Browsing by Subject "MECHANISM"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-20 of 141
  • McVey, Alyssa; Bartlett, Sean; Kajbaf, Mahmoud; Pellacani, Annalisa; Gatta, Viviana; Tammela, Päivi; Spring, David R.; Welch, Martin (2020)
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen responsible for many hospital-acquired infections. P. aeruginosa can thrive in diverse infection scenarios by rewiring its central metabolism. An example of this is the production of biomass from C-2 nutrient sources such as acetate via the glyoxylate shunt when glucose is not available. The glyoxylate shunt is comprised of two enzymes, isocitrate lyase (ICL) and malate synthase G (MS), and flux through the shunt is essential for the survival of the organism in mammalian systems. In this study, we characterized the mode of action and cytotoxicity of structural analogs of 2-aminopyridines, which have been identified by earlier work as being inhibitory to both shunt enzymes. Two of these analogs were able to inhibit ICL and MS in vitro and prevented growth of P. aeruginosa on acetate (indicating cell permeability). Moreover, the compounds exerted negligible cytotoxicity against three human cell lines and showed promising in vitro drug metabolism and safety profiles. Isothermal titration calorimetry was used to confirm binding of one of the analogs to ICL and MS, and the mode of enzyme inhibition was determined. Our data suggest that these 2-aminopyridine analogs have potential as anti-pseudomonal agents.
  • Mollerup, Filip; Aumala, Ville; Parikka, Kirsti Maria; Mathieu, Yan; Brumer, Harry; Tenkanen, Tiina Maija; Master, Emma (2019)
    Copper radical alcohol oxidases belonging to auxiliary activity family 5, subfamily 2 (AA5_2) catalyze the oxidation of galactose and galactosides, as well as aliphatic alcohols. Despite their broad applied potential, so far very few AA5_2 members have been biochemically characterized. We report the recombinant production and biochemical characterization of an AA5_2 oxidase from Penicillium rubens Wisconsin 54-1255 (PruAA5_2A), which groups within an unmapped clade phylogenetically distant from those comprising AA5_2 members characterized to date. PruAA5_2 preferentially oxidized raffinose over galactose; however, its catalytic efficiency was 6.5 times higher on glycolaldehyde dimer compared to raffinose. Deep sequence analysis of characterized AA5_2 members highlighted amino acid pairs correlated to substrate range and conserved within the family. Moreover, PruAA5_2 activity spans substrate preferences previously reported for AA5 subfamily 1 and 2 members, identifying possible functional overlap across the AA5 family.
  • Stepanova, Elena V.; Nagornaya, Marina O.; Filimonov, Victor D.; Valiev, Rashid R.; Belyanin, Maxim L.; Drozdova, Anna K.; Cherepanov, Victor N. (2018)
    Abstract In the present work we report that acetyl groups of per – acetylated aryl glycosides have different reactivity during the acidic deacetylation using HCl/EtOH in CHCl3, which leads to preferential deacetylation at O-3, O-4 and O-6. Thereby, the one-step preparation of 2-O-acetyl aryl glycosides with simple aglycon was accomplished for the first time. It was proved that the found reagent is to be general and unique for the preparation of series of 2-О-acetyl aryl glycosides. We have determined the influence of both carbohydrate moiety and the aglycon on the selectivity of deacetylation reaction by kinetic experiments. Using DFT/B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) and semi-empirical АМ1 methods we have found that the highest activation barrier is for 2-О-acetyl group. This completely explains the least reactivity of 2-О-acetyl group.
