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Concept: Amine


Choosing the right nutrients to consume is essential to health and wellbeing across species. However, the factors that influence these decisions are poorly understood. This is particularly true for dietary proteins, which are important determinants of lifespan and reproduction. We show that in Drosophila melanogaster, essential amino acids (eAAs) and the concerted action of the commensal bacteria Acetobacter pomorum and Lactobacilli are critical modulators of food choice. Using a chemically defined diet, we show that the absence of any single eAA from the diet is sufficient to elicit specific appetites for amino acid (AA)-rich food. Furthermore, commensal bacteria buffer the animal from the lack of dietary eAAs: both increased yeast appetite and decreased reproduction induced by eAA deprivation are rescued by the presence of commensals. Surprisingly, these effects do not seem to be due to changes in AA titers, suggesting that gut bacteria act through a different mechanism to change behavior and reproduction. Thus, eAAs and commensal bacteria are potent modulators of feeding decisions and reproductive output. This demonstrates how the interaction of specific nutrients with the microbiome can shape behavioral decisions and life history traits.

Concepts: Protein, Gut flora, Amino acid, Acid, Amine, Nutrition, Ecology, Essential amino acid


Protein supplementation during resistance exercise training augments hypertrophic gains. Protein ingestion and the resultant hyperaminoacidemia provides the building blocks (indispensable amino acids - IAA) for, and also triggers an increase in, muscle protein synthesis (MPS), suppression of muscle protein breakdown (MPB), and net positive protein balance (i.e., MPS > MPB). The key amino acid triggering the rise in MPS is leucine, which stimulates the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex-1, a key signalling protein, and triggers a rise in MPS. As such, ingested proteins with a high leucine content would be advantageous in triggering a rise in MPS. Thus, protein quality (reflected in IAA content and protein digestibility) has an impact on changes in MPS and could ultimately affect skeletal muscle mass. Protein quality has been measured by the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS); however, the digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) has been recommended as a better method for protein quality scoring. Under DIAAS there is the recognition that amino acids are individual nutrients and that protein quality is contingent on IAA content and ileal (as opposed to fecal) digestibility. Differences in protein quality may have important ramifications for exercise-induced changes in muscle mass gains made with resistance exercise as well as muscle remodelling. Thus, the purpose of this review is a critical appraisal of studies examining the effects of protein quality in supplementation on changes in muscle mass and strength as well as body composition during resistance training.

Concepts: Protein, Amino acid, Acid, Amine, Metabolism, Nutrition, Muscle, Essential amino acid


In this work, a simple method for alcohol synthesis with high enantiomeric purity was proposed. For this, colloidal gold and silver surface modifications with 3-mercaptopropanoic acid and cysteamine were used to generate carboxyl and amine functionalized gold and silver nanoparticles of 15 and 45 nm, respectively. Alcohol dehydrogenase from Thermoanaerobium brockii (TbADH) and its cofactor (NADPH) were physical and covalent (through direct adsorption and using cross-linker) immobilized on nanoparticles' surface. In contrast to the physical and covalent immobilizations that led to a loss of 90% of the initial enzyme activity and 98% immobilization, the use of a cross-linker in immobilization process promoted a loss to 30% of the initial enzyme activity and >92% immobilization. The yield of NADPH immobilization was about 80%. The best results in terms of activity were obtained with Ag-citr nanoparticle functionalized with carboxyl groups (Ag-COOH), Au-COOH(CTAB), and Au-citr functionalized with amine groups and stabilized with CTAB (Au-NH2(CTAB)) nanoparticles treated with 0.7% and 1.0% glutaraldehyde. Enzyme conformation upon immobilization was studied using fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopies. Shift in ellipticity at 222 nm with about 4 to 7 nm and significant decreasing in fluorescence emission for all bioconjugates were observed by binding of TbADH to silver/gold nanoparticles. Emission redshifting of 5 nm only for Ag-COOH-TbADH bioconjugate demonstrated change in the microenvironment of TbADH. Enzyme immobilization on glutaraldehyde-treated Au-NH2(CTAB) nanoparticles promotes an additional stabilization preserving about 50% of enzyme activity after 15 days storage. Nanoparticles attached-TbADH-NADPH systems were used for enantioselective (ee > 99%) synthesis of (S)-7-hydroxy-2-tetralol.

