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Pratiek N Matkar, Ramya Ariyagunarajah, Howard Leong-Poi, Krishna K Singh
Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones is a biological process that ensures an adequate blood flow is maintained to provide the cells with a sufficient supply of nutrients and oxygen within the body. Numerous soluble growth factors and inhibitors, cytokines, proteases as well as extracellular matrix proteins and adhesion molecules stringently regulate the multi-factorial process of angiogenesis. The properties and interactions of key angiogenic molecules such as vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs), fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and angiopoietins have been investigated in great detail with respect to their molecular impact on angiogenesis...
October 2, 2017: Biomolecules
Andrzej Galat
Analyses of sequences and structures of the cyclosporine A (CsA)-binding proteins (cyclophilins) and the immunosuppressive macrolide FK506-binding proteins (FKBPs) have revealed that they exhibit peculiar spatial distributions of charges, their overall hydrophobicity indexes vary within a considerable level whereas their points isoelectric (pIs) are contained from 4 to 11. These two families of peptidylprolyl cis/trans isomerases (PPIases) have several distinct functional attributes such as: (1) high affinity binding to some pharmacologically-useful hydrophobic macrocyclic drugs; (2) diversified binding epitopes to proteins that may induce transient manifolds with altered flexibility and functional fitness; and (3) electrostatic interactions between positively charged segments of PPIases and negatively charged intracellular entities that support their spatial integration...
September 29, 2017: Biomolecules
Matthew P Jackson, Eric W Hewitt
Amyloids were first identified in association with amyloidoses, human diseases in which proteins and peptides misfold into amyloid fibrils. Subsequent studies have identified an array of functional amyloid fibrils that perform physiological roles in humans. Given the potential for the production of toxic species in amyloid assembly reactions, it is remarkable that cells can produce these functional amyloids without suffering any obvious ill effect. Although the precise mechanisms are unclear, there are a number of ways in which amyloid toxicity may be prevented...
September 22, 2017: Biomolecules
Létitia Jean, Alex C Foley, David J T Vaux
Hydrogels are water-swollen and viscoelastic three-dimensional cross-linked polymeric network originating from monomer polymerisation. Hydrogel-forming polypeptides are widely found in nature and, at a cellular and organismal level, they provide a wide range of functions for the organism making them. Amyloid structures, arising from polypeptide aggregation, can be damaging or beneficial to different types of organisms. Although the best-known amyloids are those associated with human pathologies, this underlying structure is commonly used by higher eukaryotes to maintain normal cellular activities, and also by microbial communities to promote their survival and growth...
September 22, 2017: Biomolecules
Garima Thakur, Kovur Prashanthi, Keren Jiang, Thomas Thundat
Spontaneous self-assemblies of biomolecules can generate geometrical patterns. Our findings provide an insight into the mechanism of self-assembled ring pattern generation by human serum albumin (HSA). The self-assembly is a process guided by kinetic and thermodynamic parameters. The generated protein ring patterns display a behavior which is geometrically related to a n-simplex model and is explained through thermodynamics and chemical kinetics.
September 20, 2017: Biomolecules
Mina Dokouhaki, Emma L Prime, Andrew Hung, Greg G Qiao, Li Day, Sally L Gras
Chaplin F (Chp F) is a secreted surface-active peptide involved in the aerial growth of Streptomyces. While Chp E demonstrates a pH-responsive surface activity, the relationship between Chp F structure, function and the effect of solution pH is unknown. Chp F peptides were found to self-assemble into amyloid fibrils at acidic pH (3.0 or the isoelectric point (pI) of 4.2), with ~99% of peptides converted into insoluble fibrils. In contrast, Chp F formed short assemblies containing a mixture of random coil and β-sheet structure at a basic pH of 10...
September 19, 2017: Biomolecules
Megan Garvey, Heath Ecroyd, Nicholas J Ray, Juliet A Gerrard, John A Carver
Amyloid fibril formation occurs from a wide range of peptides and proteins and is typically associated with a loss of protein function and/or a gain of toxic function, as the native structure of the protein undergoes major alteration to form a cross β-sheet array. It is now well recognised that some amyloid fibrils have a biological function, which has led to increased interest in the potential that these so-called functional amyloids may either retain the function of the native protein, or gain function upon adopting a fibrillar structure...