  • Hänninen, Vesa; Murdachaew, Garold; Nathanson, Gilbert M.; Gerber, R. Benny; Halonen, Lauri (2018)
    Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of formic acid (FA) dimer colliding with liquid water at 300 K have been performed using density functional theory. The two energetically lowest FA dimer isomers were collided with a water slab at thermal and high kinetic energies up to 68k(B)T. Our simulations agree with recent experimental observations of nearly a complete uptake of gas-phase FA dimer: the calculated average kinetic energy of the dimers immediately after collision is 5 +/- 4% of the incoming kinetic energy, which compares well with the experimental value of 10%. Simulations support the experimental observation of no delayed desorption of FA dimers following initial adsorption. Our analysis shows that the FA dimer forms hydrogen bonds with surface water molecules, where the hydrogen bond order depends on the dimer structure, such that the most stable isomer possesses fewer FA-water hydrogen bonds than the higher energy isomer. Nevertheless, even the most stable isomer can attach to the surface through one hydrogen bond despite its reduced hydrophilicity. Our simulations further show that the probability of FA dimer dissociation is increased by high collision energies, the dimer undergoes isomerization from the higher energy to the lowest energy isomer, and concerted double-proton transfer occurs between the FA monomers. Interestingly, proton transfer appears to be driven by the release of energy arising from such isomerization, which stimulates those internal vibrational degrees of freedom that overcome the barrier of a proton transfer.
  • Berndt, Torsten; Scholz, Wiebke; Mentler, Bernhard; Fischer, Lukas; Herrmann, Hartmut; Kulmala, Markku; Hansel, Armin (2018)
    Hydrocarbons are emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in very large quantities by human and biogenic activities. Their atmospheric oxidation processes almost exclusively yield RO2 radicals as reactive intermediates whose atmospheric fate is not yet fully unraveled. Herein, we show that gas-phase reactions of two RO2 radicals produce accretion products composed of the carbon backbone of both reactants. The rates for accretion product formation are very high for RO2 radicals bearing functional groups, competing with those of the corresponding reactions with NO and HO2. This pathway, which has not yet been considered in the modelling of atmospheric processes, can be important, or even dominant, for the fate of RO2 radicals in all areas of the atmosphere. Moreover, the vapor pressure of the formed accretion products can be remarkably low, characterizing them as an effective source for the secondary organic aerosol.
  • Mähönen, Katariina; Hau, Annika; Bondet, Vincent; Duffy, Darragh; Eklund, Kari K.; Panelius, Jaana; Ranki, Annamari (2022)
    NLRP3 inflammasome is suggested to contribute to the complex pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus, but its role in cutaneous lupus erythematosus has not been addressed. This study investigated the expression of NLRP3 inflammasome components and levels of type I interferons in the skin of 20 patients with cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Expression of NLRP1/3, adaptor protein ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein), caspase-1, interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha), myxovirus resistance protein (MxA), and interferon-induced proteins 1 and 2 (IFIT 1/2) in the skin was assessed using reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR), western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Serum interferon-a protein levels from 12 patients were measured using digital enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA). Interleukin-1 beta expression was significantly upregulated in the lesional skin of patients with cutaneous lupus erythematosus compared with their uninvolved skin. However, NLRP1/3, ASC and caspase-1 were not significantly upregulated compared with the skin of control persons. IFN-alpha and IFN-induced proteins MxA and IFIT1/2 were strongly expressed in cutaneous lupus erythematosus skin. Variability in the expression of NLRP3 inflammasome components among patients suggests heterogeneity of pathological pathways in cutaneous lupus erythematosus.
