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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Synthesis And Performance Of Novel Supramolecular Tools For Single-Particle Cryogenic Electron Microscopy And Drug And Gene Delivery, Kyle J. Wright Dec 2016

Synthesis And Performance Of Novel Supramolecular Tools For Single-Particle Cryogenic Electron Microscopy And Drug And Gene Delivery, Kyle J. Wright

Open Access Dissertations

High-resolution biomacromolecular structure elucidation is fundamentally important to structure-based drug design and basic research into complex biochemical processes. Cryo-EM is an emerging alternative to XRD and NMR that is complementary in many ways relative to XRD and NMR. Materials approaches to cryo-EM are anticipated to greatly facilitate the cryo-EM process, allowing progress toward a more high-throughput application of cryo-EM to address challenges in structural biology. ^ Various affinity-based approaches inspired by approaches previously introduced for 2D crystallization were developed for facilitation of cryo-EM. A library of affinity lipopolymer constructs were synthesized consisting of lipopolymers of various PEG molecular weights conjugated to ...


Intestinal Adaptation To Repeated Exposure Of Flavonoid-Rich Foods: In Vitro And Clinical Data, Bejamin W. Redan Aug 2016

Intestinal Adaptation To Repeated Exposure Of Flavonoid-Rich Foods: In Vitro And Clinical Data, Bejamin W. Redan

Open Access Dissertations

Interest in application of flavonoids for chronic disease prevention has grown significantly, but the low oral bioavailability of these compounds from acute doses is commonly highlighted as a limitation when considering their biological significance. Still, the impact of broad dietary patterns such as repeated exposure on flavonoid’s absorption, metabolism, and eventual efficacy is critical to consider since evidence suggests that their bioavailability may be enhanced with repeated exposure. To fill this gap in knowledge, this dissertation will focus on three major areas including characterization of flavonoid metabolites, in addition to use of in vitro models and clinical work to ...


Advances In Solid Phase Microextraction For The Analysis Of Volatile Compounds In Explosives, Tire Treatments, And Entomological Specimens, William D. Kranz Apr 2016

Advances In Solid Phase Microextraction For The Analysis Of Volatile Compounds In Explosives, Tire Treatments, And Entomological Specimens, William D. Kranz

Open Access Dissertations

Solid phase microextraction is a powerful and versatile technique, well-suited to the analysis of numerous samples of forensic interest. The exceptional sensitivity of the SPME platform, combined with its adaptability to traditional GC-MS systems and its ability to extract samples with minimal work-up, make it appropriate to applications in forensic laboratories.

In a series of research projects, solid phase microextraction was employed for the analysis of explosives, commercial tire treatments, and entomological specimens. In the first project, the volatile organic compounds emanating from two brands of pseudo-explosive training aids for use in detector dog imprinting were determined by SPME-GC-MS, and ...


Novel Methods For Manipulating Ion Types In The Solution And Gas Phases For The Structural Analysis Of Biomolecules Using Mass Spectrometry, Christine M Fisher Apr 2015

Novel Methods For Manipulating Ion Types In The Solution And Gas Phases For The Structural Analysis Of Biomolecules Using Mass Spectrometry, Christine M Fisher

Open Access Dissertations

Mass Spectrometry has become a valuable tool for the analysis of a variety of molecules, making it applicable to many fields. The advent of nanoelectrospray ionization (nESI) as a soft/low energy ionization technique has enabled the analysis of large, intact biomolecules. Most mass spectrometry experiments consist of three main steps: ionization, probe step(s), and mass analysis. The present work focuses on a variety of methods for altering ion types at various stages of the mass spectrometry experiment to affect ion fragmentation. Ion types can be manipulated in the solution/droplet phases using novel nESI emitters, generated from borosilicate ...


Development Of Experimental And Instrumental Systems To Study Biological Systems, Amanda J Hemphill Apr 2015

Development Of Experimental And Instrumental Systems To Study Biological Systems, Amanda J Hemphill

Open Access Dissertations

Chapters 1-4 of this thesis describes the development of an experimental system to measure diffusion-limited reaction kinetics in a biological environment. About 100 years ago, the relationship between reaction rate and diffusion in homogenous solution, ie water or buffer, was described as a linear relationship by Smoluchowski. Applying this theory naively would suggest that since the diffusion coefficients drop by factors of 4-100 then the rates of reaction would drop by the same amount. However, recent theory and simulations suggest that this does not hold. Even though biological diffusion coefficients drop to 0.1-20% of that in buffer, these recent ...


