European Biophysics Journal

http://link.springer.com/journal/249

List of Papers (Total 175)

There and back again: from the origin of life to single molecules

What is life? There is hardly a more fundamental question raised by aspiring researchers, and one less prone to ever be answered in a scientifically satisfying way. In the long, productive and highly influential period of research following his Nobel-recognised work on relaxation kinetics, Manfred Eigen made seminal contributions towards a quantifiable definition of life, with a...

Controlled depolymerisation assessed by analytical ultracentrifugation of low molecular weight chitosan for use in archaeological conservation

The heterogeneity and molecular weight of a chitosan of low molecular weight (molar mass) and low degree of acetylation (0.1) for potential use as a consolidant for decayed archaeological wood were examined by sedimentation velocity and sedimentation equilibrium in the analytical ultracentrifuge before and after depolymerisation. Sedimentation velocity before depolymerisation...

Molecular evolution between chemistry and biology

Biological evolution is reduced to three fundamental processes in the spirit of a minimal model: (i) Competition caused by differential fitness, (ii) cooperation of competitors in the sense of symbiosis, and (iii) variation introduced by mutation understood as error-prone reproduction. The three combinations of two fundamental processes each, (\({\mathcal A}\)) competition and...

Kinetics of the B-A transition of DNA: analysis of potential contributions to a reaction barrier

Because of open problems in the relation between results obtained by relaxation experiments and molecular dynamics simulations on the B-A transition of DNA, relaxation measurements of the B-A dynamics have been extended to a wider range of conditions. Field-induced reaction effects are measured selectively by the magic angle technique using a novel cell construction preventing...

An image-processing method to detect sub-optical features based on understanding noise in intensity measurements

Accurate quantitative analysis of image data requires that we distinguish between fluorescence intensity (true signal) and the noise inherent to its measurements to the extent possible. We image multilamellar membrane tubes and beads that grow from defects in the fluid lamellar phase of the lipid 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine dissolved in water and water-glycerol...

Fluorescence-based monitoring of electronic state and ion exchange kinetics with FCS and related techniques: from T-jump measurements to fluorescence fluctuations

In this review, we give a historical view of how our research in the development and use of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and related techniques has its roots and how it originally evolved from the pioneering work of Manfred Eigen, his colleagues, and coworkers. Work on temperature-jump (T-jump) experiments, conducted almost 50 years ago, led on to the development...

Pre-aggregation kinetics and intermediates of α-synuclein monitored by the ESIPT probe 7MFE

The defining feature of the extensive family of amyloid diseases is the formation of networks of entangled elongated protein fibrils and amorphous aggregates exhibiting crossed β-sheet secondary structure. The time course of amyloid conversion has been studied extensively in vitro with the proteins involved in the neurodegenerative pathology of Parkinson’s disease (α-synuclein...

Manfred Eigen: the realization of his vision of Biophysical Chemistry

Manfred Eigen turned 90 on May 9th, 2017. He celebrated with a small group of colleagues and friends on behalf of the many inspired by him over his lifetime—whether scientists, artists, or philosophers. A small group of friends, because many—who by their breakthroughs have changed the face of science in different research areas—have already died. But it was a special day, devoted...

Fractal analysis of lateral movement in biomembranes

Lateral movement of a molecule in a biomembrane containing small compartments (0.23-μm diameter) and large ones (0.75 μm) is analyzed using a fractal description of its walk. The early time dependence of the mean square displacement varies from linear due to the contribution of ballistic motion. In small compartments, walking molecules do not have sufficient time or space to...

Gold nanoparticles with patterned surface monolayers for nanomedicine: current perspectives

Molecular self-assembly is a topic attracting intense scientific interest. Various strategies have been developed for construction of molecular aggregates with rationally designed properties, geometries, and dimensions that promise to provide solutions to both theoretical and practical problems in areas such as drug delivery, medical diagnostics, and biosensors, to name but a few...

