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See detailDirect determination of the NaF/AlF3 molar ratio by raman spectroscopy in NaF-AlF3-CaF2 melts at 1000° C
Malherbe, Cédric ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg

in Analytical Chemistry (2013)

For the last 40 years, Raman spectroscopy has been very useful in investigating the structure of corrosive molten salts, such as the cryolite-based melts widely used as electrolyte in the Hall-Heroult ... [more ▼]

For the last 40 years, Raman spectroscopy has been very useful in investigating the structure of corrosive molten salts, such as the cryolite-based melts widely used as electrolyte in the Hall-Heroult process. Even if this process remains the most economically efficient for metallic aluminum electro-production, it suffers from a high energy loss, which is dependent on the melt composition. Therefore, controlling the chemical composition of the electrolyte is essential. The present paper proposes to apply Raman spectroscopy for the direct determination of the NaF-AlF3 molar ratio in NaF-AlF3-CaF2-based melts. Despite the experimental difficulties, a calibration curve based on equilibria taking place in the melt has been developed and the procedure has been successfully compared to industrial samples of known compositions. The possible exportation of the laboratory scale procedure to an industrial environment application for the control of the Hall-Heroult process is finally discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect differentiation of time integrators for multibody systems with absolute rotations
Bruls, Olivier ULg; Eberhard, Peter

in Proceedings of the ECCOMAS Thematic Conference - Multibody Dynamics 2007 (2007)

Gradient-based optimization methods require efficient algorithms to compute the sensitivities of the simulation results with respect to design parameters. Compared to finite difference schemes, the direct ... [more ▼]

Gradient-based optimization methods require efficient algorithms to compute the sensitivities of the simulation results with respect to design parameters. Compared to finite difference schemes, the direct differentiation technique leads to a significant reduction in the computational cost of the sensitivities while keeping a good accuracy. In particular, this paper focuses on the optimization of multibody systems with large rotations. In this framework, two versions of the generalized-alpha time integration scheme are considered: the first one is based on a parameterized treatment of the rotations, whereas the second one is formulated in a geometric setting. We show that the sensitivity analysis is much simpler and computationally more efficient in the second case than in the first case. The performance of both algorithms is compared for a numerical example. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect displacement-based seismic design of an irregular frame - Case study
Massena, B.; Bento, R.; Degée, Hervé ULg

Report (2008)

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See detailA Direct Dopaminergic Control of Aromatase Activity in the Quail Preoptic Area
Baillien, M.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (1997), 63(1-3, Sep-Oct), 99-113

In the quail preoptic area (POA) anatomical and pharmacological data suggest that catecholamines may be implicated in the control of testosterone (T) aromatization into estrogens. The biochemical ... [more ▼]

