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Reduction of Carbon Dioxide with Cobalt and Iron Porphyrins

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The free-base tetra-tolyl-porphyrin and the corresponding cobalt and iron porphyrin complexes were synthesized and characterized to show that this class of compound can be promising, tunable catalysts for carbon dioxide reduction. During cyclic voltammetry experiments, the iron porphyrin showed an

The free-base tetra-tolyl-porphyrin and the corresponding cobalt and iron porphyrin complexes were synthesized and characterized to show that this class of compound can be promising, tunable catalysts for carbon dioxide reduction. During cyclic voltammetry experiments, the iron porphyrin showed an on-set of ‘catalytic current’ at an earlier potential than the cobalt porphyrin’s in organic solutions gassed with carbon dioxide. The cobalt porphyrin yielded larger catalytic currents, but at the same potential as the electrode. This difference, along with the significant changes in the porphyrin’s electronic, optical and redox properties, showed that its capabilities for carbon dioxide reduction can be controlled by metal ions, allotting it unique opportunities for applications in solar fuels catalysis and photochemical reactions.

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2016-05

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Analysis of nucleosome dynamics by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy

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Nucleosomes are the basic repetitive unit of eukaryotic chromatin and are responsible for packing DNA inside the nucleus of the cell. They consist of a complex of eight histone proteins (two copies of four proteins H2A, H2B, H3 and

Nucleosomes are the basic repetitive unit of eukaryotic chromatin and are responsible for packing DNA inside the nucleus of the cell. They consist of a complex of eight histone proteins (two copies of four proteins H2A, H2B, H3 and H4) around which 147 base pairs of DNA are wrapped in ~1.67 superhelical turns. Although the nucleosomes are stable protein-DNA complexes, they undergo spontaneous conformational changes that occur in an asynchronous fashion. This conformational dynamics, defined by the "site-exposure" model, involves the DNA unwrapping from the protein core and exposing itself transiently before wrapping back. Physiologically, this allows regulatory proteins to bind to their target DNA sites during cellular processes like replication, DNA repair and transcription. Traditional biochemical assays have stablished the equilibrium constants for the accessibility to various sites along the length of the nucleosomal DNA, from its end to the middle of the dyad axis. Using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), we have established the position dependent rewrapping rates for nucleosomes. We have also used Monte Carlo simulation methods to analyze the applicability of FRET fluctuation spectroscopy towards conformational dynamics, specifically motivated by nucleosome dynamics. Another important conformational change that is involved in cellular processes is the disassembly of nucleosome into its constituent particles. The exact pathway adopted by nucleosomes is still not clear. We used dual color fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to study the intermediates during nucleosome disassembly induced by changing ionic strength. Studying the nature of nucleosome conformational change and the kinetics is very important in understanding gene expression. The results from this thesis give a quantitative description to the basic unit of the chromatin.

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2011

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Development of chip-based electrochemically- and light-directed peptide microarray synthesis

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ABSTRACT Peptide microarrays may prove to be a powerful tool for proteomics research and clinical diagnosis applications. Fodor et al. and Maurer et al. have shown proof-of-concept methods of light- and electrochemically-directed peptide microarray fabrication on glass and semiconductor microchips

