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

Thiol-Based Misfolding: Linking Redox Balance To Cytosolic Proteostasis, Ford Amy May 2019

Thiol-Based Misfolding: Linking Redox Balance To Cytosolic Proteostasis, Ford Amy

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The eukaryotic cytosolic proteome is vulnerable to changes in proteostatic and redox balance caused by temperature, pH, oxidants and xenobiotics. Cysteine-containing proteins are especially at risk as the thiol side chain is subject to oxidation, adduction and chelation by thiol-reactive compounds. All of these thiol-modifiers have been demonstrated to induce the heat shock response and recruit protein chaperones to sites of presumed protein aggregation in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, endogenous targets of thiol stress toxicity responsible for these outcomes are largely unknown. Furthermore, I hypothesize proteins identified as redox-active are prone to misfolding and aggregation by thiol-specific stress ...


Evolution Via Gene Duplication And Alternative Splicing In The Eukaryotic Ski7 And Hbs1 Genes, Alexandra Marshall May 2018

Evolution Via Gene Duplication And Alternative Splicing In The Eukaryotic Ski7 And Hbs1 Genes, Alexandra Marshall

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Gene duplication and alternative splicing are both recognized as important drivers of proteomic diversity and innovation during evolution, but the evolutionary changes over long periods of time or the interrelations of the two processes has not been extensively studied. Here I study these phenomena for the SKI7 and HBS1 gene pair. These Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes were created as part of a whole genome duplication (WGD) event and have since functionally diverged. Although both genes function in mRNA surveillance pathways, the two genes act on different RNAs and have different effects on the target mRNAs. Ski7 brings the Ski complex and ...


Functional Similarity Of Prd-Containing Virulence Regulators In Bacillus Anthracis, Malik Raynor May 2018

Functional Similarity Of Prd-Containing Virulence Regulators In Bacillus Anthracis, Malik Raynor

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Bacillus anthracis produces three regulators, AtxA, AcpA, and AcpB, that control virulence gene expression and are members of an emerging class of regulators termed “PCVRs” (Phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase regulation Domain-Containing Virulence Regulators). AtxA controls expression of the toxin genes; lef, cya, and pag, and is the master virulence regulator and archetype PCVR. AcpA and AcpB are less well studied. AcpA and AcpB independently positively control transcription of the capsule biosynthetic operon capBCADE, and culture conditions that enhance AtxA activity result in capBCADE transcription in strains lacking acpA and acpB. RNA-Seq was used to assess the regulons of the paralogs in strains ...


Investigating The Impact Of Intragenic Dna Methylation On Gene Expression, And The Clinical Implications On Tumor Cells And Associated Stroma, Michael Mcguire May 2018

Investigating The Impact Of Intragenic Dna Methylation On Gene Expression, And The Clinical Implications On Tumor Cells And Associated Stroma, Michael Mcguire

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Investigations into the function of non-promoter DNA methylation have yielded new insights into epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Previous studies have highlighted the importance of distinguishing between DNA methylation in discrete functional regions; however, integrated non-promoter DNA methylation and gene expression analyses across a wide number of tumor types and corresponding normal tissues have not been performed. Through integrated analysis of gene expression and DNA methylation profiles, we uncovered an enrichment of DNA methylation sites within the gene body and 3’UTR in which DNA methylation is strongly positively correlated with gene expression. We examined 32 tumor types and identified ...


The Regulation Of Dna Methylation In Mammalian Development And Cancer, Nicolas Veland May 2018

The Regulation Of Dna Methylation In Mammalian Development And Cancer, Nicolas Veland

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

DNA methylation is an essential epigenetic modification in mammals, as it plays important regulatory roles in multiple biological processes, such as gene transcription, maintenance of chromosomal structure and genomic stability, genomic imprinting, retrotransposon silencing, and X-chromosome inactivation. Dysregulation of DNA methylation is associated with various human diseases. For example, cancer cells usually show global hypomethylation and regional hypermenthylation, which have been implicated in genomic instability and tumor suppressor silencing, respectively. Although great progress has been made in elucidating the biological functions of DNA methylation over the last several decades, how DNA methylation patterns and levels are regulated and dysregulated is ...


