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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Molecular And Biochemical Mechanisms Of Pathogenesis In The Maize Foliar Pathogen Cercospora Zeae-Maydis, Winfred-Peck Dorleku Dec 2013

Molecular And Biochemical Mechanisms Of Pathogenesis In The Maize Foliar Pathogen Cercospora Zeae-Maydis, Winfred-Peck Dorleku

Theses and Dissertations

GLS is a serious foliar disease of maize, a major staple crop grown commercially in the USA for both human and animal feed production, and increasingly, for ethanol production. The disease is caused by two Cercospora species, C. zeae-maydis and C. zeina, both of which infect maize in the USA and in other parts of the world, with yield losses potentially greater than 50%, depending on local conditions. In culture, C. zeae-maydis produces a phytotoxic, host non-specific perylenequinone, cercosporin, and abscisic acid (ABA), for which there is no known pathological or physiological function in the fungus. Experimental evidence indicates that ...


The Development Of An In Vivo Microdialysis Collection Method Of Cytokines From Brain Tissue, Anthony W. Herbaugh Dec 2013

The Development Of An In Vivo Microdialysis Collection Method Of Cytokines From Brain Tissue, Anthony W. Herbaugh

Theses and Dissertations

In this thesis, different methods to improve the microdialysis collection procedure for cytokines from brain tissue are presented. The first method was based on stopped flow and results indicating that no significant difference in relative recovery between stopped flow and continuous flow are shown. The second method is an antibody bead-based enhancement method. With the antibody bead-based method, a 3.5 fold increase in the collected concentrations of Chemokine (C-C motif) Ligand 2 (CCL2) were observed. However, there was no significant increase in the in vivo collection efficiency of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) using the antibody enhancement. Finally the development of an ...


Development Of Novel Subunit Vaccine Against H5n1 Influenza, Lu Zhang Dec 2013

Development Of Novel Subunit Vaccine Against H5n1 Influenza, Lu Zhang

Theses and Dissertations

Influenza is a common infectious disease resulting from a frequently mutated RNA virus. Vaccination is currently the most effective method to prevent people from seasonal or pandemic influenza. The production of traditional egg-based influenza vaccine is time-consuming and provides limited effect against new strains. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a rapid method to produce influenza vaccines. We proposed a novel influenza vaccine based on the E.coli expression system. Hemagglutinin (HA) is the major target surface protein of influenza virus for vaccine development. In this study, we sub-cloned the HAs encoding gene into an E. coli expression vector; the ...


The Role Of Histone H3 And H4 In Centromere Function And Genome Integrity, Payel Chaudhuri Dec 2013

The Role Of Histone H3 And H4 In Centromere Function And Genome Integrity, Payel Chaudhuri

Theses and Dissertations

Histone H2A plays an important role in chromosomal segregation among parent and daughter cells during mitosis. While it is established that this histone is important in maintaining chromosome number in cell, further work is carried out to explore the role of other histones like H3 and H4 for similar effects. A systematic study is initiated by screening a library based on mutation of different amino acid residues in these histones. This detailed screening identified specific regions within H3 and H4, which are critically important for centromeric function. These histones residing near the DNA entry/exit region of nucleosome effects the ...


Biochemical And Biophysical Studies Of Novel Features Of Ras-Related Protein Interactions, Kyla Marie Morinini Morris Dec 2013

Biochemical And Biophysical Studies Of Novel Features Of Ras-Related Protein Interactions, Kyla Marie Morinini Morris

Theses and Dissertations

The Ras superfamily of G-proteins are of great research interest for structure-function relationships among proteins as they act as molecular switches in the regulation of various biochemical reactions in the cell. They are regulated by protein-protein interactions targeted to the highly flexible switch regions. Mutations in G-proteins or their effectors may cause alterations in structure and/or function that can lead to overactivity.

The Ras-related protein Cell division cycle 42 (Cdc42) is important in regulating cell-signaling processes. The T35A mutation in Cdc42 leads to a decrease in flexibility of the Switch I region responsible for effector binding. The kinetics of ...


Monodentate, Bidentate And Photocrosslinkable Thiol Ligands For Improving Aqueous Biocompatible Quantum Dots, Hiroko Takeuchi Dec 2013

Monodentate, Bidentate And Photocrosslinkable Thiol Ligands For Improving Aqueous Biocompatible Quantum Dots, Hiroko Takeuchi

Theses and Dissertations

Water-soluble Quantum Dots (QDs) are highly sensitive fluorescent probes that are often used to study biological species. One of the most common ways to render QDs water-soluble for such applications is to apply hydrophilic thiolated ligands to the QD surface. However, these ligands are labile and can be easily exchanged on the QD surface, which can severely limit their application. As one way to overcome this limitation while maintaining a small colloidal size of QDs, we developed a method to stabilize hydrophilic thiolated ligands on the surface of QDs through the formation of a crosslinked shell using a photocrosslinking approach ...