  • Pflugmacher, Stephan; Tallinen, Saila; Kim, Young Jun; Kim, Sanghun; Esterhuizen, Maranda (2021)
    Plastic has been an environmental pollutant far longer than claimed by the first reports surfacing in 1979, meaning some plastic materials have been decaying in nature for decades. Nevertheless, the threat posed to biota is not fully understood, especially from aged microplastic. The question considered in this study was whether the adverse effects of new plastic differ from those of old plastic material. Therefore, the morphological and physiological effects on Lepidium sativum with exposure to both new and aged polycarbonate were considered against a known stressor leaching from polycarbonate with time, bisphenol-A. Exposure to new and short-term aged polycarbonate (up to 80 days) elicited the most severe effects such as germination inhibition, reduced seedling growth, decreased chlorophyll concentrations, and increased catalase activity. These adverse effects in L. sativum associated with polycarbonate exposure were reduced as a function of the ageing time applied to the polycarbonate. The chemical substances that lend new polycarbonate material its toxicity were likely leached with time during the ageing process. Based on the results obtained, temperature and humidity based artificial ageing significantly reduced the phytotoxicity of the microplastic particles
  • Enders, Lukas; Casadio, David S.; Aikonen, Santeri; Lenarda, Anna; Wirtanen, Tom; Hu, Tao; Hietala, Sami; Ribeiro, Lucilia S.; Pereira, Manuel Fernando R.; Helaja, Juho (2021)
    A simple "reagent-free" thermal air treatment turns active carbon into a mildly oxidized material with increased quinoidic content that catalytically dehydrogenates saturated N-heterocycles to the corresponding aromatic compounds. Thermal decarboxylation improves the activity of the catalyst further, making it overall more efficient compared to other widely used carbocatalysts such as oxidized carbon nanotubes, graphene oxide and untreated active carbons. The substrate scope covers 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinolines (THQ), 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-beta-carbolines and related N-heterocyclic structures. The developed protocol also successfully dehydrogenates 3-(cyclohexenyl)indoles to 3-aryl indoles, opening a concise transition metal-free approach to (hetero)biaryls as exemplified with the synthesis of the core structure of progesterone receptor antagonist. Hammett plots, deuterium KIE measurements and computations at DFT level suggest that bimolecular hydride transfer mechanism is more likely to operate between THQs and the o-quinoidic sites of the catalyst, than the addition-elimination hemiaminal route. Comparison of structural parameters and catalytic performance of various oxidized carbon materials, prepared by different oxidative and optional post treatments, revealed that quinoidic content and surface area correlate with the obtained yields, while carboxylic acid content has a clear inhibiting effect for the studied oxidative dehydrogenations (ODHs). The carbocatalyst itself can be prepared from inexpensive and environmentally benign starting materials and its catalytic activity can be enhanced by a simple thermal oxidation in air that produces no reagent waste. Furthermore, oxygen is used as terminal oxidant, and the carbocatalyst is recyclable at least six times without a notable loss of activity.
  • Stepanenko, Olesya V.; Baloban, Mikhail; Bublikov, Grigory S.; Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Stepanenko, Olga V.; Turoverov, Konstantin K.; Kuznetsova, Irina M.; Verkhusha, Vladislav Vitaliyevich (2016)
    Fluorescent proteins (FPs) engineered from bacterial phytochromes attract attention as probes for in vivo imaging due to their near-infrared (NIR) spectra and use of available in mammalian cells biliverdin (BV) as chromophore. We studied spectral properties of the iRFP670, iRFP682 and iRFP713 proteins and their mutants having Cys residues able to bind BV either in both PAS (Cys15) and GAF (Cys256) domains, in one of these domains, or without these Cys residues. We show that the absorption and fluorescence spectra and the chromophore binding depend on the location of the Cys residues. Compared with NIR FPs in which BV covalently binds to Cys15 or those that incorporate BV noncovalently, the proteins with BV covalently bound to Cys256 have blue-shifted spectra and higher quantum yield. In dimeric NIR FPs without Cys15, the covalent binding of BV to Cys256 in one monomer allosterically inhibits the covalent binding of BV to the other monomer, whereas the presence of Cys15 allosterically promotes BV binding to Cys256 in both monomers. The NIR FPs with both Cys residues have the narrowest blue-shifted spectra and the highest quantum yield. Our analysis resulted in the iRFP713/Val256Cys protein with the highest brightness in mammalian cells among available NIR FPs.
