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  1. Oak Ridge National Laboratory is home to the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), a high-flux research reactor, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world's most intense source of pulsed neutron beams. The unique co-localization of these two sources provided an opportunity to develop a suite of complementary small-angle neutron scattering instruments for studies of large-scale structures: the GP-SANS and Bio-SANS instruments at the HFIR and the EQ-SANS and TOF-USANS instruments at the SNS. This article provides an overview of the capabilities of the suite of instruments, with specific emphasis on how they complement each other. As a result, amore » description of the plans for future developments including greater integration of the suite into a single point of entry for neutron scattering studies of large-scale structures is also provided.« less
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  2. Bicontinuous microemulsions (BμEs), consisting of water and oil nanodomains separated by surfactant monolayers of near-zero curvature, are potentially valuable systems for purification and delivery of biomolecules, for hosting multiphasic biochemical reactions, and as templating media for preparing nanomaterials. We formed Winsor-III systems by mixing aqueous protein and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) solutions with dodecane and 1-pentanol (cosurfactant) to efficiently extract proteins into the middle (BμE) phase. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) and cytochrome c partitioned to the BμE phase at 64% and 81% efficiency, respectively, producing highly concentrated protein solutions (32 and 44 g L –1, respectively), through release of watermore » and oil from the BμEs. Circular dichroism spectroscopic analysis demonstrated that BSA underwent minor secondary structural changes upon incorporation into BμEs, while the secondary structure of cytochrome c and pepsin underwent major changes. Small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) results show that proteins promoted an increase of the interfacial fluidity and surface area per volume for the BμE surfactant monolayers, and that each protein uniquely altered self-assembly in the Winsor-III systems. Cytochrome c partitioned via electrostatic attractions between SDS and the protein’s positively-charged groups, residing near the surfactant head groups of BμE monolayers, where it decreased surfactant packing efficiency. BSA partitioned through formation of SDS-BSA complexes via hydrophobic and electrostatic attractive interactions. As the BSA-SDS ratio increased, complexes’ partitioning favored BμEs over the oil excess phase due to the increased hydrophilicity of the complexes. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the potential utility of BμEs to purify proteins and prepare nanostructured fluids possessing high protein concentration.« less
  3. Here, the ligand-induced conformational changes of periplasmic binding proteins (PBP) play a key role in the acquisition of metabolites in ATP binding cassette (ABC) transport systems. This conformational change allows for differential recognition of the ligand occupancy of the PBP by the ABC transporter. This minimizes futile ATP hydrolysis in the transporter, a phenomenon in which ATP hydrolysis is not coupled to metabolite transport. In many systems, the PBP conformational change is insufficient at eliminating futile ATP hydrolysis. Here we identify an additional state of the PBP that is also allosterically regulated by the ligand. Ligand binding to the homodimericmore » apo PBP leads to a tightening of the interface alpha-helices so that the hydrogen bonding pattern shifts to that of a 3 10 helix, in-turn altering the contacts and the dynamics of the protein interface so that the monomer exists in the presence of ligand.« less
  4. A 1.1 Å resolution, room-temperature X-ray structure and a 2.1 Å resolution neutron structure of a chitin-degrading lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase domain from the bacterium Jonesia denitrificans (JdLPMO10A) show a putative dioxygen species equatorially bound to the active site copper. We found that both structures show an elongated density for the dioxygen, most consistent with a Cu(II)-bound peroxide. The coordination environment is consistent with Cu(II). Furthermore, in the neutron and X-ray structures, difference maps reveal the N-terminal amino group, involved in copper coordination, is present as a mixed ND 2 and ND , suggesting a role for the copper ion inmore » shifting the pK a of the amino terminus.« less

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