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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

New Insights Into The Roles Of Human Dna Damage Checkpoint Protein Atr In The Regulation Of Nucleotide Excision Repair And Dna Damage-Induced Cell Death, Zhengke Li Dec 2013

New Insights Into The Roles Of Human Dna Damage Checkpoint Protein Atr In The Regulation Of Nucleotide Excision Repair And Dna Damage-Induced Cell Death, Zhengke Li

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Integrity of the human genome is frequently threatened by endogenous and exogenous DNA damaging reagents that may lead to genome instability and cancer. Cells have evolved multiple mechanisms to repair DNA damage or to eliminate the damaged cells beyond repair and to prevent diverse diseases. Among these are ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR)-mediated DNA damage checkpoint and nucleotide excision repair (NER) that are the major pathways by which cells handle ultraviolet C (UV-C)- or other exogenous genotoxin-induced bulky DNA damage. However, it is unclear how these 2 pathways may be coordinated. In this study we show that ATR physically ...


Mechanisms Of The Anti-Pneumococcal Function Of C-Reactive Protein, Toh B. Gang Dec 2013

Mechanisms Of The Anti-Pneumococcal Function Of C-Reactive Protein, Toh B. Gang

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Human C-reactive protein (CRP) increases survival of and decreases bacteremia in mice infected with Streptococcus pneumoniae. Such protection of mice against pneumococcal infection is seen only when CRP is administered into mice 6 hours before to 2 hours after the injection of pneumococci, but not when CRP is given to mice at a later time. Our first aim was to define the mechanism of CRP-mediated initial protection of mice against infection. It was proposed that CRP binds to phosphocholine (PCh) moieties present in the cell wall and activates the complement system on the pneumococcal surface that kills the pathogen. We ...


Enabling Sum Frequency Spectroscopy And Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy Of Model Cellular Membranes, Sarah M. Sterling May 2013

Enabling Sum Frequency Spectroscopy And Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy Of Model Cellular Membranes, Sarah M. Sterling

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The majority of proteins secreted from cells contain a signal peptide sequence that is required for secretion mediated by the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. However, many proteins lack the essential signal peptide sequence, yet still undergo secretion. Such proteins are known to regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF-1) is one protein which undergoes non-classical protein transport. The role of its interactions with the cellular membrane during non-classical protein transport is not fully understood, although FGF-1 has shown preferential destabilizing effects on artificial membranes composed of acidic phospholipids. In the present work, physiologically relevant model ...


Characterization Of Motility Alterations Caused By The Impairment Of Dynein/Dynactin Motor Protein Complex, Swaran Nandini Jan 2013

Characterization Of Motility Alterations Caused By The Impairment Of Dynein/Dynactin Motor Protein Complex, Swaran Nandini

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Transport of intracellular cargo is an important and dynamic process required for cell maintenance and survival. Dynein is the motor protein that carries organelles and vesicles from the cell periphery to the cell center along the microtubule network. Dynactin is a protein that activates dynein for this transport process. Together, dynein and dynactin forms a motor protein complex that is essential for transport processes in all the vertebrate cells. Using fluorescent microscope based live cell imaging techniques and kymograph analyses, I studied dynein/dynactin disruptions on the intracellular transport in two different cell systems. In one set of experiments, effects ...


Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 Attenuates Inflammation And Apoptosis And Improves Cardiac Function In Diabetes, Princess Urbina Jan 2013

Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 Attenuates Inflammation And Apoptosis And Improves Cardiac Function In Diabetes, Princess Urbina

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 (BMP-7) belongs to the transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) family of cytokines has is known to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used in patients to treat osteoporosis clinically and has been reported to treat diabetic nephropathy in murine models. Moreover, studies show that inflammation is up-regulated in patients with pre-diabetes (PD). We, therefore, hypothesize that the administration of BMP-7 will attenuate inflammation in the heart of Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced PD mice. In this study, we divided C57Bl/6 mice into three groups: CONTROL, PD, and PD+BMP-7. CONTROL mice received intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of Sodium ...


Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 (Bmp-7) Polarizes Monocytes Into M2 Macrophages, Crystal Rocher Jan 2013

Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 (Bmp-7) Polarizes Monocytes Into M2 Macrophages, Crystal Rocher

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which an accumulation of fatty acids and cholesterol occurs to form a plaque in small and large arteries. Monocyte polarization to classic M1 macrophages or alternative M2 macrophages is an important area of research that can determine the severity of disease progression. BMP-7 is a key growth factor responsible for directing differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into brown fat cells, suggesting a role of BMP-7 in cellular plasticity; however, its role in monocyte polarization is yet to be revealed. In the current study, we hypothesize that monocyte treatment with BMP-7 will significantly result in ...


Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles Sensitize Pancreatic Cancer Cells To Radiation By Promoting Acidic Ph, Ros, And Jnk Dependent Apoptosis, Melissa Wason Jan 2013

Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles Sensitize Pancreatic Cancer Cells To Radiation By Promoting Acidic Ph, Ros, And Jnk Dependent Apoptosis, Melissa Wason

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Side effects of radiation therapy (RT) remain the most challenging issue for pancreatic cancer treatment. In this report we determined whether and how cerium oxide nanoparticles (CONPs) sensitize pancreatic cancer cells to RT. CONP pretreatment enhanced radiation-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production preferentially in acidic cell-free solutions as well as acidic human pancreatic cancer cells. In acidic environments, CONPs favor the scavenging of superoxide radical over the hydroxyl peroxide resulting in accumulation of the latter whereas in neutral pH CONPs scavenge both. CONP treatment prior to RT markedly potentiated the cancer cell apoptosis both in culture and in tumors and ...


Molecular Regulators Of Post-Golgi Vldl Transport Vesicle (Pg-Vtv) Biogenesis, Aladdin Riad Jan 2013

Molecular Regulators Of Post-Golgi Vldl Transport Vesicle (Pg-Vtv) Biogenesis, Aladdin Riad

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Amongst its numerous functions, the liver is responsible for the synthesis and secretion of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). VLDL particles play the important role of facilitating the transport of lipids within the aqueous environment of the plasma; yet high plasma concentrations of these particles result in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, while low VLDL secretion from the liver results in hepatic steatosis. VLDL synthesis in the hepatocyte is completed in the Golgi apparatus, which serves as the final site of VLDL maturation prior to its secretion to the bloodstream. The mechanism by which VLDL’s targeted transport to the plasma membrane ...


Delineating Key Genetic Components On Linear Plasmid 36 That Contribute To Its Essential Role In Borrelia Burgdorferi Mammalian Infectivity., Tisha Choudhury Jan 2013

Delineating Key Genetic Components On Linear Plasmid 36 That Contribute To Its Essential Role In Borrelia Burgdorferi Mammalian Infectivity., Tisha Choudhury

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is the etiologic agent of Lyme disease. This pathogen has a complex enzootic life cycle that involves passage between the tick vector (Ixodes scapularis) and various vertebrate hosts with humans being inadvertent hosts. There is a pressing need to study the genetic aspects of the B. burgdorferi infectious cycle and particularly spirochete genes involved in mammalian infectivity so as to develop novel therapeutic and diagnostic strategies to combat Lyme disease. The B. burgdorferi genome is fragmented and comprised of a single 900 kb linear chromosome and multiple linear and circular plasmids. It has been observed that ...


Mixed Valence Copper(Cu)/Silica Nanocomposite: Synthesis, Characterization And Systematic Antimicrobial Studies, Mikaeel Young Jan 2013

Mixed Valence Copper(Cu)/Silica Nanocomposite: Synthesis, Characterization And Systematic Antimicrobial Studies, Mikaeel Young

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Copper (Cu) compounds are widely used as effective agricultural bactericides. Continuous use of these materials has led to Cu accumulation in soil over time. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is concerned about potential Cu contamination in the environment. Improving biocidal efficacy of Cu is an attractive alternative, allowing reduction of Cu amount per application. In this research, we focused on making watersoluble mixed-valence Copper/Silica composite nanogel (CuSiNG) material. The objective is to improve the efficacy of Cu by manipulating Cu valence states. It has been shown in the literature that Cu (0) and Cu (I) states ...


Identification Of Epithelial Stromal Interaction 1 And Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor As Novel Kruppel-Like Factor 8 Targets In Promoting Breast Cancer Progression, Tianshu Li Jan 2013

Identification Of Epithelial Stromal Interaction 1 And Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor As Novel Kruppel-Like Factor 8 Targets In Promoting Breast Cancer Progression, Tianshu Li

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Breast cancer is the major cause of cancer death among women worldwide. Understanding the mechanisms underlying breast cancer progression remains urgent for developing effective treatment strategies to eliminate breast cancer mortality. Our recent studies have demonstrated that Krüppel-like transcriptional factor 8 (KLF8) plays a critical role for breast cancer progression. Other studies have shown that Epithelial stromal interaction 1 (EPSTI1), a recently identified stromal fibroblast-induced gene in non-invasive breast cancer cells and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are highly overexpressed in aggressively invasive breast carcinomas including triple negative breast cancers. In this thesis project, we demonstrate high co-overexpression of KLF8 ...


