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Arbesu M.,University of Barcelona | Maffei M.,University of Barcelona | Maffei M.,Mouse Biology Unit | Cordeiro T.N.,Montpellier University | And 7 more authors.
Structure | Year: 2017

The N-terminal regulatory region of c-Src including the SH4, Unique, and SH3 domains adopts a compact, yet highly dynamic, structure that can be described as an intramolecular fuzzy complex. Most of the long-range interactions within the Unique domain are also observed in constructs lacking the structured SH3, indicating a considerable degree of preorganization of the disordered Unique domain. Here we report that members of the Src family of kinases (SFK) share well-conserved sequence features involving aromatic residues in their Unique domains. This observation contrasts with the supposed lack of sequence homology implied by the name of these domains and suggests that the other members of SFK also have a regulatory region involving their Unique domains. We argue that the Unique domain of each SFK is sensitive to specific input signals, encoded by each specific sequence, but the entire family shares a common mechanism for connecting the disordered and structured domains. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Harris L.G.,University of Swansea | Murray S.,University of Swansea | Pascoe B.,University of Swansea | Bray J.,University of Oxford | And 19 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Bacterial species comprise related genotypes that can display divergent phenotypes with important clinical implications. Staphylococcus epidermidis is a common cause of nosocomial infections and, critical to its pathogenesis, is its ability to adhere and form biofilms on surfaces, thereby moderating the effect of the host's immune response and antibiotics. Commensal S. epidermidis populations are thought to differ from those associated with disease in factors involved in adhesion and biofilm accumulation. We quantified the differences in biofilm formation in 98 S. epidermidis isolates from various sources, and investigated population structure based on ribosomal multilocus typing (rMLST) and the presence/absence of genes involved in adhesion and biofilm formation. All isolates were able to adhere and form biofilms in in vitro growth assays and confocal microscopy allowed classification into 5 biofilm morphotypes based on their thickness, biovolume and roughness. Phylogenetic reconstruction grouped isolates into three separate clades, with the isolates in the main disease associated clade displaying diversity in morphotype. Of the biofilm morphology characteristics, only biofilm thickness had a significant association with clade distribution. The distribution of some known adhesion-associated genes (aap and sesE) among isolates showed a significant association with the species clonal frame. These data challenge the assumption that biofilm-associated genes, such as those on the ica operon, are genetic markers for less invasive S. epidermidis isolates, and suggest that phenotypic characteristics, such as adhesion and biofilm formation, are not fixed by clonal descent but are influenced by the presence of various genes that are mobile among lineages. © 2016 Harris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Pinto M.F.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier | Cardoso B.D.P.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier | Barroso S.,University of Lisbon | Martins A.M.,University of Lisbon | Royo B.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier
Dalton Transactions | Year: 2016

Chelating bis-N-heterocyclic carbene (bis-NHC) complexes of iron(ii) containing pyridyl ligands have been prepared by the reaction of [FeCl2L] [L = bipy (1), phen (2)] with [LiN(SiMe3)2] and a bis(imidazolium) salt. The [Fe(bis-NHC)L(I)2] complexes were active pre-catalysts in the oxidation of 1-phenylethanol with tert-butyl hydroperoxide in neat conditions, affording a quantitative yield of acetophenone in 4.5 h. The catalyst could be reused up to six cycles giving a turnover number (TON) of 1500. Various secondary alcohols, both aromatic and aliphatic were selectivity oxidised to the corresponding ketones in excellent yields. Compound 1 is stable in acetonitrile solution for ca. 4 h, although after 16 h, it evolves to a mixture of [Fe(bis-NHC)(bipy)2]I2 (3), [Fe(bipy)3]2+ and bis-imidazolium salt. The molecular structure of 3 has been determined by X-ray diffraction studies. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Correia V.G.,New University of Lisbon | Correia V.G.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier | Ferraria A.M.,University of Lisbon | Pinho M.G.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier | Aguiar-Ricardo A.,New University of Lisbon
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2015

Water is one of the most valuable resources today and its purity is crucial to health and society well-being. The access to safe drinking water is decreasing in the world, which can have a huge socio-economic impact especially in developing countries, more prone to water-associated diseases. The goal of this work was to develop an innovative, fast, and cost-effective 3D material capable of decontaminating water. We have used an eco-friendly strategy, combining plasma surface activation and supercritical fluid technology to produce, for the first time, a 2-oxazoline-grafted 3D surface with broad-spectrum contact-active antimicrobial properties. Oligo(2-methyl-2-oxazoline) quaternized with N,N-dimethyldodecylamine and grafted to a chitosan (CHT) scaffold (CHT-OMetOx-DDA) efficiently and quickly (<3 min) killed >99.999% of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli cells upon direct contact and avoided bacterial adhesion to the materials surface, which is important for the prevention of biofilm formation. As a proof of concept, CHT-OMetOx-DDA scaffold was demonstrated to be suitable for water purification efficiently killing the microorganisms present in different water samples within minutes of contact and without leaching to the water. Additionally, we report for the first time a new method to clearly distinguish two mechanisms of action of bioactive surfaces: contact-active and releasing systems. © 2015 American Chemical Society.


