Whisky is distilled to around 70% alcohol by volume (vol-%) then diluted to about 40 vol-%, and often drunk after further slight dilution to enhance its taste. The taste of whisky is primarily associated with amphipathic molecules, such as guaiacol, but why and how dilution enhances the taste is not well understood. We carried out computer simulations of water-ethanol mixtures in the presence of guaiacol, providing atomistic details on the structure of the liquid mixture. We found that guaiacol is preferentially associated with ethanol, and, therefore, primarily found at the liquid-air interface in mixtures that contain up to 45 vol-% of ethanol. At ethanol concentrations of 59 vol-% or higher, guaiacol is increasingly surrounded by ethanol molecules and is driven to the bulk. This indicates that the taste of guaiacol in the whisky would be enhanced upon dilution prior to bottling. Our findings may apply to other flavour-giving amphipathic molecules and could contribute to optimising the production of spirits for desired tastes. Furthermore, it sheds light on the molecular structure of water-alcohol mixtures that contain small solutes, and reveals that interactions with the water may be negligible already at 89 vol-% of ethanol.
TRPV4 ion channels represent osmo-mechano-TRP channels with pleiotropic function and wide-spread expression. One of the critical functions of TRPV4 in this spectrum is its involvement in pain and inflammation. However, few small-molecule inhibitors of TRPV4 are available. Here we developed TRPV4-inhibitory molecules based on modifications of a known TRPV4-selective tool-compound, GSK205. We not only increased TRPV4-inhibitory potency, but surprisingly also generated two compounds that potently co-inhibit TRPA1, known to function as chemical sensor of noxious and irritant signaling. We demonstrate TRPV4 inhibition by these compounds in primary cells with known TRPV4 expression - articular chondrocytes and astrocytes. Importantly, our novel compounds attenuate pain behavior in a trigeminal irritant pain model that is known to rely on TRPV4 and TRPA1. Furthermore, our novel dual-channel blocker inhibited inflammation and pain-associated behavior in a model of acute pancreatitis - known to also rely on TRPV4 and TRPA1. Our results illustrate proof of a novel concept inherent in our prototype compounds of a drug that targets two functionally-related TRP channels, and thus can be used to combat isoforms of pain and inflammation in-vivo that involve more than one TRP channel. This approach could provide a novel paradigm for treating other relevant health conditions.
Murine noroviruses have emerged as a valuable tool for investigating the molecular basis of infection and pathogenesis of the closely related human noroviruses, which are the major cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis. The replication of noroviruses relies on the proteolytic processing of a large polyprotein precursor into six non-structural proteins (NS1-2, NS3, NS4, NS5, NS6(pro), NS7(pol)) by the virally-encoded NS6 protease. We report here the crystal structure of MNV NS6(pro), which has been determined to a resolution of 1.6 Å. Adventitiously, the crystal contacts are mediated in part by the binding of the C-terminus of NS6(pro) within the peptide-binding cleft of a neighbouring molecule. This insertion occurs for both molecules in the asymmetric unit of the crystal in a manner that is consistent with physiologically-relevant binding, thereby providing two independent views of a protease-peptide complex. Since the NS6(pro) C-terminus is formed in vivo by NS6(pro) processing, these crystal contacts replicate the protease-product complex that is formed immediately following cleavage of the peptide bond at the NS6-NS7 junction. The observed mode of binding of the C-terminal product peptide yields new insights into the structural basis of NS6(pro) specificity.
Precise control over processing, transport and delivery of ionic and molecular signals is of great importance in numerous fields of life sciences. Integrated circuits based on ion transistors would be one approach to route and dispense complex chemical signal patterns to achieve such control. To date several types of ion transistors have been reported; however, only individual devices have so far been presented and most of them are not functional at physiological salt concentrations. Here we report integrated chemical logic gates based on ion bipolar junction transistors. Inverters and NAND gates of both npn type and complementary type are demonstrated. We find that complementary ion gates have higher gain and lower power consumption, as compared with the single transistor-type gates, which imitates the advantages of complementary logics found in conventional electronics. Ion inverters and NAND gates lay the groundwork for further development of solid-state chemical delivery circuits.
