesis reaction mixture is supplemented with 1.25 mM MnCl2. These results indicate that Therminator DNA polymerase can recognize both a TNA primer and tNTP substrates and is an effective catalyst of TNA polymerization despite changes in the geometry of the reactants.

<![CDATA[A Modular Approach for Assembling Aldehyde-Tagged Proteins on DNA Scaffolds]]>


Expansion of antibody scaffold diversity has the potential to expand the neutralizing capacity of the immune system and to generate enhanced therapeutics and probes. Systematic exploration of scaffold diversity could be facilitated with a modular and chemical scaffold for assembling proteins, such as DNA. However, such efforts require simple, modular, and site-specific methods for coupling antibody fragments or bioactive proteins to nucleic acids. To address this need, we report a modular approach for conjugating synthetic oligonucleotides to proteins with aldehyde tags at either terminus or internal loops. The resulting conjugates are assembled onto DNA-based scaffolds with low nanometer spatial resolution and can bind to live cells. Thus, this modular and site-specific conjugation strategy provides a new tool for exploring the potential of expanded scaffold diversity in immunoglobulin-based probes and therapeutics.

<![CDATA[N-Terminal Modification of Proteins witho-Aminophenols]]>


The synthetic modification of proteins plays an important role in chemical biology and biomaterials science. These fields provide a constant need for chemical tools that can introduce new functionality in specific locations on protein surfaces. In this work, an oxidative strategy is demonstrated for the efficient modification of N-terminal residues on peptides and N-terminal proline residues on proteins. The strategy uses o-aminophenols or o-catechols that are oxidized to active coupling species in situ using potassium ferricyanide. Peptide screening results have revealed that many N-terminal amino acids can participate in this reaction, and that proline residues are particularly reactive. When applied to protein substrates, the reaction shows a stronger requirement for the proline group. Key advantages of the reaction include its fast second-order kinetics and ability to achieve site-selective modification in a single step using low concentrations of reagent. Although free cysteines are also modified by the coupling reaction, they can be protected through disulfide formation and then liberated after N-terminal coupling is complete. This allows access to doubly functionalized bioconjugates that can be difficult to access using other methods.

<![CDATA[Concerted versus Stepwise Mechanism in Thymidylate Synthase]]>


Thymidylate synthase (TSase) catalyzes the intracellular de novo formation of thymidylate (a DNA building block) in most living organisms, making it a common target for chemotherapeutic and antibiotic drugs. Two mechanisms have been proposed for the rate-limiting hydride transfer step in TSase catalysis: a stepwise mechanism in which the hydride transfer precedes the cleavage of the covalent bond between the enzymatic cysteine and the product and a mechanism where both happen concertedly. Striking similarities between the enzyme-bound enolate intermediates formed in the initial and final step of the reaction supported the first mechanism, while QM/MM calculations favored the concerted mechanism. Here, we experimentally test these two possibilities using secondary kinetic isotope effect (KIE), mutagenesis study, and primary KIEs. The findings support the concerted mechanism and demonstrate the critical role of an active site arginine in substrate binding, activation of enzymatic nucleophile, and the hydride transfer studied here. The elucidation of this reduction/substitution sheds light on the critical catalytic step in TSase and may aid future drug or biomimetic catalyst design.

<![CDATA[Structural Heterogeneity in Transmembrane Amyloid Precursor Protein Homodimer Is a Consequence of Environmental Selection]]>


The 99 amino acid C-terminal fragment of amyloid precursor protein (C99), consisting of a single transmembrane (TM) helix, is known to form homodimers. Homodimers can be processed by γ-secretase to produce amyloid-β (Aβ) protein, which is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). While knowledge of the structure of C99 homodimers is of great importance, experimental NMR studies and simulations have produced varying structural models, including right-handed and left-handed coiled-coils. In order to investigate the structure of this critical protein complex, simulations of the C9915–55 homodimer in POPC membrane bilayer and DPC surfactant micelle environments were performed using a multiscale approach that blends atomistic and coarse-grained models. The C9915–55 homodimer adopts a dominant right-handed coiled-coil topology consisting of three characteristic structural states in a bilayer, only one of which is dominant in the micelle. Our structural study, which provides a self-consistent framework for understanding a number of experiments, shows that the energy landscape of the C99 homodimer supports a variety of slowly interconverting structural states. The relative importance of any given state can be modulated through environmental selection realized by altering the membrane or micelle characteristics.

