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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Protein Detection And Structural Characterization By Mass Spectrometry Using Supramolecular Assemblies And Small Molecules, Bo Zhao Oct 2019

Protein Detection And Structural Characterization By Mass Spectrometry Using Supramolecular Assemblies And Small Molecules, Bo Zhao

Doctoral Dissertations

Mass spectrometry (MS) has played an increasingly prominent role in proteomics and structure biology because it shows superior capabilities in identification, quantification and structural characterization of proteins. To realize its full potential in protein analysis, significant progress has been made in developing innovative techniques and reagents that can couple to MS detection. This dissertation demonstrates the use of polymeric supramolecular assemblies for enhanced protein detection in complex biological mixtures by MS. An amphiphilic random co-polymer scaffold is developed to form functional supramolecular assemblies for protein/ peptide enrichment. The influences of charge density and functional group pKa on host-guest interactions ...


Multiscale Simulations Of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, Xiaorong Liu Jul 2019

Multiscale Simulations Of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, Xiaorong Liu

Doctoral Dissertations

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) lack stable secondary and/or tertiary structures under physiological conditions. The have now been recognized to play important roles in numerous biological processes, particularly cellular signaling and regulation. Mutation of IDPs are frequently associated with human diseases, such as cancers and neuron degenerative diseases. Therefore, it is important to understand the structure, dynamics, and interactions of IDPs, so as to establish the mechanistic basis of how intrinsic disorder mediates versatile functions and how such mechanisms may fail in human diseases. However, the heterogeneous structural ensembles of IDPs are not amenable to high resolution characterization solely through ...


Polymeric Peptide Mimics For Protein Delivery, Coralie Backlund Jul 2018

Polymeric Peptide Mimics For Protein Delivery, Coralie Backlund

Doctoral Dissertations

The plasma membrane is a major obstacle in the development and use of biomacromolecules for intracellular applications. Consequently, proteins with intracellular targets represent an enormous, yet under studied avenue for therapeutics. Extended research has aimed at facilitating intracellular delivery of exogenous proteins using protein transduction domains (PTDs), which allow transport of bioactive molecules into cells. Synthetic polymers, inspired by PTDs, provide a well-controlled platform to vary molecular architecture for structure activity relationship studies. Specifically, this thesis focuses on the use of ring-opening metathesis, a facile and efficient polymerization technique, through which we can vary structural parameters to optimize delivery of ...


Effects Of Floral Phytochemicals On Growth And Evolution Of A Parasite Of Bumble Bees, Evan Palmer-Young Mar 2018

Effects Of Floral Phytochemicals On Growth And Evolution Of A Parasite Of Bumble Bees, Evan Palmer-Young

Doctoral Dissertations

Background: Nectar and pollen are rich in phytochemicals, some of which can reduce disease in pollinators, including agriculturally important honey and bumble bees. Floral phytochemicals could influence the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants, their pollinators, and parasites that cause pollinator disease. Antiparasitic effects of phytochemicals could be exploited to ameliorate pollinator disease and decline, and thereby sustain pollinator-dependent agricultural production. However, prior studies showed variable effects of phytochemicals on infection in live bees, where differences in bee genotype, abiotic conditions, and parasite strain could influence results.

Approach: I used cell cultures of the intestinal trypanosome parasite of bumble bees ...


The Molecular Basis Of Caspase-9 Inactivation By Pka And C-Abl Kinases, Banyuhay Paningbatan Serrano Mar 2018

The Molecular Basis Of Caspase-9 Inactivation By Pka And C-Abl Kinases, Banyuhay Paningbatan Serrano

Doctoral Dissertations

Caspases are the cysteine proteases that facilitate the fundamental pathway of programmed cell death or apoptosis. The activation and function of these powerful enzymes are tightly regulated to ensure the faithful execution of apoptosis and prevent untimely cell death. Many deadly human diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration and autoimmune disorders have been associated with defective activation and faulty regulation of caspases. As such, caspases are considered as attractive drug targets, which when properly controlled, can lead to effective therapeutics for apoptosis-related diseases. Thus, comprehensive investigations of the structure, function and regulation of caspases are necessary to understand the complex mechanisms ...


