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Concept: Solutions


G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) play essential roles in various physiological processes, and are widely targeted by pharmaceutical drugs. Despite their importance, studying GPCRs has been problematic due to difficulties in isolating large quantities of these membrane proteins in forms that retain their ligand binding capabilities. Creating water-soluble variants of GPCRs by mutating the exterior, transmembrane residues provides a potential method to overcome these difficulties. Here we present the first study involving the computational design, expression and characterization of water-soluble variant of a human GPCR, the human mu opioid receptor (MUR), which is involved in pain and addiction. An atomistic structure of the transmembrane domain was built using comparative (homology) modeling and known GPCR structures. This structure was highly similar to the subsequently determined structure of the murine receptor and was used to computationally design 53 mutations of exterior residues in the transmembrane region, yielding a variant intended to be soluble in aqueous media. The designed variant expressed in high yield in Escherichia coli and was water soluble. The variant shared structural and functionally related features with the native human MUR, including helical secondary structure and comparable affinity for the antagonist naltrexone (K d  = 65 nM). The roles of cholesterol and disulfide bonds on the stability of the receptor variant were also investigated. This study exemplifies the potential of the computational approach to produce water-soluble variants of GPCRs amenable for structural and functionally related characterization in aqueous solution.

Concepts: Protein, Signal transduction, Cell membrane, Receptor, Opioid receptor, G protein-coupled receptor, Metabotropic glutamate receptor, Solutions


The morphological change of silicon macropore arrays formed by metal-assisted chemical etching using shape-controlled Au thin film arrays was investigated during anisotropic chemical etching in tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) aqueous solution. After the deposition of Au as the etching catalyst on (111) silicon through a honeycomb mask prepared by sphere lithography, the specimens were etched in a mixed solution of HF and H2O2 at room temperature, resulting in the formation of ordered macropores in silicon along the [111] direction, which is not achievable by conventional chemical etching without a catalyst. In the anisotropic etching in TMAH, the macropores changed from being circular to being hexagonal and finally to being triangular, owing to the difference in etching rate between the crystal planes.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemistry, Solubility, Solutions, Quartz, Photolithography, Etching, Tetramethylammonium hydroxide


A new desorption method was investigated, which does not require toxic organic solvents. Efficient desorption of organic solvents from activated carbon was achieved with an ananionic surfactant solution, focusing on its washing and emulsion action.

Concepts: Oxygen, Solubility, Carbon, Solvent, Surfactant, Solutions, Solution, Activated carbon


Phosphorylation of the nucleosides adenosine and uridine by the simple mixing and mild heating of aqueous solutions of the organic compounds with synthetic analogs of the meteoritic mineral schreibersite, (Fe,Ni)3P under slightly basic conditions (pH ~9) is reported. These results suggest a potential role for meteoritic phosphorus in the origin and development of early life.

Concepts: Adenosine triphosphate, Concentration, Chemistry, Nucleoside, Solutions, Adenosine, Nucleosides, Uridine


In this work, removal of arsenic (III) from aqueous solution by living cells (Bacillus cereus), biosorption mechanism, and characterization studies have been reported. B. cereus cell surface was characterized using SEM-EDX and FTIR. Dependence of biosorption on pH of the solution, biosorbent dose, initial arsenic (III) concentration, contact time, and temperature had been studied to achieve optimum condition. The maximum biosorption capacity of living cells of B. cereus for arsenic (III) was found to be 32.42 mg/g at pH 7.5, at optimum conditions of contact time of 30 min, biomass dosage of 6 g/L, and temperature of 30 ± 2 °C. Biosorption data of arsenic (III) are fitted to linearly transformed Langmuir isotherm with R (2) (correlation coefficient) > 0.99. The pseudo-second-order model description of the kinetics of arsenic (III) is successfully applied to predict the rate constant of biosorption. Thermodynamic parameters reveal the endothermic, spontaneous, and feasible nature of sorption process of arsenic (III) onto B. cereus biomass. The arsenic (III) ions are desorbed from B. cereus using both 1 M HCl and 1 M HNO(3).