In the quail preoptic area (POA) anatomical and pharmacological data suggest that catecholamines may be implicated in the control of testosterone (T) aromatization into estrogens. The biochemical mechanism(s) mediating this control of the enzyme activity is (are) however unexplored. The present studies were carried out to investigate whether the catecholamines, dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) are able to directly affect aromatase activity (AA) measured during in vitro incubations of POA homogenates. AA was quantified in the POA-hypothalamus of adult male Japanese quail by measuring the tritiated water production from [1beta-3H]-androstenedione. Enzyme activity was linear as a function of the incubation time and of the protein content of homogenates. It exhibited a typical Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with an apparent Km of 2.8 nM and a Vmax of 266.6 fmol h(-1) mg wet weight(-1). AA was then measured at a substrate concentration of 25 nM in the presence of catecholamines and some of their receptor agonists or antagonists, at two concentrations, 10(-3) and 10(-6) M. Norepinephrine and prazosin (alpha1-adrenergic antagonist) had no or very limited effects on AA at both concentrations. In contrast, DA and some D1 and/or D2 receptor agonists (apomorphine[D1/D2], SKF-38393 [D1] and RU-24213 [D2]) depressed AA by 40 to 70% at the 10(-3) M concentration. One D2 receptor antagonist also produced a major inhibition of AA (sulpiride) while other antagonists either had no significant effect or only produced moderate decreases in enzyme activity (SCH-23390 [D1], spiperone [D2], pimozide [D2]) as did two DA indirect agonists, amfonelic acid and nomifensine. The inhibitory effect of the agonists was not antagonized by the less active antagonists, SCH-23390 [D1] or spiperone [D2]. Taken together these results suggest that the inhibitory effects do not involve specific binding of DA or its agonists/antagonists to dopaminergic receptors mediating changes in cAMP concentration. This conclusion is also supported by the observation that addition of dibutyryl cAMP did not change brain AA. It appears more likely that DA and dopaminergic drugs inhibit AA by a direct effect on the enzyme, as suggested by the competitive nature of DA and SKF-38393 inhibition of AA (Ki's of 59 and 84 microM, respectively). The functional significance of this effect should still be demonstrated but this mechanism may represent an important physiological pathway through which neurotransmitters could rapidly affect steroid-dependent processes such as the neural synthesis of estrogens. This would provide a mean by which environmental stimuli could affect reproductive behavior and physiology. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect effect of ice sheets on terrestrial bicarbonate, sulphate and base cation fluxes during the last glacial cycle: minimal impact on atmospheric CO2 concentrations
Tranter, Martyn; Huybrechts, Philippe; Munhoven, Guy ULg et al

in Chemical Geology (2002), 190(1-4), 33-44

Chemical erosion in glacial environments is normally a consequence of chemical weathering reactions dominated by sulphide oxidation linked to carbonate dissolution and the carbonation of carbonates and ... [more ▼]

Chemical erosion in glacial environments is normally a consequence of chemical weathering reactions dominated by sulphide oxidation linked to carbonate dissolution and the carbonation of carbonates and silicates. Solute fluxes from small valley glaciers are usually a linear function of discharge. Representative glacial solute concentrations can be derived from the linear association of solute flux with discharge. These representative glacial concentrations of the major ions are similar to 25% of those in global river water. A 3-D thermomechanically coupled model of the growth and decay of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets was used to simulate glacial runoff at 100-year time steps during the last glacial cycle (130 ka to the present). The glacially derived fluxes of major cations, anions and Si over the glaciation were estimated from the product of the glacial runoff and the representative glacial concentration. A second estimate was obtained from the product of the glacial runoff and a realistic upper limit for glacial solute concentrations derived from theoretical considerations. The fluxes over the last glacial cycle are usually less than a few percent of current riverine solute fluxes to the oceans. The glacial fluxes were used to provide input to an oceanic carbon cycling model that also calculates changes in atmospheric CO2. The potential change in atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last glacial cycle that arise from perturbations in glacial solute fluxes are insignificant, being < 1 ppm. [less ▲]

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See detailA direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Elisa) for antibodies to enterobacterial score glycolipid and lipid A. Results in Healthy Subjects and in Patients Infected by Gram-Negative Bacteria
Nys, Monique ULg; Damas, Pierre ULg; Damas, François ULg et al

in Medical Microbiology & Immunology (1987), 176(5), 257-271

We have developed an ELISA for IgM and IgG antibodies to the core glycolipid (CGL) of the Re mutant Salmonella minnesota R 595, and to lipid A. Anti-CGL antibodies have been detected in sera from 37% of ... [more ▼]

We have developed an ELISA for IgM and IgG antibodies to the core glycolipid (CGL) of the Re mutant Salmonella minnesota R 595, and to lipid A. Anti-CGL antibodies have been detected in sera from 37% of healthy blood donors, whereas anti-lipid A activities were found in 13% of individuals only. The anti-CGL and anti-lipid A activities were examined in patients in a surgical intensive care unit, selected on the basis of a definite risk of infectious complications due to Gram-negative bacteria. Of the patients who developed such infections, the rate of favourable outcome was significantly higher in patients with either stable positive or increasing anti-CGL activities than in patients found to be negative. Our results provide clear evidence that anti-CGL antibodies contribute to host defence against various Gram-negative bacteria. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect estimation of sieve size distributions from 2-D image analysis of sand particles
Pirard, Eric ULg; Vergara, Nicolas; Chapeau, Vincent

in Proceedings PARTEC 2004 (2004)

