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Articles 1 - 17 of 17

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

Interrogation Of Protein Function With Peptidomimetics, Olapeju Bolarinwa Jul 2018

Interrogation Of Protein Function With Peptidomimetics, Olapeju Bolarinwa

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Proteins can be described as the “machineries” responsible for almost all tasks in the levels of organizational complexity in multi-cellular organisms namely: the cells, tissues, organs and systems. Any disorder in the function of a protein at any of these levels could result in disease, and a study of protein function is critical to understanding the pathological features of the disease at the molecular level. A quick glance at these abundantly present proteins reveals two striking features: large diversity of biological function, and the variations in structural complexity, which varies from simple random coils, to turns and helices, and on ...


Elastin-Like Polypeptide Fusion Tag As A Protein-Dependent Solubility Enhancer Of Cysteine-Knot Growth Factors, Tamina L. Johnson Apr 2018

Elastin-Like Polypeptide Fusion Tag As A Protein-Dependent Solubility Enhancer Of Cysteine-Knot Growth Factors, Tamina L. Johnson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Elastin-like peptide (ELP) fusions promote therapeutic delivery and efficacy. Recombinant proteins, like neurotrophins, lack bioavailability, have short in vivo half-lives, and require high manufacturing costs. Fusing recombinant proteins with genetically encodable ELPs will increase bioavailability, enhance in vivo solubilization, as well as provide a cost-effective method for purification without the need for chromatography. During expression of neurotrophin-ELP (N-ELP) fusions, dense water-insoluble aggregates known as inclusion bodies (IBs) are formed. Inclusion bodies are partially and misfolded proteins that usually require denaturants like Urea for solubilization. Strong denaturants arrest ELPs stimuli-responsive property and increase unwanted aggregation, making purification difficult, yet possible. The ...


Design, Synthesis, Application Of Biodegradable Polymers, Mussie Gide Mar 2018

Design, Synthesis, Application Of Biodegradable Polymers, Mussie Gide

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Bacterial infections have posed a serious threat to the public health due to the significant rise of the infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. There has been considerable interest in the development of antimicrobial agents which mimic the natural HDPs, and among them biodegradable polymers are newly discovered drug candidates with ease of synthesis and low manufacture cost compared to synthetic host defense peptides. Herein, we present the synthesis of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers including polycarbonate polymers, unimolecular micelle hyperbranched polymers and dendrimers that mimic the antibacterial mechanism of HDPs by compromising bacterial cell membranes. The developed amphiphilic polycarbonates are highly ...


Design And Synthesis Of Cpg-Lytic Peptide Conjugate, Brachytherapy Beads And A Combinatorial Library Of Primary Amines Used As Potential Therapeutics In The Treatment Of Cancers, Josanne-Dee Woodroffe Nov 2017

Design And Synthesis Of Cpg-Lytic Peptide Conjugate, Brachytherapy Beads And A Combinatorial Library Of Primary Amines Used As Potential Therapeutics In The Treatment Of Cancers, Josanne-Dee Woodroffe

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Cancer remains one of the most feared diseases affecting the modern world. Second to heart disease, it is the largest cause of deaths, affecting one in three persons. Cancer cells are formed when normal, healthy cells become damage, losing their normal regulatory mechanism that control cell growth. There are many different types and progression of these cancer cells that determine the type of treatment a patient receives. The primary focus of this dissertation is to propose three studies of anticancer agents. In Chapter one, a CpG-lytic peptide conjugate was designed to target receptors on the cell membrane to concentrate the ...


Structure And Activity Of Metallo-Peptides, Christian C. Tang Jul 2017

Structure And Activity Of Metallo-Peptides, Christian C. Tang

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Metal ions are ubiquitously found in all living systems and play vital roles in supporting life forms by performing an array of biological activities. Such biological activities include binding and transforming organic molecules, and also acting as active centers and cofactors for catalysis of various acid-base and redox reactions in biological system. The main focus in bioinorganic chemistry is to elucidate the structural and functional roles of metals in biological systems. Among all transition metal ions, Cu2+ and Fe3+ are especially versatile and important due to their abilities to go through redox efficiently.

This dissertation can be divided ...


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 ...


