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

Endocytic Trafficking Of The Amyloid Precursor Protein In Rat Cortical Neurons, Sahily Reyes Dec 2017

Endocytic Trafficking Of The Amyloid Precursor Protein In Rat Cortical Neurons, Sahily Reyes

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Amyloid-beta (Aβ) aggregation and deposition into extracellular plaques is a hallmark of the most common forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The Aβ-containing plaques result from pathogenic cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by secretases resulting in intracellular production of Aβ peptides that are secreted and accumulate extracellularly. Despite considerable progress towards understanding APP processing and Aβ aggregation, the mechanisms underlying endosomal production of Aβ peptides and their secretion remain unclear. Using endosomes isolated from cultured primary neurons, we determined that the trafficking of APP from the endosomal membrane into internal vesicles of late endosome/multivesicular bodies (MVB) is ...


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 ...


Structure And Composition Of Postsynaptic Densities, Madeline Farley Aug 2015

Structure And Composition Of Postsynaptic Densities, Madeline Farley

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Communication between neurons within the brain occurs at chemical synapses and is fundamental for all brain functions. Modulation of the strength of communication is controlled by both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms and is termed synaptic plasticity. One postsynaptic structure postulated to regulate synaptic strength is the postsynaptic density (PSD), a large electron dense protein complex located just below the synaptic membrane. The PSD, which is composed of signaling, scaffold and cytoskeletal proteins, supports and organizes neurotransmitter receptors within the synaptic membrane in addition to bridging signaling with the actin cytoskeletal network. The protein composition and structure of PSDs is known ...


Definition Of The Landscape Of Chromatin Structure At The Frataxin Gene In Friedreich’S Ataxia, Eunah Kim Dec 2011

Definition Of The Landscape Of Chromatin Structure At The Frataxin Gene In Friedreich’S Ataxia, Eunah Kim

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA) is caused by the transcriptional silencing of the frataxin (FXN) gene. FRDA patients have expansion of GAA repeats in intron 1 of the FXN gene in both alleles. A number of studies demonstrated that specific histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) affect either histone modifications at the FXN gene or FXN expression in FRDA cells, indicating that the hyperexpanded GAA repeat may facilitate heterochromatin formation. However, the correlation between chromatin structure and transcription at the FXN gene is currently limited due to a lack of more detailed analysis. Therefore, I analyzed the effects of the hyperexpanded GAA repeats ...


Conformational Changes In The Extracellular Domain Of Glutamate Receptors, Anu Rambhadran Dec 2011

Conformational Changes In The Extracellular Domain Of Glutamate Receptors, Anu Rambhadran

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The family of membrane protein called glutamate receptors play an important role in the central nervous system in mediating signaling between neurons. Glutamate receptors are involved in the elaborate game that nerve cells play with each other in order to control movement, memory, and learning.

Neurons achieve this communication by rapidly converting electrical signals into chemical signals and then converting them back into electrical signals. To propagate an electrical impulse, neurons in the brain launch bursts of neurotransmitter molecules like glutamate at the junction between neurons, called the synapse. Glutamate receptors are found lodged in the membranes of the post-synaptic ...


The Role Of The Androgen Receptor Cofactor P44/Wdr77 In Astrocyte Activation, Bryce H. Vincent Aug 2011

The Role Of The Androgen Receptor Cofactor P44/Wdr77 In Astrocyte Activation, Bryce H. Vincent

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Astrogliosis is induced by neuronal damage and is also a pathological feature of the major aging-related neurodegenerative disorders. The mechanisms that control the cascade of astrogliosis have not been well established. In a previous study, we identified a novel androgen receptor (AR)-interacting protein (p44/WDR77) and found that it plays a critical role in the control of proliferation and differentiation of prostate epithelial cells. In the present study, we found that deletion of the p44 gene in the mouse brain caused accelerated aging with dramatic astrogliosis. The p44/WDR77 is expressed in astrocytes and loss of p44/WDR77 expression ...


Developmental Changes In The Structure And Composition Of The Postsynaptic Density, Matthew T. Swulius May 2010

Developmental Changes In The Structure And Composition Of The Postsynaptic Density, Matthew T. Swulius

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The development of the brain and its underlying circuitry is dependent on the formation of trillions of chemical synapses, which are highly specialized contacts that regulate the flow of information from one neuron to the next. It is through these synaptic connections that neurons wire together into networks capable of performing specific tasks, and activity-dependent changes in their structural and physiological state is one way that the brain is thought to adapt and store information. At the ultrastructural level, developmental and activity-dependent changes in the size and shape of dendritic spines have been well documented, and it is widely believed ...