: This paper introduces a subdomain chemistry format for storing computational chemistry data called CompChem. It has been developed based on the design, concepts and methodologies of Chemical Markup Language (CML) by adding computational chemistry semantics on top of the CML Schema. The format allows a wide range of ab initio quantum chemistry calculations of individual molecules to be stored. These calculations include, for example, single point energy calculation, molecular geometry optimization, and vibrational frequency analysis. The paper also describes the supporting infrastructure, such as processing software, dictionaries, validation tools and database repositories. In addition, some of the challenges and difficulties in developing common computational chemistry dictionaries are discussed. The uses of CompChem are illustrated by two practical applications.
ABSTRACT Soils host diverse microbial communities that include filamentous actinobacteria (actinomycetes). These bacteria have been a rich source of useful metabolites, including antimicrobials, antifungals, anticancer agents, siderophores, and immunosuppressants. While humans have long exploited these compounds for therapeutic purposes, the role these natural products may play in mediating interactions between actinomycetes has been difficult to ascertain. As an initial step toward understanding these chemical interactions at a systems level, we employed the emerging techniques of nanospray desorption electrospray ionization (NanoDESI) and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) imaging mass spectrometry to gain a global chemical view of the model bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor interacting with five other actinomycetes. In each interaction, the majority of secreted compounds associated with S. coelicolor colonies were unique, suggesting an idiosyncratic response from S. coelicolor. Spectral networking revealed a family of unknown compounds produced by S. coelicolor during several interactions. These compounds constitute an extended suite of at least 12 different desferrioxamines with acyl side chains of various lengths; their production was triggered by siderophores made by neighboring strains. Taken together, these results illustrate that chemical interactions between actinomycete bacteria exhibit high complexity and specificity and can drive differential secondary metabolite production. IMPORTANCE Actinomycetes, filamentous actinobacteria from the soil, are the deepest natural source of useful medicinal compounds, including antibiotics, antifungals, and anticancer agents. There is great interest in developing new strategies that increase the diversity of metabolites secreted by actinomycetes in the laboratory. Here we used several metabolomic approaches to examine the chemicals made by these bacteria when grown in pairwise coculture. We found that these interspecies interactions stimulated production of numerous chemical compounds that were not made when they grew alone. Among these compounds were at least 12 different versions of a molecule called desferrioxamine, a siderophore used by the bacteria to gather iron. Many other compounds of unknown identity were also observed, and the pattern of compound production varied greatly among the interaction sets. These findings suggest that chemical interactions between actinomycetes are surprisingly complex and that coculture may be a promising strategy for finding new molecules from actinomycetes.
Polymethylmethacrylate bone cement cannot provide an adhesive chemical bonding to form a stable cement-bone interface. Bioactive bone cements show bone bonding ability, but their clinical application is limited because bone resorption is observed after implantation. Porous polymethylmethacrylate can be achieved with the addition of carboxymethylcellulose, alginate and gelatin microparticles to promote bone ingrowth, but the mechanical properties are too low to be used in orthopedic applications. Bone ingrowth into cement could decrease the possibility of bone resorption and promote the formation of a stable interface. However, scarce literature is reported on bioactive bone cements that allow bone ingrowth. In this paper, we reported a porous surface modified bioactive bone cement with desired mechanical properties, which could allow for bone ingrowth.
Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a polyphenol found in various plants, especially in the skin of red grapes. The effect of resveratrol on human health is the topic of numerous studies. In fact this molecule has shown anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, blood-sugar-lowering ability and beneficial cardiovascular effects. However, for many polyphenol compounds of natural origin bioavailability is limited by low solubility in biological fluids, as well as by rapid metabolization in vivo. Therefore, appropriate carriers are required to obtain efficient therapeutics along with low administration doses.Liposomes are excellent candidates for drug delivery purposes, due to their biocompatibility, wide choice of physico-chemical properties and easy preparation.In this paper liposome formulations made by a saturated phosphatidyl-choline (DPPC) and cholesterol (or its positively charged derivative DC-CHOL) were chosen to optimize the loading of a rigid hydrophobic molecule such as resveratrol.Plain and resveratrol loaded liposomes were characterized for size, surface charge and structural details by complementary techniques, i.e. Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), Zeta potential and Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS). Nuclear and Electron Spin magnetic resonances (NMR and ESR, respectively) were also used to gain information at the molecular scale.The obtained results allowed to give an account of loaded liposomes in which resveratrol interacted with the bilayer, being more deeply inserted in cationic liposomes than in zwitterionic liposomes. Relevant properties such as the mean size and the presence of oligolamellar structures were influenced by the loading of RESV guest molecules.The toxicity of all these systems was tested on stabilized cell lines (mouse fibroblast NIH-3T3 and human astrocytes U373-MG), showing that cell viability was not affected by the administration of liposomial resveratrol.