Non-Coding Rnas Identify The Intrinsic Molecular Subtypes Of Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer, Andrea E. Ochoa May 2017

Non-Coding Rnas Identify The Intrinsic Molecular Subtypes Of Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer, Andrea E. Ochoa

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

NON-CODING RNAS IDENTIFY THE INTRINSIC MOLECULAR SUBTYPES OF MUSCLE-INVASIVE BLADDER CANCER

Andrea Elizabeth Ochoa, B.S.

Advisory Professors: David J. McConkey, Ph.D. and Joya Chandra, Ph.D.

There has been a recent explosion of genomics data in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) to better understand the underlying biology of the disease that leads to the high amount of heterogeneity that is seen clinically. These studies have identified relatively stable intrinsic molecular subtypes of MIBC that show similarities to the basal and luminal subtypes of breast cancer. However, previous studies have primarily focused on protein-coding genes or DNA mutations/alterations.

There ...


Analysis Of The Biochemical And Cellular Activities Of Substrate Binding By The Molecular Chaperone Hsp110/Sse1, Veronica M. Garcia May 2017

Analysis Of The Biochemical And Cellular Activities Of Substrate Binding By The Molecular Chaperone Hsp110/Sse1, Veronica M. Garcia

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Molecular chaperones ensure protein quality during protein synthesis, delivery, damage repair, and degradation. The ubiquitous and highly conserved molecular chaperone 70-kDa heat-shock proteins (Hsp70s) are essential in maintaining protein homeostasis by cycling through high and low affinity binding of unfolded protein clients to facilitate folding. The Hsp110 class of chaperones are divergent relatives of Hsp70 that are extremely effective in preventing protein aggregation but lack the hallmark folding activity seen in Hsp70s. Hsp110s serve as Hsp70 nucleotide exchange factors (NEF) that facilitate the Hsp70 folding cycle by inducing release of protein substrate from Hsp70, thus recycling the chaperone for a ...


Understanding The Mechanism Of Genomic Instability During Replicative Aging In Budding Yeast, Sangita Pal May 2017

Understanding The Mechanism Of Genomic Instability During Replicative Aging In Budding Yeast, Sangita Pal

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Aging brings a gradual decline in molecular fidelity and biological functionality, resulting in age related phenotypes and diseases. Despite continued efforts to uncover the conserved aging pathways among eukaryotes, exact molecular causes of aging are still poorly understood. One of the most important hallmarks of aging is increased genomic instability. However, there remains much ambiguity as to the cause. I am studying the replicative life span (RLS) of the genetically tractable model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or budding yeast using the innovative “mother enrichment program” as the method to isolate unparalleled numbers of aged yeast cells to investigate the molecular changes ...


Characterization Of Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2 And Its Role In Parkinson's Disease Pathogenesis Using Drosophila, Antonio Joel Tito Jr., Sheng Zhang Dec 2016

Characterization Of Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2 And Its Role In Parkinson's Disease Pathogenesis Using Drosophila, Antonio Joel Tito Jr., Sheng Zhang

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by the selective loss of the dopaminergic neurons in the Substantia nigra pars compacta region of the brain. PD is also the most common neurodegenerative disorder and the second most common movement disorder. PD patients exhibit the cardinal symptoms, including tremor of the extremities, rigidity, slowness of movement, and postural instability, after 70-80% of DA neurons degenerate. It is, therefore, imperative to elucidate the underlying mechanisms involved in the selective degeneration of DA neurons. Although increasing numbers of PD genes have been identified, why these largely widely expressed genes ...


The Roles Of Malt1 In Nf-Κb Activation And Solid Tumor Progression, Deng Pan May 2016

The Roles Of Malt1 In Nf-Κb Activation And Solid Tumor Progression, Deng Pan

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The transcription factor NF-κB plays a central role in many aspects of biological processes and diseases, such as inflammation and cancer. Although it has been suggested thatNF-κB is critical in tumorigenesis and tumor progression, the molecular mechanism by which NF-κB is activated in solid tumor remains largely unknown. In the current work, we focus on growth factor receptor-induced NF-κB activation and tumor progression, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-induced NF-κB in lung cancer and heregulin receptor (HER2)-induced NF-κB in breast cancer. We found that Mucosa-associated lymphoma translocation protein 1 (MALT1), also known as paracaspase, is required for EGFR-induced ...