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See detailDirect evidence for ferroelectric polar distortion in ultrathin lead titanate perovskite films
Despont, L.; Koitzsch, C.; Clerc, F. et al

in Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (2006), 73

X-ray photoelectron diffraction is used to directly probe the intracell polar atomic distortion and tetragonality associated with ferroelectricity in ultrathin epitaxial PbTiO3 films. Our measurements ... [more ▼]

X-ray photoelectron diffraction is used to directly probe the intracell polar atomic distortion and tetragonality associated with ferroelectricity in ultrathin epitaxial PbTiO3 films. Our measurements, combined with ab initio calculations, unambiguously demonstrate noncentrosymmetry in films a few unit cells thick, imply that films as thin as three unit cells still preserve a ferroelectric polar distortion, and also show that there is no thick paraelectric dead layer at the surface. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect evidence for gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) predation and scavenging on harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena)
Bouveroux, T.; Kiszka, J.; Heithaus, R. et al

in Marine Mammal Science (2014)

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See detailDirect Evidence of Free Radical Production after Ischaemia and Reperfusion and Protective Effect of Desferrioxamine: Esr and Vitamin E Studies
Defraigne, Jean-Olivier ULg; Detry, Olivier ULg; Pincemail, Joël ULg et al

in European Journal of Vascular Surgery (1994), 8(5), 537-43

After surgical renal revascularisation, warm renal ischaemia due to renal artery cross-clamping contributes to postoperative renal dysfunction. After reperfusion, free radicals are thought to be a ... [more ▼]

After surgical renal revascularisation, warm renal ischaemia due to renal artery cross-clamping contributes to postoperative renal dysfunction. After reperfusion, free radicals are thought to be a significant cause of injury. Nevertheless, indisputable proof of free radical production is scarce, partly because of their transient nature. In this study, electron paramagnetic resonance and vitamin E levels were used to demonstrate the free radical production after renal ischaemia and reperfusion. Rabbit kidneys were submitted either to 15 or 60 minutes of ischaemia followed by reperfusion. A spin trap agent (alpha-phenyl-N-tert-butyl nitrone (PBN), 20mg/ml, 1 ml/min) was infused during reperfusion directly into the left renal artery via an aortic catheter before declamping. Blood samples were selectively drawn from the left renal vein for ESR analysis (Varian spectrometer E109) of lipidic residues extracted from blood samples. The vitamin E content of the left renal cortex was determined by HPLC procedure. The right renal cortex was used as a control for the vitamin E values. In the venous effluent, ESR analysis revealed the formation of a spectrum consisting of a triplet of asymmetric doublets. This signal resulted from the spin trapping by PBN of a mixture of both oxygen- and carbon- centred lipidic radicals. The amplitude of the signal which is proportional to the amount of free radicals was significantly higher after 60 minutes ischaemia than after 15 minutes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) [less ▲]

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See detailDirect experimental evidence for atomic tunneling of europium in crystalline Eu8Ga16Ge30
Hermann, Raphaël ULg; Keppens, Veerle; Bonville, Pierre et al

in Physical Review Letters (2006), 97(1),

Mossbauer-effect and microwave absorption experimental evidence unambiguously demonstrates the presence of slow, similar to 450 MHz, tunneling of magnetic europium between four equivalent sites in ... [more ▼]

