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biochemistry and cell biology

Emma Ahlstrand, Antoine Buetti-Dinh, Ran Friedman
We describe an interactive module that can be used to teach basic concepts in electrochemistry and thermodynamics to first year natural science students. The module is used together with an experimental laboratory and improves the students' understanding of thermodynamic quantities such as Δr G, Δr H, and Δr S that are calculated but not directly measured in the lab. We also discuss how new technologies can substitute some parts of experimental chemistry courses, and improve accessibility to course material...
November 13, 2017: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Emiliano D Primo, Lisandro H Otero, Francisco Ruiz, Sebastián Klinke, Walter Giordano
The bacterial cell wall, a structural unit of peptidoglycan polymer comprised of glycan strands consisting of a repeating disaccharide motif [N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) and N-acetylmuramylpentapeptide (NAM pentapeptide)], encases bacteria and provides structural integrity and protection. Lysozymes are enzymes that break down the bacterial cell wall and disrupt the bacterial life cycle by cleaving the linkage between the NAG and NAM carbohydrates. Lab exercises focused on the effects of lysozyme on the bacterial cell wall are frequently incorporated in biochemistry classes designed for undergraduate students in diverse fields as biology, microbiology, chemistry, agronomy, medicine, and veterinary medicine...
November 13, 2017: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Joshua P Fessel, William M Oldham
There has been tremendous and rapidly growing interest in understanding intermediary metabolism as a key aspect of both normal cellular function and as a participant in the molecular pathogenesis of many different complex diseases. This area of research naturally intersects at virtually every level with the substantial and expanding body of knowledge regarding mechanisms of cellular redox balance. In this Forum Issue, the contributing authors address specifically the union of intermediary metabolism and redox biology through detailed consideration of the biochemistry and biology of nicotine adenine dinucleotides, the cell's "redox currency...
November 7, 2017: Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
Eun Seon Lee, Chang Ho Kang, Joung Hun Park, Sang Yeol Lee
<b><i>Significance:</i></b> Sessile plants respond to oxidative stress caused by internal and external stimuli by producing diverse forms of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant molecules. Peroxiredoxins (Prxs) in plants, including the Prx1, Prx5, Prx6, and PrxQ isoforms, constitute a family of antioxidant enzymes and play important functions in cells. Each Prx localizes to a specific subcellular compartment and has a distinct function in the control of plant growth, development, cellular metabolism, and various aspects of defense signaling...
November 7, 2017: Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
L Felipe Barros, Juan P Bolaños, Gilles Bonvento, Anne-Karine Bouzier-Sore, Angus Brown, Johannes Hirrlinger, Sergey Kasparov, Frank Kirchhoff, Anne N Murphy, Luc Pellerin, Michael B Robinson, Bruno Weber
Neuroscience is a technology-driven discipline and brain energy metabolism is no exception. Once satisfied with mapping metabolic pathways at organ level, we are now looking to learn what it is exactly that metabolic enzymes and transporters do and when, where do they reside, how are they regulated, and how do they relate to the specific functions of neurons, glial cells, and their subcellular domains and organelles, in different areas of the brain. Moreover, we aim to quantify the fluxes of metabolites within and between cells...
November 7, 2017: Glia
(no author information available yet)
Gregory Alushin received his bachelor degree in biochemistry from Columbia University in 2006. He then joined the laboratory of Eva Nogales to work on structural aspects of microtubules and kinetochores for his PhD in biophysics, and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012. Greg then moved to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, as a postdoctoral fellow with Clare Waterman. In 2013, he received an Early Independence Award from the NIH, enabling him to establish his own laboratory...
November 1, 2017: Journal of Cell Science
Lining Ju, Yunfeng Chen, Kaitao Li, Zhou Yuan, Baoyu Liu, Shaun P Jackson, Cheng Zhu
Conventional approaches for studying receptor-mediated cell signaling, such as the western blot and flow cytometry, are limited in three aspects: 1) The perturbing preparation procedures often alter the molecules from their native state on the cell; 2) Long processing time before the final readout makes it difficult to capture transient signaling events (<1 min); 3) The experimental environments are force-free, therefore unable to visualize mechanical signals in real time. In contrast to these methods in biochemistry and cell biology that are usually population-averaged and non-real-time, here we introduce a novel single-cell based nanotool termed dual biomembrane force probe (dBFP)...