Concepts: Alcohol, Amine, Enzyme, Nanotechnology, Chirality, Gold, Alcohol dehydrogenase, Immobilized enzyme


Direct evidence of complex prebiotic chemistry from a water-rich world in the outer solar system is provided by the 4.5-billion-year-old halite crystals hosted in the Zag and Monahans (1998) meteorites. This study offers the first comprehensive organic analysis of the soluble and insoluble organic compounds found in the millimeter-sized halite crystals containing brine inclusions and sheds light on the nature and activity of aqueous fluids on a primitive parent body. Associated with these trapped brines are organic compounds exhibiting wide chemical variations representing organic precursors, intermediates, and reaction products that make up life’s precursor molecules such as amino acids. The organic compounds also contain a mixture of C-, O-, and N-bearing macromolecular carbon materials exhibiting a wide range of structural order, as well as aromatic, ketone, imine, and/or imidazole compounds. The enrichment in 15N is comparable to the organic matter in pristine Renazzo-type carbonaceous chondrites, which reflects the sources of interstellar 15N, such as ammonia and amino acids. The amino acid content of the Zag halite deviates from the meteorite matrix, supporting an exogenic origin of the halite, and therefore, the Zag meteorite contains organics synthesized on two distinct parent bodies. Our study suggests that the asteroidal parent body where the halite precipitated, potentially asteroid 1 Ceres, shows evidence for a complex combination of biologically and prebiologically relevant molecules.

Concepts: Amino acid, Acid, Amine, Ammonia, Chemistry, Mars, Carbon, Meteorite


We report on how to quantify the binding affinity between a nanoparticle and chemical functional group using various experimental methods such as cantilever assay, PeakForce quantitative nanomechanical property mapping, and lateral force microscopy. For the immobilization of Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) onto a microscale silicon substrate, we have considered two different chemical functional molecules of amine and catecholamine (dopamine was used here). It is revealed that catecholamine-modified surface is more effective for the functionalization of AuNPs onto the surface, which is compared with the amine-modified surface from our various experiments. The dimensionless parameter (i.e., ratio of binding affinity) introduced in this work from such experiments is useful in quantitatively depicting such binding affinity, indicating that the binding affinity and stability between AuNPs and catecholamine is approximately 1.5 times stronger than that of amine. Our study sheds light on the experiment-based quantitative characterization of the binding affinity between nanomaterial and chemical groups, which will eventually provide an insight into how to effectively design the functional material using chemical groups.

Concepts: Amine, Nanoparticle, Functional group, Nanotechnology, Gold, Alkene, Amide, Imine


HIV-1 integrase (IN) is an important target for contemporary antiretroviral drug design research. Historically, efforts at inactivating the enzyme have focused upon blocking its active site. However, it has become apparent that new classes of allosteric inhibitors will be necessary to advance the antiretroviral field in light of the emergence of viral strains resistant to contemporary clinically used IN drugs. In this study we have characterized the importance of a close network of IN residues, distant from the active site, as important for the obligatory multimerization of the enzyme and viral replication as a whole. Specifically, we have determined that the configuration of six residues within a highly symmetrical region at the IN dimerization interface, composed of a four-tiered aromatic interaction flanked by two salt bridges, significantly contributes to proper HIV-1 replication. Additionally, we have utilized a quantitative luminescence assay to examine IN oligomerization and have determined that there is a very low tolerance for amino acid substitutions along this region. Even conservative residue substitutions negatively impacted IN multimerization, resulting in an inactive viral enzyme and a non-replicative virus. We have shown that there is a very low tolerance for amino acid variation at the symmetrical dimeric interface region characterized in this study, and therefore drugs designed to target the amino acid network detailed here could be expected to yield a significantly reduced number of drug-resistant escape mutations compared to contemporary clinically-evaluated antiretrovirals.

Concepts: Antiretroviral drug, HIV, AIDS, Protein, Acid, Amine, Enzyme inhibitor, Integrase inhibitor


Lubeluzole, which acts on various targets in vitro, including voltage-gated sodium channels (NaChs), was initially proposed as neuroprotectant. Lubeluzole structure contains a benzothiazole moiety (R-like) related to riluzole and a phenoxy-propranol-amine moiety (A-core) recalling propranolol. Both riluzole and propranolol are efficient NaCh blockers. We studied in detail the effects of lubeluzole (racemic mixture and single isomers), aforementioned lubeluzole moieties, and riluzole on NaChs to increase our knowledge about drug-channel molecular interactions. Compounds were tested on hNav1.4 NaChs, and F1586C or Y1593C mutants functionally expressed in HEK293 cells, using patch-clamp. Lubeluzole blocked NaChs with a remarkable effectiveness. No stereoselectivity was found. Compared to mexiletine, dissociation constant for inactivated channels was ≈600 times lower (≈11 nM), conferring to lubeluzole a huge use-dependence of great therapeutic value. The F1586C mutation impaired use-dependent block only partially, suggesting that additional amino acids are critically involved in high-affinity binding. Lubeluzole moieties were modest NaCh blockers. Riluzole blocked NaChs efficiently but lacked use-dependence, similarly to R-like. F1586C fully abolished A-core use-dependence, suggesting that A-core binds to the local anesthetic receptor. Thus lubeluzole likely binds to the local anesthetic receptor through its phenoxy-propranol-amine moiety, with consequent use-dependent behavior. Nevertheless, compared to other known NaCh blockers, lubeluzole adds a third pharmacophoric point through its benzothiazole moiety, that greatly enhances high-affinity binding and use-dependent block. If sufficient isoform specificity can be attained, the huge use-dependent block may help in the development of new NaCh inhibitors to provide pharmacotherapy for membrane excitability disorders, such as myotonia, epilepsy, or chronic pain.

