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Articles 1 - 10 of 10

Full-Text Articles in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology

Engineering Bioluminescent Sensors Of Cyclic Amp To Study Opioid Signaling, Alexander L. Tesmer, Alexander R. French, Mathew Tantama Aug 2018

Engineering Bioluminescent Sensors Of Cyclic Amp To Study Opioid Signaling, Alexander L. Tesmer, Alexander R. French, Mathew Tantama

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Opioids are small signaling molecules which bind to opioid receptors on the surface of cells. The kappa opioid receptor (KOR) is one of three major types of opioid receptors found in human neurons. When an opioid binds to a KOR, a variety of biochemical signaling pathways are activated inside the cell. Each of these pathways are associated with different physiological effects of KOR activation. The production of a small signaling molecule, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), is known to be inhibited during KOR activation of the analgesic (pain-killing) signaling pathway. The ability to interrogate the individual responses of KOR signaling pathways ...


Cost-Effective Paper-Based Diagnostic Using Split Proteins To Detect Yeast Infections, Zachary R. Berglund, Kevin V. Solomon, Mohit S. Verma, Moiz Rasheed, Zachary Hartley, Kevin Fitzgerald, Kok Zhi Lee, Janice Chan, Julianne Dejoie, Makayla Schacht, Alex Zavala Aug 2018

Cost-Effective Paper-Based Diagnostic Using Split Proteins To Detect Yeast Infections, Zachary R. Berglund, Kevin V. Solomon, Mohit S. Verma, Moiz Rasheed, Zachary Hartley, Kevin Fitzgerald, Kok Zhi Lee, Janice Chan, Julianne Dejoie, Makayla Schacht, Alex Zavala

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

The common yeast infection, vulvovaginal candidiasis, affects three out of four women throughout their lifetime and can be spread to their child in the form of oral candidiasis (thrush). This disease is caused by the fungal pathogen Candida albicans, which is also a major cause of systemic candidiasis, a rarer but deadly disease with up to a 49% lethality rate. Current widely-used diagnostic methods include cell cultures, pH tests, and antibody detection, to assist effective treatment. Despite availability of various diagnostic methods, there is no inexpensive, rapid, and accurate way to detect C. albicans infection. This project aims to develop ...


Fret Biosensors: Engineering Fluorescent Proteins As Biological Tools For Studying Parkinson’S Disease, Nathan J. Leroy, Jacob R. Norley, Saranya Radhakrishnan, Mathew Tantama Aug 2017

Fret Biosensors: Engineering Fluorescent Proteins As Biological Tools For Studying Parkinson’S Disease, Nathan J. Leroy, Jacob R. Norley, Saranya Radhakrishnan, Mathew Tantama

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease with over 200,000 new cases each year. In general, the cause of the disease is unknown, but oxidative stress inside of neurons has been associated with the disease’s pathology for some time. Currently, techniques to study the onset of PD inside of neurons are limited. This makes treatments and causes difficult to discover. One solution to this has been fluorescent protein biosensors. In short, these proteins can be engineered to glow when a certain state is achieved inside a cell. The present research discusses the engineering of a genetically-encoded ...


Fluorescent Protein Biosensor For Use In Parkinson's Research, Piper R. Miller, Keelan Trull, Mathew Tantama Aug 2017

Fluorescent Protein Biosensor For Use In Parkinson's Research, Piper R. Miller, Keelan Trull, Mathew Tantama

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Purinergic signaling is a type of extracellular communication that occurs between cells, mediated by adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and adenosine. In Parkinson’s Disease, purinergic signaling is disrupted, which contributes to neurodegeneration. In order to monitor this change in cell-to-cell signaling, there is a need for the development of a fluorescent protein (FP) biosensor to study the changes in the concentration of the signaling molecule ATP and its decomposition bioproduct ADP. This summer a genetically encoded ADP sensor that measures changes in ADP concentration was developed. This sensor utilizes Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) which is a sensing ...


Design And Development Of A Plasmid Vector For Protein Expression And Purification, Mahima Grover, Craig Sweet, David H. Thompson Aug 2016

Design And Development Of A Plasmid Vector For Protein Expression And Purification, Mahima Grover, Craig Sweet, David H. Thompson

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Production and isolation of proteins are difficult, costly and time-consuming processes. The aim of this project is for the development of plasmids, which allow for streamlined production and isolation of proteins. To allow for modular insertion of varying segments of DNA we are using ‘recursive directional ligation by plasmid reconstruction’. This technique uses type II restriction endonucleases, which cut downstream from their recognition site allowing multiple insertions without losing a restriction site. Using this process, we can ligate multiple DNA sequences together and express them to be able to construct a scar less fusion protein. In order to accomplish this ...


