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The Effect of the Human MeCP2 gene on Drosophila melanogaster behavior and p53 inhibition as a model for Rett Syndrome

Ganga et al. | Sep 07, 2020

The Effect of the Human <i>MeCP2</i> gene on <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i> behavior and p53 inhibition as a model for Rett Syndrome

In this study, the authors observe if the symptoms of Rett Syndrome, a neurodegenerative disease in humans, are reflected in Drosophila melanogaster. This was achieved by differentiating the behavior and physical aspects of wild-type flies from flies expressing the full-length MeCP2 gene and the mutated MeCP2 gene (R106W). After conducting these experiments, some of the Rett Syndrome symptoms were recapitulated in Drosophila, and a subset of those were partially ameliorated by the introduction of pifithrin-alpha.

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High-throughput virtual screening of novel dihydropyrimidine monastrol analogs reveals robust structure-activity relationship to kinesin Eg5 binding thermodynamics

Shern et al. | Jan 20, 2021

High-throughput virtual screening of novel dihydropyrimidine monastrol analogs reveals robust structure-activity relationship to kinesin Eg5 binding thermodynamics

As cancer continues to take millions of lives worldwide, the need to create effective therapeutics for the disease persists. The kinesin Eg5 assembly motor protein is a promising target for cancer therapeutics as inhibition of this protein leads to cell cycle arrest. Monastrol, a small dihydropyrimidine-based molecule capable of inhibiting the kinesin Eg5 function, has attracted the attention of medicinal chemists with its potency, affinity, and specificity to the highly targeted loop5/α2/α3 allosteric binding pocket. In this work, we employed high-throughput virtual screening (HTVS) to identify potential small molecule Eg5 inhibitors from a designed set of novel dihydropyrimidine analogs structurally similar to monastrol.

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The Cilium- and Centrosome-Associated Protein CCDC11 Is Required for Cytokinesis via Midbody Recruitment of the ESCRT- III Membrane Scission Complex Subunit CHMP2A

Ahmed et al. | Mar 14, 2018

The Cilium- and Centrosome-Associated Protein CCDC11 Is Required for Cytokinesis via Midbody Recruitment of the ESCRT- III Membrane Scission Complex Subunit CHMP2A

In order for cells to successfully multiply, a number of proteins are needed to correctly coordinate the replication and division process. In this study, students use fluorescence microscopy and molecular methods to study CCDC11, a protein critical in the formation of cilia. Interestingly, they uncover a new role for CCDC11, critical in the cell division across multiple human cell lines.

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Computational Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) of Berberine Analogs in Double-Stranded and G-Quadruplex DNA Binding Reveals Both Position and Target Dependence

Sun et al. | Dec 18, 2020

Computational Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) of Berberine Analogs in Double-Stranded and G-Quadruplex DNA Binding Reveals Both Position and Target Dependence

Berberine, a natural product alkaloid, and its analogs have a wide range of medicinal properties, including antibacterial and anticancer effects. Here, the authors explored a library of alkyl or aryl berberine analogs to probe binding to double-stranded and G-quadruplex DNA. They determined that the nature of the substituent, the position of the substituent, and the nucleic acid target affect the free energy of binding of berberine analogs to DNA and G-quadruplex DNA, however berberine analogs did not result in net stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA.

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Efficacy of Mass Spectrometry Versus 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance With Respect to Denaturant Dependent Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange in Protein Studies

Chenna et al. | Jan 22, 2020

Efficacy of Mass Spectrometry Versus 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance With Respect to Denaturant Dependent Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange in Protein Studies

The misfolding of proteins leads to numerous diseases including Akzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Type II Diabetes. Understanding of exactly how proteins fold is crucial for many medical advancements. Chenna and Englander addressed this problem by measuring the rate of hydrogen-deuterium exchange within proteins exposed to deuterium oxide in order to further elucidate the process of protein folding. Here, mass spectrometry was used to measure exchange in Cytochrome c and was compared to archived 1H NMR data.

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Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Joshi et al. | Dec 09, 2019

Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Currently there is no early dehydration detection system using temperature and pH as indicators. A sensor could alert the wearer and others of low hydration levels, which would normally be difficult to catch prior to more serious complications resulting from dehydration. In this study, a protein fluorophore, green fluorescent protein (GFP), and a chemical fluorophore, fluorescein, were tested for a change in fluorescence in response to increased temperature or decreased pH. Reversing the pH change did not restore GFP fluorescence, but that of fluorescein was re-established. This finding suggests that fluorescein could be used as a reusable sensor for a dehydration-related pH change.

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Aggression of Carcharhinus leucas and Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos towards humans

Mignone et al. | May 11, 2021

Aggression of <i>Carcharhinus leucas</i> and <i>Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos</i> towards humans

This paper presents findings on Carcharhinus leucas (bull shark) and Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos (grey reef shark) aggression towards humans at Beqa Adventure Divers in Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Fiji. We hypothesized that grey reef sharks would receive more prods than bull sharks because grey reef sharks are typically more aggressive than bull sharks. The results supported our hypothesis, as an individual grey reef shark received 2.44 prods on average per feed, while a bull shark had an average of 0.61. These findings are meaningful not only to the world’s general understanding of shark aggression, but also to human protection against grey reef sharks as well as public education on bull sharks and the conservation of the species.

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Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Acton et al. | Apr 02, 2018

Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Ecological corridors are geographic features designated to allow the movement of wildlife populations between habitats that have been fragmented by human landscapes. Corridors can be a pivotal aspect in wildlife conservation because they preserve a suitable habitat for isolated populations to live and intermingle. Here, two students simulate the effect of introducing a safety corridor for cheetahs, based on real tracking data on cheetahs in Namibia.

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