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Full-Text Articles in Cell Biology

Targeting Pro-Inflammatory Function Of Microglia Using Small Molecules To Combat Neurodegeneration, Gabrielle C. Williams, Priya Prakash, Gaurav Chopra Aug 2018

Targeting Pro-Inflammatory Function Of Microglia Using Small Molecules To Combat Neurodegeneration, Gabrielle C. Williams, Priya Prakash, Gaurav Chopra

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Microglia are the brain’s resident immune cells that are responsible for maintaining homeostasis in healthy conditions. During injury or infection, resting microglia get activated and produce pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1b, IL-1a, IL-6, etc. along with reactive oxygen species like nitric oxide (NO) to combat neuroinflammatory diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Inflammation is characterized by the activation of resident-immune cells in the brain called microglia that respond to the eat-me signals released by the toxic amyloid beta peptides as well as the dying neurons in the microenvironment. Recent studies have shown that activated microglia induce neuronal death ...


Structural And Functional Characterization Of Hyper-Phosphorylated Grk5 Protein Expressed From E. Coli, Joseph M. Krampen, John Tesmer, Qiuyan Chen Aug 2018

Structural And Functional Characterization Of Hyper-Phosphorylated Grk5 Protein Expressed From E. Coli, Joseph M. Krampen, John Tesmer, Qiuyan Chen

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) kinases (GRKs) are proteins in the cell responsible for regulating GPCRs located on the cell membrane. GRKs regulate active GPCRs by phosphorylating them at certain sites which causes them to stop normal signaling on the membrane. This ultimately affects how the cell responds to its environment. GRK5 is a kinase of particular interest due to its involvement in the pathology of diseases such as cardiac failure, cancers, and diabetes. Understanding the structure and function of GRK5 is essential for discovering ways to manipulate its behavior with these diseases, but not much is known about how GRK5 ...


Viewing The Extracellular Matrix: An Imaging Method For Tissue Engineering, Michael Drakopoulos, Sarah Calve Aug 2015

Viewing The Extracellular Matrix: An Imaging Method For Tissue Engineering, Michael Drakopoulos, Sarah Calve

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

The field of regenerative medicine seeks to create replacement tissues and organs, both to repair deficiencies in biological function and to treat structural damage caused by injury. Scaffoldings mimicking extracellular matrix (ECM), the structure to which cells attach to form tissues, have been developed from synthetic polymers and also been prepared by decellularizing adult tissue. However, the structure of ECM undergoes significant remodeling during natural tissue repair, suggesting that ECM-replacement constructs that mirror developing tissues may promote better regeneration than those modeled on adult tissues. This work investigated the effectiveness of a method of viewing the extracellular matrix of developing ...


Analysis Of Mitochondrial Turnover In Neuromuscular Junctions Of Parkin Mutants, Kenny Nguyen, Hyun Sung, Peter J. Hollenbeck Aug 2015

Analysis Of Mitochondrial Turnover In Neuromuscular Junctions Of Parkin Mutants, Kenny Nguyen, Hyun Sung, Peter J. Hollenbeck

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

The accumulation of dysfunctional or damaged mitochondria in neurons has been linked to the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease. It has been proposed that proteins PINK1 and Parkin regulate mitochondrial quality control by selectively targeting depolarized mitochondria for autophagic degradation, a process known as mitophagy. Though previously analyzed in the cell bodies and axons of neurons, the role of the PINK1/Parkin pathway in the synapse is unclear, and it is not known whether mitochondrial turnover occurs in the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). To study this, intact Drosophila nervous systems were analyzed in vivo by performing ...


Detection Of Ubiquitination On Syk And Documenting Syk Stability, Izabela Mazur, Wen Horng Wang, Robert J. Geahlen Aug 2015

Detection Of Ubiquitination On Syk And Documenting Syk Stability, Izabela Mazur, Wen Horng Wang, Robert J. Geahlen

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Post-translational modifications regulate the activities of proteins important to numerous diseases. Spleen Tyrosine Kinase (Syk) is particularly interesting to researchers because it modifies many targets and plays multiple roles in regulating cells in our bodies and its abnormal modifications may contribute to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and allergies. In an attempt to study these modifications of Syk, we first looked at detecting ubiquitination on Syk protein. Ubiquitin, a small 8 kDa molecule, attaches to lysine residues on protein. The attachment of ubiquitin to Syk may cause Syk to either propagate signals onwards to activate other proteins or signal it to ...


Electrophoresis Staining: A New Method Of Whole Mount Staining, Mitchell G. Ayers, Sarah Calve, Zhiyu Li Aug 2014

Electrophoresis Staining: A New Method Of Whole Mount Staining, Mitchell G. Ayers, Sarah Calve, Zhiyu Li

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Advances in tissue clearing techniques have allowed almost a ten-fold increase in the viewing depth of confocal microscopy. This allows for intact cellular structures to be rendered in 3D. However, viewing tissues to this depth is often limited to endogenous fluorescence as passive diffusion of antibodies via whole mount staining can take weeks. Our lab is developing a new method involving electrophoresis as a driving force that will promote active antibody binding deep into tissue, reducing the amount of time needed to stain for cellular structures. Due to the inherent charge within antibodies, they are able to be directionally forced ...


Artificial Yeast Polarization Controlled By Chemical Gradient, James K. Nolan, Bernard Tao Oct 2013

Artificial Yeast Polarization Controlled By Chemical Gradient, James K. Nolan, Bernard Tao

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Engineering synthetic multicellular systems will lead to new synthetic biology technological platforms, inform developmental biology through recapitulation of natural systems and possibly unveil novel morphologies with practical applications not before reached throughout natural history (Maharbiz, 2012). Creating an exogenous molecular circuit that will polarize unicellular cells into “apical” and “basal” domains relative to a substrate plane would fulfill a missing component towards fully multicellular synthetic cellular communities (Maharbiz, 2012). To this end, a PIP3 polarization network previously designed by Chau and associates (Chau, Walter, Gerardin, Tang, Lim 2012) was coupled to the specific activation by niacin of a recombinant ...