Concepts: Protein, Acid, Amine, Functional group, Ion channel, Local anesthetic, Racemic mixture, Adderall


Mefenamic acid, (MFA), a carboxylic acid-containing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is metabolized into the chemically-reactive, MFA-1-O-acyl-glucuronide (MFA-1-O-G), MFA-acyl-adenylate (MFA-AMP), and the MFA-S-acyl-CoA (MFA-CoA), all of which are electrophilic and capable of acylating nucleophilic sites on biomolecules. In this study, we investigate the non-enzymatic ability of each MFA acyl-linked metabolite to transacylate amino and thiol functional groups on the acceptor biomolecules glycine (Gly), taurine (Tau), glutathione (GSH), and N-acetylcysteine (NAC). In vitro incubations with each of the MFA acyl-linked metabolites (1 μM) in buffer under physiological conditions with Gly, Tau, GSH, or NAC (10 mM) revealed that MFA-CoA was 11.5- and 19.5-fold more reactive than MFA-AMP towards the acylation of cysteine-sulfhydryl groups of GSH and NAC, respectively. However, MFA-AMP was more reactive towards both Gly and Tau, 17.5-fold more reactive towards the N-acyl-amidation of taurine than its corresponding CoA thioester, while MFA-CoA displayed little reactivity towards glycine. Additionally, MFA-GSH was 5.6- and 108-fold more reactive towards NAC than MFA-CoA and MFA-AMP, respectively. In comparison to MFA-AMP and MFA-CoA, MFA-1-O-G was not significantly reactive towards all four bionucleophiles. MFA-AMP, MFA-CoA, MFA-1-O-G, MFA-GSH, and MFA-Tau were also detected in rat in vitro hepatocyte MFA (100 μM) incubations while MFA-Gly was not. These results demonstrate that MFA-AMP selectively reacts nonenzymatically with the amino functional groups of glycine and lysine, MFA-CoA selectively reacts nonenzymatically with the thiol functional groups of GSH and NAC, and MFA-GSH reacts nonenzymatically with the thiol functional group of GSH, all of which may potentially elicit an idiosyncratic toxicity in vivo.

Concepts: Amino acid, Amine, Functional group, Disulfide bond, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Carboxylic acid


Binding of cellular α-dystroglycan (α-DG) to its extracellular matrix ligands is fully dependent on a unique O-mannose-linked glycan. Disrupted O-mannosylation is the hallmark of the muscular dystrophy-dystroglycanopathy (MDDG) syndromes. SLC35A1, encoding the transporter of CMP-sialic acid, was recently identified as MDDG candidate gene. This is surprising, since sialic acid itself is dispensable for α-DG-ligand binding. In a novel SLC35A1-deficient cell model, we demonstrated a lack of α-DG O-mannosylation, ligand binding and incorporation of sialic acids. Removal of sialic acids from HAP1 wild type cells after incorporation or preventing sialylation during synthesis did not affect α-DG O-mannosylation or ligand binding but did affect sialylation. Lentiviral-mediated complementation with the only known disease mutation p.Q101H failed to restore deficient O-mannosylation in SLC35A1 knockout cells and partly restored sialylation. These data indicate a role for SLC35A1 in α-DG O-mannosylation that is distinct from sialic acid metabolism. In addition, human SLC35A1 deficiency can be considered as a combined disorder of α-DG O-mannosylation and sialylation, a novel variant of the MDDG syndromes.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Gene, Amine, Ammonia, Sialic acid, Ligand, Jason Statham


The aim of this study was to find some relationship between amino acid metabolism and the embryo morphokinetic parameters studied via time-lapse analysis. Study included 48 human embryo samples and their culture media. Two groups of embryos were identified: embryos reached the 8-cell stage on day 3 (n=34) and embryos failed to develop at any point during the incubation (n=14). Amino acids levels were measured on day 3 of embryo development; using time-lapse analysis, the precise timing of embryo cleavage, synchrony of division, grade of fragmentation etc. were established. No statistically significant differences between dividing and arresting embryos were observed in terms of amino acids production/consumption and turnover. Amino acids which were part of the culture medium did not exhibit any statistically significant correlation with kinetic parameters with the exception of the grade of fragmentation on day 3; there were negative correlation with glutamate, and positive with glutamine, glycine and taurine. In some dividing and in some arresting embryos appeared new amino acids which strongly correlated with each other, with methionine, but not with any other amino acid that is a regular part of the culture medium.

Concepts: Protein, Bacteria, Amino acid, Acid, Amine, Ammonia, Embryo, Glutamine