Transformation Of Biomass Carbohydrates By Transition Metal Catalysts, Christine M Bohn Oct 2014

Transformation Of Biomass Carbohydrates By Transition Metal Catalysts, Christine M Bohn

Open Access Dissertations

By selectively removing functional groups from biomass derived carbohydrates, valuable platform chemicals can be generated from renewable sources. Through dehydration chemistry glucose can be upgraded into 5-(Hydroxymethyl)-2-furfuraldehyde (HMF) and levulinic acid. Iron (III) chloride hexahydrate has shown moderate activity to transform glucose into HMF and has also shown high yields and selectivity for the production of levulinic acid. Typically synthesized from acidic solutions made with mineral acids, levulinic acid has now been produced in high yields with a metal salt. The difference between maximizing production for HMF or levulinic acid from the same catalyst relies on the control ...


Towards A Paradigm Shift In The Modeling Of Soil Organic Carbon Decomposition For Earth System Models, Yujie He Oct 2014

Towards A Paradigm Shift In The Modeling Of Soil Organic Carbon Decomposition For Earth System Models, Yujie He

Open Access Dissertations

Soils are the largest terrestrial carbon pools and contain approximately 2200 Pg of carbon. Thus, the dynamics of soil carbon plays an important role in the global carbon cycle and climate system. Earth System Models are used to project future interactions between terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics and climate. However, these models often predict a wide range of soil carbon responses and their formulations have lagged behind recent soil science advances, omitting key biogeochemical mechanisms. In contrast, recent mechanistically-based biogeochemical models that explicitly account for microbial biomass pools and enzyme kinetics that catalyze soil carbon decomposition produce notably different results and ...


Quantum Mechanics In Complex Systems, Ross Douglas Hoehn Oct 2014

Quantum Mechanics In Complex Systems, Ross Douglas Hoehn

Open Access Dissertations

This document should be considered in its separation; there are three distinct topics contained within and three distinct chapters within the body of works. In a similar fashion, this abstract should be considered in three parts. Firstly, we explored the existence of multiply-charged atomic ions by having developed a new set of dimensional scaling equations as well as a series of relativistic augmentations to the standard dimensional scaling procedure and to the self-consistent field calculations. Secondly, we propose a novel method of predicting drug efficacy in hopes to facilitate the discovery of new small molecule therapeutics by modeling the agonist-protein ...


The Modification Of Brucine Derivatives As Chiral Ligands And Its Application In The Asymmetric Synthesis, Jian-Yuan Li Oct 2014

The Modification Of Brucine Derivatives As Chiral Ligands And Its Application In The Asymmetric Synthesis, Jian-Yuan Li

Open Access Dissertations

The modification of brucine derivatives as chiral ligands and the use of a multifaceted chiral ligand, brucine diol, under different reaction conditions to produce various optical isomers is described. In Chapter 1, the generation of a number of brucine derivatives is described. Taking the advantage of brucine-diol's excellent molecular recognition capability for multiple organic functional groups, we focused on the synthetic modifications of brucine-diol and the synthesis of brucine N-oxide. We also produced various brucine derivatives with different functional moieties in good yields and selectivities. ^ In Chapter 2, we described the investigation of brucine N-oxide catalyzed Morita-Baylis-Hillman ...


New Experimental And Theoretical Tools For Studying Protein Systems With Elements Of Structural Disorder, Tairan Yuwen Oct 2014

New Experimental And Theoretical Tools For Studying Protein Systems With Elements Of Structural Disorder, Tairan Yuwen

Open Access Dissertations

Disordered proteins are one class of proteins which do not possess well-folded three-dimensional structures as their native conformations. Many eukaryotic proteins have been found to be fully disordered or contain certain disordered regions. Disordered proteins usually display several characteristic properties, such as increased motional freedom and the conformational heterogeneity caused by that. The elements of structural disorder are commonly involved in many important biological functions and are implicated in many diseases. Therefore, the study of disordered proteins has become one of the most important research topics in recent years. This thesis presents results from three different research projects; the common ...