  • Joshi, Satya P.; Pekkanen, Timo T.; Seal, Prasenjit; Timonen, Raimo S.; Eskola, Arkke J. (2021)
    The kinetics of the reaction between resonance-stabilized (CH3)(2)CCHCH2 radical (R) and O-2 has been investigated using photoionization mass spectrometry, and master equation (ME) simulations were performed to support the experimental results. The kinetic measurements of the (CH3)(2)CCHCH2 + O-2 reaction (1) were carried out at low helium bath-gas pressures (0.2-5.7 Torr) and over a wide temperature range (238-660 K). Under low temperature (238-298 K) conditions, the pressure-dependent bimolecular association reaction R + O-2 -> ROO determines kinetics, until at an intermediate temperature range (325-373 K) the ROO adduct becomes thermally unstable and increasingly dissociates back to the reactants with increasing temperature. The initial association of O-2 with (CH3)(2)CCHCH2 radical occurs on two distinct sites: terminal 1(t) and non-terminal 1(nt) sites on R, leading to the barrierless formation of ROO(t) and ROO(nt) adducts, respectively. Important for autoignition modelling of olefinic compounds, bimolecular reaction channels appear to open for the R + O-2 reaction at high temperatures (T > 500 K) and pressure-independent bimolecular rate coefficients of reaction (1) with a weak positive temperature dependence, (2.8-4.6) x 10(-15) cm(3) molecule(-1) s(-1), were measured in the temperature range of 500-660 K. At a temperature of 501 K, a product signal of reaction (1) was observed at m/z = 68, probably originating from isoprene. To explore the reaction mechanism of reaction (1), quantum chemical calculations and ME simulations were performed. According to the ME simulations, without any adjustment to energies, the most important and second most important product channels at the high temperatures are isoprene + HO2 (yield > 91%) and (2R/S)-3-methyl-1,2-epoxybut-3-ene + OH (yield < 8%). After modest adjustments to ROO(t) and ROO(nt) well-depths (similar to 0.7 kcal mol(-1) each) and barrier height for the transition state associated with the kinetically most dominant channel, R + O-2 -> isoprene + HO2 (similar to 2.2 kcal mol(-1)), the ME model was able to reproduce the experimental findings. Modified Arrhenius expressions for the kinetically important reaction channels are enclosed to facilitate the use of current results in combustion models.
  • He, Suxu; Ran, Chao; Qin, Chubin; Li, Shuning; Zhang, Hongling; de Vos, Willem M.; Ringo, Einar; Zhou, Zhigang (2017)
    In this study, we tested the distribution of 49 Lactobacillus strains in the mucus and mucosa of the intestine tissue of zebrafish. We observed a progressive change in the spatial distribution of Lactobacillus strains, and suggested a division of the strains into three classes: mucus type (>70% in mucus), mucosa type (>70% in mucosa) and hybrid type (others). The hybrid type strains were more efficient in protection of zebrafish against Aeromonas hydrophila infection. Three strains representing different distribution types (JCM1149, CGMCC1.2028, and JCM 20300) were selected. The mucosa type strain JCM1149 induced higher intestinal expression of inflammatory cytokines and Hsp70 than the other strains. Furthermore, we used L. rhamnosus GG and its mutant (PB22) lacking SpaCBA pili to investigate the influence of pili on spatial distribution. LGG showed a mucosa type distribution, while PB22 revealed a hybrid distribution and the disease protection was accordingly improved. The different protection ability between LGG and PB22 did not involve the intestinal microbiota, however, LGG induced injury to the mucosa of zebrafish. Collectively, the disease protection activity of Lactobacillus in zebrafish is correlated with their spatial distribution in the intestinal tissue, with strains showing a balanced distribution (hybrid type) more efficient in protection.