Light-Harvesting And Light-Responsive Materials For Optoelectronic And Biological Applications, Youngju Bae Mar 2018

Light-Harvesting And Light-Responsive Materials For Optoelectronic And Biological Applications, Youngju Bae

Doctoral Dissertations

In photodynamic therapy, several critical standards are required of photosensitizers including high singlet oxygen quantum yield, biocompatibility in dark, and long term photochemical stability. In addition, current PDT systems lack active targeting strategies to tumor cells, and instead mainly rely on the natural distribution of PS in the body following injection and application of near-infrared light treatment in the tumor region. This thesis describes a series of BODIPY-based molecules that were designed, synthesized and studied as photosensitizers with high singlet oxygen generation capacity through utilizing the heavy atom effect. Additionally, aqueous solubility and active targeting capability were introduced by photosensitizer ...


Protein-Nanoparticle Co-Engineering: Self-Assembly, Intracellular Protein Delivery, And Crispr/Cas9-Based Gene Editing, Rubul Mout Nov 2017

Protein-Nanoparticle Co-Engineering: Self-Assembly, Intracellular Protein Delivery, And Crispr/Cas9-Based Gene Editing, Rubul Mout

Doctoral Dissertations

Direct cytoplasmic delivery of gene editing nucleases such CRISPR/Cas9 systems and therapeutic proteins provides enormous opportunities in curing human genetic diseases, and assist research in basic cell biology. One approach to attain such a goal is through engineering nanotechnological tools to mimic naturally existing intra- and extracellular protein delivery/transport systems. Nature builds transport systems for proteins and other biomolecules through evolution-derived sophisticated molecular engineering. Inspired by such natural assemblies, I employed molecular engineering approaches to fabricate self-assembled nanostructures to use as intracellular protein delivery tools. Briefly, proteins and gold nanoparticles were co-engineered to carry complementary electrostatic recognition elements ...


Influence Of Biomimetic Chelating Packaging On Natural Antimicrobial Efficacy, Paul Castrale Oct 2017

Influence Of Biomimetic Chelating Packaging On Natural Antimicrobial Efficacy, Paul Castrale

Masters Theses

The iron chelating molecule, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is used in food applications for the preservation of oxidation prone ingredients. Research has suggested that EDTA is also capable of enhancing the antimicrobial effectiveness of various compounds including naturally-derived antimicrobials. With consumer demand for cleaner food labels, there remains an opportunity to introduce new chelating technology to replace synthetically-derived EDTA. Through photographting and chemical conversion, hydroxamic acid ligands were covalently bound to polypropylene films resulting in polypropylene-graft-poly(hydroxamic acid) (PP-g-PHA). The resulting films demonstrated an ability to chelate 64 nmol/cm2 from an iron saturated environment or ...


Relationship Between Structure And Function In Nickel Proteins And Enzymes, Carolyn Carr Jul 2017

Relationship Between Structure And Function In Nickel Proteins And Enzymes, Carolyn Carr

Doctoral Dissertations

Nickel is a rarely used but biologically important metal that is utilized in all three domains of life. In nickel utilizing organisms there is a corresponding trafficking system specifically designed to capture nickel, deliver, and export excess nickel to prevent toxic effects. It is critical to understand the mechanisms by which organisms achieve metal selectivity to duplicate or disrupt this process for the benefit of human health and to further understanding of regulation mechanisms in biology.

RcnR is a Ni(II) and Co(II) responsive transcriptional regulator in E. coli. The research reported in this dissertation focuses on the relationship ...


Vitreous Gel Physics, Svetlana Morozova Jul 2017

Vitreous Gel Physics, Svetlana Morozova

Doctoral Dissertations

The transparent vitreous, which fills the posterior cavity of the eye, is incredibly engineered. The charged polyelectrolyte hyaluronic acid (HA) network swells to maintain the pressure in the eye, while stiff collagen type II bundles help absorb any external mechanical shock. Our investigations have contributed to a few key developments related to the physical properties of the vitreous:

(1) The stiff collagen network that supports the soft gel network is self-assembled from single triple-helix collagen proteins. Electrostatic interactions drive this assembly, such that the size and concentration are optimized at physiological salt concentrations. The width of the assemblies remarkably changes ...


