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

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 ...


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 ...


The Effect Of Activation Induced Cytidine Deaminase Phosphorylation And Herpes Virus Uracil Dna Glycosylase On Antibody Diversification, Marc Macaluso May 2015

The Effect Of Activation Induced Cytidine Deaminase Phosphorylation And Herpes Virus Uracil Dna Glycosylase On Antibody Diversification, Marc Macaluso

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is a mutagenic enzyme that is expressed in mammalian B-cells and initiates the antibody diversification processes of somatic hypermuntation (SHM) and isotype class switch recombination (CSR). AID is targeted to the immunoglobulin gene locus where it deaminates cytosines to generate uracil residues in DNA. This generates guanine-uracil (U:G) mismatch lesion which are recognized by uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG), a DNA repair enzyme that removes uracil from DNA and triggers downstream repair of the lesion. While UNG is a ubiquitously expressed DNA repair enzyme, its recognition and removal of AID introduced uracils is essential in both ...


Energy Stress Causes Chaperones To Assemble Into Cytoplasmic Complexes, Kimberly J. Cope Aug 2014

Energy Stress Causes Chaperones To Assemble Into Cytoplasmic Complexes, Kimberly J. Cope

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The majority of proteins require molecular chaperones to assist their folding into tertiary and quaternary structures. Certain stresses can compromise the weak hydrophobic forces responsible for these structures and lead to protein unfolding, misfolding, and aggregation. Aggregates of proteins are hallmarks of devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. Fortunately, bacteria, plants, and fungi have a potent disaggregase, named Hsp104 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Recently, heat-induced aggregates, termed Q-bodies, were found to contain three molecular chaperones: Hsp70, Hsp104, and Hsp42. Their coalescence from small puncta into larger inclusions required Hsp104. During glucose deprivation, a stress that ...


Functional Analysis Of Cytosolic Hsp70 Nucleotide Exchange Factor Networks In Yeast, Jennifer Lynn Abrams May 2014

Functional Analysis Of Cytosolic Hsp70 Nucleotide Exchange Factor Networks In Yeast, Jennifer Lynn Abrams

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The Hsp70 class of molecular chaperones play critical roles in protein homeostasis via an ATP-dependent folding cycle. Cytosolic Hsp70s in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Ssa and Ssb, interact with up to three distinct nucleotide exchange factors (NEFs) homologous to human counterparts; Sse1/Sse2/HSP110, Fes1/HspBP1, and Snl1/Bag1. In an effort to understand the differential functional contributions of the cytosolic NEFs to protein homeostasis (“proteostasis”), I carried out comparative genetic, biochemical and cell biological analyses. For these studies, I developed protocols to monitor protein disaggregation and reactivation in a near real-time coupled assay that revealed the importance of ...


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 ...


Interaction Of Bacillus Anthracis Exosporium Protein Bcla With Complement Factor H And Spore Persistence In The Lung, Sarah A. Jenkins May 2013

Interaction Of Bacillus Anthracis Exosporium Protein Bcla With Complement Factor H And Spore Persistence In The Lung, Sarah A. Jenkins

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Anthrax outbreaks in the United States and Europe and its potential use as a bioweapon have made Bacillus anthracis an interest of study. Anthrax infections are caused by the entry of B. anthracis spores into the host via the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal tract, cuts or wounds in the skin, and injection. Among these four forms, inhalational anthrax has the highest lethality rate and persistence of spores in the lungs of animals following pulmonary exposure has been noted for decades. However, details or mechanisms of spore persistence were not known. In this study, we investigated spore persistence in a mouse ...


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 ...


Biochemical Characterization Of Binding Partners Of Two Hsp70 Co-Chaperones In Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Jacob Verghese Dec 2012

Biochemical Characterization Of Binding Partners Of Two Hsp70 Co-Chaperones In Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Jacob Verghese

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Cells are exposed to a variety of environmental and physiological changes including temperature, pH and nutrient availability. These changes cause stress to cells, which results in protein misfolding and altered cellular protein homeostasis. How proteins fold into their three-dimensional functional structure is a fundamental biological process with important relevance to human health. Misfolded and aggregated proteins are linked to multiple neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease and cystic fibrosis. To combat proteotoxic stress, cells deploy an array of molecular chaperones that assist in the repair or removal of misfolded proteins.

Hsp70, an evolutionarily conserved molecular chaperone, promotes protein folding and helps maintain ...


Regulation Of Toxin Synthesis By Clostridium Difficile, Charles Darkoh Aug 2012

Regulation Of Toxin Synthesis By Clostridium Difficile, Charles Darkoh

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Clostridium difficile is the leading definable cause of nosocomial diarrhea worldwide due to its virulence, multi-drug resistance, spore-forming ability, and environmental persistence. The incidence of C. difficile infection (CDI) has been increasing exponentially in the last decade. Virulent strains of C. difficile produce either toxin A and/or toxin B, which are essential for the pathogenesis of this bacterium. Current methods for diagnosing CDI are mostly qualitative tests that detect the bacterium, the toxins, or the toxin genes. These methods do not differentiate virulent C. difficile strains that produce active toxins from non-virulent strains that do not produce toxins or ...


Mechanisms Of Adenovirus-Mediated Autophagy, Erin White Aug 2011

Mechanisms Of Adenovirus-Mediated Autophagy, Erin White

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

A patient diagnosed with a glioma, generally, has an average of 14 months year to live after implementation of conventional therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Glioblastomas are highly lethal because of their aggressive nature and resistance to conventional therapies and apoptosis. Thus other avenues of cell death urgently need to be explored. Autophagy, which is also known as programmed cell death type II, has recently been identified as an alternative mechanism to kill apoptosis- resistant cancer cells. Traditionally, researchers have studied how cells undergo autophagy during viral infection as an immune response mechanism, but recently researchers have discovered ...


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 ...


Host-Pathogen Interactions Of Secreted And Surface Staphylococcus Aureus Factors, Vanessa Vazquez May 2010

Host-Pathogen Interactions Of Secreted And Surface Staphylococcus Aureus Factors, Vanessa Vazquez

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen that can infect humans and other species. It utilizes an arsenal of virulence factors to cause disease, including secreted and cell wall anchored factors. Secreted toxins attack host cells, and pore-forming toxins destroy target cells by causing cell lysis. S. aureus uses cell-surface adhesins to attach to host molecules thereby facilitating host colonization. The Microbial Surface Components Recognizing Adhesive Matrix Molecules (MSCRAMMs) are a family of cell-wall anchored proteins that target molecules like fibronectin and fibrinogen. The Serine-aspartate repeat (Sdr) proteins are a subset of staphylococcal MSCRAMMs that share similar domain organization. Interestingly ...