Preventing Thymus Involution In K5.Cyclin D1 Transgenic Mice Sustains The Naïve T Cell Compartment With Age, Michelle L. Bolner Dec 2015

Preventing Thymus Involution In K5.Cyclin D1 Transgenic Mice Sustains The Naïve T Cell Compartment With Age, Michelle L. Bolner

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The thymus maintains T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire diversity through perpetual release of self-MHC restricted naive T cells. However, thymus involution during the aging process reduces naïve T cell output, leading to defective immune responsiveness to newly encountered antigens. We have found that early thymus involution precipitates the age-associated shift favoring memory T cell dominancy in young control mice. Furthermore, we have shown that age-related thymus involution is prevented in mice expressing a keratin 5 promoter-driven Cyclin D1 (K5.D1) transgene in thymic epithelial cells (TECs). Thymopoiesis occurs normally in K5.D1 transgenic thymi and sustains T cell output to ...


Investigating The Roles Of P63 And P73 Isoforms To Therapeutically Treat P53-Altered Cancers, Avinashnarayan Venkatanarayan May 2015

Investigating The Roles Of P63 And P73 Isoforms To Therapeutically Treat P53-Altered Cancers, Avinashnarayan Venkatanarayan

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Investigating the roles of p63 & p73 isoforms to therapeutically treat

p53-altered cancers

Avinashnarayan Venkatanarayan, M.S.

Supervisory Professor: Elsa R. Flores, Ph.D.

The TP53 tumor suppressor is mutated in approximately 50% of human cancers rendering cancer therapies ineffective. p53 reactivation suppresses tumor formation in mice. However, this strategy has proven difficult to implement therapeutically. An alternate approach to overcome p53 loss is to manipulate the p53-family members, p63 and p73, which interact and share structural similarities to p53. p63 and p73, unlike p53 are less frequently mutated and have two major isoforms with distinct functions which makes them ...


Dna Polymerase Θ (Polq) And The Cellular Defense Against Dna Damage, Matthew J. Yousefzadeh May 2015

Dna Polymerase Θ (Polq) And The Cellular Defense Against Dna Damage, Matthew J. Yousefzadeh

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

In mammalian cells, DNA polymerase θ (POLQ) is an unusual specialized DNA polymerase whose in vivo function is under active investigation. The protein is comprised of an N-terminal helicase-like domain, a C-terminal DNA polymerase domain, and a large central domain that spans between the two. This arrangement is also found in the Drosophila Mus308 protein, which helps confer resistance to DNA interstrand crosslinking agents. Homologs of POLQ and Mus308 are found in eukaryotes, including plants, but a comparison of phenotypes suggests that not all of these genes are functional orthologs. Flies with defective Mus308 are sensitive to DNA interstrand crosslinking ...


Characterization Of Ftsa-Ftsn Interaction During Escherichia Coli Cell Division, Kimberly.Busiek@Gmail.Com K. Busiek May 2014

Characterization Of Ftsa-Ftsn Interaction During Escherichia Coli Cell Division, Kimberly.Busiek@Gmail.Com K. Busiek

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Division of a bacterial cell into two equal daughter cells requires precise assembly and constriction of the division machinery, or divisome. The Escherichia coli divisome includes nearly a dozen essential cell division proteins that assemble at midcell between segregating sister chromosomes. FtsZ, a homolog of eukaryotic tubulin, is the first essential cell division protein to localize at midcell where it polymerizes into a ring-shaped scaffold (Z ring). Establishment of the Z ring is required for recruitment of downstream cell division proteins including FtsA, a cytoplasmic protein that tethers the Z ring to the inner membrane. Following localization of FtsA and ...


Fancm And Faap24 Maintain Genomic Stability Through Cooperative And Unique Functions, Yucai Wang Dec 2012

Fancm And Faap24 Maintain Genomic Stability Through Cooperative And Unique Functions, Yucai Wang

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare recessive genetic disease with an array of clinical manifestations including multiple congenital abnormalities, progressive bone marrow failure and profound cancer susceptibility. A hallmark of cells derived from FA patients is hypersensitivity to DNA interstrand crosslinking agents such as mitomycin C (MMC) and cisplatin, suggesting that FA- and FA-associated proteins play important roles in protecting cells from DNA interstrand crosslink (ICL) damage. Two genes involved in the FA pathway, FANCM and FAAP24, are of particular interest because they contain DNA interacting domains. However, there are no definitive patient mutations for these two genes, and the ...