Thiol-Ene Chemistry As An Enabler Of New Polymer Structures And Architectures, Joel M. Sarapas Mar 2017

Thiol-Ene Chemistry As An Enabler Of New Polymer Structures And Architectures, Joel M. Sarapas

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation focuses on two distinct projects: the synthesis and design of novel cell penetrating peptides mimics (CPPMs), and the implementation of the thiol-ene click reaction to generate new polymer architectures and chemistries. Guanidinium-rich CPPMs were generated through both ROMP and RAFT polymerizations, allowing for a comparison to be made across polymer backbone chemistries with respect to both siRNA and protein cellular internalization. A particularly effective methacrylate derived block copolymer was able to deliver siRNA to nearly an entire Jurkat T cell population.

The thiol-ene reaction was implemented initially within the context of improving material design for solid polymer electrolytes ...


Photolysis Of Triazenylbenzoic Acids For Click Chemistry, Adam Gann Jul 2016

Photolysis Of Triazenylbenzoic Acids For Click Chemistry, Adam Gann

Doctoral Dissertations

Copper catalyzed cycloaddition of terminal alkynes and azides has revolutionized the field of bioconjugate chemistry. Unfortunately, typical copper catalysts are known to disrupt relevant biological systems, so it has become necessary to develop new, copper-free methods that are less cytotoxic. particular interest are "click" probes which can be activated with an outside light source, giving the user spatial and temporal control over the system being investigated. We have developed a method in which an aryl diazonium salt is rapidly generated using photolysis of the triazene functional group, and subsequently coupled with an electron rich aromatic nucleophile to yield an azobenzene ...


The Application Of Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange And Covalent Labeling Coupled With Mass Spectrometry To Examine Protein Structure, Nicholas B. Borotto Mar 2016

The Application Of Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange And Covalent Labeling Coupled With Mass Spectrometry To Examine Protein Structure, Nicholas B. Borotto

Doctoral Dissertations

Thorough insight into a protein’s structure is necessary to understand how it functions and what goes wrong when it malfunctions. The structure of proteins, however, is not easily analyzed. The analysis must take place under a narrow range of conditions or risk perturbing the very structure being probed. Furthermore, the wide diversity in size and chemistry possible in proteins significantly complicates this analysis. Despite this numerous methods have been developed in order to analyze protein structure. In this work, we demonstrate that mass spectrometry (MS)-based techniques are capable of characterizing the structure of particularly challenging proteins. This is ...


Studying Nanoparticle/Cell And Nanoparticle/Biosurface Interaction With Mass Spectrometry, Singyuk Hou Nov 2015

Studying Nanoparticle/Cell And Nanoparticle/Biosurface Interaction With Mass Spectrometry, Singyuk Hou

Masters Theses

Nanoparticles (NPs) have been used widely in various fields ranging from biomedical applications to life science due to their highly tunable properties. It is essential to understanding how NPs interact with biological systems of interest, therefore, analytical platforms to efficiently track NPs from cell to animal level are essential. In this thesis, laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) and inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has been developed and applied to quantify NP/cell and NP/biological surface interactions. These two methods provide fast, label-free and quantitative analysis. New capability of LDI-MS to differentiate cell surface-bound and internalized NPs were established ...


Utilizing In Silico And/Or Native Esi Approaches To Provide New Insights On Haptoglobin/Globin And Haptoglobin/Receptor Interactions, Ololade Fatunmbi Nov 2015

Utilizing In Silico And/Or Native Esi Approaches To Provide New Insights On Haptoglobin/Globin And Haptoglobin/Receptor Interactions, Ololade Fatunmbi

Doctoral Dissertations

Haptoglobin (Hp), an acute phase protein, binds free hemoglobin (Hb) dimers in one of the strongest non-covalent interactions known in biology. This interaction protects Hb from causing potentially severe oxidative damage and limiting nitric oxide bioavailability. Once Hb/Hp complexes are formed, they proceed to bind CD163, a cell surface receptor on macrophages leading to complex internalization and catabolism. Myoglobin, (Mb) a monomeric protein, that is normally found in the muscle but can be released into the blood in high concentrations during myocardial injury, is homologous to Hb and shares many conserved Hb/Hp interface residues. Both monomeric Hb and ...