PubMed | University of Lisbon, New University of Lisbon and Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biomacromolecules | Year: 2015

Water is one of the most valuable resources today and its purity is crucial to health and society well-being. The access to safe drinking water is decreasing in the world, which can have a huge socio-economic impact especially in developing countries, more prone to water-associated diseases. The goal of this work was to develop an innovative, fast, and cost-effective 3D material capable of decontaminating water. We have used an eco-friendly strategy, combining plasma surface activation and supercritical fluid technology to produce, for the first time, a 2-oxazoline-grafted 3D surface with broad-spectrum contact-active antimicrobial properties. Oligo(2-methyl-2-oxazoline) quaternized with N,N-dimethyldodecylamine and grafted to a chitosan (CHT) scaffold (CHT-OMetOx-DDA) efficiently and quickly (<3 min) killed >99.999% of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli cells upon direct contact and avoided bacterial adhesion to the materials surface, which is important for the prevention of biofilm formation. As a proof of concept, CHT-OMetOx-DDA scaffold was demonstrated to be suitable for water purification efficiently killing the microorganisms present in different water samples within minutes of contact and without leaching to the water. Additionally, we report for the first time a new method to clearly distinguish two mechanisms of action of bioactive surfaces: contact-active and releasing systems.


PubMed | Instituto Of Tecnologia Quimica E Biologica Antonio Xavier and Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of molecular biology | Year: 2016

Flavodiiron proteins (FDPs) are present in organisms from all domains of life and have been described so far to be involved in the detoxification of oxygen or nitric oxide (NO), acting as O


Teles A.R.R.,University of Aveiro | Correia H.,University of Aveiro | Maximo G.J.,University of Campinas | Rebelo L.P.N.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier | And 3 more authors.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2016

Within ionic liquids, fluorinated ionic liquids (FILs) present unique physico-chemical properties and potential applications in several fields. However, the melting point of these neoteric compounds is usually higher due to the presence of fluorine atoms. This drawback may be resolved by, for instance, mixing different FILs to create eutectic mixtures. In this work, binary mixtures of fluoro-containing and fluorinated ionic liquids were considered with the aim of decreasing their melting temperatures as well as understanding and characterizing these mixtures and their phase transitions. Five FILs were selected, allowing the investigation of four binary mixtures, each of them with a common ion. Their solid-liquid and solid-solid equilibria were studied by differential scanning calorimetry and the non-ideality of the mixtures was investigated. Overall, a variety of solid-liquid equilibria with systems exhibiting eutectic behavior, polymorphs with solid-solid phase transitions, and the formation of intermediate compounds and solid solutions were surprisingly found. In addition to these intriguing behaviours, novel FILs with lower melting temperatures were obtained by the formation of binary systems, thus enlarging the application range of FILs at lower temperatures. © 2016 The Owner Societies.


Kowacz M.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier | Marchel M.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier | Juknaite L.,New University of Lisbon | Esperanca J.M.S.S.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Crystal Growth | Year: 2016

We show that a physical trigger, a non-ionizing infrared (IR) radiation at wavelengths strongly absorbed by liquid water, can be used to induce and kinetically control protein (periodic) self-assembly in solution. This phenomenon is explained by considering the effect of IR light on the structuring of protein interfacial water. Our results indicate that the IR radiation can promote enhanced mutual correlations of water molecules in the protein hydration shell. We report on the radiation-induced increase in both the strength and cooperativeness of H-bonds. The presence of a structured dipolar hydration layer can lead to attractive interactions between like-charged biomacromolecules in solution (and crystal nucleation events). Furthermore, our study suggests that enveloping the protein within a layer of structured solvent (an effect enhanced by IR light) can prevent the protein non-specific aggregation favoring periodic self-assembly. Recognizing the ability to affect protein-water interactions by means of IR radiation may have important implications for biological and bio-inspired systems. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Valente R.S.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia | Valente R.S.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier | Xavier K.B.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia | Xavier K.B.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier
Journal of Bacteriology | Year: 2016

Pectobacterium wasabiae (previously known as Erwinia carotovora) is an important plant pathogen that regulates the production of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes through an N-acyl homoserine lactone-based quorum sensing system and through the GacS/GacA two-component system (also known as ExpS/ExpA). At high cell density, activation of GacS/GacA induces the expression of RsmB, a noncoding RNA that is essential for the activation of virulence in this bacterium. A genetic screen to identify regulators of RsmB revealed that mutants defective in components of a putative Trk potassium transporter (trkH and trkA) had decreased rsmB expression. Further analysis of these mutants showed that changes in potassium concentration influenced rsmB expression and consequent tissue damage in potato tubers and that this regulation required an intact Trk system. Regulation of rsmB expression by potassium via the Trk system occurred even in the absence of the GacS/GacA system, demonstrating that these systems act independently and are both required for full activation of RsmB and for the downstream induction of virulence in potato infection assays. Overall, our results identified potassium as an essential environmental factor regulating the Rsm system, and the consequent induction of virulence, in the plant pathogen P. wasabiae. © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


PubMed | Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Antonio Xavier
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003) | Year: 2016

Chelating bis-N-heterocyclic carbene (bis-NHC) complexes of iron(ii) containing pyridyl ligands have been prepared by the reaction of [FeCl2L] [L = bipy (1), phen (2)] with [LiN(SiMe3)2] and a bis(imidazolium) salt. The [Fe(bis-NHC)L(I)2] complexes were active pre-catalysts in the oxidation of 1-phenylethanol with tert-butyl hydroperoxide in neat conditions, affording a quantitative yield of acetophenone in 4.5 h. The catalyst could be reused up to six cycles giving a turnover number (TON) of 1500. Various secondary alcohols, both aromatic and aliphatic were selectivity oxidised to the corresponding ketones in excellent yields. Compound 1 is stable in acetonitrile solution for ca. 4 h, although after 16 h, it evolves to a mixture of [Fe(bis-NHC)(bipy)2]I2 (3), [Fe(bipy)3](2+) and bis-imidazolium salt. The molecular structure of 3 has been determined by X-ray diffraction studies.

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