A change from planar to elliptic polarization when an initially plane-polarized light wave traverses an optically active medium. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Protein Structure, Secondary
The level of protein structure in which regular hydrogen-bond interactions within contiguous stretches of polypeptide chain give rise to alpha helices, beta strands (which align to form beta sheets) or other types of coils. This is the first folding level of protein conformation.
Any of the covalently closed DNA molecules found in bacteria, many viruses, mitochondria, plastids, and plasmids. Small, polydisperse circular DNA's have also been observed in a number of eukaryotic organisms and are suggested to have homology with chromosomal DNA and the capacity to be inserted into, and excised from, chromosomal DNA. It is a fragment of DNA formed by a process of looping out and deletion, containing a constant region of the mu heavy chain and the 3'-part of the mu switch region. Circular DNA is a normal product of rearrangement among gene segments encoding the variable regions of immunoglobulin light and heavy chains, as well as the T-cell receptor. (Riger et al., Glossary of Genetics, 5th ed & Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)
The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).
Measurement of the intensity and quality of fluorescence.
Amino Acid Sequence
Molecular Sequence Data
Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.
A strong organic base existing primarily as guanidium ions at physiological pH. It is found in the urine as a normal product of protein metabolism. It is also used in laboratory research as a protein denaturant. (From Martindale, the Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed and Merck Index, 12th ed) It is also used in the treatment of myasthenia and as a fluorescent probe in HPLC.
Optical Rotatory Dispersion
A rigorously mathematical analysis of energy relationships (heat, work, temperature, and equilibrium). It describes systems whose states are determined by thermal parameters, such as temperature, in addition to mechanical and electromagnetic parameters. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 12th ed)
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
A non-aqueous co-solvent that serves as tool to study protein folding. It is also used in various pharmaceutical, chemical and engineering applications.
The property of objects that determines the direction of heat flow when they are placed in direct thermal contact. The temperature is the energy of microscopic motions (vibrational and translational) of the particles of atoms.
Nucleic Acid Conformation
Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
An essential amino acid that is necessary for normal growth in infants and for NITROGEN balance in adults. It is a precursor of INDOLE ALKALOIDS in plants. It is a precursor of SEROTONIN (hence its use as an antidepressant and sleep aid). It can be a precursor to NIACIN, albeit inefficiently, in mammals.
The art or process of comparing photometrically the relative intensities of the light in different parts of the spectrum.
Protein Structure, Tertiary
The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.
Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.
A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.
Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.
Nucleic Acid Denaturation
Disruption of the secondary structure of nucleic acids by heat, extreme pH or chemical treatment. Double strand DNA is "melted" by dissociation of the non-covalent hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Denatured DNA appears to be a single-stranded flexible structure. The effects of denaturation on RNA are similar though less pronounced and largely reversible.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular
NMR spectroscopy on small- to medium-size biological macromolecules. This is often used for structural investigation of proteins and nucleic acids, and often involves more than one isotope.
Presence of warmth or heat or a temperature notably higher than an accustomed norm.
Higher-order DNA and RNA structures formed from guanine-rich sequences. They are formed around a core of at least 2 stacked tetrads of hydrogen-bonded GUANINE bases. They can be formed from one two or four separate strands of DNA (or RNA) and can display a wide variety of topologies, which are a consequence of various combinations of strand direction, length, and sequence. (From Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(19):5402-15)
Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).
A compound formed in the liver from ammonia produced by the deamination of amino acids. It is the principal end product of protein catabolism and constitutes about one half of the total urinary solids.
The measurement of the quantity of heat involved in various processes, such as chemical reactions, changes of state, and formations of solutions, or in the determination of the heat capacities of substances. The fundamental unit of measurement is the joule or the calorie (4.184 joules). (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
Particles consisting of aggregates of molecules held loosely together by secondary bonds. The surface of micelles are usually comprised of amphiphatic compounds that are oriented in a way that minimizes the energy of interaction between the micelle and its environment. Liquids that contain large numbers of suspended micelles are referred to as EMULSIONS.