Responsive Supramolecular Assemblies Based On Amphiphilic Polymers And Hybrid Materials, Longyu Li Nov 2015

Responsive Supramolecular Assemblies Based On Amphiphilic Polymers And Hybrid Materials, Longyu Li

Doctoral Dissertations

The design and synthesis of responsive supramolecular assemblies are of great interest due to their applications in a variety of areas such as drug delivery and sensing. We have developed a facile method to prepare self-crosslinking disulfide-based nanogels derived from an amphiphilic random copolymer containing a hydrophilic oligo-(ethylene glycol)-based side-chain functionality and a hydrophobic pyridyl disulfide functional group. This thesis first provides a concept of studying the influence of Hofmeister ions on the size and guest encapsulation stability of a polymeric nanogel. The size and core density of nanogel can be fine-tuned through the addition of both chaotropes ...


Chemical Biology-Based Probes For The Labeling Of Targets On Live Cells, Amanda M. Hussey Nov 2015

Chemical Biology-Based Probes For The Labeling Of Targets On Live Cells, Amanda M. Hussey

Doctoral Dissertations

Proper detection is the key to studying any processes on the cellular scale. Nowhere is this more evident than in the tight space which confines the synaptic cleft. Being able to ascertain the location of receptors on live neurons is fundamental to our understanding of not only how these receptors interact and move inside the cell but also how neurons function. Most detection methods rely on significantly altering the receptor; both tagging with a fluorescent protein or targeting the receptor by a fluorescent reporter in the form of a small molecule causes significant difficulties. These localization techniques often result in ...


Inhibition And Cofactor Targeting Of Hypoxia-Sensing Proteins, Cornelius Y. Taabazuing Aug 2015

Inhibition And Cofactor Targeting Of Hypoxia-Sensing Proteins, Cornelius Y. Taabazuing

Doctoral Dissertations

Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) is a transcription activator considered to be the main regulator of O2 homeostasis in humans. The transcriptional ability of HIF is regulated by the Fe2+/αKG-dependent enzyme, Factor Inhibiting HIF (FIH). FIH uses molecular oxygen to catalyze hydroxylation of an asparagine residue (Asn803) in the C-terminal transactivation domain (CTAD) of the HIFα subunit, abrogating HIF target gene expression. The mechanism of FIH and other αKG-dependent oxygenases involves the ordered sequential binding of αKG, substrate, and O2, which becomes activated to form a reactive ferryl intermediate that hydroxylates the substrate. The key to ...


Transferrin-Based Therapeutics And Analytical Methods To Characterize Them, Son N. Nguyen Aug 2015

Transferrin-Based Therapeutics And Analytical Methods To Characterize Them, Son N. Nguyen

Doctoral Dissertations

Modern development of medicine requires detailed characterization by state-of-the art analytical techniques that can be used to analyze covalent structure, conformations and protein-receptor interaction to quantitatively measure biodistribution of protein therapeutics. Mass spectrometry has already become an indispensable tool facilitating all stages of protein drug development. Particularly, this work has demonstrated the tremendous potential of electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectrometry (MS) in this arena by providing invaluable information beyond mass measurement that can be used to optimize protein drug conjugate structures during early stages of development, and to further catalyze drug design efforts. Additionally, a new sensitive and selective method ...


