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Membrane transporters actively translocate their substrate by undergoing large-scale structural transitions between inward- (IF) and outward-facing (OF) states ('alternating-access' mechanism). Despite extensive structural studies, atomic-level mechanistic details of such structural transitions, and as importantly, their coupling to chemical events(More)
INTRODUCTION The aim of this study was to evaluate the process of spermatogenesis in rats exposed to the cigarette smoke. MATERIALS AND METHODS Thirty adult male rats were divided into 2 groups of cases and controls. An apparatus made especially for this study was used to produce smoke from a commonly used cigarette and expose the rats to the smoke. The(More)
Folded polyproline peptides can exist as either left-(PPII) or right-handed (PPI) helices, depending on their environment. In this work, we have characterized the conformations and the free energy landscapes of Ace-(Pro)(n)-Nme, n=2,3, ... ,9, and 13 peptides both in vacuo and in an implicit solvent environment. In order to enhance the sampling provided by(More)
The structure of the proline amino acid allows folded polyproline peptides to exist as both left- (PPII) and right-handed (PPI) helices. We have characterized the free energy landscapes of hexamer, nanomer, and tridecamer polyproline peptides in gas phase and implicit water as well as explicit hexane and 1-propanol for the nanomer. To enhance the sampling(More)
During their transport cycle, ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters undergo large-scale conformational changes between inward- and outward-facing states. Using an approach based on designing system-specific reaction coordinates and using nonequilibrium work relations, we have performed extensive all-atom molecular dynamics simulations in the presence of(More)
There has been considerable debate about the intrinsic PPII propensity of amino acid residues in denatured polypeptides. Experimentally, this scale is based on the behavior of guest amino acid residues placed in the middle of proline-based hosts. We have used classical molecular dynamics simulations combined with replica-exchange methods to carry out a(More)
Since its discovery in 1979, left-handed Z-DNA has evolved from an in vitro curiosity to a challenging DNA structure with crucial roles in gene expression, regulation and recombination. A fundamental question that has puzzled researchers for decades is how the transition from B-DNA, the prevalent right-handed form of DNA, to Z-DNA is accomplished. Due to(More)
Active transport of materials across the cellular membrane is one the most fundamental processes in biology. In order to accomplish this task, membrane transporters rely on a wide range of conformational changes spanning multiple time and size scales. These molecular events govern key functional aspects in membrane transporters, namely, coordinated gating(More)
ATP synthase is the most prominent bioenergetic macromolecular motor in all life forms, utilizing the proton gradient across the cell membrane to fuel the synthesis of ATP. Notwithstanding the wealth of available biochemical and structural information inferred from years of experiments, the precise molecular mechanism whereby vacuolar (V-type) ATP synthase(More)
We have characterized the conformational ensembles of polyglutamine Qn peptides of various lengths n (ranging from 6 to 40), both with and without the presence of a C-terminal polyproline hexapeptide. For this, we used state-of-the-art molecular dynamics simulations combined with a novel statistical analysis to characterize the various properties of the(More)