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

Intrinsic Disorder Where You Least Expect It: The Incidence And Functional Relevance Of Intrinsic Disorder In Enzymes And The Protein Data Bank, Shelly Deforte Jun 2016

Intrinsic Disorder Where You Least Expect It: The Incidence And Functional Relevance Of Intrinsic Disorder In Enzymes And The Protein Data Bank, Shelly Deforte

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and intrinsically disordered protein regions (IDPRs) exist as interconverting conformational ensembles, without a single fixed three-dimensional structure in vivo. The focus in the literature up to this point has been primarily on IDPs that are mostly or entirely disordered. Therefore, we have an incomplete understanding of the incidence and functional relevance of IDPRs in proteins that have regions of both order and disorder. This work explores these populations, by examining IDPRs in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) and in enzymes. By applying disorder prediction methods combined with an analysis of missing regions in crystal structure data ...


Inhibiting The Interaction Between Grp94 And Myocilin To Treat Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma, Andrew Stothert Jun 2016

Inhibiting The Interaction Between Grp94 And Myocilin To Treat Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma, Andrew Stothert

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative protein misfolding disorder classified by increases in IOP, damage to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), optic nerve (ON) head damage, and progressive irreversible blindness. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common form of glaucoma, constituting over 90% of clinical cases. POAG is observed in patients where normal outflow channels, mainly the trabecular meshwork (TM), are exposed at the angle formed by the iris and cornea. However, due to TM cellular dysfunction, aqueous outflow resistance is increased preventing normal circulation of aqueous humor. Recent studies have shown that in 2-4% of POAG cases, increased intracellular levels of ...


Cmg Helicase Assembly And Activation: Regulation By C-Myc Through Chromatin Decondensation And Novel Therapeutic Avenues For Cancer Treatment, Victoria Bryant Jun 2016

Cmg Helicase Assembly And Activation: Regulation By C-Myc Through Chromatin Decondensation And Novel Therapeutic Avenues For Cancer Treatment, Victoria Bryant

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The CMG (Cdc45, MCM, GINS) helicase is required for cellular proliferation and functions to unwind double-stranded DNA to allow the replication machinery to duplicate the genome. Cancer cells mismanage helicase activation through a variety of mechanisms, leading to the potential for the development of novel anti-cancer treatments. Mammalian cells load an excess of MCM complexes that act as reserves for new replication origins to be created when replication forks stall due to stress conditions, such as drug treatment. Targeting the helicase through inhibition of the MCM complex has sensitized cancer cells to drugs that inhibit DNA replication, such as aphidicolin ...


Investigation Of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Structural Determinants And Exploitation Of The Host Ubiquitin System, Jillian Nicole Whelan Apr 2016

Investigation Of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Structural Determinants And Exploitation Of The Host Ubiquitin System, Jillian Nicole Whelan

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a globally circulating, non-segmented, negative sense (NNS) RNA virus that causes severe lower respiratory infections. This study explored several avenues to ultimately expand upon our understanding of RSV pathogenesis at the protein level. Evaluation of RSV intrinsic protein disorder increased the relatively limited description of the RSV structure-function relationship. Global proteomics analysis provided direction for further hypothesis-driven investigation of host pathways altered by RSV infection, specifically the interaction between the RSV NS2 protein and the host ubiquitin system. NS2 primarily acts to antagonize the innate immune system by targeting STAT2 for proteasomal degradation. The goal ...


Nonreplicative Dna Helicases Involved In Maintaining Genome Stability, Salahuddin Syed Apr 2016

Nonreplicative Dna Helicases Involved In Maintaining Genome Stability, Salahuddin Syed

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Double-strand breaks and stalled forks arise when the replication machinery encounters damage from exogenous sources like DNA damaging agents or ionizing radiation, and require specific DNA helicases to resolve these structures. Sgs1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a member of the RecQ family of DNA helicases and has a role in DNA repair and recombination. The RecQ family includes human genes BLM, WRN, RECQL4, RECQL1, and RECQL5. Mutations in BLM, WRN, and RECQL4 result in genetic disorders characterized by developmental abnormalities and a predisposition to cancer. All RecQ helicases have common features including a helicase domain, an RQC domain, and a ...