October 27, 2017: Scientific Reports
Tamanash Bhattacharya, Irene L G Newton
Wolbachia pipientis, the most common intracellular infection on the planet, infects 40% of insects as well as nematodes, isopods, and arachnids. Wolbachia are obligately intracellular and challenging to study; there are no genetic tools for manipulating Wolbachia nor can they be cultured outside of host cells. Despite these roadblocks, the research community has defined a set of Wolbachia loci involved in host interaction: Wolbachia effectors. Through the use of Drosophila genetics, surrogate systems, and biochemistry, the field has begun to define the toolkit Wolbachia use for host manipulation...
October 27, 2017: Environmental Microbiology
Julen De-La-Cuesta, Edurne González, José A Pomposo
Fluorophore molecules can be monitored by fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy, which are highly useful and widely used techniques in cell biology, biochemistry, and medicine (e.g., biomarker analysis, immunoassays, cancer diagnosis). Several fluorescent micro- and nanoparticle systems based on block copolymer micelles and cross-linked polymer networks, quantum dots, π-conjugated polymers, and dendrimers have been evaluated as optical imaging systems. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the construction of fluorescent single-chain nanoparticles (SCNPs), which are valuable artificial soft nano-objects with a small tunable size (as small as 3 nm)...
October 26, 2017: Molecules: a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry
Simon Alberti
Cells have to organize their complex biochemistry to regulate their metabolism and respond to changes in the environment. Traditionally, intracellular organization has been associated with compartments that are surrounded by lipid membranes. However, in recent years, phase transitions have emerged as a novel form of cellular organization. Phase transition is a physical process whereby a substance changes from one physical state to another. Examples are provided by the freezing of water into ice (liquid to solid) or the heating of water to generate water vapor (liquid to gas)...
October 23, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Bryan A Gibson, Lesley B Conrad, Dan Huang, W Lee Kraus
ADP-ribosylation is an enzyme-catalyzed post-translational modification of proteins in which the ADP-ribose (ADPR) moiety of NAD+ is transferred to a specific amino acid in a substrate protein. The biological functions of ADP-ribosylation are numerous and diverse, ranging from normal physiology to pathological conditions. Biochemical and cellular studies of the diverse forms and functions of ADPR require immunological reagents that can be used for detection and enrichment. The lack of a complete set of tools that recognize all forms of ADPR [i...
October 20, 2017: Biochemistry
Walter L Miller
Until the mid-1980s studies of steroidogenesis largely depended on identifying steroid structures and measuring steroid concentrations in body fluids. The molecular biology revolution radically revolutionized studies of steroidogenesis with the cloning of known steroidogenic enzymes, by identifying novel factors, and delineating the genetic basis of known and newly discovered diseases. Unfortunately, this dramatic success has led many young research-oriented endocrinologists to regard steroidogenesis as a 'solved area'...
November 2017: Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism: TEM
Kazune Tamura, Glyn R Hemsworth, Guillaume Déjean, Theresa E Rogers, Nicholas A Pudlo, Karthik Urs, Namrata Jain, Gideon J Davies, Eric C Martens, Harry Brumer
Microbial utilization of complex polysaccharides is a major driving force in shaping the composition of the human gut microbiota. There is a growing appreciation that finely tuned polysaccharide utilization loci enable ubiquitous gut Bacteroidetes to thrive on the plethora of complex polysaccharides that constitute "dietary fiber." Mixed-linkage β(1,3)/β(1,4)-glucans (MLGs) are a key family of plant cell wall polysaccharides with recognized health benefits but whose mechanism of utilization has remained unclear...
