Matching Items (9)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

137016-Thumbnail Image.png

Postprandial Glucose Responses to a High Glycemic Meal with Raw or Cooked Vegetables

Description

Early humans adapted to eating cooked food with increased energy density and absorption of macronutrients. However, in modern times many suffer from diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes which can result from too much energy being absorbed from food.

Early humans adapted to eating cooked food with increased energy density and absorption of macronutrients. However, in modern times many suffer from diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes which can result from too much energy being absorbed from food. This study measures glucose responses to a high glycemic meal with a side dish of raw or cooked vegetables. There was a slight trend for raw vegetables to have decreased postprandial blood glucose responses when compared to cooked vegetables.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

152433-Thumbnail Image.png

Metabolic engineering for the biosynthesis of styrene and its derivatives

Description

Metabolic engineering is an extremely useful tool enabling the biosynthetic production of commodity chemicals (typically derived from petroleum) from renewable resources. In this work, a pathway for the biosynthesis of styrene (a plastics monomer) has been engineered in Escherichia coli

Metabolic engineering is an extremely useful tool enabling the biosynthetic production of commodity chemicals (typically derived from petroleum) from renewable resources. In this work, a pathway for the biosynthesis of styrene (a plastics monomer) has been engineered in Escherichia coli from glucose by utilizing the pathway for the naturally occurring amino acid phenylalanine, the precursor to styrene. Styrene production was accomplished using an E. coli phenylalanine overproducer, E. coli NST74, and over-expression of PAL2 from Arabidopsis thaliana and FDC1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The styrene pathway was then extended by just one enzyme to either (S)-styrene oxide (StyAB from Pseudomonas putida S12) or (R)-1,2-phenylethanediol (NahAaAbAcAd from Pseudomonas sp. NCIB 9816-4) which are both used in pharmaceutical production. Overall, these pathways suffered from limitations due to product toxicity as well as limited precursor availability. In an effort to overcome the toxicity threshold, the styrene pathway was transferred to a yeast host with a higher toxicity limit. First, Saccharomyces cerevisiae BY4741 was engineered to overproduce phenylalanine. Next, PAL2 (the only enzyme needed to complete the styrene pathway) was then expressed in the BY4741 phenylalanine overproducer. Further strain improvements included the deletion of the phenylpyruvate decarboxylase (ARO10) and expression of a feedback-resistant choristmate mutase (ARO4K229L). These works have successfully demonstrated the possibility of utilizing microorganisms as cellular factories for the production styrene, (S)-styrene oxide, and (R)-1,2-phenylethanediol.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

150161-Thumbnail Image.png

A comparative study of dragonfly flight in variable oxygen atmospheres

Description

One hypothesis for the small size of insects relative to vertebrates, and the existence of giant fossil insects, is that atmospheric oxygen levels have constrained body sizes because oxygen delivery would be unable to match the needs of metabolically active

One hypothesis for the small size of insects relative to vertebrates, and the existence of giant fossil insects, is that atmospheric oxygen levels have constrained body sizes because oxygen delivery would be unable to match the needs of metabolically active tissues in larger insects. This study tested whether oxygen delivery becomes more challenging for larger insects by measuring the oxygen-sensitivity of flight metabolic rates and behavior during hovering for 11 different species of dragonflies that range in mass by an order of magnitude. Animals were flown in 7 different oxygen concentrations ranging from 30% to 2.5% to assess the sensitivity of their behavior and flight metabolic rates to oxygen. I also assessed the oxygen-sensitivity of flight in low-density air (nitrogen replaced with helium), to increase the metabolic demands of hovering flight. Lowered atmosphere densities did induce higher metabolic rates. Flight behaviors but not flight metabolic rates were highly oxygen-sensitive. A significant interaction between oxygen and mass was found for total flight time, with larger dragonflies varying flight time more in response to atmospheric oxygen. This study provides some support for the hypothesis that larger insects are more challenged in oxygen delivery, as predicted by the oxygen limitation hypothesis for insect gigantism in the Paleozoic.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

152885-Thumbnail Image.png

The ketogenic diet in the treatment of malignant glioma: mechanistic effects on hypoxia and angiogenesis

Description

Patients with malignant brain tumors have a median survival of approximately 15 months following diagnosis, regardless of currently available treatments which include surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Improvement in the survival of brain cancer patients requires the design of

Patients with malignant brain tumors have a median survival of approximately 15 months following diagnosis, regardless of currently available treatments which include surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Improvement in the survival of brain cancer patients requires the design of new therapeutic modalities that take advantage of common phenotypes. One such phenotype is the metabolic dysregulation that is a hallmark of cancer cells. It has therefore been postulated that one approach to treating brain tumors may be by metabolic alteration such as that which occurs through the use of the ketogenic diet (KD). The KD is high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that induces ketosis and has been utilized for the non-pharmacologic treatment of refractory epilepsy. It has been shown that this metabolic therapy enhances survival and potentiates standard therapy in mouse models of malignant gliomas, yet the anti-tumor mechanisms are not fully understood.