ABSTRACT Peptide microarrays may prove to be a powerful tool for proteomics research and clinical diagnosis applications. Fodor et al. and Maurer et al. have shown proof-of-concept methods of light- and electrochemically-directed peptide microarray fabrication on glass and semiconductor microchips respectively. In this work, peptide microarray fabrication based on the abovementioned techniques were optimized. In addition, MALDI mass spectrometry based peptide synthesis characterization on semiconductor microchips was developed and novel applications of a CombiMatrix (CBMX) platform for electrochemically controlled synthesis were explored. We have investigated performance of 2-(2-nitrophenyl)propoxycarbonyl (NPPOC) derivatives as photo-labile protecting group. Specifically, influence of substituents on 4 and 5 positions of phenyl ring of NPPOC group on the rate of photolysis and the yield of the amine was investigated. The results indicated that substituents capable of forming a π-network with the nitro group enhanced the rate of photolysis and yield. Once such properly substituted NPPOC groups were used, the rate of photolysis/yield depended on the nature of protected amino group indicating that a different chemical step during the photo-cleavage process became the rate limiting step. We also focused on electrochemically-directed parallel synthesis of high-density peptide microarrays using the CBMX technology referred to above which uses electrochemically generated acids to perform patterned chemistry. Several issues related to peptide synthesis on the CBMX platform were studied and optimized, with emphasis placed on the reactions of electro-generated acids during the deprotection step of peptide synthesis. We have developed a MALDI mass spectrometry based method to determine the chemical composition of microarray synthesis, directly on the feature. This method utilizes non-diffusional chemical cleavage from the surface, thereby making the chemical characterization of high-density microarray features simple, accurate, and amenable to high-throughput. CBMX Corp. has developed a microarray reader which is based on electro-chemical detection of redox chemical species. Several parameters of the instrument were studied and optimized and novel redox applications of peptide microarrays on CBMX platform were also investigated using the instrument. These include (i) a search of metal binding catalytic peptides to reduce overpotential associated with water oxidation reaction and (ii) an immobilization of peptide microarrays using electro-polymerized polypyrrole.

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2013

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Synthesis of benzoquinone antioxidants and a bleomycin disaccharide library

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Healthy mitochondria are essential for cell survival. Described herein is the synthesis of a family of novel aminoquinone antioxidants designed to alleviate oxidative stress and prevent the impairment of cellular function. In addition, a library of bleomycin disaccharide analogues has

Healthy mitochondria are essential for cell survival. Described herein is the synthesis of a family of novel aminoquinone antioxidants designed to alleviate oxidative stress and prevent the impairment of cellular function. In addition, a library of bleomycin disaccharide analogues has also been synthesized to better probe the tumor targeting properties of bleomycin. The first study involves the synthesis of a benzoquinone natural product and analogues that closely resemble the redox core of the natural product geldanamycin. The synthesized 5-amino-3-tridecyl-1,4-benzoquinone antioxidants were tested for their ability to protect Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) lymphocytes from induced oxidative stress. Some of the analogues synthesized conferred cytoprotection in a dose-dependent manner in FRDA lymphocytes at micromolar concentrations. The biological assays suggest that the modification of the 2-hydroxyl and N-(3-carboxypropyl) groups in the natural product can improve its antioxidant activity and significantly enhance its ability to protect mitochondrial function under conditions of oxidative stress. The second project focused on the synthesis of a library of bleomycin disaccharide-dye conjugates and monitored their cellular uptake by fluorescence microscopy. The studies reveal that the position of the carbamoyl group plays an important role in modulating the cellular uptake of the disaccharide. It also led to the discovery of novel disaccharides with improved tumor selectivity.

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2013

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Quinones and analogues as cytoprotectants for cultured mammalian cells

Description

It has been well established that mitochondria play a critical role in the pathology of Friedreich's Ataxia. This disease is believed to be caused by a deficiency of frataxin, which research suggests is responsible for iron sulfur cluster assembly. This

It has been well established that mitochondria play a critical role in the pathology of Friedreich's Ataxia. This disease is believed to be caused by a deficiency of frataxin, which research suggests is responsible for iron sulfur cluster assembly. This incomplete assembly of iron sulfur clusters is believed to be linked with dysfunctional complexes in the mitochondrial respiratory chain, increased oxidative stress, and potential cell death. Increased understanding of the pathophysiology of this disease has enabled the development of various therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring mitochondrial respiration. This thesis contains an analysis of the biological activity of several classes of antioxidants against oxidative stress induced by diethyl maleate in Friedreich's Ataxia lymphocytes and CEM leukemia cells. Analogues of vitamin E α-tocopherol have been shown to protect cells under oxidative stress. However, these same analogues show various levels of inhibition towards the electron transport chain complex I. Bicyclic pyridinols containing a ten carbon substituent provided favorable cytoprotection. N-hydroxy-4-pyridone compounds were observed to provide little protection. Similarly, analogues of CoQ10 in the form of pyridinol and pyrimidinol compounds also preserved cell viability at low concentrations.

