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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
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...
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
Fridolin Gross, Miles MacLeod
There are currently no widely shared criteria by which to assess the validity of computational models in systems biology. Here we discuss the feasibility and desirability of implementing validation standards for modeling. Having such a standard would facilitate journal review, interdisciplinary collaboration, model exchange, and be especially relevant for applications close to medical practice. However, even though the production of predictively valid models is considered a central goal, in practice modeling in systems biology employs a variety of model structures and model-building practices...
January 12, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
M Michael Gromiha, K Yugandhar
Protein-protein interactions perform several functions inside the cell. Understanding the recognition mechanism and binding affinity of protein-protein complexes is a challenging problem in experimental and computational biology. In this review, we focus on two aspects (i) understanding the recognition mechanism and (ii) predicting the binding affinity. The first part deals with computational techniques for identifying the binding site residues and the contribution of important interactions for understanding the recognition mechanism of protein-protein complexes in comparison with experimental observations...
January 7, 2017: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Christian Domilongo Bope, Dudu Tong, Xiuting Li, Lanyuan Lu
Elastic network models (ENMs) based on simple harmonic potential energy function have been proven over the last decade to be reliable computational models for understanding the intrinsic dynamics of biomacromolecules. In the original ENMs, the spring constants for different contact pairs are assumed to be identical, while there are a number of recent developments to determine non-uniform spring constants from atomistic force fields or experimental information. In particular, the fluctuation matching approaches in coarse-grained modeling can be applied to build more realistic heterogeneous ENMs, using information from an atomistic force field or experimental B-factors...
December 30, 2016: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Alexey V Melkikh, Andrei Khrennikov
The background of this study is that models of the evolution of living systems are based mainly on the evolution of replicators and cannot explain many of the properties of biological systems such as the existence of the sexes, molecular exaptation and others. The purpose of this study is to build a complete model of the evolution of organisms based on a combination of quantum-like models and models based on partial directivity of evolution. We also used optimal control theory for evolution modeling. We found that partial directivity of evolution is necessary for the explanation of the properties of an evolving system such as the stability of evolutionary strategies, aging and death, the presence of the sexes...
December 15, 2016: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Anil Kumar, Ranjit Ranbhor, Kirti Patel, Vibin Ramakrishnan, Susheel Durani
Protein design has an eventful history spanning over three decades, with handful of success stories reported, and numerous failures not reported. Design practices have benefited tremendously from improvements in computer hardware and advances in scientific algorithms. Though protein folding problem still remains unsolved, the possibility of having multiple sequence solutions for a single fold makes protein design a more tractable problem than protein folding. One of the most significant advancement in this area is the implementation of automated design algorithms on pre-defined templates or completely new folds, optimized through deterministic and heuristic search algorithms...
December 12, 2016: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Bernard Korzeniewski
The mechanisms responsible for matching of the highly varying ATP demand by ATP supply in muscle are of primary importance for pure science, sport science and medicine. According to the traditional opinion ATP supply is activated by elevated ADP and Pi resulting from ATP hydrolysis during intensive work. Theoretical studies using the computer model of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and the entire cell bioenergetic system developed by the author and co-workers lead to the each-step-activation (ESA) mechanism of the regulation of the system in skeletal muscle, heart and other tissues during work transitions...
December 8, 2016: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Ahmad W Almawi, Lindsay A Matthews, Alba Guarné
Forkhead-associated (FHA) domains are small phosphopeptide recognition modules found in eubacterial and eukaryotic, but not archeal, genomes. Although they were originally found in forkhead-type transcription factors, they have now been identified in many other signaling proteins. FHA domains share a remarkably conserved fold despite very low sequence conservation. They only have five conserved amino acids that are important for binding to phosphorylated epitopes. Recent work from several laboratories has demonstrated that FHA domains can mediate many interactions that do not depend on their ability to recognize a phosphorylated threonine...
December 8, 2016: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Muwen Kong, Bennett Van Houten
Since Robert Brown's first observations of random walks by pollen particles suspended in solution, the concept of diffusion has been subject to countless theoretical and experimental studies in diverse fields from finance and social sciences, to physics and biology. Diffusive transport of macromolecules in cells is intimately linked to essential cellular functions including nutrient uptake, signal transduction, gene expression, as well as DNA replication and repair. Advancement in experimental techniques has allowed precise measurements of these diffusion processes...
December 7, 2016: Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
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