The Effect Of An Enhanced Isopentenyl Monophosphate Pool On Terpenoid Biosynthesis In Vivo, Evan T. Adams, Laura K. Henry, Dr. Natalia Dudareva Aug 2016

The Effect Of An Enhanced Isopentenyl Monophosphate Pool On Terpenoid Biosynthesis In Vivo, Evan T. Adams, Laura K. Henry, Dr. Natalia Dudareva

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Found in all living organisms, terpenoids make up the largest group of natural products and are essential compounds for many major processes, including photosynthesis, respiration, hormone production, and electron transport. Additionally, they have commercial and medical value in products including fragrances, cosmetics, and medicines. Terpenoids originate from the five-carbon building blocks isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP), which are synthesized by the mevalonic acid (MVA) and methylerithritol phosphate (MEP) pathways. An alternative MVA pathway was discovered in Archaea with the final two enzymes being phosphomevalonate decarboxylase (MPD) and isopentenyl phosphate kinase (IPK). Even though this alternative pathway is not ...


Characterizing The Rogfp2-Orp1 Fluorescent Biosensor For Detecting Oxidative Stress In Mammalian Cells, Sara A. Doan, Stevie Norcross, Mathew Tantama Sep 2015

Characterizing The Rogfp2-Orp1 Fluorescent Biosensor For Detecting Oxidative Stress In Mammalian Cells, Sara A. Doan, Stevie Norcross, Mathew Tantama

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease involving the death of neurons in the substantia nigra and loss of the neurotransmitter, dopamine. The disease leads to progressive loss of motor control. Exact causes and mechanisms by which Parkinson’s disease proceeds are unknown, however, previous experiments determine oxidative stress in mitochondria as a factor that results in cell death. Strategies have been implemented to generate fluorescent biosensors to monitor reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentrations while simultaneously measuring the spatiotemporal distribution and correlation between the ROS, cellular function and organelle. Orp1, an enzyme found in yeast, is a sensitive oxidizing species ...


A Novel Synthetic Yeast For Enzymatic Biodigester Pretreatment, Tianyu Tan, Mark S. Aronson, Arren Liu, Jill H. Osterhus, Melissa Robins, Suraj Mohan, Erich Leazer, Bowman Clark, Alexa Petrucciani, Katherine Lowery, James Welch, Casey Martin, Helena Lysandrou, Michael E. Scharf, Jenna Rickus Aug 2015

A Novel Synthetic Yeast For Enzymatic Biodigester Pretreatment, Tianyu Tan, Mark S. Aronson, Arren Liu, Jill H. Osterhus, Melissa Robins, Suraj Mohan, Erich Leazer, Bowman Clark, Alexa Petrucciani, Katherine Lowery, James Welch, Casey Martin, Helena Lysandrou, Michael E. Scharf, Jenna Rickus

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Lignin, a complex organic polymer, is a major roadblock to the efficiency of biofuel conversion as it both physically blocks carbohydrate substrates and poisons biomass degrading enzymes, even if broken down to monomer units. A pretreatment process is often applied to separate the lignin from biomass prior to biofuel conversion. However, contemporary methods of pretreatment require large amounts of energy, which may be economically uncompelling or unfeasible. Taking inspiration from several genes that have been isolated from termites and fungi which translate to enzymes that degrade lignin, we want to establish a novel “enzymatic pretreatment” system where microbes secrete these ...


The Effect Of Transient Hmg-Coa Reductase And 1-Deoxy-D-Xylulose-5-Phosphate Synthase Overexpression On Terpene Production In Transgenic Tomato Fruits, Scott A. Gentry, Michael Gutensohn, Laura Henry, Natalia Dudareva Aug 2014

The Effect Of Transient Hmg-Coa Reductase And 1-Deoxy-D-Xylulose-5-Phosphate Synthase Overexpression On Terpene Production In Transgenic Tomato Fruits, Scott A. Gentry, Michael Gutensohn, Laura Henry, Natalia Dudareva

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Isoprenoids are secondary metabolites that control numerous plant functions including signaling, growth, photosynthesis, and membrane structure. The bioengineering of isoprenoid synthesis could produce plants with a variety of beneficial traits. Plants form isoprenoids using two different pathways, the mevalonate (MVA) pathway and the methylerithritol phosphate (MEP) pathway, which cooperate via metabolic cross-talk. Transgenic tomato lines expressing both the plastidic and cytosolic forms of the snapdragon nerolidol/linalool terpene synthase under a fruit ripening specific promoter were transiently transformed to overexpress key enzymes in the two isoprenoid pathways. Hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGR) is the rate limiting enzyme in the MVA pathway ...


Development Of A Metabolomic Method To Define The Phenylalanome In Arabidopsis Thaliana, Cole G. Wunderlich, Clint Chapple, Xu Li Oct 2013

Development Of A Metabolomic Method To Define The Phenylalanome In Arabidopsis Thaliana, Cole G. Wunderlich, Clint Chapple, Xu Li

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

In the study of metabolomics, one of the greatest challenges can be accurately identifying compounds detected in biological extracts, especially when standards are not readily available. Current metabolomic methods are also limited in that they provide little to no information about a compound’s metabolic origin. In this study, we sought to address these issues by developing a novel metabolomic method that employs stable isotope feeding, LC-MS, Xcms, and an analytical software algorithm to study the ‘phenylalanome’ of Arabidopsis thaliana. Using this approach we were able to develop a method that, based on current results, is capable of detecting over ...