<![CDATA[Dph7 Catalyzes a Previously Unknown Demethylation Step in Diphthamide Biosynthesis]]>


Present on archaeal and eukaryotic translation elongation factor 2, diphthamide represents one of the most intriguing post-translational modifications on proteins. The biosynthesis of diphthamide was proposed to occur in three steps requiring seven proteins, Dph1–7, in eukaryotes. The functional assignments of Dph1–5 in the first and second step have been well established. Recent studies suggest that Dph6 (yeast YLR143W or human ATPBD4) and Dph7 (yeast YBR246W or human WDR85) are involved in the last amidation step, with Dph6 being the actual diphthamide synthetase catalyzing the ATP-dependent amidation reaction. However, the exact molecular role of Dph7 is unclear. Here we demonstrate that Dph7 is an enzyme catalyzing a previously unknown step in the diphthamide biosynthesis pathway. This step is between the Dph5- and Dph6-catalyzed reactions. We demonstrate that the Dph5-catalyzed reaction generates methylated diphthine, a previously overlooked intermediate, and Dph7 is a methylesterase that hydrolyzes methylated diphthine to produce diphthine and allows the Dph6-catalyzed amidation reaction to occur. Thus, our study characterizes the molecular function of Dph7 for the first time and provides a revised diphthamide biosynthesis pathway.

<![CDATA[Nanoscale Metal–Organic Frameworks for the Co-Delivery of Cisplatin and Pooled siRNAs to Enhance Therapeutic Efficacy in Drug-Resistant Ovarian Cancer Cells]]>


Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death among women with gynecological malignancies. Acquired resistance to chemotherapy is a major limitation for ovarian cancer treatment. We report here the first use of nanoscale metal–organic frameworks (NMOFs) for the co-delivery of cisplatin and pooled small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to enhance therapeutic efficacy by silencing multiple drug resistance (MDR) genes and resensitizing resistant ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin treatment. UiO NMOFs with hexagonal-plate morphologies were loaded with a cisplatin prodrug and MDR gene-silencing siRNAs (Bcl-2, P-glycoprotein [P-gp], and survivin) via encapsulation and surface coordination, respectively. NMOFs protect siRNAs from nuclease degradation, enhance siRNA cellular uptake, and promote siRNA escape from endosomes to silence MDR genes in cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cells. Co-delivery of cisplatin and siRNAs with NMOFs led to an order of magnitude enhancement in chemotherapeutic efficacy in vitro, as indicated by cell viability assay, DNA laddering, and Annexin V staining. This work shows that NMOFs hold great promise in the co-delivery of multiple therapeutics for effective treatment of drug-resistant cancers.

<![CDATA[The effect of polymers on the phase behavior of balanced microemulsions: diblock-copolymer and comb-polymers]]>

The effect of some amphipilic diblock-copolymers and comb-polymers on a balanced Winsor III microemulsion system is investigated with the quaternary system n-octyl-β-d-glucoside/1-octanol/n-octane/D2O as basis system. The diblock-copolymers are polyethyleneoxide-co-polydodecenoxide (PEOxPEDODOy) and polyethyleneoxide-co-polybutyleneoxide (PEOxPEBUy), constituted of a straight chain hydrophilic part and a bulky hydrophobic part. Addition of the diblock-copolymer leads to an enhancement of the swelling of the middle phase by uptake of water and oil; a maximum boosting factor of 6 was obtained for PEO111PEDODO25. Nuclear magnetic resonance diffusometry yields the self-diffusion coefficients of all the components in the system. The diffusion experiments provide information on how the microstructure of the bicontinuous microemulsion changes upon addition of the polymers. The reduced self-diffusion coefficients of water and oil are sensitive to the type of polymer that is incorporated in the film. For the diblock-copolymers, as mainly used here, the reduced self-diffusion coefficient of oil and water will respond to how the polymer bends the film. When the film bends away from water, the reduced self-diffusion of the water will increase, whereas the oil diffusion will decrease due to the film acting as a barrier, hindering free diffusion. The self-diffusion coefficient of the polymer and surfactant are similar in magnitude and both decrease slightly with increasing polymer concentration.

<![CDATA[Heterogeneity of monosomy 3 in fine needle aspiration biopsy of choroidal melanoma]]>


To report on the heterogeneity of monosomy 3 in a fine needle aspiration biopsy obtained transsclerally from choroidal melanoma for prognosis.


All clinical records for patients who had been diagnosed with choroidal melanoma and underwent iodine-125 plaque brachytherapy with intraoperative transscleral fine needle aspiration biopsy from January 2005 to August 20, 2011, and who had a positive result for monosomy 3 according to fluorescence in situ hybridization as reported by clinical cytogenetics testing were collected. Patient age and sex, total number of cells evaluated and number of cells positive for monosomy 3, tumor size, and metastatic outcome were recorded for each patient.