  • Polonen, R. P.; Penttinen, K.; Swan, H.; Aalto-Setälä, K. (2018)
    Mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RYR2) are the leading cause for catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). In this study, we evaluated antiarrhythmic efficacy of carvedilol and flecainide in CPVT patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) carrying different mutations in RYR2. iPSC-CMs were generated from skin biopsies of CPVT patients carrying exon 3 deletion and IA115 or V4653F mutation in RYR2 and of a healthy individual. Ca2+ kinetics and drug effects were studied with Fluo-4 AM indicator. Carvedilol abolished Ca2+ abnormalities in 31% of L4115F, 36% of V4653F, and 46% of exon 3 deletion carrying CPVT cardiomyocytes and flecainide 33%, 30%, and 52%, respectively. Both drugs lowered the intracellular Ca2+ level and beating rate of the cardiomyocytes significantly. Moreover, flecainide caused abnormal Ca2+ transients in 61% of controls compared to 26% of those with carvedilol. Carvedilol and flecainide were equally effective in CPVT iPSC-CMs. However, flecainide induced arrhythmias in 61% of control cells. CPVT cardiomyocytes carrying the exon 3 deletion had the most severe Ca2+ abnormalities, but they had the best response to drug therapies. According to this study, the arrhythmia-abolishing effect of neither of the drugs is optimal. iPSC-CMs provide a unique platform for testing drugs for CPVT.
  • Guo, Hui; Liu , Dongmei; Gao , Bin; Zhang, Xiaohui; You, Minli; Ren, Hui; Zhang, Hongbo; Almeida Santos, Helder; Xu , Feng (2016)
    Evodiamine (EVO) and rutaecarpine (RUT) are promising anti-tumor drug candidates. The evaluation of the anti-proliferative activity and cellular uptake of EVO and RUT in 3D multicellular spheroids of cancer cells would better recapitulate the native situation and thus better reflect an in vivo response to the treatment. Herein, we employed the 3D culture of MCF-7 and SMMC-7721 cells based on hanging drop method and evaluated the anti-proliferative activity and cellular uptake of EVO and RUT in 3D multicellular spheroids, and compared the results with those obtained from 2D monolayers. The drugs’ IC50 values were significantly increased from the range of 6.4–44.1 μM in 2D monolayers to 21.8–138.0 μM in 3D multicellular spheroids, which may be due to enhanced mass barrier and reduced drug penetration in 3D models. The fluorescence of EVO and RUT was measured via fluorescence spectroscopy and the cellular uptake of both drugs was characterized in 2D tumor models. The results showed that the cellular uptake concentrations of RUT increased with increasing drug concentrations. However, the EVO concentrations uptaken by the cells showed only a small change with increasing drug concentrations, which may be due to the different solubility of EVO and Rut in solvents. Overall, this study provided a new vision of the anti-tumor activity of EVO and RUT via 3D multicellular spheroids and cellular uptake through the fluorescence of compounds.
  • Hoyle, C. R.; Fuchs, C.; Jaervinen, E.; Saathoff, H.; Dias, A.; El Haddad, I.; Gysel, M.; Coburn, S. C.; Troestl, J.; Bernhammer, A. -K.; Bianchi, F.; Breitenlechner, M.; Corbin, J. C.; Craven, J.; Donahue, N. M.; Duplissy, J.; Ehrhart, S.; Frege, C.; Gordon, H.; Hoeppel, N.; Heinritzi, M.; Kristensen, T. B.; Molteni, U.; Nichman, L.; Pinterich, T.; Prevot, A. S. H.; Simon, M.; Slowik, J. G.; Steiner, G.; Tome, A.; Vogel, A. L.; Volkamer, R.; Wagner, A. C.; Wagner, R.; Wexler, A. S.; Williamson, C.; Winkler, P. M.; Yan, C.; Amorim, A.; Dommen, J.; Curtius, J.; Gallagher, M. W.; Flagan, R. C.; Hansel, A.; Kirkby, J.; Kulmala, M.; Moehler, O.; Stratmann, F.; Worsnop, D. R.; Baltensperger, U. (2016)
    The growth of aerosol due to the aqueous phase oxidation of sulfur dioxide by ozone was measured in laboratory-generated clouds created in the Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets (CLOUD) chamber at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Experiments were performed at 10 and -10 degrees C, on acidic (sulfuric acid) and on partially to fully neutralised (ammonium sulfate) seed aerosol. Clouds were generated by performing an adiabatic expansion-pressurising the chamber to 220 hPa above atmospheric pressure, and then rapidly releasing the excess pressure, resulting in a cooling, condensation of water on the aerosol and a cloud lifetime of approximately 6 min. A model was developed to compare the observed aerosol growth with that predicted using oxidation rate constants previously measured in bulk solutions. The model captured the measured aerosol growth very well for experiments performed at 10 and -10 degrees C, indicating that, in contrast to some previous studies, the oxidation rates of SO2 in a dispersed aqueous system can be well represented by using accepted rate constants, based on bulk measurements. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first laboratory-based measurements of aqueous phase oxidation in a dispersed, supercooled population of droplets. The measurements are therefore important in confirming that the extrapolation of currently accepted reaction rate constants to temperatures below 0 degrees C is correct.