Genetically engineered MUTAGENESIS at a specific site in the DNA molecule that introduces a base substitution, or an insertion or deletion.
A trypanocidal agent and possible antiviral agent that is widely used in experimental cell biology and biochemistry. Ethidium has several experimentally useful properties including binding to nucleic acids, noncompetitive inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and fluorescence among others. It is most commonly used as the bromide.
Spectrum Analysis, Raman
Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
The thermodynamic interaction between a substance and WATER.
Compounds and molecular complexes that consist of very large numbers of atoms and are generally over 500 kDa in size. In biological systems macromolecular substances usually can be visualized using ELECTRON MICROSCOPY and are distinguished from ORGANELLES by the lack of a membrane structure.
Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
A technique applicable to the wide variety of substances which exhibit paramagnetism because of the magnetic moments of unpaired electrons. The spectra are useful for detection and identification, for determination of electron structure, for study of interactions between molecules, and for measurement of nuclear spins and moments. (From McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 7th edition) Electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopy is a variant of the technique which can give enhanced resolution. Electron spin resonance analysis can now be used in vivo, including imaging applications such as MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING.
Liquids that dissolve other substances (solutes), generally solids, without any change in chemical composition, as, water containing sugar. (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)
Protein Structure, Quaternary
The characteristic 3-dimensional shape and arrangement of multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).
Artificial, single or multilaminar vesicles (made from lecithins or other lipids) that are used for the delivery of a variety of biological molecules or molecular complexes to cells, for example, drug delivery and gene transfer. They are also used to study membranes and membrane proteins.
A conjugated protein which is the oxygen-transporting pigment of muscle. It is made up of one globin polypeptide chain and one heme group.
Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate
An anionic surfactant, usually a mixture of sodium alkyl sulfates, mainly the lauryl; lowers surface tension of aqueous solutions; used as fat emulsifier, wetting agent, detergent in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and toothpastes; also as research tool in protein biochemistry.
Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
Organic compounds that generally contain an amino (-NH2) and a carboxyl (-COOH) group. Twenty alpha-amino acids are the subunits which are polymerized to form proteins.
A chemical reaction in which an electron is transferred from one molecule to another. The electron-donating molecule is the reducing agent or reductant; the electron-accepting molecule is the oxidizing agent or oxidant. Reducing and oxidizing agents function as conjugate reductant-oxidant pairs or redox pairs (Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry, 1982, p471).
The determination of the concentration of a given component in solution (the analyte) by addition of a liquid reagent of known strength (the titrant) until an equivalence point is reached (when the reactants are present in stoichiometric proportions). Often an indicator is added to make the equivalence point visible (e.g., a change in color).
The rotation of linearly polarized light as it passes through various media.
Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.
Polymers made up of a few (2-20) nucleotides. In molecular genetics, they refer to a short sequence synthesized to match a region where a mutation is known to occur, and then used as a probe (OLIGONUCLEOTIDE PROBES). (Dorland, 28th ed)
The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.
The assembly of the QUATERNARY PROTEIN STRUCTURE of multimeric proteins (MULTIPROTEIN COMPLEXES) from their composite PROTEIN SUBUNITS.
The temperature at which a substance changes from one state or conformation of matter to another.
The scattering of x-rays by matter, especially crystals, with accompanying variation in intensity due to interference effects. Analysis of the crystal structure of materials is performed by passing x-rays through them and registering the diffraction image of the rays (CRYSTALLOGRAPHY, X-RAY). (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
A molecule that binds to another molecule, used especially to refer to a small molecule that binds specifically to a larger molecule, e.g., an antigen binding to an antibody, a hormone or neurotransmitter binding to a receptor, or a substrate or allosteric effector binding to an enzyme. Ligands are also molecules that donate or accept a pair of electrons to form a coordinate covalent bond with the central metal atom of a coordination complex. (From Dorland, 27th ed)
That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum immediately below the visible range and extending into the x-ray frequencies. The longer wavelengths (near-UV or biotic or vital rays) are necessary for the endogenous synthesis of vitamin D and are also called antirachitic rays; the shorter, ionizing wavelengths (far-UV or abiotic or extravital rays) are viricidal, bactericidal, mutagenic, and carcinogenic and are used as disinfectants.