In Vitro And In Vivo Antioxidant Capacity Of Synthetic And Natural Polyphenolic Compounds Identified From Strawberry And Fruit Juices, Marvin Abountiolas Mar 2016

In Vitro And In Vivo Antioxidant Capacity Of Synthetic And Natural Polyphenolic Compounds Identified From Strawberry And Fruit Juices, Marvin Abountiolas

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Strawberries can be considered a functional food because their consumption has been associated with several health benefits. They are important sources of bioactive compounds, such as vitamins and polyphenolic compounds, with recognized antioxidant capacity (AOC). However, strawberry overall quality and bioactive content are greatly affected by environmental conditions during pre- and post-harvest and, little is known about the stability of its bioactive compounds, specifically ascorbic acid (AA) and polyphenolics compounds. Furthermore, additional research that addresses the impact of polyphenolic compounds on in vitro and in vivo models is needed to understand the mechanisms behind their potential health benefits. Therefore, the ...


Global Regulator Of Virulence A (Grva) Coordinates Expression Of Discrete Pathogenic Mechanisms In Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia Coli Through Interactions With Gadw-Gade, Jason K. Morgan, Ronan K. Carroll, Carly M. Harro, Khoury W Vendura, Lindsey N. Shaw, James T. Riordan Feb 2016

Global Regulator Of Virulence A (Grva) Coordinates Expression Of Discrete Pathogenic Mechanisms In Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia Coli Through Interactions With Gadw-Gade, Jason K. Morgan, Ronan K. Carroll, Carly M. Harro, Khoury W Vendura, Lindsey N. Shaw, James T. Riordan

Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology Faculty Publications

UNLABELLED: Global regulator of virulence A (GrvA) is a ToxR-family transcriptional regulator that activates locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE)-dependent adherence in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). LEE activation by GrvA requires the Rcs phosphorelay response regulator RcsB and is sensitive to physiologically relevant concentrations of bicarbonate, a known stimulant of virulence systems in intestinal pathogens. This study determines the genomic scale of GrvA-dependent regulation and uncovers details of the molecular mechanism underlying GrvA-dependent regulation of pathogenic mechanisms in EHEC. In a grvA-null background of EHEC strain TW14359, RNA sequencing analysis revealed the altered expression of over 700 genes, including the ...


Measurement Of Elastic Modulus Of Collagen Type I Single Fiber, Pavel Dutov, Olga Antipova, Sameer Varma, Joseph P R O Orgel, Jay D Schieber Jan 2016

Measurement Of Elastic Modulus Of Collagen Type I Single Fiber, Pavel Dutov, Olga Antipova, Sameer Varma, Joseph P R O Orgel, Jay D Schieber

Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology Faculty Publications

Collagen fibers are the main components of the extra cellular matrix and the primary contributors to the mechanical properties of tissues. Here we report a novel approach to measure the longitudinal component of the elastic moduli of biological fibers under conditions close to those found in vivo and apply it to type I collagen from rat tail tendon. This approach combines optical tweezers, atomic force microscopy, and exploits Euler-Bernoulli elasticity theory for data analysis. This approach also avoids drying for measurements or visualization, since samples are freshly extracted. Importantly, strains are kept below 0.5%, which appear consistent with the ...


Mir494 Reduces Renal Cancer Cell Survival Coinciding With Increased Lipid Droplets And Mitochondrial Changes, Punashi Dutta, Edward Haller, Arielle Sharp, Meera Nanjundan Jan 2016

Mir494 Reduces Renal Cancer Cell Survival Coinciding With Increased Lipid Droplets And Mitochondrial Changes, Punashi Dutta, Edward Haller, Arielle Sharp, Meera Nanjundan

Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology Faculty Publications

Background: miRNAs can regulate cellular survival in various cancer cell types. Recent evidence implicates the formation of lipid droplets as a hallmark event during apoptotic cell death response. It is presently unknown whether MIR494, located at 14q32 which is deleted in renal cancers, reduces cell survival in renal cancer cells and if this process is accompanied by changes in the number of lipid droplets.

Methods: 769-P renal carcinoma cells were utilized for this study. Control or MIR494 mimic was expressed in these cells following which cell viability (via crystal violet) and apoptotic cell numbers (via Annexin V/PI staining) were ...


Direct Analysis In Real Time (Dart) Of An Organothiophosphate At Ultrahigh Resolution By Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry And Tandem Mass Spectrometry, Laszlo Prokai, Stanley M. Stevens Jr. Jan 2016

Direct Analysis In Real Time (Dart) Of An Organothiophosphate At Ultrahigh Resolution By Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry And Tandem Mass Spectrometry, Laszlo Prokai, Stanley M. Stevens Jr.

Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology Faculty Publications

Direct analysis in real time (DART) is a recently developed ambient ionization technique for mass spectrometry to enable rapid and sensitive analyses with little or no sample preparation. After swab-based field sampling, the organothiophosphate malathion was analyzed using DART-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry (MS) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Mass resolution was documented to be over 800,000 in full-scan MS mode and over 1,000,000 for an MS/MS product ion produced by collision-induced dissociation of the protonated analyte. Mass measurement accuracy below 1 ppm was obtained for all DART-generated ions that belonged to ...


Effect Of Hydroxychloroquine And Characterization Of Autophagy In A Mouse Model Of Endometriosis, A. Ruiz, S. Rockfield, N. Taran, E. Haller, Robert Engelman, I Flores, P Panina-Bordignon, Meera Nanjundan Jan 2016

Effect Of Hydroxychloroquine And Characterization Of Autophagy In A Mouse Model Of Endometriosis, A. Ruiz, S. Rockfield, N. Taran, E. Haller, Robert Engelman, I Flores, P Panina-Bordignon, Meera Nanjundan

Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology Faculty Publications

In endometriosis, the increased survival potential of shed endometrial cells (which normally undergo anoikis) is suggested to promote lesion development. One mechanism that may alter anoikis is autophagy. Using an autophagic flux inhibitor hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), we identified that it reduces the in vitro survival capacity of human endometriotic and endometrial T-HESC cells. We also identified that HCQ could decrease lesion numbers and disrupt lesion histopathology, as well as increase the levels of peritoneal macrophages and the IP-10 (10 kDa interferon-γ-induced protein) chemokine in a mouse model of endometriosis. We noted that RNA levels of a subset of autophagic ...


Mass Spectrometry-Based Investigation Of App-Dependent Mechanisms In Neurodegeneration, Dale Chaput Nov 2015

Mass Spectrometry-Based Investigation Of App-Dependent Mechanisms In Neurodegeneration, Dale Chaput

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia affecting the elderly, and as the aging population increases the social and economic burden of AD grows substantially. Pathological hallmarks of AD include the accumulation of extracellular amyloid plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), as well as significant neuron loss. Amyloid plaques consist of aggregated amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide, which is generated from the proteolytic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in addition to several other peptides. While the processing of APP has been characterized, its primary physiological function and its involvement in AD pathology are poorly understood. Developing ...


Characterization Of Two Novel Gene Regulatory Systems In The Zoonotic Bacterium Bartonella Henselae, Nhan Tu Nov 2015

Characterization Of Two Novel Gene Regulatory Systems In The Zoonotic Bacterium Bartonella Henselae, Nhan Tu

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The genus Bartonella contains Gram-negative arthropod-borne bacteria that are found in many small animal reservoirs and are capable of causing human disease. Bacteria utilize a general stress response system to combat stresses from their surrounding environments. In α-proteobacteria, the general stress response system uses an alternate σ factor as the main regulator and incorporates it with a two-component system into a unique system. Our study identifies the general stress response system in the α-proteobacterium, Bartonella henselae, where the gene synteny is conserved and both the PhyR and alternate σ factor have similar sequence and domain structures with other α-proteobacteria. Furthermore ...


Targeting Autopalmitoylation To Modulate Protein S-Palmitoylation, Laura Dawn Hamel Nov 2015

Targeting Autopalmitoylation To Modulate Protein S-Palmitoylation, Laura Dawn Hamel

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Palmitoylation refers to the covalent attachment of fatty acids, such as palmitate, onto the cysteine residues of proteins. This process may subsequently alter their localization and function. Nearly all of the enzymes that catalyze palmitoylation, zDHHC protein acyl transferases (PATs), are implicated in neurological disorders, infectious diseases, and cancer in humans. Of particular interest to those who study palmitoylation are Ras family GTPas and zDHHC9-GCP16, the zDHHC PAT that palmitoylates Ras proteins. Erf2-Erf4 is the zDHHC PAT that palmitoylates Ras proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Currently, there are no methods to therapeutically target palmitoylation for the treatment of disease. One of ...