  • Allolio, Christoph; Magarkar, Aniket; Jurkiewicz, Piotr; Baxova, Katarina; Javanainen, Matti; Mason, Philip E.; Sachl, Radek; Cebecauer, Marek; Hof, Martin; Horinek, Dominik; Heinz, Veronika; Rachel, Reinhard; Ziegler, Christine M.; Schröfel, Adam; Jungwirth, Pavel (2018)
    Arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptides do not enter cells by directly passing through a lipid membrane; they instead passively enter vesicles and live cells by inducing membrane multilamellarity and fusion. The molecular picture of this penetration mode, which differs qualitatively from the previously proposed direct mechanism, is provided by molecular dynamics simulations. The kinetics of vesicle agglomeration and fusion by an iconic cell-penetrating peptide-nonaarginine-are documented via real-time fluorescence techniques, while the induction of multilamellar phases in vesicles and live cells is demonstrated by a combination of electron and fluorescence microscopies. This concert of experiments and simulations reveals that the identified passive cell penetration mechanism bears analogy to vesicle fusion induced by calcium ions, indicating that the two processes may share a common mechanistic origin.
  • Slighoua, Meryem; Mahdi, Ismail; Amrati, Fatima ez-Zahra; Di Cristo, Francesca; Amaghnouje, Amal; Grafov, Andrey; Boucetta, Nabil; Bari, Amina; Bousta, Dalila (2021)
    Ethnopharmacological relevance: Since the dawn of time, medicinal and aromatic plants (AMPs) represent a precious heritage for humanity, especially in developing countries, who exploit their virtues in traditional pharmacopoeia to cope with health problems such as diabetes, kidney stones, ulcer, and digestive disorders. Petroselinum sativum Hoffm. belongs to Apiaceae family. It is traditionally used to treat arterial hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease, renal disease, and recently reported as a plant endowed with a female anti-infertility effect. Aim of the study: This study aims to evaluate the in vivo effect of hydro-ethanolic extract and polyphenols of Petroselinum sativum Hoffm. on cholesterol, protein and estrogen levels, and characterize the chemical composition of polyphenolic fraction. In addition, acute toxicity and anti-inflammatory activity of tested extract was also investigated. Materials and methods: Chemical composition of polyphenolic fraction was determined using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Diode-Array Detection (HPLC-DAD). First, toxicological investigations including sub-acute toxicity were performed by measuring animals' weights daily for four weeks. Afterwards, histopathological examination of livers and kidneys, and serum assay of ASAT and ALAT were also checked. Next, the acute in vivo anti-inflammatory study of the hydro-ethanolic extract and polyphenols of Petroselinum sativum Hoffm. versus Indomethacin was conducted. Furthermore, we evaluated the estrogenic effect of its hydroethanolic extract and the polyphenolic fraction following biochemical assays for the determination of proteins, cholesterol and estrogen levels. Results: The results revealed the presence of some phenolic compounds mainly ferulic acid, gallic acid and quercetin. Petroselinum sativum Hoffm. extracts also showed no evidence of hepatotoxicity nor nephrotoxicity, with remarkable anti-inflammatory activity, as well as a significant estrogenic effect compared to negative control. Conclusion: This study provides a scope of the potential use of Petroselinum sativum Hoffm. extracts in counteracting female infertility issues.