Cholera Toxin Activates The Unfolded Protein Response Through An Adenylate Cyclase-Independent Mechanism, Neyda Vanbennekom Jan 2013

Cholera Toxin Activates The Unfolded Protein Response Through An Adenylate Cyclase-Independent Mechanism, Neyda Vanbennekom

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Cholera toxin (CT) is a bacterial protein toxin responsible for the gastrointestinal disease known as cholera. CT stimulates its own entry into intestinal cells after binding to cell surface receptors. Once internalized, CT is delivered via vesicle-mediated transport to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where the CTA1 subunit dissociates from the rest of the toxin and is exported (or translocated) into the cytosol. CTA1 translocates from the ER lumen into the host cytosol by exploiting a host quality control mechanism called ER-associated degradation (ERAD) that facilitates the translocation of misfolded proteins into the cytosol for degradation. Cytosolic CTA1, however, escapes this ...


The Cytopathic Activity Of Cholera Toxin Requires A Threshold Quantity Of Cytosolic Toxin., Carly Bader Jan 2013

The Cytopathic Activity Of Cholera Toxin Requires A Threshold Quantity Of Cytosolic Toxin., Carly Bader

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Cholera toxin (CT), secreted from Vibrio cholerae, causes a massive fluid and electrolyte efflux in the small intestine that results in life-threatening diarrhea and dehydration which impacts 3-5 million people per year. CT is secreted into the intestinal lumen but acts within the cytosol of intestinal epithelial cells. CT is an AB5 toxin that has a catalytic A1 subunit and a cell binding B subunit. CT moves from the cell surface to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by retrograde transport. Much of the toxin is transported to the lysosomes for degradation, but a secondary pool of toxin is diverted to the ...


Is Breakdown Of Fatty Acid Peroxides Involved In The Induction Of Apolipoprotein A1?, Rajat Gupta Jan 2013

Is Breakdown Of Fatty Acid Peroxides Involved In The Induction Of Apolipoprotein A1?, Rajat Gupta

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Over the past few years the number of deaths caused due to cardiovascular diseases has been increasing and is of major concern. In the United States, 75% of cardiovascular-related deaths have been attributed to atherosclerosis. Western diets containing large quantities of peroxidized lipids are considered atherogenic. Heated oil in the form of fried food brings high levels of peroxidized fat and its decomposition products in the diet. Peroxidized lipids are known to increase the susceptibility of serum lipoproteins to undergo oxidation, thereby contributing to the progression of atherosclerosis. The intestinal cells are responsible for the absorption of dietary fatty acid ...


Screening Of Quantum Dots For Toxicity On The Growth And Viability Of Escherichia Coli, Jeremy Tharkur Jan 2013

Screening Of Quantum Dots For Toxicity On The Growth And Viability Of Escherichia Coli, Jeremy Tharkur

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Heavy metal (HM) containing quantum dots (Qdots) are increasingly used in commercial products due to their unique electronic, optoelectronic, optical and magnetic properties. Once disposed to the landfill, environmental weathering is likely to compromise HM Qdot integrity, leading to release of heavy metal ions. To minimize any negative environmental impact of HM Qdots, there is an increasing demand for developing HM free or environmentally-friendly surface modified HM Qdot alternatives. In this study, synthesis of HM free ZnS:Mn/ZnS and surface modified HM CdS:Mn/ZnS Qdots (using N-acetylcysteine, NAC, and Dihydrolipoic acid, DHLA) and their potential toxicity assessment using ...


The Role Of Mitochondrial Omi/Htra2 Protease In Protein Quality Control And Mitophagy, Camilla Ambivero Jan 2013

The Role Of Mitochondrial Omi/Htra2 Protease In Protein Quality Control And Mitophagy, Camilla Ambivero

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Omi/HtrA2 is a mitochondrial serine protease with a dual and opposite function depending on its subcellular localization. Most of the previous studies focused on Omi/HtrA2’s pro-apoptotic function when the protein is released to the cytoplasm. It is becoming apparent that the main function of Omi/HtrA2 is within the mitochondria, where it has a pro-survival role. However, its mechanism is still poorly understood. To this end, we used the yeast two-hybrid system to dissect the Omi/HtrA2 pathway by identifying novel interactors and substrates. Our studies revealed a novel function of Omi/HtrA2 in the regulation of ...


Characterization Of Innate Immunity In The Female Reproductive Tract For The Prevention Of Hiv Acquisition, Colleen Eade Jan 2013

Characterization Of Innate Immunity In The Female Reproductive Tract For The Prevention Of Hiv Acquisition, Colleen Eade

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects 30 million people worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, the region most affected by HIV, women comprise 60% of the infected population. Heterosexual transmission is a major mode of viral acquisition, mandating further research of the process and prevention of HIV acquisition via the female reproductive tract (FRT). The FRT is a dynamic environment, protected by host immune mechanisms and commensal microbes. The disruption of either of these elements can increase susceptibility to HIV. Accordingly, one common risk factor for HIV acquisition is the microbial shift condition known as bacterial vaginosis (BV), which is characterized by the ...


