Glucagon is a 29-amino acid peptide hormone secreted by pancreatic α-cells and interacts with specific receptors located in various organs. Glucagon tends to form gel-like fibril aggregates that are cytotoxic because they activate apoptotic signaling pathways. First, fibril formation by glucagon in acidic solution is discussed in light of morphological and structural changes during elapsed time. Second, we provide kinetic analyses using a two-step autocatalytic reaction mechanism; the first step is a homogeneous nuclear formation process, and the second step is an autocatalytic heterogeneous fibril elongation process. Third, the processes of fibril formation by glucagon in a membrane environment are discussed based on the structural changes in the fibrils. In the presence of bicelles in acidic solution, glucagon interacts with the bicelles and forms fibril intermediates on the bicelle surface and grows into elongated fibrils. Glucagon-dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) bilayers in neutral solution mimic the environment for fibril formation by glucagon under near-physiological condition. Under these conditions, glucagon forms fibril intermediates that grow into elongated fibrils inside the lipid bilayer. Many days after preparing the glucagon-DMPC bilayer sample, the fibrils form networks inside and outside the bilayer. Furthermore, fibril intermediates strongly interact with lipid bilayers to form small particles.
Part of the book: Molecular Pharmacology
Microwave heating is widely used to accelerate organic reactions in the chemistry field. However, the effect of microwaves on chemical reaction has not yet been well characterized at the molecular level. In this review chapter, microwave heating processes of liquid crystals and an ethanol-hexane mixed solution under microwave irradiation were experimentally and theoretically investigated using in situ microwave irradiation nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, respectively. The temperature of the solution under microwave irradiation was estimated from a chemical shift calibrated temperature (CSC-temperature) which was determined from the temperature dependence of the 1H chemical shift. The CSC-temperatures of CH2 and CH3 non-polar protons of ethanol reflect the bulk temperature of a solution by the thermal microwave effect. The lower CSC-temperature of the OH polar protons in ethanol and much higher CSC-temperature of H-C=N (7′) and CH3-O (α’) protons of N-(4-methoxybenzyliden)-4-butylaniline with respect to the bulk temperature are attributed to the non-thermal microwave effects. According to the MD simulation under microwave irradiation, the number of hydrogen bonds increased in the ethanol-hexane mixed solution as a result of a non-thermal microwave effect. It is concluded that a coherently ordered low entropy state of polar molecules is induced by a non-thermal microwave effect. The ordered state induces molecular interaction, which may accelerate the chemical reaction rate between molecules with polar groups.
Part of the book: Microwave Heating