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Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology

D A Marvin
Two fundamental structures in molecular biology, DNA and the α-helix, were determined using X-ray fibre diffraction data, and yet fibre diffraction occupies an obscure niche in structural biology. Relatively few structures are appropriate for the technique, and it seldom supplies data of the quality common in protein crystallography; however, it has proven indispensable in some cases. Here we outline some aspects of helix diffraction mathematics, and then illustrate the application of fibre diffraction by three case studies: DNA, filamentous bacterial viruses, and bacterial pili...
April 22, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Ichiro Yamato, Takeshi Murata, Andrei Khrennikov
We classify research fields in biology with respect to flows of materials, energy, and information. We investigate energy transducing mechanisms in biology, using as a representative the typical molecular rotary motor V1-ATPase from a bacterium Enterococcus hirae. The structures of several intermediates of the rotary motor are described and the molecular mechanism of the motor converting chemical energy into mechanical energy is discussed. Comments and considerations on the information flows in biology, especially on the thermodynamic entropy in quantum physical and biological systems, are presented in section 3 in a biologist friendly manner...
April 17, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Carlos Sevcik
Sigmoid semilogarithmic functions with shape of Boltzmann equations, have become extremely popular to describe diverse biological situations. Part of the popularity is due to the easy availability of software which fits Boltzmann functions to data, without much knowledge of the fitting procedure or the statistical properties of the parameters derived from the procedure. The purpose of this paper is to explore the plasticity of the Boltzmann function to fit data, some aspects of the optimization procedure to fit the function to data and how to use this plastic function to differentiate the effect of treatment on data and to attest the statistical significance of treatment effect on the data...
April 13, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Yoram Schiffmann
Turing's theory for biological pattern formation is based on the instability of the homogeneous state, which occurs if certain key criteria are met. The problem of how localised chemical energy is converted to localised biological work requires one to understand not only the basis of localised power generation, but also the age-old puzzle of how organisms decrease their entropy; these problems can only be solved by the identification of the Turing Instability. At the heart of this is how natural selection, not chemistry, has fashioned the large non-equilibrium overall affinity (ΔG is a large negative quantity) for the oxidation of the fuel molecules...
April 6, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Mieke Boon
In order to deal with the complexity of biological systems and attempts to generate applicable results, current biomedical sciences are adopting concepts and methods from the engineering sciences. Philosophers of science have interpreted this as the emergence of an engineering paradigm, in particular in systems biology and synthetic biology. This article aims at the articulation of the supposed engineering paradigm by contrast with the physics paradigm that supported the rise of biochemistry and molecular biology...
April 4, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
James M Yearsley, Albert Barque-Duran, Elisa Scerrati, James A Hampton, Emmanuel M Pothos
Since Tversky's (1977) seminal investigation, the triangle inequality, along with symmetry and minimality, have had a central role in investigations of the fundamental constraints on human similarity judgments. The meaning of minimality and symmetry in similarity judgments has been straightforward, but this is not the case for the triangle inequality. Expressed in terms of dissimilarities, and assuming a simple, linear function between dissimilarities and distances, the triangle inequality constraint implies that human behaviour should be consistent with Dissimilarity (A,B) + Dissimilarity (B,C) ≥ Dissimilarity (A,C), where A, B, and C are any three stimuli...
March 28, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Miroslaw Zajac, Krzysztof Dolowy
Epithelial tissues line all wet surfaces of vertebrate bodies. Their major function is directional transport of ions and water. Cells forming an epithelial layer are bound together by a tight junction that forms a barrier to ion flux. Ions and water are transported via specialized molecules. The presence of a defect in a single ion channel molecule leads to cystic fibrosis - the most common, fatal, human genetic disease. The paper describes ion transport data obtained by means of different experimental techniques...
March 22, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Philip M Gemmell
As computational biology matures as a field, increasing attention is being paid to the relation of computational models to their target. One aspect of this is addressing how computational models can appropriately reproduce the variation seen in experimental data, with one solution being to use populations of models united by a common set of equations (the framework), with each individual member of the population (each model) possessing its own unique set of equation parameters. These model populations are then calibrated and validated against experimental data, and as a whole reproduce the experimentally observed variation...
March 21, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Laurent Jaeken
The example of gelatine shows that extended proteins behave quite differently than globular ones: with water they form a gel. Historically the colloid view of protoplasm was discredited in favour of membrane-(pump)-theory (MPT), but unjustified. In his association-induction hypothesis Ling demonstrates that MPT is full of contradictions and that the colloid view has to be re-considered. In that case IDP's play a crucial role in this. What Ling calls the 'living state' consists of the unitary protoplasmic structure from which it was experimentally demonstrated that it can survive and keep Na(+) and K(+) concentrations without a delineating membrane...
March 15, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Kumar Selvarajoo
Over the last decade, our research team has investigated the dynamic responses and global properties of living cells using systems biology approaches. More specifically, we have developed computational models and statistical techniques to interpret instructive cell signaling and high-throughput transcriptome-wide behaviors of immune, cancer, and embryonic development cells. Here, I will focus on our recent works in overcoming cancer resistance. TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis-inducing ligand), a proinflammatory cytokine, has shown promising success in controlling cancer threat due to its ability to induce apoptosis in cancers specifically, while having limited effect on normal cells...