September 12, 2017: Biomolecules
Françoise M Roelants, Kristin L Leskoske, Maria Nieves Martinez Marshall, Melissa N Locke, Jeremy Thorner
To grow, eukaryotic cells must expand by inserting glycerolipids, sphingolipids, sterols, and proteins into their plasma membrane, and maintain the proper levels and bilayer distribution. A fungal cell must coordinate growth with enlargement of its cell wall. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a plasma membrane-localized protein kinase complex, Target of Rapamicin (TOR) complex-2 (TORC2) (mammalian ortholog is mTORC2), serves as a sensor and masterregulator of these plasma membrane- and cell wall-associated events by directly phosphorylating and thereby stimulating the activity of two types of effector protein kinases: Ypk1 (mammalian ortholog is SGK1), along with a paralog (Ypk2); and, Pkc1 (mammalian ortholog is PKN2/PRK2)...
September 5, 2017: Biomolecules
Khadega A Al-Maqdi, Soleiman M Hisaindee, Muhammad A Rauf, Syed Salman Ashraf
Organic pollutants, especially those found in water bodies, pose a direct threat to various aquatic organisms as well as humans. A variety of different remediation approaches, including chemical and biological methods, have been developed for the degradation of various organic pollutants. However, comparative mechanistic studies of pollutant degradation by these different systems are almost non-existent. In this study, the degradation of a model thiazole pollutant, thioflavin T (ThT), was carried out in the presence of either an advanced oxidation process (ultraviolet (UV) + H₂O₂) or a chloroperoxidase enzyme system (CPO + H₂O₂)...
August 24, 2017: Biomolecules
Fotini Karavassili, Alexandros Valmas, Stavroula Fili, Christos D Georgiou, Irene Margiolaki
Human insulin (HI) is a well-characterized natural hormone which regulates glycose levels into the blood-stream and is widely used for diabetes treatment. Numerous studies have manifested that despite significant efforts devoted to structural characterization of this molecule and its complexes with organic compounds (ligands), there is still a rich diagram of phase transitions and novel crystalline forms to be discovered. Towards the improvement of drug delivery, identification of new insulin polymorphs from polycrystalline samples, simulating the commercially available drugs, is feasible today via macromolecular X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD)...
August 22, 2017: Biomolecules
Lauren G Poole, Christine E Dolin, Gavin E Arteel
Alcohol consumption is a common custom worldwide, and the toxic effects of alcohol on several target organs are well-understood. Given the poor prognosis of treating clinically-relevant alcoholic liver disease (ALD) (i.e., alcoholic hepatitis (AH) and cirrhosis), additional research is required to develop more effective therapies. While the stages of ALD have been well-characterized, targeted therapies to prevent or reverse this process in humans are still needed. Better understanding of risk factors and mechanisms underlying disease progression can lead to the development of rational therapies to prevent or reverse ALD in the clinic...
August 16, 2017: Biomolecules
Anuradha Ratna, Pranoti Mandrekar
Several scientific and clinical studies have shown an association between chronic alcohol consumption and the occurrence of cancer in humans. The mechanism for alcohol-induced carcinogenesis has not been fully understood, although plausible events include genotoxic effects of acetaldehyde, cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1)-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species, aberrant metabolism of folate and retinoids, increased estrogen, and genetic polymorphisms. Here, we summarize the impact of alcohol drinking on the risk of cancer development and potential underlying molecular mechanisms...
August 14, 2017: Biomolecules
Anna Dragoš, Ákos T Kovács, Dennis Claessen
Amyloid fibrils play pivotal roles in all domains of life. In bacteria, these fibrillar structures are often part of an extracellular matrix that surrounds the producing organism and thereby provides protection to harsh environmental conditions. Here, we discuss the role of amyloid fibrils in the two distant Gram-positive bacteria, Streptomyces coelicolor and Bacillus subtilis. We describe how amyloid fibrils contribute to a multitude of developmental processes in each of these systems, including multicellular growth and community development...