Mutagenesis of the NaChBac sodium channel discloses a functional role for a conserved S6 asparagine

Asparagine is conserved in the S6 transmembrane segments of all voltage-gated sodium, calcium, and TRP channels identified to date. A broad spectrum of channelopathies including cardiac arrhythmias, epilepsy, muscle diseases, and pain disorders is associated with its mutation. To investigate its effects on sodium channel functional properties, we mutated the simple prokaryotic...

Mitotic spindle: kinetochore fibers hold on tight to interpolar bundles

When a cell starts to divide, it forms a spindle, a micro-machine made of microtubules, which separates the duplicated chromosomes. The attachment of microtubules to chromosomes is mediated by kinetochores, protein complexes on the chromosome. Spindle microtubules can be divided into three major classes: kinetochore microtubules, which form k-fibers ending at the kinetochore...

Efflux drug transporters at the forefront of antimicrobial resistance

Bacterial antibiotic resistance is rapidly becoming a major world health consideration. To combat antibiotics, microorganisms employ their pre-existing defence mechanisms that existed long before man’s discovery of antibiotics. Bacteria utilise levels of protection that range from gene upregulation, mutations, adaptive resistance, and production of resistant phenotypes...

Gravity and neuronal adaptation, in vitro and in vivo—from neuronal cells up to neuromuscular responses: a first model

For decades it has been shown that acute changes in gravity have an effect on neuronal systems of human and animals on different levels, from the molecular level to the whole nervous system. The functional properties and gravity-dependent adaptations of these system levels have been investigated with no or barely any interconnection. This review summarizes the gravity-dependent...

PDB2CD visualises dynamics within protein structures

Proteins tend to have defined conformations, a key factor in enabling their function. Atomic resolution structures of proteins are predominantly obtained by either solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) or crystal structure methods. However, when considering a protein whose structure has been determined by both these approaches, on many occasions, the resultant conformations...

Comparative stability of Major Facilitator Superfamily transport proteins

Membrane transporters are a vital class of proteins for which there is little available structural and thermodynamic information. The Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) is a large group of transport proteins responsible for transporting a wide range of substrates in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. We have used far-UV circular dichroism (CD) to assess whether transporters from this...

Voltage-gated sodium channels as targets for pyrethroid insecticides

The pyrethroid insecticides are a very successful group of compounds that have been used extensively for the control of arthropod pests of agricultural crops and vectors of animal and human disease. Unfortunately, this has led to the development of resistance to the compounds in many species. The mode of action of pyrethroids is known to be via interactions with the voltage-gated...

Matchout deuterium labelling of proteins for small-angle neutron scattering studies using prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems and high cell-density cultures

Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) is a powerful technique for the characterisation of macromolecular structures and interactions. Its main advantage over other solution state approaches is the ability to use D2O/H2O solvent contrast variation to selectively match out specific parts of a multi-component system. While proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids are readily...

Modulating charge-dependent and folding-mediated antimicrobial interactions at peptide–lipid interfaces

Peptide–lipid interactions support a variety of biological functions. Of particular interest are those that underpin fundamental mechanisms of innate immunity that are programmed in host defense or antimicrobial peptide sequences found virtually in all multicellular organisms. Here we synthetically modulate antimicrobial peptide–lipid interactions using an archetypal helical...

Solubilization of lipids and lipid phases by the styrene–maleic acid copolymer

A promising tool in membrane research is the use of the styrene–maleic acid (SMA) copolymer to solubilize membranes in the form of nanodiscs. Since membranes are heterogeneous in composition, it is important to know whether SMA thereby has a preference for solubilization of either specific types of lipids or specific bilayer phases. Here, we investigated this by performing...

Enthalpy–entropy compensation: the role of solvation

Structural modifications to interacting systems frequently lead to changes in both the enthalpy (heat) and entropy of the process that compensate each other, so that the Gibbs free energy is little changed: a major barrier to the development of lead compounds in drug discovery. The conventional explanation for such enthalpy–entropy compensation (EEC) is that tighter contacts lead...