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2012

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Mechanistic studies of one-electron reduced bipyridine reactions relevant to carbon dioxide sequestration

Description

Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will inevitably lead to long-term changes in climate that can have serious consequences. Controlling anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, however, represents a significant technological challenge. Various chemical approaches have

Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will inevitably lead to long-term changes in climate that can have serious consequences. Controlling anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, however, represents a significant technological challenge. Various chemical approaches have been suggested, perhaps the most promising of these is based on electrochemical trapping of carbon dioxide using pyridine and derivatives. Optimization of this process requires a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of the reactions of reduced pyridines with carbon dioxide, which are not currently well known. This thesis describes a detailed mechanistic study of the nucleophilic and Bronsted basic properties of the radical anion of bipyridine as a model pyridine derivative, formed by one-electron reduction, with particular emphasis on the reactions with carbon dioxide. A time-resolved spectroscopic method was used to characterize the key intermediates and determine the kinetics of the reactions of the radical anion and its protonated radical form. Using a pulsed nanosecond laser, the bipyridine radical anion could be generated in-situ in less than 100 ns, which allows fast reactions to be monitored in real time. The bipyridine radical anion was found to be a very powerful one-electron donor, Bronsted base and nucleophile. It reacts by addition to the C=O bonds of ketones with a bimolecular rate constant around 1* 107 M-1 s-1. These are among the fastest nucleophilic additions that have been reported in literature. Temperature dependence studies demonstrate very low activation energies and large Arrhenius pre-exponential parameters, consistent with very high reactivity. The kinetics of E2 elimination, where the radical anion acts as a base, and SN2 substitution, where the radical anion acts as a nucleophile, are also characterized by large bimolecular rate constants in the range ca. 106 - 107 M-1 s-1. The pKa of the bipyridine radical anion was measured using a kinetic method and analysis of the data using a Marcus theory model for proton transfer. The bipyridine radical anion is found to have a pKa of 40±5 in DMSO. The reorganization energy for the proton transfer reaction was found to be 70±5 kJ/mol. The bipyridine radical anion was found to react very rapidly with carbon dioxide, with a bimolecular rate constant of 1* 108 M-1 s-1 and a small activation energy, whereas the protonated radical reacted with carbon dioxide with a rate constant that was too small to measure. The kinetic and thermodynamic data obtained in this work can be used to understand the mechanisms of the reactions of pyridines with carbon dioxide under reducing conditions.

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2015

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Small molecules as probes of biological systems

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The manipulation of biological targets using synthetic compounds has been the focal point of medicinal chemistry. The work described herein centers on the synthesis of organic small molecules that act either as probes for studying protein conformational changes or DNA–protein

The manipulation of biological targets using synthetic compounds has been the focal point of medicinal chemistry. The work described herein centers on the synthesis of organic small molecules that act either as probes for studying protein conformational changes or DNA–protein interaction, or as multifunctional radical quenchers.

Fluorescent labeling is of paramount importance to biological studies of proteins. For the development of new extrinsic small fluorophores, a series of tryptophan analogues has been designed and synthesized. Their pdCpA derivatives have been synthesized for tRNA activation and in vitro protein synthesis. The photophysical properties of the tryptophan (Trp) analogues have been examined, some of which can be selectively monitored even in the presence of multiple native tryptophan residues. Further, some of the Trp analogues form efficient FRET pairs with acceptors such as acridon-2-ylalanine (Acd) or L-(7-hydroxycoumarin-4-yl)ethylglycine (HCO) for the selective study of conformational changes in proteins.

