Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 9 of 9

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

Expression Of Glycine-Rich Proteins Found In Salivary Glands Of The Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma Americanum) Using A Mammalian Cell Line, Annabelle Clark Dec 2016

Expression Of Glycine-Rich Proteins Found In Salivary Glands Of The Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma Americanum) Using A Mammalian Cell Line, Annabelle Clark

Honors Theses

Ticks play an important ecological role as well as a growing role in human health and veterinary care. Ticks are hosts to a plethora of microbial pathogens that can be transferred during feeding to cause tick-borne diseases in humans and many animals. Ticks may in large part owe the success of the transfer of these pathogens between hosts to their complex saliva. The saliva secreted upon a tick’s attachment to a host serves the following, among other, functions: anti-hemostasis of the blood pool, preventing an inflammatory response at the bite site, and serving as a natural anti-microbial substance. An ...


Functional Significance Of Branch Points In Mirtrons, Britton A. Strickland Dec 2016

Functional Significance Of Branch Points In Mirtrons, Britton A. Strickland

Honors Theses

MicroRNAs are a heterogeneous group of small regulatory RNAs generated by many pathways. Mirtrons (miR) are a class of microRNAs produced by splicing, and some mirtrons contain a 3’ tail located downstream from the self-complementary hairpin. During RNA splicing, a loop-like “lariat” intermediate structure is created when the 5’ end of the RNA is attached to an adenine called the branch point. The goal of this project is to uncover the contribution of branch point location to the processing of tailed mirtrons into functional gene regulators. This project approaches this issue from two directions. First, branch points were identified by ...


Tubulin Post-Translational Modifications Are Altered By Changes In Actin-Myosin Contractility In Non-Muscle Cells, James Mcgee Jun 2016

Tubulin Post-Translational Modifications Are Altered By Changes In Actin-Myosin Contractility In Non-Muscle Cells, James Mcgee

Honors Theses

All cells regulate their contractility by the interaction of actin and myosin. In non-muscle cells, however, this interaction is regulated by rho, a GTPase, which is the upstream effector for multiple pathways. Cell contractility increases when rho is active, and prior research has shown the depolymerization of microtubules (MTs) activates rho. Microtubules play a role in many cellular functions and it is thought that either associations with MT-associated proteins and/or post-translational modifications to tubulin regulate MT functions. Numerous post-translational modifications (PTMs) to microtubules have been identified, but their roles are not well understood. A possible relationship between changes in ...


Painless Hematophagy: The Functional Role Of Novel Tick Metalloproteases In Pain Suppression, Joseph W. Jelinski May 2016

Painless Hematophagy: The Functional Role Of Novel Tick Metalloproteases In Pain Suppression, Joseph W. Jelinski

Honors Theses

Ticks secrete a plethora of pharmacologically active molecules in their saliva while feeding. These allow the tick to feed upon a host over prolonged periods of time in an itch free and painless attachment. The exact mechanism of pain suppression by the tick has barely been investigated. In this study, two angiotensin converting enzymes (ACEs), members of the metalloprotease family, are identified as potentially responsible for the degradation of pro-inflammatory peptides. It is hypothesized that these tick ACEs block the function of bradykinin through degradation of the peptide, contributing to the tick’s ability to conduct a pain and itch-free ...


Using Intrinsic Properties Of Polyaniline To Sense Expression Of The Microrna Let-7, Jared N. Gloria May 2016

Using Intrinsic Properties Of Polyaniline To Sense Expression Of The Microrna Let-7, Jared N. Gloria

Honors Theses

MicroRNAs are approximately 22-nucleotide long RNA molecules that function through decay and translational repression of messenger RNA. The microRNA let-7 is found to play a role in maintaining the fate of differentiated cells in humans. Thus, expression level of this microRNA is a reliable biomarker of tumor cell phenotype. However, there are significant limitations in the current profiling techniques of microRNA. The current methods like northern blotting, microarrays, RT-PCR, or using locked nucleic acid (LNA) for in-situ hybridization are either laborious, semi-quantitative, or expensive. In this research we try to address this issue by developing a fast, specific, and inexpensive ...


Computational Studies Of Paradifluorobenzene Cations And Hydrogen Cyanide Molecule, John C. Rowe Iv Jan 2016

Computational Studies Of Paradifluorobenzene Cations And Hydrogen Cyanide Molecule, John C. Rowe Iv

Honors Theses

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are hypothesized to comprise a significant portion of interstellar carbon identified from the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs). Gas phase cation-molecule reactions between compounds that previously existed as weakly bound species provides the best explanation for the emergence of PAHs in the interstellar medium (ISM). In this work, we use computational methods to characterize one of these weakly-bound systems. We discovered that intramolecular charge distribution (calculated using the Natural Population Analysis) dictate the complexes formed between a paradifluorobenzene cation and either one or two HCN molecules. Additionally, the relative stabilities of the complexes and the binding energies ...


Characterization Of Catecholamine Receptors And Transporters In Murine Macrophages, Elizabeth Gonye Jan 2016

Characterization Of Catecholamine Receptors And Transporters In Murine Macrophages, Elizabeth Gonye

Honors Theses

Macrophages are a critical part of the immune response. When circulating monocytes move into tissues they differentiate int macrophages to mount the first line of defense against pathogens.


Calcium (Ii) Catalyzed Nitrone Additions, Elizabeth A. Congdon Jan 2016

Calcium (Ii) Catalyzed Nitrone Additions, Elizabeth A. Congdon

Honors Theses

Calcium(II) complexes have be shown to be successful catalysts for nitrone reactions. The addition of n-­‐methyl and n-­‐phenyl nitrones to donor-­‐acceptor cyclopropanes was achieved with calcium triflate (Ca(OTf). Differentially substituted tetrahydro-­‐1,2-­‐oxazines were synthesized in good to excellent yields. Calcium triflate was also found to catalyze the addition of silyl enol ethers to n-­‐phenyl nitrones along the Mukaiyama-­‐Mannich addition pathway. B-­‐amino carbonyls were synthesized from a variety of substituted nitrones. Bulky and cyclic silyl enol ethers were also found to be reactive, the products of which were isolated in good ...


Impact Of Vector Range Expansion On Pathogen Transmission Dynamics Of Lyme Disease In Southwestern Virginia, Bishan Bhattarai Jan 2016

Impact Of Vector Range Expansion On Pathogen Transmission Dynamics Of Lyme Disease In Southwestern Virginia, Bishan Bhattarai

Honors Theses

Blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis is the primary vector of Lyme disease in eastern United States. Borrelia Burgdorfei, the etiological agent of Lyme disease is transferred by ticks of Ixodes species. In recent years, its congener, Ixodes affinis has been expanding its range northwards from its southern population. We were interested in studying how the introduction of this new vector affected the interaction between the pathogen genotype and the host. We hypothesized that differential host use by I. affinis and I. scapularis would partly explain observed differences in B. burgdorferi infection prevalence and genotypic structure in southeastern Virginia. The result from ...