Structure-Property Relationships At The Nano-Bio Interface: Engineering The Nanoparticle Surface For Immunomodulation, Daniel Fernando Moyano Marino Aug 2015

Structure-Property Relationships At The Nano-Bio Interface: Engineering The Nanoparticle Surface For Immunomodulation, Daniel Fernando Moyano Marino

Doctoral Dissertations

Each year, a variety of novel nanomaterials are being developed with the objective of treating different diseases. However, since nanomaterials are foreign to the human body, one of the principal factors that limit their use is the encounter with the first line of defense from the body: the immune system. If this interaction is not taken into account, an undesired recognition takes place and the efficiency of nanoparticle based therapies is dramatically reduced. As such, understanding the rules that govern this recognition is of prime importance in the field of nanomedicine. Following this line of thoughts (the driving force), the ...


Physicochemical And Toxicological Assessment Of Antimicrobial Ε-Polylysine-Pectin Complexes, Cynthia L. Lopez Pena Aug 2015

Physicochemical And Toxicological Assessment Of Antimicrobial Ε-Polylysine-Pectin Complexes, Cynthia L. Lopez Pena

Doctoral Dissertations

ε-Polylysine is an appealing FDA-approved, all natural antimicrobial biopolymer effective against a wide range of microorganisms. Its implementation is greatly limited by its strong cationic charge, which has been linked to instability in food systems, perceived astringency and bitterness, and the ability to inhibit lipid digestion. Previous studies have shown that controlled complexation of ε-polylysine with anionic pectin is able to prevent instability and astringency in simplified model food systems, while maintaining the antimicrobial character of polylysine. Isothermal titration calorimetry, micro-electrophoresis, microscopy, and turbidity analyses of the stability of electrostatic pectin-polylysine complexes in the presence of strongly anionic κ-carrageenan, and ...


Nanoparticle Building Blocks For Functional Structures, Youngdo Jeong Nov 2014

Nanoparticle Building Blocks For Functional Structures, Youngdo Jeong

Doctoral Dissertations

A major goal in material science is achieving a desired function using structures fabricated with designed building blocks. Advanced synthetic and self-assembly techniques allow various nanomaterials to become promising building blocks, providing the control of the interaction between building blocks. The unique properties of nanomaterials can be transferred to structured systems. Among nanomaterials, inorganic nanoparticles such as gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), magnetic particles, and quantum dots (QDs) provide useful physical properties stemming from their inorganic core, large surface areas, and oriented surface functionalities. My research has focused on fabricating functional systems using gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), manipulating the interaction between AuNPs, bio-entities ...


Factor Inhibiting Hif's (Fih) Structure Controls O2 Activation And Reactivity, John A. Hangasky Iii Nov 2014

Factor Inhibiting Hif's (Fih) Structure Controls O2 Activation And Reactivity, John A. Hangasky Iii

Doctoral Dissertations

Factor Inhibiting HIF (FIH) is a Fe(II)-αKG dependent oxygenase that acts as a cellular oxygen sensor in humans. FIH regulates the transcriptional activity of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1a or HIF), a transcription factor responsible cellular O2 homeostasis. Hydroxylation of the target residue HIF-Asn803, found in the C-terminal transactivation domain (CTAD), inactivates HIF-dependent gene expression. Central to FIH’s function is the activation of O2 after CTAD binding. The mechanistic and structural features of FIH leading to tight coupling between CTAD binding and subsequent O2-activation and reactivity are key for efficient O2 sensing ...


Volatile Profiles And Resistance To Herbivory In Eastern Hemlock, Elizabeth A. Mckenzie Nov 2014

Volatile Profiles And Resistance To Herbivory In Eastern Hemlock, Elizabeth A. Mckenzie

Masters Theses

Eastern hemlock hosts the hemlock woolly adelgid, an introduced sap-feeding insect that causes rapid deterioration of the host. Like most conifers, eastern hemlock produces a variety of constitutive and induced defenses, primarily terpenoids. To explore the relationship of terpenoid defenses with adelgid infestations, we artificially infested hemlocks at a forest site and a plantation site, and compared their terpenoid concentrations to those in control trees. Infested trees showed lower terpenoid concentrations than control trees, suggesting that eastern hemlock not only fails to induce production of terpenoids in response to adelgid infestation, but becomes less able to produce carbon-based defenses due ...