Molecules which can bind with high sequence selectivity to a chosen target in a gene sequence are of interest for the development of gene therapy, diagnostic devices for genetic analysis, and as molecular tools for nucleic acid manipulations. Stereoselective synthesis of different alanyl nucleobase amino acids is described. Their pdCpA derivatives have been synthesized for tRNA activation and site-specific incorporation into the DNA-binding protein RRM1 of hnRNP LL. It is proposed that the nucleobase moieties in the protein may specifically recognize base sequence in the i-motif DNA through H-bonding and base-stacking interactions.

The mitochondrial respiratory chain accumulates more oxidative damage than any other organelle within the cell. Dysfunction of this organelle is believed to drive the progression of many diseases, thus mitochondria are an important potential drug target. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated when electrons from the respiratory chain escape and interact with oxygen. ROS can react with proteins, lipids or DNA causing cell death. For the development of effective neuroprotective drugs, a series of N-hydroxy-4-pyridones have been designed and synthesized as CoQ10 analogues. All the analogues synthesized were evaluated for their ability to quench lipid peroxidation and reactive oxygen species (ROS).

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2016

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Interchromophoric Interactions Between TMR, Alexa, and BODIPY Fluorophores

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The fundamental photophysics of fluorescent probes must be understood when the probes are used in biological applications. The photophysics of BODIPY dyes inside polymeric micelles and rhodamine dyes covalently linked to proteins were studied. Hydrophobic boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) dyes were noncovalently

The fundamental photophysics of fluorescent probes must be understood when the probes are used in biological applications. The photophysics of BODIPY dyes inside polymeric micelles and rhodamine dyes covalently linked to proteins were studied. Hydrophobic boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) dyes were noncovalently encapsulated inside polymeric micelles. Absorbance and fluorescence measurements were employed to study the photophysics of these BODIPY dyes in the micellar environments. Amphiphilic polymers with a hydrophobic character and low Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) protected BODIPYS from the aqueous environment. Moderate dye loading conditions did not result in ground-state dimerization, and only fluorescence lifetimes and brightnesses were affected. However, amphiphilic polymers with a hydrophilic character and high CMC did not protect the BODIPYS from the aqueous environment with concomitant ground-state dimerization and quenching of the fluorescence intensity, lifetime, and brightnesses even at low dye loading conditions. At the doubly-labeled interfaces of Escherichia coli (E. coli) DNA processivity β clamps, the interchromophric interactions of four rhodamine dyes were studied: tetramethylrhodamine (TMR), TMR C6, Alexa Fluor 488, and Alexa Fluor 546. Absorbance and fluorescence measurements were performed on doubly-labeled β clamps with singly-labeled β clamps and free dyes as controls. The absorbance measurements revealed that both TMR and TMR C6 readily formed H-dimers (static quenching) at the doubly-labeled interfaces of the β clamps. However, the TMR with a longer linker (TMR C6) also displayed a degree of dynamic quenching. For Alexa Fluor 546 and Alexa Fluor 488, there were no clear signs of dimerization in the absorbance scans. However, the fluorescence properties (fluorescence intensity, lifetime, and anisotropy) of the Alexa Fluor dyes significantly changed when three methodologies were employed to disrupt the doubly-labeled interfaces: 1) the addition of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) detergent to denature the proteins, 2) the addition of clamp loader (γ complex) to open one of the two interfaces, and 3) the use of subunit exchange to decrease the number of dyes per interface. These fluorescence measurements indicated that for the Alexa Fluor dyes, other interchromophoric interactions were present such as dynamic quenching and homo-Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (homo-FRET).

