Use of a biomimetic chromatographic stationary phase for study of the interactions occurring between inorganic anions and phosphatidylcholine membranes. (1/731)

A liquid chromatographic method for the study of ion-membrane interactions is reported. A phosphatidylcholine biomimetic stationary phase was established by loading dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) onto a reversed-phase octadecylsilica packed column. This column was then used to study the interaction of some inorganic anions with the stationary phase by UV and conductivity detection. Ten inorganic anions were selected as model ions and were analyzed with the proposed chromatographic system. Anion-DMPC interactions of differing magnitudes were observed for all of the model anions. Perchlorate-DMPC interactions were strongest, followed by thiocyanate-DMPC, iodide-DMPC, chlorate-DMPC, nitrate-DMPC, bromide-DMPC, chloride-DMPC, fluoride-DMPC, and then sulfate-DMPC. Cations in the eluent, especially H(+) ions and divalent cations such as Ca(2+), showed strong effects on anion-DMPC interactions. The chromatographic data suggest that DMPC interacts with both the anions and the cations. Anion-DMPC interactions were dependent on the surface potential of the stationary phase: at low surface potentials anion-DMPC interactions were predominantly solvation dependent in nature whereas at more positive surface potentials anion-DMPC interactions were predominantly electrostatic in nature. Cation-DMPC interactions served to raise the surface potential, causing the anion-DMPC interactions to vary from solvation dependent to electrostatic. The chromatographic data were used to provide quantitative estimates of the enthalpies of the anion-DMPC interactions.  (+info)

Nanotubules formed by highly hydrophobic amphiphilic alpha-helical peptides and natural phospholipids. (2/731)

We previously reported that the 18-mer amphiphilic alpha-helical peptide, Hel 13-5, consisting of 13 hydrophobic residues and five hydrophilic amino acid residues, can induce neutral liposomes (egg yolk phosphatidylcholine) to adopt long nanotubular structures and that the interaction of specific peptides with specific phospholipid mixtures induces the formation of membrane structures resembling cellular organelles such as the Golgi apparatus. In the present study we focused our attention on the effects of peptide sequence and chain length on the nanotubule formation occurring in mixture systems of Hel 13-5 and various neutral and acidic lipid species by means of turbidity measurements, dynamic light scattering measurements, and electron microscopy. We designed and synthesized two sets of Hel 13-5 related peptides: 1) Five peptides to examine the role of hydrophobic or hydrophilic residues in amphiphilic alpha-helical structures, and 2) Six peptides to examine the role of peptide length, having even number residues from 12 to 24. Conformational, solution, and morphological studies showed that the amphiphilic alpha-helical structure and the peptide chain length (especially 18 amino acid residues) are critical determinants of very long tubular structures. A mixture of alpha-helix and beta-structures determines the tubular shapes and assemblies. However, we found that the charged Lys residues comprising the hydrophilic regions of amphiphilic structures can be replaced by Arg or Glu residues without a loss of tubular structures. This suggests that the mechanism of microtubule formation does not involve the charge interaction. The immersion of the hydrophobic part of the amphiphilic peptides into liposomes initially forms elliptic-like structures due to the fusion of small liposomes, which is followed by a transformation into tubular structures of various sizes and shapes.  (+info)

High-performance photovoltaic behavior of oriented purple membrane polymer composite films. (3/731)

The photovoltaic behavior of films in which bacteriorhodopsin molecules are embedded in a polyvinyl alcohol matrix has been investigated by using both pulsed laser excitation and regular light illumination. Response times as short as milliseconds, photocurrents as great as 120 micro A/cm(2), and photovoltages as large as 3.8 V have been obtained. A theoretical model has been developed and used to extract several physical parameters and fit the experimental results. Some important intrinsic parameters have been obtained. Theoretical results indicate that the average displacement of the excited protons is on the order of several tens of microns. Other curve fits show that photocurrent and photovoltage increase linearly with external field, but increase exponentially with flash power. These theoretical models and results can be extended to other kinds of photoactive polymeric materials.  (+info)

The flexibility of DNA double crossover molecules. (4/731)