Tet1: A Unique Dna Demethylase For Maintenance Of Dna Methylation Pattern, Chunlei Jin Dec 2012

Tet1: A Unique Dna Demethylase For Maintenance Of Dna Methylation Pattern, Chunlei Jin

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

DNA methylation at the C5 position of cytosine (5-methylcytosine, 5mC) is a crucial epigenetic modification of the genome and has been implicated in numerous cellular processes in mammals, including embryonic development, transcription, X chromosome inactivation, genomic imprinting and chromatin structure. Like histone modifications, DNA methylation is also dynamic and reversible. However, in contrast to well defined DNA methyltransferases, the enzymes responsible for erasing DNA methylation still remain to be studied. The ten-eleven translocation family proteins (TET1/2/3) were recently identified as Fe(II)/2-oxoglutarate (2OG)-dependent 5mC dioxygenases, which consecutively convert 5mC into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), 5-formylcytosine and 5-carboxylcytosine both ...


The Role Of The Arched Helicases In Exosome-Mediated Function, A. Alejandra Klauer Dec 2012

The Role Of The Arched Helicases In Exosome-Mediated Function, A. Alejandra Klauer

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

RNA processing and degradation are two important functions that control gene expression and promote RNA fidelity in the cell. A major ribonuclease complex, called the exosome, is involved in both of these processes. The exosome is composed of ten essential proteins with only one catalytically active subunit, called Rrp44. While the same ten essential subunits make up both the nuclear and cytoplasmic exosome, there are nuclear and cytoplasmic exosome cofactors that promote specific exosome functions in each of the cell compartments. To date, it is unclear how the exosome distinguishes between RNA substrates. We hypothesize that compartment specific cofactors may ...


Downregulation Of Pax2 Suppresses Ovarian Cancer Cell Growth, Huijuan Song Aug 2011

Downregulation Of Pax2 Suppresses Ovarian Cancer Cell Growth, Huijuan Song

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

PAX2 is one of nine PAX genes regulating tissue development and cellular differentiation in embryos. PAX2 promotes cell proliferation, oncogenic transformation, cell-lineage specification, migration, and survival. Unattenuated PAX2 has been found in several cancer types. We therefore sought to elucidate the role of PAX2 in ovarian carcinomas. We found that PAX2 was expressed in low-grade serous, clear cell, endometrioid and mucinous cell ovarian carcinomas, which are relatively chemoresistant compared to high grade serous ovarian carcinomas. Four ovarian cancer cell lines, RMUGL (mucinous), TOV21G (clear cell), MDAH-2774 (endometrioid) and IGROV1 (endometrioid), which express high-levels of PAX2, were used to study the ...


The Role And Mechanism Of The Homeobox Gene Dlx4 In Transforming Growth Factor-B Resistance In Cancer, Bon Q. Trinh May 2011

The Role And Mechanism Of The Homeobox Gene Dlx4 In Transforming Growth Factor-B Resistance In Cancer, Bon Q. Trinh

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Transforming growth factor-b (TGF-b) is a cytokine that plays essential roles in regulating embryonic development and tissue homeostasis. In normal cells, TGF-b exerts an anti-proliferative effect. TGF-b inhibits cell growth by controlling a cytostatic program that includes activation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p15Ink4B and p21WAF1/Cip1 and repression of c-myc. In contrast to normal cells, many tumors are resistant to the anti-proliferative effect of TGF-b. In several types of tumors, particularly those of gastrointestinal origin, resistance to the anti-proliferative effect of TGF-b has been attributed to TGF-b receptor or Smad mutations. However, these mutations are absent from ...