Design, Development, And Characterization Of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides For Pharmaceutical Applications, Yazan H. Akkam Aug 2013

Design, Development, And Characterization Of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides For Pharmaceutical Applications, Yazan H. Akkam

Theses and Dissertations

Candida species are the fourth leading cause of nosocomial infection. The increased incidence of drug-resistant Candida species has emphasized the need for new antifungal drugs. Histatin 5 is a naturally occurring human salivary antifungal peptide and the first line of defense against infections of the oral cavity. This research has focused on understanding the activity of histatin 5, and subsequently designing novel peptides that may serve as models for the further development of therapeutics to treat fungal infection.

This objective has been achieved in three steps: studying the structural requirement of histatin 5 involved in antifungal activity, the identification of ...


Proteomic And Biochemical Studies Of Estrogen-Mediated Signaling And Novel Estrogen Receptor-Interacting Proteins In Breast Cancer Cells, Zhenqi Zhou Aug 2013

Proteomic And Biochemical Studies Of Estrogen-Mediated Signaling And Novel Estrogen Receptor-Interacting Proteins In Breast Cancer Cells, Zhenqi Zhou

Theses and Dissertations

Estrogen plays essential roles in the growth, development, and homeostasis of a number of tissues, and can also be linked to the growth of breast cancer. The biological activities of estrogen are mediated by estrogen receptors (ERs) ERá and ERâ, and also orphan G-protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30). In order to identify novel proteins that are involved in ER-mediated actions of estrogen, we used mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomic methods to systematically profile global protein expression in responses to E2 (17â-estradiol) stimulation in human breast cancer cell, and identify and characterize cellular novel proteins that are associated with ERs in breast cancer ...


Structure-Function Relationship Of The Ligand-Binding Domain Of The Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor, Ryan Thurman Aug 2013

Structure-Function Relationship Of The Ligand-Binding Domain Of The Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor, Ryan Thurman

Theses and Dissertations

The interactions between FGF and fibroblast growth factor receptors are responsible for the regulation of key cellular processes. FGF is important in both germ cell and embryonic developments. FGF continues to play important roles during adulthood by regulating embryogenesis, cell differentiation, and wound healing (1-7). The regulations of these cellular events are initiated through FGF binding to the fibroblast growth factor receptors. The complex formed by FGF and the receptor involves a key interaction with heparin. Through interactions with heparin, the FGF, FGFR and Heparin form a 2:2:2 complex (8). This complex formation results in autophosphorylation in the ...


Bio-Separation Process Improvement Via Genomic Manipulation: Development Of Novel Strains For Use In Immobilized Metal Affinity Chromatography (Imac), Ryan Curtis Haley May 2013

Bio-Separation Process Improvement Via Genomic Manipulation: Development Of Novel Strains For Use In Immobilized Metal Affinity Chromatography (Imac), Ryan Curtis Haley

Theses and Dissertations

The dissertation is comprised of three parts. Part I describes proteomic analysis of native bacterial proteins from Escherichia coli (E.coli) that bind during Immobilized Metal Affinity Chromatography (IMAC). Part II describes the value in exploiting proteome based data as a tool toward the design an E. coli expression strain that is particularly useful when Immobilized Metal Affinity Chromatography is employed as the initial capture step of a homologous protein purification process. Part III describes a methodology of chromosomal mapping of all contaminant gene products.

The objective of Part I was to identify all E. coli proteins that bind to ...


Molecular Diagnosis Of Metabolic Fast Growth Related Diseases In Broiler, Adnan Ali Khalaf Al-Rubaye May 2013

Molecular Diagnosis Of Metabolic Fast Growth Related Diseases In Broiler, Adnan Ali Khalaf Al-Rubaye

Theses and Dissertations

Pulmonary Hypertension Syndrome (PHS) and lameness are important metabolic diseases that affect rapidly growing broilers. The research reported in the first section of this dissertation focused on developing qPCR assays to identify differences in the expression levels of four candidate genes possibly associated with PHS: angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AGTR1): urotensin receptor 2D (UTS2D); serotonin receptor/transporter type 2Bn (HTR2B); and angiotensinogen cleaving enzyme (ACE). Expression levels of these candidate genes were examined in four different tissues. We established ribosomal protein S14 (RPS14) and RNA polymerase subunit 2B (RP2B) as suitable reference genes because they showed the most consistent ...