Molecular And Phenotypic Studies Validating The Role Of The Ecdysone Receptor In The Human Parasite Brugia Malayi, Amruta Mhashilkar Nov 2015

Molecular And Phenotypic Studies Validating The Role Of The Ecdysone Receptor In The Human Parasite Brugia Malayi, Amruta Mhashilkar

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Filariasis and onchocerciasis are debilitating diseases affecting 120 million people globally. The massive socio-economic impact of these diseases energized the international community to declare a goal of eliminating filariasis 2020. This resulted in a dramatic increase in the efforts to eliminate filariasis and onchocerciasis, employing a strategy of mass drug administration (MDA). However, these programs rely upon the small arsenal of drugs. This leaves these programs vulnerable to failure in the face of developing resistance and local intolerance to the current drug regimens. Thus, new drugs against these infections are critically needed. A homologue of the ecdysone receptor (EcR), a ...


Hepatic Nutrient And Hormonal Regulation Of The Pancreatic-Derived Factor (Pander) Promoter, Whitney Ratliff Nov 2015

Hepatic Nutrient And Hormonal Regulation Of The Pancreatic-Derived Factor (Pander) Promoter, Whitney Ratliff

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

PANcreatic-DERived factor (PANDER, FAM3B) has been shown to regulate glycemic levels via interactions with both pancreatic islets and the liver. Although PANDER is predominantly expressed from the endocrine pancreas, recent work has provided sufficient evidence that the liver may also be an additional tissue source of PANDER production. At physiological levels, PANDER is capable of disrupting insulin signaling and promoting increased hepatic glucose production. As shown in some animal models, strong expression of PANDER, induced by viral delivery within the liver, induces hepatic steatosis. However, no studies to date have explicitly characterized the transcriptional regulation of PANDER from the liver ...


Novel Enzyme Perspectives: Arylalkylamine N-Acyltransferases From Bombyx Mori & 1-Deoxy- D-Xylulose-5-Phosphate Synthase From Plasmodium Falciparum And Plasmodium Vivax, Matthew R. Battistini Nov 2015

Novel Enzyme Perspectives: Arylalkylamine N-Acyltransferases From Bombyx Mori & 1-Deoxy- D-Xylulose-5-Phosphate Synthase From Plasmodium Falciparum And Plasmodium Vivax, Matthew R. Battistini

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation is dedicated to the research and investigation of novel enzymes and the methods used to study them, with physiological roles ranging from isoprenoid biosynthesis to neurotransmitter production. Using a combination of bioinformatics, recombinant cloning, enzymology, and proteomics, we have contributed to the understanding and exploration of several human illnesses, including malaria, cancer, and endocrine dysfunction.

Our first project involved studying the enzymes responsible for N-acylarylalkylamide biosynthesis in Bombyx mori. Very little is known how these potent signaling molecules are produced in vivo, however, one possible pathway is the direct conjugation of an acyl-CoA to a corresponding arylalkylamide ...


Structure Based Drug Design Targeting Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance And Alzheimer's Disease, Eric Michael Lewandowski Oct 2015

Structure Based Drug Design Targeting Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance And Alzheimer's Disease, Eric Michael Lewandowski

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Structure based drug design is a rapidly advancing discipline that examines how protein targets structurally interact with small molecules, or known inhibitors, and then uses this information to lead inhibitor optimization efforts. In the case of novel inhibitors, protein structural information is first obtained via X-ray crystallography, NMR studies, or a combination of both approaches. Then, computational molecular docking is often used to screen, in silico, millions of small molecules and calculate the potential interactions they may have with the target protein’s binding pocket, in hopes of identifying novel low affinity inhibitors. By examining the interactions these small, low ...


Characterization And Diurnal Measurement Of Oral Inflammation In Association With Glycemic Control, Periodontal Status, & Glucose Stimulation, Melanie N. Kuehl Oct 2015

Characterization And Diurnal Measurement Of Oral Inflammation In Association With Glycemic Control, Periodontal Status, & Glucose Stimulation, Melanie N. Kuehl

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Diabetes has afflicted 8.3%, approximately 25.8 million, of the United States population and is the seventh leading cause of death [1]. Type I diabetes (T1D) accounts for 5 to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in the United States [2]. If present trends continue, the rate of T1D incidence among children under the age of 14 will increase by 3% globally [3]. T1D is an autoimmune disorder in which the β-cells of the pancreatic islets are destroyed, leading to high blood sugar. Hyperglycemia and loss of immunological tolerance to self-antigens are common associations of T1D [4]. Periodontal ...