  • Malkamäki, Aapo Erkki Matias; Sharma, Vivek (2019)
    Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase couples the reduction of oxygen to proton pumping. Despite an overall good understanding of its molecular mechanism, the role of cardiolipin in protein function is not understood. Here, we have studied the cardiolipin-protein interactions in a dynamic context by means of atomistic molecular dynamics simulations performed on the entire structure of monomeric and dimeric forms of the enzyme. Several microseconds of simulation data reveal that the crystallographic cardiolipin molecules that glue two monomers together bind weakly in hybrid and single-component lipid bilayers and dissociate rapidly. Atomistic simulations performed in the absence of tightly bound cardiolipin molecules strongly perturb the structural integrity of subunits III and Vila, thereby highlighting an indispensable nature of lipid-protein interactions in enzyme function such as proton uptake and oxygen channeling. Our results demonstrate the strength of molecular simulations in providing direct atomic description of lipid-protein processes that are difficult to achieve experimentally.
  • Vahabpour Roudsari, Golnaz; Reischl, Bernhard; Pakarinen, Olli Heikki; Vehkamäki, Hanna (2020)
    Small particles of silver iodide (AgI) are known to have excellent ice nucleating capabilities and have been used in rain seeding applications. It is widely believed that the silver-terminated (0001) surface of beta-AgI acts as a template for the basal plane of hexagonal ice. However, the (0001) surface of ionic crystals with the wurtzite structure is polar and will therefore exhibit reconstructions and defects. Here, we use atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to study how the presence of defects on AgI(0001) affects the rates and mechanism of heterogeneous ice nucleation at moderate supercooling at -10 degrees C. We consider AgI(0001) surfaces exhibiting vacancies, step edges, terraces, and pits and compare them to simulations of the corresponding ideal surface. We find that, while point defects have no significant effect on ice nucleation rates, step edges, terraces, and pits reduce both the nucleation and growth rates by up to an order of magnitude. The reduction of the ice nucleation rate correlates well with the fraction of the surface area around the defects where perturbations of the hydration layer hinder the formation of a critical ice nucleus.
  • Long, Qiang; Liu, Zehua; Shao, Qianwen; Shi, Hongpeng; Huang, Shixing; Jiang, Chenyu; Qian, Bei; Zhong, Yiming; He, Xiaojun; Xiang, Xiaogang; Yang, Yang; Li, Bing; Yan, Xiaoxiang; Zhao, Qiang; Wei, Xiaoli; Santos, Helder A.; Ye, Xiaofeng (2022)
    Fibrotic diseases remain a substantial health burden with few therapeutic approaches. A hallmark of fibrosis is the aberrant activation and accumulation of myofibroblasts, which is caused by excessive profibrotic cytokines. Conventional anticytokine therapies fail to undergo clinical trials, as simply blocking a single or several antifibrotic cytokines cannot abrogate the profibrotic microenvironment. Here, biomimetic nanoparticles based on autologous skin fibroblasts are customized as decoys to neutralize multiple fibroblast-targeted cytokines. By fusing the skin fibroblast membrane onto poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid cores, these nanoparticles, termed fibroblast membrane-camouflaged nanoparticles (FNPs), are shown to effectively scavenge various profibrotic cytokines, including transforming growth factor-beta, interleukin (IL)-11, IL-13, and IL-17, thereby modulating the profibrotic microenvironment. FNPs are sequentially prepared into multiple formulations for different administration routines. As a proof-of-concept, in three independent animal models with various organ fibrosis (lung fibrosis, liver fibrosis, and heart fibrosis), FNPs effectively reduce the accumulation of myofibroblasts, and the formation of fibrotic tissue, concomitantly restoring organ function and indicating that FNPs are a potential broad-spectrum therapy for fibrosis management.