New Strategies To Reveal Protein Candidates In Protein-Protein Interactome Study, Meng-Chieh Chen Oct 2014

New Strategies To Reveal Protein Candidates In Protein-Protein Interactome Study, Meng-Chieh Chen

Open Access Theses

Comprehensive protein-protein interaction network analysis can help reveal protein functions in a system-wide manner. A reliable knowledgebase of interaction networks is not only important for selecting the candidates for drug therapies, but also for evaluating the disease risk. In current interaction databases, 322579 interactions comprised of 56460 proteins have been reported (statistical analysis from APID: Agile Protein Interaction DataAnalyzer; http://bioinfow.dep.usal.es/apid/index.htm). The huge datasets are contributed mainly by yeast -two -hybrid (Y2H) screening and affinity-purification followed by mass spectrometry (AP-MS). High false positive rates and failing to cover certain interaction categories are the limitations ...


Synthesis And Dna-Binding Studies With Two Stericallyfriendly Porphyrin Frameworks, Srijana Ghimire Jul 2014

Synthesis And Dna-Binding Studies With Two Stericallyfriendly Porphyrin Frameworks, Srijana Ghimire

Open Access Dissertations

Peripheral substituents on cationic porphyrins play a significant role during binding with DNA hosts. Possible applications of these systems in photodynamic therapy as well as in anti-bacterial and anti-cancer therapies motivate the binding studies. For characterizing DNA binding motifs different methods are useful including absorption, emission, and circular dichroism spectroscopies, as well as viscometry and X-ray crystallography. With the classic H2 T4 porphyrin, or 5,10,15,20-tetra(N-methylpyridinium-4-yl)porphyrin, the mode of binding varies with the base composition of the DNA host. The porphyrin binds adenine-thymine rich sequences externally whereas intercalation occurs in guanine-cytosine rich sequences. The ...


Characterization Of Water-Solid Interactions In Crystalline Ingredients And Development Of Deliquescence Measurement Recommendations, Matthew C. Allan Jul 2014

Characterization Of Water-Solid Interactions In Crystalline Ingredients And Development Of Deliquescence Measurement Recommendations, Matthew C. Allan

Open Access Theses

There are five major mechanisms of water-solid interactions. The primary focus of this thesis was on two of these: deliquescence and hydrate formation. Many crystalline food ingredients are deliquescent compounds (e.g., NaCl, sucrose, and ascorbic acid) and some are both deliquescent and hydrate formers (e.g., glucose, thiamine HCl, citric acid). Deliquescence is the first order phase transformation of a crystalline solid to a solution above a critical relative humidity (RH) known as the deliquescence point (RH0). A crystalline hydrate is a pseudo-polymorph in which water is incorporated into the crystal structure, altering the molecular formula and the physical ...


Physical And Chemical Attributes Of A Genetically Modified Fruit Pectin, Carl Patrick Littrell Jul 2014

Physical And Chemical Attributes Of A Genetically Modified Fruit Pectin, Carl Patrick Littrell

Open Access Theses

Pectin is an important polymer used in the food industry as a thickening and gelling agent. Though pectin is ubiquitous in plants, chemical and structural differences among pectin molecules prevent most from being viable for industrial use. Enzymes found naturally in fruit cell walls during the ripening process impair many desirable attributes of fruit pectins, rendering them unsuitable for industrial applications. Pectin methylesterase (PME) is one such enzyme whose expression can be altered during ripening through the use of recombinant genetic engineering. Reduction in levels of PME results in increased degree of methylation and molecular size of pectin, greatly increasing ...


Investigation Into The Control Of Melittin Secondary Structure And Antimicrobial Activity, Zachary B. Molinets Jul 2014

Investigation Into The Control Of Melittin Secondary Structure And Antimicrobial Activity, Zachary B. Molinets

Open Access Theses

Antimicrobial resistance has been an exponentially growing problem since the discovery of antibiotics. Antibiotics have been misused for many years and this misuse has grown into a real problem for the medical community. While there are countless safeguards to prevent infection by a resistant strain of bacteria, there are still many plagued by it and must be treated with sometimes dangerous antibiotics. Melittin, along with many other peptides, contain potent antimicrobial properties, but are also toxic toward enthrocytes. The control of the secondary structure of peptides provides the key to adjusting their activity.


