Iron in the basal ganglia in Parkinson's disease. An in vitro study using extended X-ray absorption fine structure and cryo-electron microscopy. (1/504)

Iron is found in high concentration in some areas of the brain, and increased iron in the substantia nigra is a feature of Parkinson's disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate the physical environment of brain iron in post-mortem tissue to provide information on the possible role of iron in neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease. Iron has also been implicated as the cause of signal loss in areas of high brain iron on T2-weighted MRI sequences. Knowledge of the physical environment of the brain iron is essential in interpreting the cause of signal change. Post-mortem tissue was obtained from six cases of Parkinson's disease and from six age-matched controls. Iron levels were measured using absorption spectrophotometry. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure was used to evaluate the atomic environment of iron within the substantia nigra and both segments of the globus pallidus. Cryo-electron transmission microscopy was used to probe the iron storage proteins in these areas. Iron levels were increased in the parkinsonian nigra and lateral portion of the globus pallidus. Spectra from the extended X-ray absorption fine structure experiments showed that ferritin was the only storage protein detectable in both control and parkinsonian tissue in all areas studied. Cryo-electron transmission microscopy studies showed that ferritin was more heavily loaded with iron in Parkinson's disease when compared with age-matched controls. In summary we have shown that iron levels are increased in two areas of the brain in Parkinson's disease including the substantia nigra, the site of maximal neurodegeneration. This produces increased loading of ferritin, which is the normal brain iron storage protein. It is possible that increased loading of ferritin may increase the risk of free radical-induced damage. Differences in ferritin loading may explain regional differences in iron's effect on the T2 signal.  (+info)

Branching patterns of intramural coronary vessels determined by microangiography using synchrotron radiation. (2/504)

The intramural coronary artery (IMCA) with a diameter of 50-500 micrometers is critical for blood supply to the inner layers of heart muscle. We introduced digital measurement to microangiography using monochromatic synchrotron radiation and quantified branching patterns of the IMCA, the epicardial coronary artery (EPCA), and the distal ileal artery (DIA). The pre- and postbranching diameters were measured (95-1,275 micrometers) in seven dogs. A typical arterial segment divided into two nearly equivalent branches, and a regression line of daughter-to-mother diameter plots was almost identical among the EPCA (y = 0.838x - 16.7 in micrometers), IMCA (y = 0.737x - 2.18), and DIA (y = 0.755x + 8.63). However, a considerable difference was present at a segment where a proximal IMCA branched off from an EPCA (y = 0.182x + 90.2). Moreover, a proximal IMCA diameter had no relationship to the branching order from an EPCA. The precision of this method was confirmed by the good correlation of diameter measurements between two independent observers (r = 0.999, y = 1.02x - 1.07). In conclusion, using digital microangiography we demonstrated that the self-similar branching pattern of coronary arteries was discrete at the connection between the IMCA and EPCA.  (+info)

Digitized cerebral synchrotron radiation angiography: quantitative evaluation of the canine circle of Willis and its large and small branches. (3/504)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Conventional X-ray angiography lacks the sensitivity and spatial resolution needed to detect small amounts of iodinated contrast material and to quantitate diameters of the small vessels in the brain. The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether digitized synchrotron radiation microangiography, with the use of a high-definition TV camera system, can accurately show small cerebral vessels. METHODS: Six anesthetized dogs were exposed to monochromatic synchrotron radiation with an energy level of 33.3 keV optimized for iodine detection while iodinated contrast material was injected into the brachiocephalic and vertebral arteries. The images were detected with a high-definition TV camera system with a spatial resolution of 30 microm. In all, 26 cerebral angiograms of the circle of Willis with its branches were obtained, and the images were digitized at a workstation. RESULTS: The small branches of the circle of Willis were clearly visible on all images. Vasodilatation of the circle of Willis and its large and small branches induced by CO2 inhalation was quantitatively confirmed on the images: for example, the diameter of one small branch was increased from 0.24 +/- 0.04 mm to 0.38 +/- 0.12 mm. Temporal subtraction improved the image quality. CONCLUSION: The synchrotron radiation angiographic system is useful for visualizing large and small vessels deep in the brain as well as for quantitating their diameters.  (+info)

Yeast RNA polymerase II at 5 A resolution. (4/504)

Appropriate treatment of X-ray diffraction from an unoriented 18-heavy atom cluster derivative of a yeast RNA polymerase II crystal gave significant phase information to 5 A resolution. The validity of the phases was shown by close similarity of a 6 A electron density map to a 16 A molecular envelope of the polymerase from electron crystallography. Comparison of the 6 A X-ray map with results of electron crystallography of a paused transcription elongation complex suggests functional roles for two mobile protein domains: the tip of a flexible arm forms a downstream DNA clamp; and a hinged domain may serve as an RNA clamp, enclosing the transcript from about 8-18 residues upstream of the 3'-end in a tunnel.  (+info)