Mossbauer-effect and microwave absorption experimental evidence unambiguously demonstrates the presence of slow, similar to 450 MHz, tunneling of magnetic europium between four equivalent sites in Eu8Ga16Ge30, a stoichiometric clathrate. Remarkably, six of the eight europium atoms, or 11% of the constituents in this solid, tunnel between these four sites separated by 0.55 angstrom. The off centering of the atoms or ions in crystalline clathrates appears to be a promising route for producing Rabi oscillators in solid-state materials. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect extraction of hadronic form factors from elastic-scattering data
Martynov, E.; Cudell, Jean-René ULg; Lengyel, A.

in Nuclear Physics B-Proceedings Supplements (2005, September), 146

Non-forward elastic hadron-scattering data are collected and analysed within the Regge approach. Through an analysis of the data in small bins in t, we have directly extracted the pomeron trajectory and ... [more ▼]

Non-forward elastic hadron-scattering data are collected and analysed within the Regge approach. Through an analysis of the data in small bins in t, we have directly extracted the pomeron trajectory and the hadronic form factors (or reggeon couplings). We found higher values than usually used for the intercept and for the slope of the soft pomeron trajectory. The presence of zeros in t for the effective hadronic form factors is emphasised. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect identification of bacteria from BacT/ALERT anaerobic positive blood cultures by MALDI-TOF MS: MALDI Sepsityper kit versus an in-house saponin method for bacterial extraction.
MEEX, Cécile ULg; Neuville, Florence; DESCY, Julie ULg et al

in Journal of Medical Microbiology (2012), 61

In cases of bacteraemia, a rapid species identification of the causal agent directly from positive blood culture broths could assist clinicians in the timely targeting of empirical antimicrobial therapy ... [more ▼]

In cases of bacteraemia, a rapid species identification of the causal agent directly from positive blood culture broths could assist clinicians in the timely targeting of empirical antimicrobial therapy. For this purpose, we evaluated the direct identification of micro-organisms from BacT/ALERT (bioMérieux) anaerobic positive blood cultures without charcoal using the Microflex matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time of flight MS (Bruker), after bacterial extraction by using two different methods: the MALDI Sepsityper kit (Bruker) and an in-house saponin lysis method. Bruker's recommended criteria for identification were expanded in this study, with acceptance of the species identification when the first three results with the best matches with the MALDI Biotyper database were identical, whatever the scores were. In total, 107 monobacterial cultures and six polymicrobial cultures from 77 different patients were included in this study. Among monomicrobial cultures, we identified up to the species level 67 and 66 % of bacteria with the MALDI Sepsityper kit and the saponin method, respectively. There was no significant difference between the two extraction methods. The direct species identification was particularly inconclusive for Gram-positive bacteria, as only 58 and 52 % of them were identified to the species level with the MALDI Sepsityper kit and the saponin method, respectively. Results for Gram-negative bacilli were better, with 82.5 and 90 % of correct identification to the species level with the MALDI Sepsityper kit and the saponin method, respectively. No misidentifications were given by the direct procedures when compared with identifications provided by the conventional method. Concerning the six polymicrobial blood cultures, whatever the extraction method used, a correct direct identification was only provided for one of the isolated bacteria on solid medium in all cases. The analysis of the time-to-result demonstrated a reduction in the turnaround time for identification ranging from 1 h 06 min to 24 h 44 min, when performing the blood culture direct identification in comparison with the conventional method, whatever the extraction method. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect imaging of Earth-like planets: why we care about exozodis
Absil, Olivier ULg; Defrère, D.; Roberge, A. et al

in Danchi, W. C.; Delplancke, F.; Rajagopal, J. K. (Eds.) Optical and Infrared Interferometry II (2010, July)

The presence of large amounts of exozodiacal dust around nearby main sequence stars is considered as a potential threat for the direct detection of Earth-like exoplanets (exoEarths) with future space ... [more ▼]