August 7, 2017: Biomolecules
Livia Pérez-Hidalgo, Sergio Moreno
Cell growth and division are two processes tightly coupled in proliferating cells. While Target of Rapamycin (TOR) is the master regulator of growth, the cell cycle is dictated by the activity of the cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). A long-standing question in cell biology is how these processes may be connected. Recent work has highlighted that regulating the phosphatases that revert CDK phosphorylations is as important as regulating the CDKs for cell cycle progression. At mitosis, maintaining a low level of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A)-B55 activity is essential for CDK substrates to achieve the correct level of phosphorylation...
August 4, 2017: Biomolecules
Heidi N Danielsen, Susan H Hansen, Florian-Alexander Herbst, Henrik Kjeldal, Allan Stensballe, Per H Nielsen, Morten S Dueholm
Functional amyloids are important structural and functional components of many biofilms, yet our knowledge of these fascinating polymers is limited to a few examples for which the native amyloids have been isolated in pure form. Isolation of the functional amyloids from other cell components represents a major bottleneck in the search for new functional amyloid systems. Here we present a label-free quantitative mass spectrometry method that allows identification of amyloid proteins directly in cell lysates...
August 4, 2017: Biomolecules
Thalia H Bajakian, Silvia A Cervantes, Maria A Soria, Maïwenn Beaugrand, Ji Yun Kim, Rachel J Service, Ansgar B Siemer
The cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein (CPEB) homologue Orb2 is a functional amyloid that plays a key regulatory role for long-term memory in Drosophila. Orb2 has a glutamine, histidine-rich (Q/H-rich) domain that resembles the Q/H-rich, metal binding domain of the Hpn-like protein (Hpnl) found in Helicobacter pylori. In the present study, we used chromatography and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) to show that the Q/H-rich domain of Orb2 binds Ni(2+) and other transition metals ions with μM affinity...
August 1, 2017: Biomolecules
Yang Liu, Manoj N Krishnan, Kyle K L Phua
In vitro transcribed (IVT) mRNA is increasingly applied in lieu of DNA to deliver reprogramming genes to fibroblasts for stem cell derivation. However, IVT mRNA induces interferon (IFN) responses from mammalian cells that reduces transfection efficiency. It has been previously suggested that small molecule inhibitors of IFN are a viable strategy to enhance mRNA transfection efficiency. Herein, we screen a list of commercially available small molecules, including published IFN inhibitors, for their potential to enhance mRNA transfection in BJ fibroblasts...
July 31, 2017: Biomolecules
Alexander Brobeil, Rajaa Chehab, Eric Dietel, Stefan Gattenlöhner, Monika Wimmer
Protein-protein interactions play a pivotal role in normal cellular functions as well as in carcinogenesis. The protein-protein interactions form functional clusters during signal transduction. To elucidate the fine calibration of the protein-protein interactions of protein tyrosine phosphatase interacting protein 51 (PTPIP51) a small molecule drug, namely LDC-3, directly targeting PTPIP51 is now available. Therefore, LDC-3 allows for the studying of the regulation of the endogenous interactome by modulating PTPIP51 binding capacity...
July 21, 2017: Biomolecules
María Esther Pérez-Pérez, Inmaculada Couso, José L Crespo
Cell growth is tightly coupled to nutrient availability. The target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase transmits nutritional and environmental cues to the cellular growth machinery. TOR functions in two distinct multiprotein complexes, termed TOR complex 1 (TORC1) and TOR complex 2 (TORC2). While the structure and functions of TORC1 are highly conserved in all eukaryotes, including algae and plants, TORC2 core proteins seem to be missing in photosynthetic organisms. TORC1 controls cell growth by promoting anabolic processes, including protein synthesis and ribosome biogenesis, and inhibiting catabolic processes such as autophagy...
July 12, 2017: Biomolecules
Yassi Fallah, Janetta Brundage, Paul Allegakoen, Ayesha N Shajahan-Haq
The transcription factor MYC (MYC proto-oncogene, bHLH transcription factor) is an essential signaling hub in multiple cellular processes that sustain growth of many types of cancers. MYC regulates expression of RNA, both protein and non-coding, that control central metabolic pathways, cell death, proliferation, differentiation, stress pathways, and mechanisms of drug resistance. Activation of MYC has been widely reported in breast cancer progression. Breast cancer is a complex heterogeneous disease and treatment options are primarily guided by histological and biochemical evaluations of the tumors...
July 11, 2017: Biomolecules
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