Viral evolution revealed by bacteriophage PRD1 and human adenovirus coat protein structures. (5/504)

The unusual bacteriophage PRD1 features a membrane beneath its icosahedral protein coat. The crystal structure of the major coat protein, P3, at 1.85 A resolution reveals a molecule with three interlocking subunits, each with two eight-stranded viral jelly rolls normal to the viral capsid, and putative membrane-interacting regions. Surprisingly, the P3 molecule closely resembles hexon, the equivalent protein in human adenovirus. Both viruses also have similar overall architecture, with identical capsid lattices and attachment proteins at their vertices. Although these two dsDNA viruses infect hosts from very different kingdoms, their striking similarities, from major coat protein through capsid architecture, strongly suggest their evolutionary relationship.  (+info)

Intramyocardial vascular volume distribution studied by synchrotron radiation-excited X-ray fluorescence. (6/504)

We evaluated the vascular volume distribution with fine resolution (0.1-1.3 mg myocardial tissue) in the sagittal plane of the left ventricle by using the microsphere filling method in 21 dogs. The coronary arterial volume density in the sagittal plane did not exhibit normal distribution and was characterized by variability among the outer-to-inner layers and within the layers (+2SD/-2SD > 80 times), and the median values in the layers ranged from 4.7 to 22. 9 nl/mg myocardial tissue. The fractal analysis of vascular volume revealed a self-similar nature with a fractal dimension (D value) similar to that of flow distribution (1.20 +/- 0.05 and 1.24 +/- 0. 09 for vascular volume and flow distribution, respectively) and had a more marked variability than the flow. The correlation of the regional vascular volume between adjacent regions decreased as the distance increased. However, the correlation coefficients in the endocardial-to-epicardial direction were significantly higher than those in the anterior-to-posterior direction (P < 0.05 by paired t-test). In conclusion, we determined intramyocardial vascular volume density in the sagittal plane, and the distribution revealed considerable variability, self-similarity, and asymmetry in the correlation among the adjacent regions. These observations could be related to the characteristics of the intramural coronary vascular network.  (+info)

Crystal versus solution structures of thiamine diphosphate-dependent enzymes. (7/504)

The quaternary structures of the thiamine diphosphate-dependent enzymes transketolase (EC; from Saccharomyces cerevisiae), pyruvate oxidase (EC; from Lactobacillus plantarum), and pyruvate decarboxylase (EC; from Zymomonas mobilis and brewers' yeast, the latter in the native and pyruvamide-activated forms) were examined by synchrotron x-ray solution scattering. The experimental scattering data were compared with the curves calculated from the crystallographic models of these multisubunit enzymes. For all enzymes noted above, except the very compact pyruvate decarboxylase from Z. mobilis, there were significant differences between the experimental and calculated profiles. The changes in relative positions of the subunits in solution were determined by rigid body refinement. For pyruvate oxidase and transketolase, which have tight intersubunit contacts in the crystal, relatively small modifications of the quaternary structure (root mean square displacements of 0.23 and 0.27 nm, respectively) sufficed to fit the experimental data. For the enzymes with looser contacts (the native and activated forms of yeast pyruvate decarboxylase), large modifications of the crystallographic models (root mean square displacements of 0.58 and 1.53 nm, respectively) were required. A clear correlation was observed between the magnitude of the distortions induced by the crystal environment and the interfacial area between subunits.  (+info)

Specific chemical and structural damage to proteins produced by synchrotron radiation. (8/504)

Radiation damage is an inherent problem in x-ray crystallography. It usually is presumed to be nonspecific and manifested as a gradual decay in the overall quality of data obtained for a given crystal as data collection proceeds. Based on third-generation synchrotron x-ray data, collected at cryogenic temperatures, we show for the enzymes Torpedo californica acetylcholinesterase and hen egg white lysozyme that synchrotron radiation also can cause highly specific damage. Disulfide bridges break, and carboxyl groups of acidic residues lose their definition. Highly exposed carboxyls, and those in the active site of both enzymes, appear particularly susceptible. The catalytic triad residue, His-440, in acetylcholinesterase, also appears to be much more sensitive to radiation damage than other histidine residues. Our findings have direct practical implications for routine x-ray data collection at high-energy synchrotron sources. Furthermore, they provide a direct approach for studying the radiation chemistry of proteins and nucleic acids at a detailed, structural level and also may yield information concerning putative "weak links" in a given biological macromolecule, which may be of structural and functional significance.  (+info)