Role Of Host Immune Response And Bacterial Autolysin Atl In Human Nasal Colonization By Staphylococcus Aureus, Vanathy Paramanandam Jan 2013

Role Of Host Immune Response And Bacterial Autolysin Atl In Human Nasal Colonization By Staphylococcus Aureus, Vanathy Paramanandam

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is a major human pathogen that colonizes the anterior nares in 30% of the human population. Though nasal carriage of SA is a known risk factor for the subsequent spread of SA infections, the dynamics of SA nasal colonization is poorly understood. Our research focuses on understanding the host and bacterial factors that might contribute to the human nasal colonization by SA. In an attempt to elucidate the host response to SA, we performed an autologous human in vivo nasal colonization study, which showed decreased survival rates of SA in hosts who elicited a robust immune response ...


Identification Of Proteins Regulating Vldl Sorting Into The Vldl Transport Vesicle (Vtv) And Involved In The Biogenesis Of The Vtv, Samata Tiwari Jan 2013

Identification Of Proteins Regulating Vldl Sorting Into The Vldl Transport Vesicle (Vtv) And Involved In The Biogenesis Of The Vtv, Samata Tiwari

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Increased secretion of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), a triglyceride-rich lipoprotein, by the liver causes hypertriglyceridemia, which is a major risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis. The rate of VLDL-secretion from the liver is determined by its controlled transport from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi. The ER-to-Golgi transport of newly synthesized VLDL is a complex multi-step process and is mediated by the VLDL transport vesicle (VTV). Once a nascent VLDL particle is synthesized in the lumen of the ER, it triggers the process of VTV-biogenesis and this process requires coat complex II (COPII) proteins that mediate the formation ...


Target Validation For Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Therapeutics., Alejandra Guinart Jan 2013

Target Validation For Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Therapeutics., Alejandra Guinart

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is a benign tumor disease of the nervous system. Development of bilateral vestibular schwannomas is characteristic of NF2; however patients frequently present schwannomas on other nerves, as well as meningiomas and ependymomas. Currently, there are no drug therapies for NF2. There is an urgent need for development of NF2 therapeutics and this dissertation presents two independent potential therapeutic targets. The disease is caused by mutations in the NF2 gene that encodes a tumor suppressor called merlin. Loss of merlin function is associated with increased activity of Rac and p21-activated kinases (PAK) and deregulation of cytoskeletal organization ...


The Contribution Of Visceral Fat To Positive Insulin Signaling In Ames Dwarf Mice, Vinal Menon Jan 2013

The Contribution Of Visceral Fat To Positive Insulin Signaling In Ames Dwarf Mice, Vinal Menon

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Ames dwarf (df/df) mice are homozygous for a spontaneous mutation in the prop1 gene due to which there is no development of anterior pituitary cells – somatotrophs, lactotrophs and thyrotrophs, leading to a deficiency of growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL) and thyrotropin (TSH). They tend to become obese as they age, but still live longer and healthier lives compared to their wild-type littermates, being very insulin sensitive, showing no signs of diabetes and cancer. These mutant mice also have high circulating levels of anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic adiponectin. Plasma levels of this adipokine usually decrease with an increase in accumulation of ...


Immuno-Pcr Detection Of Lyme Borreliosis, Micah Halpern Jan 2013

Immuno-Pcr Detection Of Lyme Borreliosis, Micah Halpern

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Lyme borreliosis, more commonly referred to as Lyme disease, is the fastest growing zoonotic disease in North America with approximately 30,000 confirmed cases and 300,000 estimated infections per year. In nature, the causative agent of Lyme disease, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, cycles between Ixodes sp. ticks and small mammals. Humans become infected with Lyme disease after being bitten by an infected tick. The primary indicator of a Borrelia burgdorferi infection is a bull’s eye rash typically followed by flu-like symptoms with treatment consisting of a 2-4 week course of antibiotics. If not treated, later stages of the ...


Role Of The Endocannabinoid System In Cardiac Remodeling, Monica Gole Jan 2013

Role Of The Endocannabinoid System In Cardiac Remodeling, Monica Gole

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The endocannabinoid system and CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors have been implicated in cardiac remodeling with CB1 inhibition and CB2 activation reported to be beneficial. However, the role of these receptors in cardiac remodeling secondary to hypertension is not known. Moreover, the functions of the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in cardiac ventricular fibroblasts and their downstream fibrotic pathways has not yet been elucidated. This study was designed to determine the temporal myocardial expression pattern of CB1 and CB2 receptors in cardiac remodeling secondary to pressure overload (PO) induced hypertension at 3, 5, 14 and 28 days. The expression of ...