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Date Created
2018

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Stabilization of 3D DNA nanostructures for in vivo applications and developing an assay to estimate stability

Description

Though DNA nanostructures (DNs) have become interesting subjects of drug delivery, in vivo imaging and biosensor research, however, for real biological applications, they should be ‘long circulating’ in blood. One of the crucial requirements for DN stability is high salt

Though DNA nanostructures (DNs) have become interesting subjects of drug delivery, in vivo imaging and biosensor research, however, for real biological applications, they should be ‘long circulating’ in blood. One of the crucial requirements for DN stability is high salt concentration (like ~5–20 mM Mg2+) that is unavailable in a cell culture medium or in blood. Hence DNs denature promptly when injected into living systems. Another important factor is the presence of nucleases that cause fast degradation of unprotected DNs. The third factor is ‘opsonization’ which is the immune process by which phagocytes target foreign particles introduced into the bloodstream. The primary aim of this thesis is to design strategies that can improve the in vivo stability of DNs, thus improving their pharmacodynamics and biodistribution.

Several strategies were investigated to address the three previously mentioned limitations. The first attempt was to study the effect length and conformation of polyethylene glycol (PEG) on DN stability. DNs were also coated with PEG-lipid and human serum albumin (HSA) and their stealth efficiencies were compared. The findings reveal that both PEGylation and albumin coating enhance low salt stability, increase resistance towards nuclease action and reduce uptake of DNs by macrophages. Any protective coating around a DN increases its hydrodynamic radius, which is a crucial parameter influencing their clearance. Keeping this in mind, intrinsically stable DNs that can survive low salt concentration without any polymer coating were built. Several DNA compaction agents and DNA binders were screened to stabilize DNs in low magnesium conditions. Among them arginine, lysine, bis-lysine and hexamine cobalt showed the potential to enhance DN stability.

This thesis also presents a sensitive assay, the Proximity Ligation Assay (PLA), for the estimation of DN stability with time. It requires very simple modifications on the DNs and it can yield precise results from a very small amount of sample. The applicability of PLA was successfully tested on several DNs ranging from a simple wireframe tetrahedron to a 3D origami and the protocol to collect in vivo samples, isolate the DNs and measure their stability was developed.

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2018

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Diagnostic and prognostic capacity of serum glycan nodes in different types of cancer

Description

Glycans are monosaccharide-based heteropolymers that are found covalently attached to many different proteins and lipids and are ubiquitously displayed on the exterior surfaces of cells. Serum glycan composition and structure are well known to be altered in many different types

Glycans are monosaccharide-based heteropolymers that are found covalently attached to many different proteins and lipids and are ubiquitously displayed on the exterior surfaces of cells. Serum glycan composition and structure are well known to be altered in many different types of cancer. In fact, glycans represent a promising but only marginally accessed source of cancer markers. The approach used in this dissertation, which is referred to as “glycan node analysis”, is a molecularly bottom-up approach to plasma/serum (P/S) glycomics based on glycan linkage analysis that captures features such as α2-6 sialylation, β1-6 branching, and core fucosylation as single analytical signals.

The diagnostic utility of this approach as applied to lung cancer patients across all stages as well as prostate, serous ovarian, and pancreatic cancer patients compared to certifiably healthy individuals, nominally healthy individuals and/or risk-matched controls is reported. Markers for terminal fucosylation, α2-6 sialylation, β1-4 branching, β1-6 branching and outer-arm fucosylation were most able to differentiate cases from controls. These markers behaved in a stage-dependent manner in lung cancer as well as other types of cancer. Using a Cox proportional hazards regression model, the ability of these markers to predict progression and survival in lung cancer patients was assessed. In addition, the potential mechanistic role of aberrant P/S glycans in cancer progression is discussed.

Plasma samples from former bladder cancer patients with currently no evidence of disease (NED), non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), and muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) along with certifiably healthy controls were analyzed. Markers for α2-6 sialylation, β1-4 branching, β1-6 branching, and outer-arm fucosylation were able to separate current and former (NED) cases from controls; but NED, NMIBC, and MIBC were not distinguished from one another. Markers for α2-6 sialylation and β1-6 branching were able to predict recurrence from the NED state using a Cox proportional hazards regression model adjusted for age, gender, and time from cancer. These two glycan features were found to be correlated to the concentration of C-reactive protein, a known prognostic marker for bladder cancer, further strengthening the link between inflammation and abnormal plasma protein glycosylation.

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2018