Concepts: Bacteria, Concentration, Chemistry, Thermodynamics, Bacillus, Solutions, Endospore, Bacillus cereus


Probe electrospray ionization (PESI) is a recently developed method that uses a sharp solid needle as electrospray emitter and the sample is loaded to the needle tip by repetitive movement of the needle probe. This method has been previously used for the analysis of sample with high salt concentration and real-world samples without sample pretreatment. Although PESI is also applicable to aqueous solution, the ion signal stability and reproducibility were not satisfactory due to the spontaneous occurrence of corona discharge taking place on the metallic needle tip.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemical properties, Chemistry, Solid, 1980s music groups, Ion source, Solutions, Aqueous solution


The phase behavior of two types of poly(ethylene oxide)/ poly(propylene oxide) (PEO/PPO) copolymers in aqueous solutions was studied by light scattering, viscometry and infrared spectroscopy. Both the reverse poloxamer (Pluronic 10R5) and the star type poloxamine (Tetronic 90R4) have practically the same PEO/PPO ratio with their hydrophobic blocks (PPO) located in the outer part. The temperature-composition phase diagrams show that both 10R5 and 90R4 tend to form aggregates in water. Up to four different phases can be detected in the case of Tetronic 90R4 for each temperature: unimers, random networks, micellar networks and macrophase separation. Viscometric and infrared measurements complemented the results obtained by light scattering and visual inspection.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Concentration, Solutions, Triple point, Near infrared spectroscopy, Polymers, Poloxamer, Poloxamer 407


Various technologies have been used for the treatment and remediation of areas contaminated by BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes), which are organic compounds that are of particular concern due to their toxicity. Potential applications of synthetic zeolites for environmental fieldwork have also been reported worldwide. In this work, a hexadecyltrimethyl ammonium (HDTMA) surfactant-modified synthetic zeolite was investigated for its efficiency in removing BTEX from aqueous solutions. Three surfactant-modified zeolites were synthesized, with amounts of surfactant corresponding to 50%, 100%, and 200% of the total cation-exchange capacity (CEC) of the synthetic zeolite Y. The results of the BTEX adsorption experiments onto both synthetic zeolite and surfactant-modified zeolites (SMZ) showed that the SMZ-100 (zeolite modified with surfactant levels at 100% of CEC) was the most efficient modified zeolite for BTEX removal. Kinetics studies indicated that the multicomponent adsorption equilibrium was reached within 6 h and followed pseudo-second-order kinetics. The Langmuir, Freundlich, Redlich-Peterson and Temkin models were used to evaluate the BTEX adsorption capacity by SMZ-100. The Temkin model was found to be suitable for all BTEX compounds in a multicomponent system. Regeneration cycles of the modified zeolite were also performed, and the results showed that the adsorbent could be used efficiently in as many as four adsorption cycles, except for benzene.

Concepts: Chemistry, Benzene, Adsorption, Solutions, Toluene, Freundlich equation, Zeolite, Xylene


We report the analysis of a novel terpyridine based supramolecular hydrogel which shows fluorescent properties in the gel but not in the sol form; the gel forms in a narrow pH range in aqueous solutions specifically in the presence of sodium ions, and contains between 98% and 99.2% water.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemistry, Colloid, Sodium, Physical chemistry, Potassium, Solutions, Aristotle


Slow relaxation: Exergonic high-spin→low-spin relaxation after photoexcitation has been found to be exceedingly slow in a class of iron(II) complexes with hexadentate imine ligands. The thermal activation barriers that arise between the quintet- and singlet-spin manifolds are the highest ever recorded for spin crossover of isolated molecules in free solution.

Concepts: Electron, Chemistry, Ligand, Solutions, Solution, ARIA Charts, Percentage solution