While the three-dimensional structures of heme- and flavin-binding domains of the NOS isoforms have been determined, the structures of the holoenzymes remained elusive. Application of electron cryo-microscopy and structural modeling of the bovine endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) holoenzyme produced detailed models of the intact holoenzyme in the presence and absence of Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM). These models accommodate the cross-electron transfer from the reductase in one monomer to the heme in the opposite monomer. The heme domain acts as the anchoring dimeric structure for the entire enzyme molecule, while the FMN domain is activated by CaM to move flexibly to bridge the distance between the reductase and oxygenase domains. Our results indicate that the key regulatory role of CaM involves the stabilization of structural intermediates and precise positioning of the pivot for the FMN domain tethered shuttling motion to accommodate efficient and rapid electron transfer in the homodimer of eNOS.
Selection of acidic or basic reaction conditions, combined with appropriate temperatures, allowed for site selective direct incorporation of deuterium at multiple positions in the 7-azaindole-3-acetic acid CRTh2 receptor antagonist clinical candidate NVP-QAV680.
The primary function of Arp2/3 complex is the generation of free barbed ends by nucleating new filaments from the sides of pre-existing filaments. The pathway of branch formation is complex and involves nucleation promoting factors, actin monomers and nucleotides. A less prominent function of Arp2/3 complex is capping of actin filament pointed ends. Here we show, using electron microscopy, electron tomography, and image reconstruction of negatively-stained samples at ?2-3nm resolution, that Arp2/3 complex bound to the pointed ends of actin filaments has a conformation similar to that in the branch junction with the Arps arranged in an actin-filament like configuration. This is direct evidence for the existence of two distinct activation pathways for Arp2/3 complex, one in the context of branch formation, one in the context of pointed-end capping, with essentially the same conformational end point.
Eukaryotic cells use multiple routes for receptor internalization. Here, we examine the topographical relationships of clathrin-dependent and clathrin-independent endocytic structures on the plasma membranes of leukemia-derived mast cells. The high affinity IgE receptor (Fc?RI) utilizes both pathways, whereas transferrin receptor serves as a marker for the classical clathrin-mediated endocytosis pathway. Both receptors were tracked by live-cell imaging in the presence or absence of inhibitors that established their differential dependence on specific endocytic adaptor proteins. The topology of antigen-bound Fc?RI, clathrin, dynamin, Arf6 and Eps15-positive structures were analyzed by 2D and 3D immunoelectron microscopy techniques, revealing their remarkable spatial relationships and unique geometry. We conclude that the mast cell plasma membrane has multiple specialized domains for endocytosis. Their close proximity might reflect shared components, such as lipids and adaptor proteins, that facilitate inward membrane curvature. Intersections between these specialized domains might represent sorting stations that direct cargo to specific endocytic pathways.
The regulation of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae GAL genes in response to galactose as a source of carbon has served as a paradigm for eukaryotic transcriptional control over the last 50 years. Three proteins--a transcriptional activator (Gal4p), an inhibitor (Gal80p), and a ligand sensor (Gal3p)--control the switch between inert and active gene expression. The molecular mechanism by which the recognition of galactose within the cell is converted into a transcriptional response has been the subject of considerable debate. In this study, using a novel and powerful method of localizing active transcription factors within the nuclei of cells, we show that a short-lived complex between Gal4p, Gal80p, and Gal3p occurs soon after the addition of galactose to cells to activate GAL gene expression. Gal3p is subsequently replaced in this complex by Gal1p, and a Gal4p-Gal80p-Gal1p complex is responsible for the continued expression of the GAL genes. The transient role of the ligand sensor indicates that current models for the induction and continued expression of the yeast GAL genes need to be reevaluated.
Multimodal postoperative pain management targeted at diminishing harmful outcomes should include pregabalin in cases that need opioid reduction and when the risk of developing chronic neuropathic postsurgical pain is present. Gabapentanoids have grown in importance due to their opioid-sparing effects. They may also contribute to the prevention of chronic postsurgical pain.
Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and the sustainability of pollination services. One potential threat to bees is the unintended impact of systemic insecticides, which are ingested by bees in the nectar and pollen from flowers of treated crops. To establish whether imidacloprid, a systemic neonicotinoid and insect neurotoxin, harms individual bees when ingested at environmentally realistic levels, we exposed adult worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), to dietary imidacloprid in feeder syrup at dosages between 0.08 and 125?g l(-1). Honey bees showed no response to dietary imidacloprid on any variable that we measured (feeding, locomotion and longevity). In contrast, bumble bees progressively developed over time a dose-dependent reduction in feeding rate with declines of 10-30% in the environmentally relevant range of up to 10?g l(-1), but neither their locomotory activity nor longevity varied with diet. To explain their differential sensitivity, we speculate that honey bees are better pre-adapted than bumble bees to feed on nectars containing synthetic alkaloids, such as imidacloprid, by virtue of their ancestral adaptation to tropical nectars in which natural alkaloids are prevalent. We emphasise that our study does not suggest that honey bee colonies are invulnerable to dietary imidacloprid under field conditions, but our findings do raise new concern about the impact of agricultural neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations.
Much has been written about the need for continuing education and training to enable life scientists and computer scientists to manage and exploit the different types of biological data now becoming available. Here we describe the development of an online programme that combines short training courses, so that those who require an educational programme can progress to complete a formal qualification. Although this flexible approach fits the needs of course participants, it does not fit easily within the organizational structures of a campus-based university.
Toxoplasma gondii, a human pathogen and a model apicomplexan parasite, actively and rapidly invades host cells. To initiate invasion, the parasite induces the formation of a parasite-cell junction, and progressively propels itself through the junction, inside a newly formed vacuole that encloses the entering parasite. Little is known about how a parasite that is a few microns in diameter overcomes the host cell cortical actin barrier to achieve the remarkably rapid process of internalization (less than a few seconds). Using correlative light and electron microscopy in conjunction with electron tomography and three-dimensional image analysis we identified that toxofilin, an actin-binding protein, secreted by invading parasites correlates with localized sites of disassembly of the host cell actin meshwork. Moreover, quantitative fluorescence speckle microscopy of cells expressing toxofilin showed that toxofilin regulates actin filament disassembly and turnover. Furthermore, Toxoplasma tachyzoites lacking toxofilin, were found to be impaired in cortical actin disassembly and exhibited delayed invasion kinetics. We propose that toxofilin locally upregulates actin turnover thus increasing depolymerization events at the site of entry that in turn loosens the local host cell actin meshwork, facilitating parasite internalization and vacuole folding.
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