Abcb11 Functions With B1 And B19 To Regulate Rootward Auxin Transport, Jesica Elyse Reemmer Jul 2014

Abcb11 Functions With B1 And B19 To Regulate Rootward Auxin Transport, Jesica Elyse Reemmer

Open Access Theses

Auxin transport is essential for the architecture and development of erect plants. In a network of transporters directing auxin flows, ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) transporters are a ubiquitous family of proteins that actively transport important substrates, including auxins, across the plasma membrane. ABCB1 and ABCB19 have been shown to account for the majority of rootward auxin transport, but residual fluxes to the root tip in Arabidopsis b1b19 double mutants implies the involvement of at least one additional auxin transporter in this process. Of specific interest, the severe dwarfism seen in abcb1abcb19 is strikingly reminiscent of that seen in mutants defective in ...


Dj-1 And Atp13a2: Two Proteins Involved In Parkinson’S Disease, Josephat M Asiago Jan 2014

Dj-1 And Atp13a2: Two Proteins Involved In Parkinson’S Disease, Josephat M Asiago

Open Access Dissertations

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease, affecting approximately 0.3% of the total U.S. population, and its prevalence increases with age. Two neuropathological hallmarks of PD are the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, a region in the midbrain involved in initiating and sustaining movement, and the presence of cytosolic inclusions called Lewy bodies (LBs) in various brain regions. LBs are enriched with fibrillar forms of the presynaptic protein &agr;-synuclein (aSyn). Two autosomal recessive genes implicated in familial PD are PARK9, encoding the P-type ATPase ATP13A2 ...


Influence Of Cholesterol And Bilayer Asymmetry On Membrane Protein Distribution In Polymer-Tethered Raft-Mimicking Lipid Membranes, Noor Fueza Hussain Oct 2013

Influence Of Cholesterol And Bilayer Asymmetry On Membrane Protein Distribution In Polymer-Tethered Raft-Mimicking Lipid Membranes, Noor Fueza Hussain

Open Access Dissertations

It is now widely recognized that lipid rafts, which are membrane domains enriched in cholesterol (CHOL) and sphingolipids (SL), play a significant functional role in the plasma membrane. Raft domains particularly affect membrane functionality by causing sequestering of membrane proteins. Underlying mechanisms of raft-associated membrane protein sequestration remain elusive, due to the complexity, transient nature, and small size of raft domains in cellular membranes. To address these challenges, this dissertation unveils the relationship between lipid raft composition and membrane protein sequestration and function using raft-mimicking model membrane mixtures comprised of coexisting liquid-ordered (lo) and liquid-disordered (ld) domains with reconstituted membrane ...


Gas-Phase Covalent And Non-Covalent Ion/Ion Chemistry Of Biological Macromolecules, John Robert Stutzman Oct 2013

Gas-Phase Covalent And Non-Covalent Ion/Ion Chemistry Of Biological Macromolecules, John Robert Stutzman

Open Access Dissertations

Gas-phase ion/ion chemistry involves the interaction of oppositely charged ions inside of the mass spectrometer. During this gas-phase chemistry, particle transfer (i.e., proton and electron) or synthesis can occur at rapid reaction rates. Particle transfer represents a mature area of ion/ion chemistry, while selective covalent modification represents a fairly new area of gas-phase chemistry. Gas-phase covalent chemistry is based on traditional solution phase organic chemistry.

The work demonstrated in this dissertation greatly involves gas-phase covalent and non-covalent Schiff base chemistry on peptide and protein ions. The reagent dianion, 4-formyl 1,3-benzene disulfonic acid, has been used to ...


Design, Synthesis, And Evaluation Of Molecular Inhibitors For Biologically Relevant Enzymes, Sarah Emma St. John Oct 2013

Design, Synthesis, And Evaluation Of Molecular Inhibitors For Biologically Relevant Enzymes, Sarah Emma St. John

Open Access Dissertations

The work in this thesis details the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of molecular inhibitors for the inhibition of biologically relevant enzymes. The first three chapters of this thesis concern the polyphenol resveratrol and its inhibition of the quinone reductase 2 (QR2) enzyme. The work on this subject resulted in the complete design, synthesis, biological and structural evaluation of a second generation library of resveratrol analogues. From this work we identified a novel resveratrol analogue that inhibits QR2 in a previously unknown binding orientation. The fourth chapter of this thesis details the de novo design of molecules for the inhibition ...