A Forward Genetic Screen Identifies Factors Associated With Fever Pathogenesis In Plasmodium Falciparum, Phaedra J. Thomas Sep 2015

A Forward Genetic Screen Identifies Factors Associated With Fever Pathogenesis In Plasmodium Falciparum, Phaedra J. Thomas

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Infectious diseases that spread from person-to-person and continent-to-continent are a cause for concern for any health entity. One such disease is malaria, a mosquito-borne infection instigated by the protozoan parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Hundreds of millions of people are affected annually and it is responsible for nearly 1 million deaths. It is the most fatal species causing malaria and proliferates in human red blood cells with a life cycle occurring every 48 hours. At this time, the parasite’s late stage form or schizont bursts from the erythrocyte releasing immune-inducing particles and infective forms (merozoites) into the bloodstream. The merozoites go ...


Function Of Long Noncoding Rnas In Breast Cancer, Edward J. Richards Sep 2015

Function Of Long Noncoding Rnas In Breast Cancer, Edward J. Richards

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Breast cancer is a disease that will be diagnosed in about 1 in 10 women throughout their lifetime. The majority of breast cancers are originated from the epithelial cells of the mammary ducts, and this occurrence can be due to several factors including hereditary and acquired mutation. There are several major breast cancer subtypes, including estrogen receptor-α (ERα)-positive, HER2-enriched and triple-negative (TNBC). Patients diagnosed with ER+ tumors are generally treated with estrogen blockers (e.g., tamoxifen, letrozole and fulvestrant). Patients with HER2+ tumors are commonly administered with drugs that block HER2 signaling (e.g., trastuzumab) or inhibit HER2’s ...


Promoting Genome Stability Via Multiple Dna Repair Pathways, Scott Cukras Feb 2015

Promoting Genome Stability Via Multiple Dna Repair Pathways, Scott Cukras

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Maintaining genome integrity is indispensible for cells to prevent and limit accruement of deleterious mutations and to promote viable cell growth and proliferation. Cells possess a myriad of mechanisms to detect, prevent and repair incurred cellular damage. Here we discuss various proteins and their accompanying cellular pathways that promote genome stability. We first investigate the NEDD8 protein and its role in promoting homologous recombination repair via multiple Cullin E3 ubiquitin ligases. We provide specific mechanisms through which, UBE2M, an E2 conjugating enzyme, neddylates various Cullin ligases to render them catalytically active to degrade their substrates by the proteasome. We show ...


A Functional Chlorophyll Biosynthesis Pathway Identified In The Kleptoplastic Sea Slug, Elysia Chlorotica, Julie A. Schwartz Feb 2015

A Functional Chlorophyll Biosynthesis Pathway Identified In The Kleptoplastic Sea Slug, Elysia Chlorotica, Julie A. Schwartz

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The sacoglossan sea slug, Elysia chlorotica, feeds upon and sequesters plastids from the heterokont alga, Vaucheria litorea, and maintains the metabolically active organelles for up to nine months under starvation conditions while utilizing the photosynthate to survive and reproduce. The photosynthetic pigment, chlorophyll a (Chla), is found in all oxygenic photosynthetic organisms and is responsible for capturing photons of light and converting them into chemical energy. Chlorophyll and its associated proteins involved in the light capturing process are subject to photo oxidative damage and must be continually replaced for ongoing photosynthesis to continue; however, genes encoding these proteins are present ...


Exploring The Role Of Intracellular Aminopeptidases In Staphylococcus Aureus Pathogenesis, Devon Nicole Marking Jan 2015

Exploring The Role Of Intracellular Aminopeptidases In Staphylococcus Aureus Pathogenesis, Devon Nicole Marking

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Staphylococcus aureus is a remarkably pathogenic bacterium that is widely prevalent among the human population. It is the leading agent of skin and soft tissue infections, and is also responsible for causing an array of severe and life threatening diseases. The invasiveness of the pathogen, coupled with increasing antibiotic resistance seen for S. aureus infections, makes this bacterium a prominent public health concern. The extended pathogenicity of S. aureus is largely due to its repertoire of virulence factors, which are typically characterized by being bound to the cell wall, or secreted into the extracellular environment. Previously, our lab identified a ...


Regulation And Targeting Of The Fancd2 Activation In Dna Repair, Valentina Celeste Caceres Jan 2015

Regulation And Targeting Of The Fancd2 Activation In Dna Repair, Valentina Celeste Caceres

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genome instability syndrome that is clinically manifested by bone marrow failure, congenital defects, and elevated cancer susceptibility. The FA pathway is known to regulate the repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks in part through DNA homologous recombination (HR) repair. Up to today 16 FA proteins have been discovered that may participate in the common pathway. Cells that have mutations in the FA genes are hypersensitive to DNA damaging agents and display chromosome instability. A key regulatory event in the FA pathway is monoubiquitination of FANCD2-FANCI heterodimer that is mediated by a multi-component E3 ubiquitin ligase complex ...