October 10, 2017: Cell Reports
Sandra Murphy
Mass spectrometry-based protein methodologies have revolutionized the field of analytical biochemistry and enable the identification of hundreds to thousands of proteins in biological fluids, cell lines, and tissue. This methodology requires the initial separation of a protein constellation and this has been successfully achieved using gel-based techniques, particularly that of two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE). However, given the complexity of the proteome, fractionation techniques may be required to optimize the detection of low-abundance proteins, which are often under-represented, but which may represent important players in health and disease...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Isabel Betancor-Fernández, David J Timson, Eduardo Salido, Angel L Pey
Mutations causing single amino acid exchanges can dramatically affect protein stability and function, leading to disease. In this chapter, we will focus on several representative cases in which such mutations affect protein stability and function leading to cancer. Mutations in BRAF and p53 have been extensively characterized as paradigms of loss-of-function/gain-of-function mechanisms found in a remarkably large fraction of tumours. Loss of RB1 is strongly associated with cancer progression, although the molecular mechanisms by which missense mutations affect protein function and stability are not well known...
October 10, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Swetha Acharya, Jyoti Kale, Pragati Rai, Venkatesh Anehosur, Kaveri Hallikeri
CONTEXT: Biochemical changes occur in biological fluids and tissues of different types of malignancies. Tumor markers in serum, tissue, and other body fluids during neoplastic process are of clinical value in the management of patients with cancers. Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity is potentially a useful indicator for detection of malignancies, but its status in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is less explored. AIMS: The aim of this study is to evaluate the serum level of ALP in OSCC patients and assess its relation with the clinicopathological features...
July 2017: South Asian Journal of Cancer
Chen Wang, Jun Zou, Xiangyi Ma, Edward Wang, Guang Peng
Adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs) are enzymes that catalyze the conversion of adenosine (A) to inosine (I) in double-stranded RNAs. Inosine exhibits similar properties as guanosine. As a result, A-to-I editing has a great impact on edited RNAs, not only affecting the base pairing properties, but also altering codons after translation. A-to-I editing are known to mediate and diversify transcripts. However, the overall biological effect of ADARs are still largely unknown. Aberrant ADAR activity and editing dysregulation are present in a variety of cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma, chronic myelogenous leukemia, glioblastoma and melanoma...
September 30, 2017: Cancer Letters
Ruipeng Guo, Liang Gao, Bin Xu
PURPOSE: To systematically review the available preclinical evidence of adult stem cells as a biological augmentation in the treatment of animal anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review. METHODS: PubMed (MEDLINE) and Embase were searched for the eligible studies. The inclusion criteria were controlled animal trials of adult stem cells used in ACL treatment (repair or reconstruction). Studies of natural ACL healing without intervention, in vitro studies, ex vivo studies, and studies without controls were excluded...
September 26, 2017: Arthroscopy: the Journal of Arthroscopic & related Surgery
Chong-Zhi Gan, Gang Li, Qing-Song Luo, Hong-Min Li
Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality, and non-small-cell lung carcinoma is responsible for almost 80% of lung cancer-related deaths. In recent years, lung cancer has shown increasing incidence but poor prognosis, and many studies have demonstrated that microRNAs play crucial roles in the development of lung carcinoma and chemoresistance. This study investigated the role of miR-339-5p involvement in lung carcinoma cell lines and chemoresistance to Taxol. We observed that miR-339-5p was significantly downregulated in Taxol-A549 cells compared with A549 cells...
November 2017: IUBMB Life
Narumi Shigi, Jun Sumaoka, Makoto Komiyama
More than ten years ago, artificial restriction DNA cutters were developed by combining two pseudo-complementary peptide nucleic acid (pcPNA) strands with either Ce(IV)/EDTA or S1 nuclease. They have remarkably high site-specificity and can cut only one predetermined site in the human genome. In this article, recent progress of these man-made tools have been reviewed. By cutting the human genome site-selectively, desired fragments can be clipped from either the termini of chromosomes (telomeres) or from the middle of genome...
September 21, 2017: Molecules: a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry
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