Double crossover molecules are DNA structures containing two Holliday junctions connected by two double helical arms. There are several types of double crossover molecules, differentiated by the relative orientations of their helix axes, parallel or antiparallel, and by the number of double helical half-turns (even or odd) between the two crossovers. They are found as intermediates in meiosis and they have been used extensively in structural DNA nanotechnology for the construction of one-dimensional and two-dimensional arrays and in a DNA nanomechanical device. Whereas the parallel double helical molecules are usually not well behaved, we have focused on the antiparallel molecules; antiparallel molecules with an even number of half-turns between crossovers (termed DAE molecules) produce a reporter strand when ligated, facilitating their characterization in a ligation cyclization assay. Hence, we have estimated the flexibility of antiparallel DNA double crossover molecules by means of ligation-closure experiments. We are able to show that these molecules are approximately twice as rigid as linear duplex DNA.  (+info)

Mobility of taxol in microtubule bundles. (5/731)

Mobility of taxol inside microtubules was investigated using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching on flow-aligned bundles. Bundles were made of microtubules with either GMPCPP or GTP at the exchangeable site on the tubulin dimer. Recovery times were sensitive to bundle thickness and packing, indicating that taxol molecules are able to move laterally through the bundle. The density of open binding sites along a microtubule was varied by controlling the concentration of taxol in solution for GMPCPP samples. With >63% sites occupied, recovery times were independent of taxol concentration and, therefore, inversely proportional to the microscopic dissociation rate, k(off). It was found that 10k(off)(GMPCPP) approximately equal k(off)(GTP), consistent with, but not fully accounting for, the difference in equilibrium constants for taxol on GMPCPP and GTP microtubules. With <63% sites occupied, recovery times decreased as approximately [Tax](-1/5) for both types of microtubules. We conclude that the diffusion of taxol inside the microtubule bundle is hindered by rebinding events when open sites are within approximately 7 nm of each other.  (+info)

Chemical stabilisation of collagen as a biomimetic. (6/731)

Collagen is the most abundant protein in animals and because of its high mechanical strength and good resistance to degradation has been utilized in a wide range of products in industry whilst its low antigenicity has resulted in its widespread use in medicine. Collagen products can be purified from fibres, molecules reconstituted as fibres or from specific recombinant polypeptides with preferred properties. A common feature of all these biomaterials is the need for stable chemical cross-linking to control the mechanical properties and the residence time in the body, and to some extent the immunogenicity of the device. This can be achieved by a number of different cross-linking agents that react with specific amino acid residues on the collagen molecule imparting individual biochemical, thermal and mechanical characteristics to the biomaterial. In this review we have summarised the major techniques for testing these characteristics and the mechanisms involved in the variety of cross-linking reactions to achieve particular properties.  (+info)

Water and proton conduction through carbon nanotubes as models for biological channels. (7/731)

Carbon nanotubes, unmodified (pristine) and modified through charged atoms, were simulated in water, and their water conduction rates determined. The conducted water inside the nanotubes was found to exhibit a strong ordering of its dipole moments. In pristine nanotubes the water dipoles adopt a single orientation along the tube axis with a low flipping rate between the two possible alignments. Modification can induce in nanotubes a bipolar ordering as previously observed in biological water channels. Network thermodynamics was applied to investigate proton conduction through the nanotubes.  (+info)

Ion channels of alamethicin dimer N-terminally linked by disulfide bond. (8/731)

A covalent dimer of alamethicin Rf30 was synthesized by linking the N-termini by a disulfide bond. When the dimer peptides were added to the cis-side of a diphytanoyl PC membrane, macroscopic channel current was induced only at cis positive voltages. The single-channel recordings showed several conductance levels that were alternately stabilized. These results indicate that the dimer peptides form stable channels by N-terminal insertion like alamethicin and that most of the pores are assembled from even numbers of helices. Taking advantages of the long open duration of the dimer peptide channels, the current-voltage (I-V) relations of the single-channels were obtained by applying fast voltage ramps during the open states. The I-V relations showed rectification, such that current from the cis-side toward the trans-side is larger than that in the opposite direction. The intrinsic rectification is mainly attributed to the macro dipoles of parallel peptide helices surrounding a central pore.  (+info)