The Geometry And Sensitivity Of Ion-Beam Sculpted Nanopores For Single Molecule Dna Analysis, Ryan Connor Rollings May 2013

The Geometry And Sensitivity Of Ion-Beam Sculpted Nanopores For Single Molecule Dna Analysis, Ryan Connor Rollings

Theses and Dissertations

In this dissertation, the relationship between the geometry of ion-beam sculpted solid-state nanopores and their ability to analyze single DNA molecules using resistive pulse sensing is investigated. To accomplish this, the three dimensional shape of the nanopore is determined using energy filtered and tomographic transmission electron microscopy. It is shown that this information enables the prediction of the ionic current passing through a voltage biased nanopore and improves the prediction of the magnitude of current drop signals when the nanopore interacts with single DNA molecules. The dimensional stability of nanopores in solution is monitored using this information and is improved ...


Interactions Between Ions And Lysenin Nanochannels And Their Potential Applications As Biosensors, Radwan Awwad Al Faouri May 2013

Interactions Between Ions And Lysenin Nanochannels And Their Potential Applications As Biosensors, Radwan Awwad Al Faouri

Theses and Dissertations

Lysenin is classified as a pore-forming toxin protein that is isolated from the earthworm Eisenia fetida and consists of 297 amino acids [1]. Lysenin inserts large conducting pores (3.0-4.7 nm in diameter) into artificial membranes (BLM) which include sphingomyelin. These pores (channels) are open and oriented upon insertion into the bilayer lipid membrane. Lysenin channels gate at positive voltages (voltage-induced gating), but not at negative voltages. Lysenin pores also exhibit activity modulation in response to changes in ionic strength and pH, indicating that electrostatic interaction is responsible for Lysenin conductance activities. In this line of inquiries, and by ...


Oxidation Of Thrombomodulin Methionine 388 In Cigarette Smokers, Samrat B. Thapa May 2013

Oxidation Of Thrombomodulin Methionine 388 In Cigarette Smokers, Samrat B. Thapa

Theses and Dissertations

This work tested the hypothesis that oxidation of methionine 388 in thrombomodulin is higher in cigarette smokers, and thus a likely contributor towards the hypercoagulable state in smokers. Thrombomodulin, a protein cofactor found on endothelial cell surfaces, regulates the activity of thrombin. Thrombin bound to thrombomodulin no longer converts fibrinogen to fibrin, but instead activates Protein C which, in turn, stops the coagulation cascade by inactivation of clotting factors. The oxidation of methionine 388 of thrombomodulin has been shown in vitro to dramatically decrease the anticoagulant cofactor activity of thrombomodulin. The blood of cigarette smokers is more prone to clot ...


Expression, Production, And Purification Of Novel Therapeutic Proteins, Mckinzie Shea Fruchtl May 2013

Expression, Production, And Purification Of Novel Therapeutic Proteins, Mckinzie Shea Fruchtl

Theses and Dissertations

Interest in the production of recombinant proteins consisting of collagen binding domain (CBD) fused to a bioactive material has increased due to the targeting/attachment capabilities of CBD. For example, CBD fusions can be applied to the reversing of bone density loss and the repair of the eardrum, specifically, by choosing an appropriate fusion partner (parathyroid hormone or epidermal growth factor). The production of CBD fusions was examined using batch and fed-batch culturing of Escherichia coli to express the fusion proteins, and affinity chromatography to isolate the final product.

Different medium formulations, feeding strategies, and induction methods were tested in ...


Effects Of Ergot Alkaloids And Bovine Bodily Fluids On Cytochrome P450 Activity, Nicholas Scott Ezell May 2013

Effects Of Ergot Alkaloids And Bovine Bodily Fluids On Cytochrome P450 Activity, Nicholas Scott Ezell

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis evaluates the PromegaTM P450-Glo assay (PromegaTM V9800) as a tool for quantifying ergot alkaloid concentration. Current techniques used for detection of ergot alkaloids are slow and expensive, do not detect all ergot alkaloids, or are not effective on bovine bodily fluids. The first study was conducted to determine effects of commercial ergot alkaloids (n = 6; 0 - 400 μM) on the PromegaTM P450-Glo assay. Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) activity in assay had a differential response to each ergot alkaloid and concentration. As concentrations of ergotamine, dihydroergotamine, ergocornine, and ergocryptine increased CYP450 activity was inhibited (P < 0.05). Increases in ergonovine and pergolide concentration did not affect (P > 0.1 ...


Dynamics And Model Of The Pore-Forming Protein Lysenin, Eric Krueger May 2013

Dynamics And Model Of The Pore-Forming Protein Lysenin, Eric Krueger

Theses and Dissertations

Membrane transporters are a class of membrane proteins that function to provide a pathway across a cell membrane for the movement of ions and biomolecules. Investigations into the regulatory mechanism of these systems are hindered by their extensive preparation requirements compounded by their fragility and instability. However, lysenin, a pore-forming protein extracted from the earthworm Eisenia foetida, provided a unique opportunity to study a protein which is stable in both a soluble and membrane phase. Lysenin channels possess several important properties characteristic of ion channels without the inherent difficulties that plague investigations with biologically vital membrane transporters like voltage-gated ion ...