March 9, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Abir U Igamberdiev, Nikita E Shklovskiy-Kordi
Living systems inhabit the area of the world which is shaped by the predictable space-time of physical objects and forces that can be incorporated into their perception pattern. The process of selecting a "habitable" space-time is the internal quantum measurement in which living systems become embedded into the environment that supports their living state. This means that living organisms choose a coordinate system in which the influence of measurement is minimal. We discuss specific roles of biological macromolecules, in particular of the cytoskeleton, in shaping perception patterns formed in the internal measurement process...
February 20, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Lukas N Wirz, Jane R Allison
Residual dipolar couplings (RDCs), unlike most other types of NMR observables, provide orientational information, reporting on the alignment of inter-spin vectors (ISVs) relative to the magnetic field. A great challenge in using experimental RDCs to restrain molecular dynamics (MD) simulations is how to represent this alignment. An alignment tensor is often used to parameterise the contribution of molecular alignment to the angular dependence of RDCs. All ISVs that share the same tensor have fixed relative alignment, i...
February 20, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Sara Dutta, Ana Mincholé, T Alexander Quinn, Blanca Rodriguez
Acute myocardial ischemia is one of the main causes of sudden cardiac death. The mechanisms have been investigated primarily in experimental and computational studies using different animal species, but human studies remain scarce. In this study, we assess the ability of four human ventricular action potential models (Tentusscher et al., 2006; Grandi et al., 2010; Carro et al., 2011; O'Hara et al., 2011) to simulate key electrophysiological consequences of acute myocardial ischemia in single cell and tissue simulations...
February 18, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Andrei Khrennikov, Ekaterina Yurova
In this conceptual paper we propose to explore the analogy between ontic/epistemic description of quantum phenomena and interrelation between dynamics of conformational and functional states of proteins. Another new idea is to apply theory of automata to model the latter dynamics. In our model protein's behavior is modeled with the aid of two dynamical systems, ontic and epistemic, which describe evolution of conformational and functional states of proteins, respectively. The epistemic automaton is constructed from the ontic automaton on the basis of functional (observational) equivalence relation on the space of ontic states...
February 15, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Janez Konc, Dušanka Janežič
ProBiS (Protein Binding Sites) Tools consist of algorithm, database, and web servers for prediction of binding sites and protein ligands based on the detection of structurally similar binding sites in the Protein Data Bank. In this article, we review the operations that ProBiS Tools perform, provide comments on the evolution of the tools, and give some implementation details. We review some of its applications to biologically interesting proteins. ProBiS Tools are freely available at and http://probis...
February 15, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Nida Farheen, Neeladri Sen, Sanjana Nair, Kuan Pern Tan, M S Madhusudhan
The 20 naturally occurring amino acids have different environmental preferences of where they are likely to occur in protein structures. Environments in a protein can be classified by their proximity to solvent by the residue depth measure. Since the frequencies of amino acids are different at various depth levels, the substitution frequencies should vary according to depth. To quantify these substitution frequencies, we built depth dependent substitution matrices. The dataset used for creation of the matrices consisted of 3696 high quality, non redundant pairwise protein structural alignments...
February 15, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
B R Ginn
Identifying the physical basis of heterosis (or "hybrid vigor") has remained elusive despite over a hundred years of research on the subject. The three main theories of heterosis are dominance theory, overdominance theory, and epistasis theory. Kacser and Burns (1981) identified the molecular basis of dominance, which has greatly enhanced our understanding of its importance to heterosis. This paper aims to explain how overdominance, and some features of epistasis, can similarly emerge from the molecular dynamics of proteins...
February 6, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Arjun Ray, Nidhi Jatana, Lipi Thukral
The covalent attachment of lipids to proteins is a fundamental property of all living cells. These lipidated or lipid-modified proteins are directly targeted to the membranes and display diverse functional roles that are critical to cell function such as membrane signaling and trafficking. All lipidated proteins have been classified by the type of chemical moieties that are attached to them mainly palmitoylation, myristoylation, prenylation, cholesterylation, and addition of the Glycosylphosphatidyl inositol (GPI) anchor...
February 3, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Chen Dong, Xue-Zhou Yang, Chen-Yan Zhang, Yang-Yang Liu, Ren-Bin Zhou, Qing-Di Cheng, Er-Kai Yan, Da-Chuan Yin
Myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C) is a transcription factor of MADS box family involved in the early development of several human cells including muscle (i.e., skeletal, cardiac, and smooth), neural, chondroid, immune, and endothelial cells. Dysfunction of MEF2C leads to embryo hypoplasia, disorganized myofibers and perinatal lethality. The main role of MEF2C is its regulation of muscle development. It has been reported that MEF2C-knockout mice die on embryonic day 9.5 from unnatural development of cardiovascular...
February 2, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Qinyi Zhao
The behaviors of simple thermal systems have been well studied in physical chemistry and the principles obtained from such studies have been applied to complex thermal systems, such as proteins and enzymes. But the simple application of such principles is questionable and may lead to mistakes under some circumstances. In enzymology, the transition state theory of chemical reactions has been accepted as a fundamental theory, but the role of protein dynamics in enzyme catalysis is controversial in the context of transition state theory...
May 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
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