Photoacoustic Calorimetry Studies Of The Earliest Events In Horse Heart Cytochrome-C Folding, Tarah A. Word Sep 2015

Photoacoustic Calorimetry Studies Of The Earliest Events In Horse Heart Cytochrome-C Folding, Tarah A. Word

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The protein folding problem involves understanding how the tertiary structure of a protein is related to its primary structure. Hence, understanding the thermodynamics associated with the rate-limiting steps for the formation of the earliest events in folding is most crucial to understanding how proteins adopt native secondary and tertiary structures. In order to elucidate the mechanism and pattern of protein folding, an extensively studied protein, Cytochrome-c (Cc), was chosen as a folding system to obtain detailed time-resolved thermodynamic profiles for the earliest events in the protein folding process. Cytochrome-c is an ideal system for understanding the folding process for several ...


Gamma-Aapeptides As A New Class Of Peptidomimetics: Synthesis, Structures, And Functions, Haifan Wu Feb 2015

Gamma-Aapeptides As A New Class Of Peptidomimetics: Synthesis, Structures, And Functions, Haifan Wu

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Peptidomimetics are synthetic oligomers that resemble the activities of peptides. Their advantages over peptides include high stability towards proteolysis and enormous chemical diversity. Over the past two decades, there have been extensive efforts to develop peptide mimics, such as beta-peptides, peptoids, D-peptides, etc. The research on peptidomimetics have led to many important applications in both medicinal and material science. In order to explore new functions, the discovery of peptidomimetics with novel frameworks is essential. We reported the synthesis and evaluation of a new class of peptidomimetics, termed as gamma-AApeptides. Previous studies of gamma-AApeptides have revealed that gamma-AApeptides are highly resistant ...


Identification And Characterization Of N-Acyltransferase Enzymes That Are Involved In The Biosynthesis Of Fatty Acid Amides, Daniel Robert Dempsey Jan 2015

Identification And Characterization Of N-Acyltransferase Enzymes That Are Involved In The Biosynthesis Of Fatty Acid Amides, Daniel Robert Dempsey

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Fatty acid amides are an emerging family of bioactive lipids that consists of N-acylethanolamines, N-acylarylalkylamides, N-acylglycines, N-acyl amino acids, N-monoacylpolyamides, and primary fatty acid amides. Short chain fatty acid amides are products of inactivated biogenic amines such as dopamine, histamine, octopamine, and serotonin, whereas long chain fatty acid amides have been implicated in a number of physiological process such as the perception and inhibition of chronic pain through binding to their specific receptors. The most famous; therefore, the most studied long chain fatty acid amide is anandamide or also known as N-arachidonylethanolamine. The biosynthesis ...


Biosynthesis Of Long-Chain Fatty Acid Amides, Kristen A. Jeffries Jan 2015

Biosynthesis Of Long-Chain Fatty Acid Amides, Kristen A. Jeffries

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The vast variety of long-chain fatty acid amides identified in biological systems is intriguing. The general structure of a fatty acid amide is R-CO-NH-X, where R is an alkyl group and X is derived from an immense variety of biogenic amines. Although structurally simple, the bioactivities of these molecules as signaling lipids are very diverse and have just recently begun to emerge in the literature. Interest in the long-chain fatty acid amides dramatically increased following the identification and characterization of one specific N-acylethanolamine, N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide), as the endogenous ligand for the cannabinoid receptors in the mammalian brain. Since ...


Synthesis, Characterization And Mechanistic Studies Of Biomolecules@Mesomofs, Yao Chen Jun 2014

Synthesis, Characterization And Mechanistic Studies Of Biomolecules@Mesomofs, Yao Chen

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Encapsulation of biomolecules is of great interest to research advances related to biology, physiology, immunology, and biochemistry, as well as industrial and biomedical applications such as drug delivery, biocatalysis, biofuel, food and cosmetics. Encapsulation provides functional characteristics that are not fulfilled by free biomolecules and stabilizes the fragile biomolecules. In terms of biocatalysis, solid support can often enhance the stability of enzymes, as well as facilitate separation and recovery for reuse while maintaining activity and selectivity. Various kinds of materials have been used for encapsulation of biomolecules, among which, porous materials are an important group. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have attracted ...


Combination Of The Computational Methods: Molecular Dynamics, Homology Modeling And Docking To Design Novel Inhibitors And Study Structural Changes In Target Proteins For Current Diseases, Katherine Cristina Parra Apr 2014

Combination Of The Computational Methods: Molecular Dynamics, Homology Modeling And Docking To Design Novel Inhibitors And Study Structural Changes In Target Proteins For Current Diseases, Katherine Cristina Parra

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In this thesis, molecular dynamics simulations, molecular docking, and homology modeling methods have been used in combination to design possible inhibitors as well as to study the structural changes and function of target proteins related to diseases that today are in the spotlight of drug discovery. The inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels constitute the first target in this study; they are involved in cardiac problems. On the other hand, tensin, a promising target in cancer research, is the second target studied here.