A positive result for monosomy 3 was reported in 93 patients who underwent transscleral fine needle aspiration biopsy. Two patients were lost to follow-up immediately post-operatively, and the remaining 91 patients were included in this study. The mean number of cells evaluated in the biopsy was 273 (range 28 to 520). The mean percentage of cells positive for monosomy 3 was 62.9% (range 4.7%–100%). The mean tumor height was 5.91 mm (range 1.99 to 10.85 mm). Larger tumors were associated with a higher percentage of cells positive for monosomy 3. During the average follow-up interval of 28.9 months (range 3–76 months), choroidal melanoma metastasis developed in 18 (20%) patients. Patients whose tumors had 1%–33% of cells positive for monosomy 3 had a significantly lower risk of metastasis-related death compared to patients whose tumors harbored a higher percentage of monosomy 3 (p=0.04).


Cytogenetic heterogeneity of fluorescent in situ hybridization for monosomy 3 exists in a biopsy sample. Larger tumors were more likely to have a higher percentage of monosomy 3 positive cells in the sample. Furthermore, patients whose tumors had more than 33% of cells positive for monosomy 3 had a poorer prognosis than patients whose tumors had lower percentages of monosomy 3.

<![CDATA[Compound Microstructures and Wax Layer of Beetle Elytral Surfaces and Their Influence on Wetting Properties]]>

A beetles’ first line of defense against environmental hazards is their mesothoracic elytra – rigid, protective forewings. In order to study the interaction of these wings with water, the surface microstructures of various beetles’ elytra were observed by Environment Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Chemistry components were ascertained using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). All the beetles of various habitats (including desert, plant, dung, land and water) exhibited compound microstructures on their elytra. The wetting properties of these elytra were identified using an optical contact angle meter. In general the native elytra exhibited hydrophilic or weak hydrophobic properties with contact angles (CAs) ranging from 47.5° to 109.1°. After treatment with chloroform, the CAs all increased on the rougher elytral surfaces. The presence of wax is not the only determinant of hydrophobic properties, but rather a combination with microscopic structures found on the surfaces. Irregularities and the presence or absence of tiny cracks, hairs (or setae), pores and protrusions are important factors which influence the wetting properties. Rougher elytral surfaces tended to present a stronger hydrophobicity. Effects on hydrophobicity, such as surface microstructures, chemistry, environment and aging (referring to the time after emergence), are also included and discussed. Our results also provide insights into the motion of water droplets when in contact with beetle elytra.

<![CDATA[Metabolic crosstalk between membrane and storage lipids facilitates heat stress management in Schizosaccharomyces pombe]]>

Cell membranes actively participate in stress sensing and signalling. Here we present the first in-depth lipidomic analysis to characterize alterations in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe in response to mild heat stress (HS). The lipidome was assessed by a simple one-step methanolic extraction. Genetic manipulations that altered triglyceride (TG) content in the absence or presence of HS gave rise to distinct lipidomic fingerprints for S. pombe. Cells unable to produce TG demonstrated long-lasting growth arrest and enhanced signalling lipid generation. Our results reveal that metabolic crosstalk between membrane and storage lipids facilitates homeostatic maintenance of the membrane physical/chemical state that resists negative effects on cell growth and viability in response to HS. We propose a novel stress adaptation mechanism in which heat-induced TG synthesis contributes to membrane rigidization by accommodating unsaturated fatty acids of structural lipids, enabling their replacement by newly synthesized saturated fatty acids.

<![CDATA[RNA-Seq analysis of salinity stress–responsive transcriptome in the liver of spotted sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus)]]>

Salinity is one of the most prominent abiotic factors, which greatly influence reproduction, development, growth, physiological and metabolic activities of fishes. Spotted sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus), as a euryhaline marine teleost, has extraordinary ability to deal with a wide range of salinity changes. However, this species is devoid of genomic resources, and no study has been conducted at the transcriptomic level to determine genes responsible for salinity regulation, which impedes the understanding of the fundamental mechanism conferring tolerance to salinity fluctuations. Liver, as the major metabolic organ, is the key source supplying energy for iono- and osmoregulation in fish, however, little attention has been paid to its salinity-related functions but which should not be ignored. In this study, we perform RNA-Seq analysis to identify genes involved in salinity adaptation and osmoregulation in liver of spotted sea bass, generating from the fishes exposed to low and high salinity water (5 vs 30ppt). After de novo assembly, annotation and differential gene expression analysis, a total of 455 genes were differentially expressed, including 184 up-regulated and 271 down-regulated transcripts in low salinity-acclimated fish group compared with that in high salinity-acclimated group. A number of genes with a potential role in salinity adaptation for spotted sea bass were classified into five functional categories based on the gene ontology (GO) and enrichment analysis, which include genes involved in metabolites and ion transporters, energy metabolism, signal transduction, immune response and structure reorganization. The candidate genes identified in L. maculates liver provide valuable information to explore new pathways related to fish salinity and osmotic regulation. Besides, the transcriptomic sequencing data supplies significant resources for identification of novel genes and further studying biological questions in spotted sea bass.

