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[en] As researchers strive to understand the interplay between the complex molecular systems that make up living cells, tools for characterizing the interactions between the various players involved have developed. Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) plays an important role in building a molecular-level understanding of the structures of macromolecular systems that make up cells. SANS is widely applicable to the study of biological structures including, but by no means limited to, protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid complexes, lipid membranes, cellular scaffolding, and amyloid plaques. Here, we present a brief description of the technique as it is commonly applied to the study of biological systems and an overview instrumentation that is available at the various facilities around the world.
[en] This is a book of abstracts of the oral presentations and posters that were presented during Twentieth Forum for Biological Sciences : The fifth congress of biotechnology that was held in Hammamet from 22 to 25 mars 2009
[en] To study the relationship between the infection of human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16, type 18, the expression of survivin, and the mutation of p53 gene in lung squamous carcinoma tissue for the research of pathogenesis of lung carcinoma.This study was carried out at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Xiangfan Central Hospital of Hubei Province, China from September 2008 to May 2010. Forty-five specimens of lung squamous carcinoma tissue confirmed by histopathology were the excisional specimens taken by the Thoracic Surgery of Xiangfan Central Hospital. Normal tissue, closely adjacent to the fresh carcinoma specimens, was used as the control group for p53 gene mutation analysis. Sixteen surgical excisional specimens of benign lung disease were used as a control group of non-carcinomatous diseases. Human papillomavirus DNA were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and we used the PCR-single-strand conformation polymorphism-ethidium bromide (PCR-SSCP-EB) method to detect the mutations of the p53 gene. The expression of the survivin gene was detected by immunohistochemistry methods. Approximately 68.9% of 45 lung squamous carcinoma tissue had p53 gene mutations. The mutation rate of exon 5-8 p53 were 15.6%, 17.8%, 15.6% and 20%. Approximately 42.2% of lung squamous cell carcinoma samples were shown to be positive for HPV DNA expression and 62.2% were positive for survivin expression. There was an inverse correlation between the presence of HPV infections and mutations of p53 gene; and the mutations of p53 gene and expression of survivin had a positive relationship. Mutation of p53 gene and HPV infection may facilitate each other in the generation of lung squamous cell carcinoma. Abnormal expression of the survivin gene may take part in the onset and progression of lung squamous cell carcinoma (Author).
[en] Modern single molecule fluorescence microscopy offers new, highly quantitative ways of studying the systems biology of cells while keeping the cells healthy and alive in their natural environment. In this context, a quantum optical technique, photon antibunching, has found a small niche in the continuously growing applications of single molecule techniques to small molecular complexes. Here, we review some of the most recent applications of photon antibunching in biophotonics, and we provide a guide for how to conduct photon antibunching experiments at the single molecule level by applying techniques borrowed from time-correlated single photon counting. We provide a number of new examples for applications of photon antibunching to the study of multichromophoric molecules and small molecular complexes
[en] DNA-based molecular techniques permit the comprehensive determination of microbial diversity but generally do not reveal the relationship between the identity and the function of microorganisms. The first direct molecular technique to enable the linkage of phylogeny with function is DNA-based stable isotope probing (DNA-SIP). Applying this method first helped describe the utilization of simple compounds, such as methane, methanol or glucose and has since been used to detect microbial communities active in the utilization of a wide variety of compounds, including various xenobiotics. The principle of the method lies in providing 13C-labeled substrate to a microbial community and subsequent analyses of the 13C-DNA isolated from the community. Isopycnic centrifugation permits separating 13C-labeled DNA of organisms that utilized the substrate from 12C-DNA of the inactive majority. As the whole metagenome of active populations is isolated, its follow-up analysis provides successful taxonomic identification as well as the potential for functional gene analyses. Because of its power, DNA-SIP has become one of the leading techniques of microbial ecology research. But from other point of view, it is a labor-intensive method that requires careful attention to detail during each experimental step in order to avoid misinterpretation of results.
[en] We have developed microfluidic chips for automating molecular biology processes such as gene ligation and gene transformation from nanolitre sample volumes with parallel architecture. Unlike conventional tube methods with cumbersome pipetting procedures, all processes, including metering of samples, ligation and transformation, were carried out in the microfluidic chips through pneumatic control of the nanofluid. The microfluidic devices presented here offer an illustration of some of the basic physics that arises when trying to miniaturize and automate biological techniques
[en] The GTPase-activating proteins for Rho family GTPases (RhoGAP) transduce diverse intracellular signals by negatively regulating Rho family GTPase-mediated pathways. In this study, we have cloned and characterized a novel RhoGAP for Rac1 and Cdc42, termed RRC-1, from Caenorhabditis elegans. RRC-1 was highly homologous to mammalian p250GAP and promoted GTP hydrolysis of Rac1 and Cdc42 in cells. The rrc-1 mRNA was expressed in all life stages. Using an RRC-1::GFP fusion protein, we found that RRC-1 was localized to the coelomocytes, excretory cell, GLR cells, and uterine-seam cell in adult worms. These data contribute toward understanding the roles of Rho family GTPases in C. elegans
[en] The main groups of currently known red fluorescent proteins are characterized: their structure, folding and mechanisms of chromophore formation are discussed. The key applications of these proteins as markers and sensors in cell and molecular biology are demonstrated.
[en] Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy; it accounts for approximately 1% of all new case of cancer each year, and its incidence has increased significantly over the last few decades. The majority of thyroid tumors originate from follicular epithelial cells. Among them, papillary (Ptc) and follicular carcinomas (Ftc) represent the most common forms of differentiated thyroid cancer and account for approximately 80% and 15% of all cases, respectively. Specific genetic lesions are associated to each thyroid tumor histotype: BRAF mutations and Ret/Ptc and TRK oncogenes have been detected in Ptc, whereas Ftc is characterized by PAX8/PPARg rearrangements and Ras mutations. In this review we summarize studies on the molecular biology of the differentiated thyroid tumors, with particular interest in the associated genetic lesions and their role in thyroid carcinogenesis. We also report recent findings on gene expression and mi RNA profiles of Ptc and Ftc.