Basic polypeptide from the venom of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). It contains 26 amino acids, has cytolytic properties, causes contracture of muscle, releases histamine, and disrupts surface tension, probably due to lysis of cell and mitochondrial membranes.
Measurement of the polarization of fluorescent light from solutions or microscopic specimens. It is used to provide information concerning molecular size, shape, and conformation, molecular anisotropy, electronic energy transfer, molecular interaction, including dye and coenzyme binding, and the antigen-antibody reaction.
Procedures by which protein structure and function are changed or created in vitro by altering existing or synthesizing new structural genes that direct the synthesis of proteins with sought-after properties. Such procedures may include the design of MOLECULAR MODELS of proteins using COMPUTER GRAPHICS or other molecular modeling techniques; site-specific mutagenesis (MUTAGENESIS, SITE-SPECIFIC) of existing genes; and DIRECTED MOLECULAR EVOLUTION techniques to create new genes.
Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
Extrachromosomal, usually CIRCULAR DNA molecules that are self-replicating and transferable from one organism to another. They are found in a variety of bacterial, archaeal, fungal, algal, and plant species. They are used in GENETIC ENGINEERING as CLONING VECTORS.
An isoform of DNA that occurs in an environment rich in SODIUM and POTASSIUM ions. It is a right-handed helix with 11 base pairs per turn, a pitch of 0.256 nm per base pair and a helical diameter of 2.3 nm.
Amino Acid Substitution
The naturally occurring or experimentally induced replacement of one or more AMINO ACIDS in a protein with another. If a functionally equivalent amino acid is substituted, the protein may retain wild-type activity. Substitution may also diminish, enhance, or eliminate protein function. Experimentally induced substitution is often used to study enzyme activities and binding site properties.
A fibrous protein complex that consists of proteins folded into a specific cross beta-pleated sheet structure. This fibrillar structure has been found as an alternative folding pattern for a variety of functional proteins. Deposits of amyloid in the form of AMYLOID PLAQUES are associated with a variety of degenerative diseases. The amyloid structure has also been found in a number of functional proteins that are unrelated to disease.
The study of crystal structure using X-RAY DIFFRACTION techniques. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.
Large, hoofed mammals of the family EQUIDAE. Horses are active day and night with most of the day spent seeking and consuming food. Feeding peaks occur in the early morning and late afternoon, and there are several daily periods of rest.
A metallic element of atomic number 30 and atomic weight 65.38. It is a necessary trace element in the diet, forming an essential part of many enzymes, and playing an important role in protein synthesis and in cell division. Zinc deficiency is associated with ANEMIA, short stature, HYPOGONADISM, impaired WOUND HEALING, and geophagia. It is known by the symbol Zn.
Surface Plasmon Resonance
A biosensing technique in which biomolecules capable of binding to specific analytes or ligands are first immobilized on one side of a metallic film. Light is then focused on the opposite side of the film to excite the surface plasmons, that is, the oscillations of free electrons propagating along the film's surface. The refractive index of light reflecting off this surface is measured. When the immobilized biomolecules are bound by their ligands, an alteration in surface plasmons on the opposite side of the film is created which is directly proportional to the change in bound, or adsorbed, mass. Binding is measured by changes in the refractive index. The technique is used to study biomolecular interactions, such as antigen-antibody binding.
A basic enzyme that is present in saliva, tears, egg white, and many animal fluids. It functions as an antibacterial agent. The enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of 1,4-beta-linkages between N-acetylmuramic acid and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine residues in peptidoglycan and between N-acetyl-D-glucosamine residues in chitodextrin. EC 126.96.36.199.