High-Throughput Screening Of Age-Related Changes In Caenorhabditis Elegans, Neil Copes Jan 2015

High-Throughput Screening Of Age-Related Changes In Caenorhabditis Elegans, Neil Copes

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This project was developed to identify novel methods for high-throughput culturing and screening of C. elegans to investigate age-related metabolic changes and to survey the proteomic and metabolomic factors associated with age-related changes. To accomplish these goals we developed a novel way to grow C. elegans in liquid culture in 96-well microplates for several weeks without suffering significant fluid loss due to evaporation and without needing to shake or unseal the plates for aeration. We also developed methods for assaying the total volume of live C. elegans in microplate cultures using a fluorescence microplate reader and for performing RNAi experiments ...


Strategies For Preventing Age And Neurodegenerative Disease-Associated Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Vedad Delic Jan 2015

Strategies For Preventing Age And Neurodegenerative Disease-Associated Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Vedad Delic

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a pivotal role in the development of aging phenotypes and aging-associated neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Strategies that restore mitochondrial dysfunction may rescue the deficits of central metabolism in these disorders and improve cell survival. For example, we found that modulating the mTOR signaling pathway in a tissue culture model of aging-induced mitochondrial DNA mutation enhanced mitochondrial function as evidenced by increased oxygen consumption. Our previous melatonin studies also led us to hypothesize that caloric restriction and the hormone melatonin would reverse brain mitochondrial dysfunction ...


Genomic Aberrations At The 3q And 14q Loci: Investigation Of Key Players In Ovarian And Renal Cancer Biology, Punashi Dutta Jan 2015

Genomic Aberrations At The 3q And 14q Loci: Investigation Of Key Players In Ovarian And Renal Cancer Biology, Punashi Dutta

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Genomic aberrations are primary contributors to the pathophysiology of cancer [11]. Dysregulated expression of genes located within these aberrations are important predictors of chemoresistance, disease prognosis, and patient outcome [12]. This dissertation is focused on understanding the regulation and/or functions of specific genes located at dysregulated genomic regions such as 3q26 and 14q32 in the biology of ovarian and renal cancer, respectively.

Serous epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) manifest amplification at the 3q26.2 locus [2], an observation consistent with the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) [13]. The most amplified gene in this region is EVI1 which has been extensively studied ...


The Effects Of Supplemented Metabolites On Lifespan And Stress Response Pathways In Caenorhabditis Elegans, Clare B. Edwards Jan 2015

The Effects Of Supplemented Metabolites On Lifespan And Stress Response Pathways In Caenorhabditis Elegans, Clare B. Edwards

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Understanding how metabolites contribute to anaplerosis, antioxidant effects, and hormetic pathways during aging is fundamental to creating supplements and dietary habits that may decrease age-associated disease and decline, thus improving the quality of life in old age. In order to uncover metabolic pathways that delay aging, the effects of large sets of metabolites associated with mitochondrial function on lifespan were investigated.

Malate, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolite, increased lifespan and thermotolerance in C. elegans. Addition of fumarate and succinate also extended lifespan and all three metabolites activated nuclear translocation of the cytoprotective DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor and protected from ...


Functional Analysis Of The Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility Locus At 9p22.2 Reveals A Transcription Regulatory Network Mediated By Bnc2 In Ovarian Cells, Melissa Buckley Jan 2015

Functional Analysis Of The Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility Locus At 9p22.2 Reveals A Transcription Regulatory Network Mediated By Bnc2 In Ovarian Cells, Melissa Buckley

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

GWAS have identified several chromosomal loci associated with ovarian cancer risk. However, the mechanism underlying these associations remains elusive. We identify candidate functional Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) at the 9p22.2 ovarian cancer susceptibility locus, several of which map to transcriptional regulatory elements active in ovarian cells identified by FAIRE-seq (Formaldehyde assisted isolation of regulatory elements followed by sequencing) and ChIP-seq (Chromatin Immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing) in relevant cell types. Reporter and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) determined the extent to which candidate SNPs had allele specific effects. Chromosome conformation capture (3C) reveals a physical association between Basonuclin 2 (BNC2 ...