The presence of large amounts of exozodiacal dust around nearby main sequence stars is considered as a potential threat for the direct detection of Earth-like exoplanets (exoEarths) with future space-based coronagraphic and interferometric missions. In this paper, we estimate the amount of exozodiacal light that can be tolerated around various stellar types without jeopardizing the detection of exoEarths with a space-based visible coronagraph or a free-flying mid-infrared interferometer. We also address the possible effects of resonant structures in exozodiacal disks. We then review the sensitivity of current ground-based interferometric instruments to exozodiacal disks, based on classical visibility measurements and on the nulling technique. We show that the current instrumental performances are not sufficient to help prepare future exoEarth imaging missions, and discuss how new groundor space-based instruments could improve the current sensitivity to exozodiacal disks down to a suitable level. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect imaging of extra-solar planets in star forming regions. Lessons learned from a false positive around IM Lup.
Mawet, Dimitri; Absil, Olivier ULg; Riaud, Pierre et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 544

Context. Most planet imagers consist of ground-based adaptive optics coronagraphic cameras which are currently limited in contrast, sensitivity and astrometric precision, but advantageously observe in the ... [more ▼]

Context. Most planet imagers consist of ground-based adaptive optics coronagraphic cameras which are currently limited in contrast, sensitivity and astrometric precision, but advantageously observe in the near-infrared window (1 - 5 µm). Because of these practical limitations, our current observational aim at detecting and characterizing planets puts heavy constraints on target selection, observing strategies, data reduction, and follow-up. Most surveys so far have thus targeted very young systems (1 - 100Myr) to catch the putative remnant thermal radiation of giant planets, which peaks in the near-infrared. They also favor systems in the solar neighborhood (d < 80 pc), which eases angular resolution requirements but also ensures a good knowledge of the distance and proper motion, which are critical to secure the planet status, and enable any subsequent characterization. Aims. Because of their youth, it is very tempting to target the nearby star forming regions, which are typically twice as far as the bulk of objects usually combed for planets by direct imaging. Probing these very interesting reservoirs in practice sets additional constraints that we review in this paper by presenting the planet search that we initiated in 2008 around the disk-bearing T Tauri star IM Lup, which is part of the Lupus star forming region (140-190 pc). Methods. We show and discuss why age determination, the choice of evolutionary model for both the central star and the planet, precise knowledge of the host star proper motion, relative or absolute (between different instruments) astrometric accuracy (including plate scale calibration), and patience are the key ingredients for exoplanet searches around more distant young stars. Results. Unfortunately, most of the time, precision and perseverance are not paying off: we discovered a candidate companion around IM Lup in 2008, which we report here to be a false positive event. We nevertheless review in details the lessons learned from our endeavor, and additionally present the best detection limits ever calculated for IM Lup. We also accessorily report on the successful use of innovative data reduction techniques, such as the damped-LOCI and iterative roll subtraction. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect imaging, photometry and spectroscopy of gravitationally lensed quasars
Ricci, Davide ULg

Doctoral thesis (2012)

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See detailDirect Inclusion of Proximity-Effect Losses in Two-Dimensional Time-Domain Finite-Element Simulation of Electrical Machines
Gyselinck, Johan; Dular, Patrick ULg; Geuzaine, Christophe ULg et al

in Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF2009) (2009)

This paper deals with eddy-current effects in the distributed winding of electrical machines, and in particular with the proximity effect and the associated losses. A previously proposed homogenization ... [more ▼]

This paper deals with eddy-current effects in the distributed winding of electrical machines, and in particular with the proximity effect and the associated losses. A previously proposed homogenization method for windings in two-dimensional (2D) time-domain finite-element (FE) models is shown to be applicable without additional computational cost, producing a precise estimate of the instantaneous proximity-effect losses. The method is illustrated by considering the conductors in a single stator slot of a 3kW induction motor. The brute-force model, with fine discretisation of each conductor, and the homogenized model yield macroscopic results that are very close to each other. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect induction of burst firing by SK channel blockade in serotonergic neurons in vivo
Rouchet, Nathalie; Waroux, Olivier ULg; Moreau, Jacqueline ULg et al