The study of CHEMICAL PHENOMENA and processes in terms of the underlying PHYSICAL PHENOMENA and processes.
Microscopy, Atomic Force
A type of scanning probe microscopy in which a probe systematically rides across the surface of a sample being scanned in a raster pattern. The vertical position is recorded as a spring attached to the probe rises and falls in response to peaks and valleys on the surface. These deflections produce a topographic map of the sample.
Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.
A brominating agent that replaces hydrogen atoms in benzylic or allylic positions. It is used in the oxidation of secondary alcohols to ketones and in controlled low-energy brominations. (From Miall's Dictionary of Chemistry, 5th ed; Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 12th ed,).
A nitrogen-free class of lipids present in animal and particularly plant tissues and composed of one mole of glycerol and 1 or 2 moles of phosphatidic acid. Members of this group differ from one another in the nature of the fatty acids released on hydrolysis.
Derivatives of phosphatidic acids in which the phosphoric acid is bound in ester linkage to a choline moiety. Complete hydrolysis yields 1 mole of glycerol, phosphoric acid and choline and 2 moles of fatty acids.
A group of compounds containing the porphin structure, four pyrrole rings connected by methine bridges in a cyclic configuration to which a variety of side chains are attached. The nature of the side chain is indicated by a prefix, as uroporphyrin, hematoporphyrin, etc. The porphyrins, in combination with iron, form the heme component in biologically significant compounds such as hemoglobin and myoglobin.
Toxins isolated from the venom of Laticauda semifasciata, a sea snake (Hydrophid); immunogenic, basic polypeptides of 62 amino acids, folded by four disulfide bonds, block neuromuscular end-plates irreversibly, thus causing paralysis and severe muscle damage; they are similar to Elapid neurotoxins.
Purifying or cleansing agents, usually salts of long-chain aliphatic bases or acids, that exert cleansing (oil-dissolving) and antimicrobial effects through a surface action that depends on possessing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties.
The transfer of energy of a given form among different scales of motion. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed). It includes the transfer of kinetic energy and the transfer of chemical energy. The transfer of chemical energy from one molecule to another depends on proximity of molecules so it is often used as in techniques to measure distance such as the use of FORSTER RESONANCE ENERGY TRANSFER.
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
Small cationic peptides that are an important component, in most species, of early innate and induced defenses against invading microbes. In animals they are found on mucosal surfaces, within phagocytic granules, and on the surface of the body. They are also found in insects and plants. Among others, this group includes the DEFENSINS, protegrins, tachyplesins, and thionins. They displace DIVALENT CATIONS from phosphate groups of MEMBRANE LIPIDS leading to disruption of the membrane.
A non-crystalline form of silicon oxide that has absorptive properties. It is commonly used as a desiccating agent and as a stationary phase for CHROMATOGRAPHY. The fully hydrated form of silica gel has distinct properties and is referred to as SILICIC ACID.
Amino Acid Motifs
Commonly observed structural components of proteins formed by simple combinations of adjacent secondary structures. A commonly observed structure may be composed of a CONSERVED SEQUENCE which can be represented by a CONSENSUS SEQUENCE.
Peptides composed of between two and twelve amino acids.
A colorless, odorless, highly water soluble vinyl monomer formed from the hydration of acrylonitrile. It is primarily used in research laboratories for electrophoresis, chromatography, and electron microscopy and in the sewage and wastewater treatment industries.
Polymers synthesized by living organisms. They play a role in the formation of macromolecular structures and are synthesized via the covalent linkage of biological molecules, especially AMINO ACIDS; NUCLEOTIDES; and CARBOHYDRATES.
A basic polypeptide isolated from Streptomyces netropsis. It is cytotoxic and its strong, specific binding to A-T areas of DNA is useful to genetics research.
The process of cleaving a chemical compound by the addition of a molecule of water.