Regulation Of Set1-Mediated Methylation Of Dam1, John A. Latham May 2011

Regulation Of Set1-Mediated Methylation Of Dam1, John A. Latham

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Eukaryotic genomes exist within a dynamic structure named chromatin in which DNA is wrapped around an octamer of histones forming the nucleosome. Histones are modified by a range of posttranslational modifications including methylation, phosphorylation, and ubiquitination, which are integral to a range of DNA-templated processes including transcriptional regulation. A hallmark for transcriptional activity is methylation of histone H3 on lysine (K) 4 within active gene promoters. In S. cerevisiae, H3K4 methylation is mediated by Set1 within the COMPASS complex. Methylation requires prior ubiquitination of histone H2BK123 by the E2-E3 ligases Rad6 and Bre1, as well as the Paf1 transcriptional elongation ...


Expression And Regulation Of Human Cytochrome P450 4f Isoforms In Tissue Samples And Under Tnf-Alpha Challenges, Jordan C. Bell May 2011

Expression And Regulation Of Human Cytochrome P450 4f Isoforms In Tissue Samples And Under Tnf-Alpha Challenges, Jordan C. Bell

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

CYP4F (Cytochrome P4504F) enzymes metabolize endogenous molecules including leukotrienes, prostaglandins and arachidonic acid. The involvement of these endogenous compounds in inflammation has led to the hypothesis that changes in the inflamed tissue environment may affect the expression of CYP4Fs during the pro-inflammatory state, which in turn may modulate inflammatory conditions during the anti-inflammatory state. We demonstrated that inflamed tissues have different levels of CYP4F isoform expression profiles in a number of human samples when compared to the average population. The CYP4F isoform expression levels change with the degree of inflammation present in tissue. Further investigation in cell culture studies revealed ...


Elucidating Functional Roles For Myogenin In Adult Skeletal Muscle Metabolism, Exercise Capacity, And Regeneration, Jesse Flynn Dec 2010

Elucidating Functional Roles For Myogenin In Adult Skeletal Muscle Metabolism, Exercise Capacity, And Regeneration, Jesse Flynn

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The four basic helix-loop-helix myogenic transcription factors, myogenin, Myf5, MRF4, and MyoD are critical for embryonic skeletal muscle development. Myogenin is necessary for the terminal differentiation of myoblasts into myofibers during embryogenesis, but little is known about the roles played by myogenin in adult skeletal muscle function and metabolism. Furthermore, while metabolism is a well-studied physiological process, how it is regulated at the transcriptional level remains poorly understood. In this study, my aim was to determine the function of myogenin in adult skeletal muscle metabolism, exercise capacity, and regeneration. To investigate this, I utilized a mouse strain harboring the Myogflox ...


Agrobacterium Virb10 Contributions To Type Iv Substrate Secretion, T-Pilus Biogenesis, And Outer Membrane Pore Formation, Isaac Garza Dec 2010

Agrobacterium Virb10 Contributions To Type Iv Substrate Secretion, T-Pilus Biogenesis, And Outer Membrane Pore Formation, Isaac Garza

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The VirB/D4 type IV secretion system (T4SS) of Agrobacterium tumefaciens functions to transfer substrates to infected plant cells through assembly of a translocation channel and a surface structure termed a T-pilus. This thesis is focused on identifying contributions of VirB10 to substrate transfer and T-pilus formation through a mutational analysis. VirB10 is a bitopic protein with several domains, including a: (i) cytoplasmic N-terminus, (ii) single transmembrane (TM) α-helix, (iii) proline-rich region (PRR), and (iv) large C-terminal modified β-barrel. I introduced cysteine insertion and substitution mutations throughout the length of VirB10 in order to: (i) test a predicted transmembrane topology ...


A New Tumor Suppressor Gene Candidate Regulated By The Non-Coding Rna Pca3 In Human Prostate Cancer, Alessandro K. Lee May 2010

A New Tumor Suppressor Gene Candidate Regulated By The Non-Coding Rna Pca3 In Human Prostate Cancer, Alessandro K. Lee

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death and the most common non-skin cancer in men in the USA. Considerable advancements in the practice of medicine have allowed a significant improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease and, in recent years, both incidence and mortality rates have been slightly declining. However, it is still estimated that 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and 1 man in 35 will die of the disease.

In order to identify novel strategies and effective therapeutic approaches in the fight against prostate cancer, it ...