Scientific conference (2007, November 04)

Small conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (SK channels) are widely expressed throughout the central nervous system and underlie the medium afterhyperpolarization following a single or a train ... [more ▼]

Small conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (SK channels) are widely expressed throughout the central nervous system and underlie the medium afterhyperpolarization following a single or a train of action potentials. It has been shown that they are involved in the regulation of the excitability and the firing pattern of several types of neurons. In vivo, serotonergic (5-HT) neurons of the dorsal raphe nucleus usually show a tonic pattern of discharge, but they can also display repetitive burst firing activity, usually involving doublets of closely spaced (< 20 ms) action potentials. It has been shown that burst firing is correlated with an increase in transmitter release and postsynaptic effects (Gartside et al., Neuroscience, 98, 295-300, 2000). We hypothesized that SK channels modulate the firing pattern of 5-HT neurons. In a preliminary study, extracellular single-cell recordings combined with iontophoresis showed that UCL1684, a water soluble SK blocker (200 µM), significantly increased the % of spikes produced in bursts in 60% of presumed serotonergic neurons in the anesthetized rat. We confirm here this observation by demonstrating that UCL1684 significantly increased the production of doublets in 17 out of 25 serotonergic neurons. In order to explore whether a GABAergic input was involved in this effect, additional experiments were performed in the presence of the specific GABAA antagonist SR 95531. In these conditions, 50 % (5 out of 10) of serotonergic neurons showed an increase in the production of doublets when UCL 1684 was applied (p = 0.31 vs control), suggesting that a GABAergic input is not implicated in the regulation of the firing pattern of 5-HT neurons by the SK blocker. Finally, the effect of SK channel blockade was explored in vitro in slices. Bath application of the SK blocker apamin (300 nM) did not induce bursting in 15 out of 18 neurons (p < 0.001 vs in vivo control conditions), although it did increase the coefficient of variation of the interspike intervals.Taken together, our results suggest that SK blockade induces burst firing in a majority of dorsal raphe serotonergic neurons. This effect does not involve GABAergic interneurons, but requires an input that is only present in vivo. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect inhibition of the DNA-binding activity of POU transcription factors Pit-1 and Brn-3 by selective binding of a phenyl-furan-benzimidazole dication.
Peixoto, Paul ULg; Liu, Yang; Depauw, Sabine et al

in Nucleic Acids Research (2008), 36(10), 3341-53

The development of small molecules to control gene expression could be the spearhead of future-targeted therapeutic approaches in multiple pathologies. Among heterocyclic dications developed with this aim ... [more ▼]

The development of small molecules to control gene expression could be the spearhead of future-targeted therapeutic approaches in multiple pathologies. Among heterocyclic dications developed with this aim, a phenyl-furan-benzimidazole dication DB293 binds AT-rich sites as a monomer and 5'-ATGA sequence as a stacked dimer, both in the minor groove. Here, we used a protein/DNA array approach to evaluate the ability of DB293 to specifically inhibit transcription factors DNA-binding in a single-step, competitive mode. DB293 inhibits two POU-domain transcription factors Pit-1 and Brn-3 but not IRF-1, despite the presence of an ATGA and AT-rich sites within all three consensus sequences. EMSA, DNase I footprinting and surface-plasmon-resonance experiments determined the precise binding site, affinity and stoichiometry of DB293 interaction to the consensus targets. Binding of DB293 occurred as a cooperative dimer on the ATGA part of Brn-3 site but as two monomers on AT-rich sites of IRF-1 sequence. For Pit-1 site, ATGA or AT-rich mutated sequences identified the contribution of both sites for DB293 recognition. In conclusion, DB293 is a strong inhibitor of two POU-domain transcription factors through a cooperative binding to ATGA. These findings are the first to show that heterocyclic dications can inhibit major groove transcription factors and they open the door to the control of transcription factors activity by those compounds. [less ▲]

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