Development Of Isotags For Nmr Based Metabolite Profiling And Applications, Fariba Tayyari Oct 2013

Development Of Isotags For Nmr Based Metabolite Profiling And Applications, Fariba Tayyari

Open Access Dissertations

NMR spectroscopy is a powerful analytical tool for both qualitative and quantitative metabolite profiling analysis. However, accurate quantitative analysis of biological systems especially using one dimensional NMR has been challenging due to signal overlap. In contrast, the enhanced resolution and sensitivity offered by chemoselective isotope tags have enabled new and enhanced methods for detecting hundreds of quantifiable metabolites in biofluids using NMR spectroscopy or mass spectrometry. In this thesis we show improved sensitivity and resolution of NMR experiments imparted by 15N and 13C isotope tagging which enables the accurate analysis of plasma metabolites. To date, isotope tagging has been used ...


Synthesis Of Novel Isoprenoid Diphosphate Analogs As Chemical Tools To Investigate Protein Geranylgeranylation, Kayla Jo Temple Oct 2013

Synthesis Of Novel Isoprenoid Diphosphate Analogs As Chemical Tools To Investigate Protein Geranylgeranylation, Kayla Jo Temple

Open Access Dissertations

Many proteins require prenylation in order to be biologically functional. Some such proteins include the small Ras and Rho GTPase superfamilies, nuclear lamins A and B, and the kinesin motor proteins CENP-E and F. Prenyltransferase (PTase) inhibition is currently being explored as a possible treatment not only for cancer but for a wide variety of other diseases.

Clinical studies revealed that the effectiveness of farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs) to treat Ras-dependent tumors is determined by which isoform of Ras is overactive. Unfortunately the majority of Ras-dependent tumors have a mutation in either the N- or K-Ras isoforms; both of these isoforms ...


Fate Of 17Α-Estradiol, 17Β-Estradiol, And Estrone In Agricultural Soils And Sediments, Michael L. Mashtare Jr Jan 2013

Fate Of 17Α-Estradiol, 17Β-Estradiol, And Estrone In Agricultural Soils And Sediments, Michael L. Mashtare Jr

Open Access Dissertations

The shift to concentrated animal production facilities and increasing rural-urban migration has increased the localized land application of nearly 1 billion tons of manure and biosolids annually. Although these applications provide nutrients and contribute to soil tilth, they also serve as a source for an estimated 49 tons of the natural manure-borne estrogens, 17α-estradiol (17α-E2), 17β-estradiol (17β-E2), and estrone (E1). While these estrogens are critical to endocrine systems, the low concentrations observed in the environment can disrupt endocrine function in non-target organisms, e.g., altering secondary sex characteristics which can lead to changes in wildlife communities.

Research presented here focuses ...


Specific Salt Effects On The Formation And Thermal Transitions Among Β-Lactoglobulin And Pectin Electrostatic Complexes, Stacey Ann Hirt Jan 2013

Specific Salt Effects On The Formation And Thermal Transitions Among Β-Lactoglobulin And Pectin Electrostatic Complexes, Stacey Ann Hirt

Open Access Theses

Factors of ion specificity and ionic strength (I~0-100) were studied in the electrostatic complex formation and protein particle formation by thermal treatment for a β-lactoglobulin and pectin system. ζ-potential showed β-lactoglobulin and pectin began to interact near pH 5.50 and interactions were strengthened with decrease in pH. Visible light turbidimetry and light scattering at 90° revealed a trend in critical pH transitions for electrostatic complex formation based on both the ionic strength and the anion of the salt species, while effects of the monovalent cation was insignificant. Critical pH values for complex formation and separation (pHc and pHΦ ...


Pickering Stabilization Of Oil-Water Interfaces By Heated B-Lactoglobulin/Pectin Particles, Laura Kathryn Zimmerer Jan 2013

Pickering Stabilization Of Oil-Water Interfaces By Heated B-Lactoglobulin/Pectin Particles, Laura Kathryn Zimmerer

Open Access Theses

The use of natural biopolymer particles as Pickering stabilizers for oil-in-water emulsions was investigated. B-lactoglobulin microgels and B-lactoglobulin/pectin complexes were created by heating appropriate biopolymer solutions at pH 5.8 and 4.75, respectively. Resultant particles exhibited spherical morphology with diameters of 100-300 nm and possessed significant negative surface charge. Particles were first homogenized with 1% corn oil at 0.05%, 0.1% or 0.25% (wt/ wt) particle concentrations. All emulsions appeared stable over seven days with only a thin, creamed ring forming after several hours. Corn oil emulsions were most stable with 0.25% heated complexes, with ...