BACKGROUND: Recently, various metallocenes were synthesized and analyzed by biological activity point of view (such as antiproliferative properties): ruthenocenes, cobaltoceniums, titanocenes, zirconocenes, vanadocenes, niobocenes, molibdocenes etc. Two main disadvantages of metallocenes are the poor hydrosolubility and the hydrolytic instability. These problems could be resolved in two ways: synthetically modifying the structure or finding new formulations with enhanced properties. The aqueous solubility of metallocenes with cytostatic activities could be enhanced by molecular encapsulation in cyclodextrins, as well as the hydrolytic instability of these compounds could be reduced. RESULTS: This study presents a theoretical approach on the nanoencapsulation of a series of titanocenes with cytotoxic activity in alpha-, beta-, and gamma-cyclodextrin. The HyperChem 5.11 package was used for building and molecular modelling of titanocene and cyclodextrin structures, as well as for titanocene/cyclodextrin complex optimization. For titanocene/cyclodextrin complex optimization experiments, the titanocene and cyclodextrin structures in minimal energy conformations were set up at various distances and positions between molecules (molecular mechanics functionality, MM+). The best interaction between titanocene structures and cyclodextrins was obtained in the case of beta- and gamma-cyclodextrin, having the hydrophobic moieties oriented to the secondary face of cyclodextrin. The hydrophobicity of titanocenes (logP) correlate with the titanocene-cyclodextrin interaction parameters, especially with the titanocene-cyclodextrin interaction energy; the compatible geometry and the interaction energy denote that the titanocene/beta- and gamma-cyclodextrin complex can be achieved. Valuable quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) were also obtained in the titanocene class by using the same logP as the main parameter for the in vitro cytotoxic activity against HeLa, K562, and Fem-x cell lines. CONCLUSIONS: According to our theoretical study, the titanocene/cyclodextrin inclusion compounds can be obtained (high interaction energy; the encapsulation is energetically favourable). Further, the most hydrophobic compounds are better encapsulated in beta- and gamma-cyclodextrin molecules and are more stable (from energetically point of view) in comparison with alpha-cyclodextrin case. This study suggests that the titanocene / beta- and gamma-cyclodextrin complexes (or synthetically modified cyclodextrins with higher water solubility) could be experimentally synthesized and could have enhanced cytotoxic activity and even lower toxicity.
The use of small-interfering RNA (siRNA) has great potential for the development of drugs designed to knock down the expression of damage- or disease-causing genes. However, because of the high molecular weight and negative charge of siRNA, it is restricted from crossing the blood-cochlear barrier, which limits the concentration and size of molecules that are able to gain access to cells of the inner ear. Intratympanic approaches, which deliver siRNA to the middle ear, rely on permeation through the round window for access to the structures of the inner ear. We developed an innovative siRNA delivery recombination protein, TAT double-stranded RNA-binding domains (TAT-DRBDs), which can transfect Cy3-labeled siRNA into cells of the inner ear, including the inner and outer hair cells, crista ampullaris, macula utriculi and macula sacculi, through intact round-window permeation in the chinchilla in vivo, and there were no apparent morphological damages for the time of observation. We also found that Cy3-labeled siRNA could directly enter spiral ganglion neurons and the epithelium of the stria vascularis independently; however, the mechanism is unknown. Therefore, as a non-viral vector, TAT-DRBD is a good candidate for the delivery of double-stranded siRNAs for treating various inner ear ailments and preservation of hearing function.Gene Therapy advance online publication, 10 October 2013; doi:10.1038/gt.2013.49.