Modification Of Gold Nanoparticles For Sers Application In Emulsion And Lipid Systems, Michael J. Driver Nov 2014

Modification Of Gold Nanoparticles For Sers Application In Emulsion And Lipid Systems, Michael J. Driver

Masters Theses

Gold nanoparticles produced using the Turkevich method were able to have their hydrophobicity modified using octanethiol in a novel method for SERS application. Both amphiliphic GNPs and hydrophobic GNPs were produced and differentiated by Raman signals. The amphiliphic GNPs were able to enhance the SERS signals of the protein emulsifier in the emulsion in situ and the hydrophobic GNPs were able to enhance the SERS signals from canola oil. Further purification of the hydrophobic GNPs proved to have higher enhancement and sensitivity, but still poor consistency which is typical of SERS. Monitoring lipid oxidation using Raman and SERS using alternative ...


Protein Behavior Directed By Heparin Charge And Chain Length, Burcu Baykal Minsky Aug 2014

Protein Behavior Directed By Heparin Charge And Chain Length, Burcu Baykal Minsky

Doctoral Dissertations

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), highly charged biological polyelectrolytes, are of growing importance as biomaterials and pharmaceutical drugs due to their immense range of physiological functions. They bind to many proteins; however, the degree of structural selectivity in GAG-protein interactions is largely unknown .Our studies have focused on the importance of heparin (a model GAG) charge and chain length in protein binding in order to explore its potential applications in biofunctional tissue scaffold materials, as polysaccharide drugs in anticoagulation, and as inhibitory agents in protein aggregation. We used electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, capillary electrophoresis, size exclusion chromatography, dynamic/static light scattering and electrostatic ...


Ligand-Receptor Interactions For Supramolecular Disassembly With Applications In Screening And Drug Delivery, Diego Amado Torres Aug 2014

Ligand-Receptor Interactions For Supramolecular Disassembly With Applications In Screening And Drug Delivery, Diego Amado Torres

Doctoral Dissertations

Proteins have the capacity to bind specific sets of compounds known as ligands, these are small molecules with a recurrent theme in their molecular design that is a characteristic exploited here to (i) identify particular affinities of small molecules for proteins with the aim of using them as ligands, inhibitors, or targeting moieties in more complex systems by means of a methodology that screens small molecules based on protein affinity; (ii) decorate a self-assembling supramolecular system at different positions, making it responsive to a complementary protein with the aim of exploring differences in disassembly and sensitivity of the release of ...


Reactive Probes For Manipulating Polyketide Synthases, And Photoreactive Probes For Strained Alkyne Click Chemistry, Jon William Amoroso Apr 2014

Reactive Probes For Manipulating Polyketide Synthases, And Photoreactive Probes For Strained Alkyne Click Chemistry, Jon William Amoroso

Doctoral Dissertations

Polyketides are a broad class of natural products that have received attention from the scientific community because they are a rich mine of bioactive structures. The common thread that binds the class together is the method by which they are synthesized, by large enzymatic complexes called polyketide synthases (PKSs) which display assembly line like organization. A great deal of effort has been put into studying PKSs, but their mechanistic steps are still not perfectly understood. In order to further the study of PKSs and their components, we have developed a series of reactive small molecules that covalently modify specific sites ...


Engineering The Nanoparticle Surface For Protein Recognition And Applications, Mrinmoy De May 2009

Engineering The Nanoparticle Surface For Protein Recognition And Applications, Mrinmoy De

Open Access Dissertations

Proteins and nanoparticles (NPs) provide a promising platform for supramolecular interaction. We are currently exploring both fundamental and applied aspects of this interaction. On the fundamental side, we have fabricated a series of water-soluble anionic and cationic NPs to interact with cationic and anionic proteins respectively. A Varity of studies such as, activity assay, fluorescence titration, isothermal titration calorimetry etc. were carried out to quantify the binding properties of these functional NPs with those proteins. Those studies reveal the prospect of tuning the affinity between the nanoparticles and proteins by the surface modification. On the application side, we have used ...