The first chapter includes a brief update on computational methods and the current proposal of the combination of ...


Reaction Enthalpy And Volume Profiles For Excited State Reactions Involving Electron Transfer And Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer, William Antonio Maza Jan 2013

Reaction Enthalpy And Volume Profiles For Excited State Reactions Involving Electron Transfer And Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer, William Antonio Maza

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Electron transfer, ET, and proton-coupled electron transfer, PCET, reactions are central to biological reactions involving catalysis, energy conversion and energy storage. The movement of electrons and protons in either a sequential or concerted manner are coupled in a series of elementary reaction steps in respiration and photosynthesis to harvest and convert energy consumed in foodstuffs or by absorption of light into high energy chemi-cal bonds in the form of ATP. These electron transfer processes may be modulated by conformational dynamics within the protein matrix or at the protein-protein interface, the energetics of which are still not well understood. Photoacoustic calorimetry ...


Protein Profiling Of Adenine Nucleoside And Nucleotide Analogs Binding Proteins Using N6-Biotinylated-8-Azidoadenosine Analogs As Affinity Based Protein Profiling Probes, Shikha Mahajan Jan 2012

Protein Profiling Of Adenine Nucleoside And Nucleotide Analogs Binding Proteins Using N6-Biotinylated-8-Azidoadenosine Analogs As Affinity Based Protein Profiling Probes, Shikha Mahajan

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Identification of differential expressions of proteins in proteomic profiles of biological samples shows great potential as a valuable technique for the early diagnosis of various diseases. An important challenge in modern protein profiling approaches is to reduce the complexity of the samples by limiting the number of proteins that need to be evaluated for distinction in the expression between normal and deceased cells. In this research, an affinity based approach for the enrichment of nucleotide and nucleoside binding proteins from a complex cell proteome has been developed. To achieve this goal, new N6-biotinylated-8-azido-adenosine probes (AdoRs) have been designed and synthesized ...


The Role Of Hsp70 In Cancer: A Study Of The Hsp70 / Akt Relationship, John Koren Jan 2012

The Role Of Hsp70 In Cancer: A Study Of The Hsp70 / Akt Relationship, John Koren

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The Hsp70 family of molecular chaperones is essential for

protein folding, re-folding misfolded client proteins, clearance

of aberrant client proteins, and can also inhibit programmed

cell death. There are two major cytosolic members of this

family: the constitutive Hsc70, and the inducible Hsp72. Under

stress conditions the Hsp70 family protects the cell from

protein related damage by the induction of Hsp72. Hsc70 and

Hsp72 are highly homologous with minor differences in

substrate binding. In cancers, Hsp72 is commonly induced and

this induction is thought to aid in cancer cell survival. In these

studies we demonstrate the differential regulation of the ...


Lead Discovery And Optimization Strategies Towards The Development Of 4(1h)-Quinolones And 1,2,3,4-Tetrahydroacridone Analogs With Antimalarial Activity, Richard Matthew Cross Jan 2011

Lead Discovery And Optimization Strategies Towards The Development Of 4(1h)-Quinolones And 1,2,3,4-Tetrahydroacridone Analogs With Antimalarial Activity, Richard Matthew Cross

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The goal of our research endeavor was to successfully employ modern lead discovery and optimization strategies towards the development and identification of compounds possessing antimalarial activity. Preliminary data from in vitro screening at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research identified several chemotypes including 4(1H)-quinolones and 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroacridones to have potent antimalarial activities. Multiple synthetic routes were devised and implemented which enabled the rapid preparation and isolation of over 400 structurally diverse 4(1H)-quinolones and 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroacridones.

Our research towards discovering and optimizing antimalarials was inspired from the severe impact malaria has had ...


Probing Molecules In Confined Space, Carissa Marie Vetromile Jan 2011

Probing Molecules In Confined Space, Carissa Marie Vetromile

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Despite the plethora of information regarding cellular crowding and its importance on modulating protein function the effects of confinement on biological molecules are often overlooked when investigating their physiological function. Recently however, the encapsulation of biomolecules in solid state matrices (NafionTM, sol-gels, zirconium phosphate,etc.) has increased in importance as a method for examining protein conformation and dynamics in confined space as well as novel applications in biotechnology. Biotechnological applications include, but are not limited to, bioremediation, biosensors, biocatalysts, etc. In order to better utilize solid state materials as substrates for biological molecules an understanding of the effects of encapsulation ...