<![CDATA[The Relative Importance of Topography and RGD Ligand Density for Endothelial Cell Adhesion]]>

The morphology and function of endothelial cells depends on the physical and chemical characteristics of the extracellular environment. Here, we designed silicon surfaces on which topographical features and surface densities of the integrin binding peptide arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) could be independently controlled. We used these surfaces to investigate the relative importance of the surface chemistry of ligand presentation versus surface topography in endothelial cell adhesion. We compared cell adhesion, spreading and migration on surfaces with nano- to micro-scaled pyramids and average densities of 6×102–6×1011 RGD/mm2. We found that fewer cells adhered onto rough than flat surfaces and that the optimal average RGD density for cell adhesion was 6×105 RGD/mm2 on flat surfaces and substrata with nano-scaled roughness. Only on surfaces with micro-scaled pyramids did the topography hinder cell migration and a lower average RGD density was optimal for adhesion. In contrast, cell spreading was greatest on surfaces with 6×108 RGD/mm2 irrespectively of presence of feature and their size. In summary, our data suggest that the size of pyramids predominately control the number of endothelial cells that adhere to the substratum but the average RGD density governs the degree of cell spreading and length of focal adhesion within adherent cells. The data points towards a two-step model of cell adhesion: the initial contact of cells with a substratum may be guided by the topography while the engagement of cell surface receptors is predominately controlled by the surface chemistry.

<![CDATA[Receptor-Independent Interaction of Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide with Lipid and Lymphocyte Membranes; the Role of Cholesterol]]>

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.

<![CDATA[Human Tear Fluid Lipidome: From Composition to Function]]>

We have explored human aqueous tear fluid lipidome with an emphasis to identify the major lipids. We also address the physiological significance of the lipidome. The tears were analysed using thin layer chromatographic, enzymatic and mass spectrometric techniques. To emphasize the physiological aspect of the lipidome, we modelled the spreading of the non-polar tear fluid lipids at air-water interface in macroscopic scale with olive oil and egg yolk phosphatidylcholine. Based on enzymatic analysis the respective concentrations of choline-containing lipids, triglycerides, and cholesteryl esters were 48±14, 10±0, and 21±18 µM. Ultra performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry analysis showed that phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine were the two most common polar lipids comprising 88±6% of all identified lipids. Triglycerides were the only non-polar lipids detected in mass spectrometric analysis i.e. no cholesteryl or wax esters were identified. The spreading experiments show that the presence of polar lipids is an absolute necessity for a proper spreading of non-polar tear fluid lipids. We provide evidence that polar lipids are the most common lipid species. Furthermore, we provide a physiological rationale for the observed lipid composition. The results open insights into the functional role of lipids in the tear fluid and also aids in providing new means to understand and treat diseases of the ocular surface.

<![CDATA[Effect of Hydrofluoric Acid Etching Time on Titanium Topography, Chemistry, Wettability, and Cell Adhesion]]>

Titanium implant surface etching has proven an effective method to enhance cell attachment. Despite the frequent use of hydrofluoric (HF) acid, many questions remain unresolved, including the optimal etching time and its effect on surface and biological properties. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of HF acid etching time on Ti topography, surface chemistry, wettability, and cell adhesion. These data are useful to design improved acid treatment and obtain an improved cell response. The surface topography, chemistry, dynamic wetting, and cell adhesiveness of polished Ti surfaces were evaluated after treatment with HF acid solution for 0, 2; 3, 5, 7, or 10 min, revealing a time-dependent effect of HF acid on their topography, chemistry, and wetting. Roughness and wetting increased with longer etching time except at 10 min, when roughness increased but wetness decreased. Skewness became negative after etching and kurtosis tended to 3 with longer etching time. Highest cell adhesion was achieved after 5–7 min of etching time. Wetting and cell adhesion were reduced on the highly rough surfaces obtained after 10-min etching time.