The current study reports that KetoCal® (KC; 4:1 fat:protein/carbohydrates), fed ad libitum, alters hypoxia, angiogenic, and inflammatory pathways in a mouse model of glioma. Tumors from animals maintained on KC showed reduced expression of the hypoxia marker carbonic anhydrase 9 (CA IX), a reduction in hypoxia inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) and decreased activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). Animals maintained on KC also showed a reduction in expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and decreased microvasculature in their tumors. Further, peritumoral edema was significantly reduced in animals fed the KC and protein analysis showed significantly altered expression of the tight junction protein zona occludens-1 (ZO-1) and the water channeling protein aquaporin-4 (AQP4), both of which have been implicated in malignant processes in glioma, including the formation of peritumoral edema in patients. Taken together the data suggests that KC alters multiple processes involved in malignant progression of gliomas. A greater understanding of the effects of the ketogenic diet as an adjuvant therapy will allow for a more rational approach to its clinical use.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

151284-Thumbnail Image.png

Can a vegetarian diet affect resting metabolic rate or satiety: a pilot study utilizing a metabolic cart and the SenseWear armband

Description

Dietary protein is known to increase postprandial thermogenesis more so than carbohydrates or fats, probably related to the fact that amino acids have no immediate form of storage in the body and can become toxic if not readily incorporated into

Dietary protein is known to increase postprandial thermogenesis more so than carbohydrates or fats, probably related to the fact that amino acids have no immediate form of storage in the body and can become toxic if not readily incorporated into body tissues or excreted. It is also well documented that subjects report greater satiety on high- versus low-protein diets and that subject compliance tends to be greater on high-protein diets, thus contributing to their popularity. What is not as well known is how a high-protein diet affects resting metabolic rate over time, and what is even less well known is if resting metabolic rate changes significantly when a person consuming an omnivorous diet suddenly adopts a vegetarian one. This pilot study sought to determine whether subjects adopting a vegetarian diet would report decreased satiety or demonstrate a decreased metabolic rate due to a change in protein intake and possible increase in carbohydrates. Further, this study sought to validate a new device called the SenseWear Armband (SWA) to determine if it might be sensitive enough to detect subtle changes in metabolic rate related to diet. Subjects were tested twice on all variables, at baseline and post-test. Independent and related samples tests revealed no significant differences between or within groups for any variable at any time point in the study. The SWA had a strong positive correlation to the Oxycon Mobile metabolic cart but due to a lack of change in metabolic rate, its sensitivity was undetermined. These data do not support the theory that adopting a vegetarian diet results in a long-term change in metabolic rate.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

154524-Thumbnail Image.png

Biosynthetic production of aromatic fine chemicals

Description

This dissertation focuses on the biosynthetic production of aromatic fine chemicals in engineered Escherichia coli from renewable resources. The discussed metabolic pathways take advantage of key metabolites in the shikimic acid pathway, which is responsible for the production of the

This dissertation focuses on the biosynthetic production of aromatic fine chemicals in engineered Escherichia coli from renewable resources. The discussed metabolic pathways take advantage of key metabolites in the shikimic acid pathway, which is responsible for the production of the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. For the first time, the renewable production of benzaldehyde and benzyl alcohol has been achieved in recombinant E. coli with a maximum titer of 114 mg/L of benzyl alcohol. Further strain development to knockout endogenous alcohol dehydrogenase has reduced the in vivo degradation of benzaldehyde by 9-fold, representing an improved host for the future production of benzaldehyde as a sole product. In addition, a novel alternative pathway for the production of protocatechuate (PCA) and catechol from the endogenous metabolite chorismate is demonstrated. Titers for PCA and catechol were achieved at 454 mg/L and 630 mg/L, respectively. To explore potential routes for improved aromatic product yields, an in silico model using elementary mode analysis was developed. From the model, stoichiometric optimums maximizing both product-to-substrate and biomass-to-substrate yields were discovered in a co-fed model using glycerol and D-xylose as the carbon substrates for the biosynthetic production of catechol. Overall, the work presented in this dissertation highlights contributions to the field of metabolic engineering through novel pathway design for the biosynthesis of industrially relevant aromatic fine chemicals and the use of in silico modelling to identify novel approaches to increasing aromatic product yields.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

156767-Thumbnail Image.png

Consequences of Negative Energy Balance on Avian Reproductive Physiology: Endocrine and Metabolic Mediators

Description

Reproduction is energetically costly and seasonal breeding has evolved to capitalize on predictable increases in food availability. The synchronization of breeding with periods of peak food availability is especially important for small birds, most of which do not store an

Reproduction is energetically costly and seasonal breeding has evolved to capitalize on predictable increases in food availability. The synchronization of breeding with periods of peak food availability is especially important for small birds, most of which do not store an extensive amount of energy. The annual change in photoperiod is the primary environmental cue regulating reproductive development, but must be integrated with supplementary cues relating to local energetic conditions. Photoperiodic regulation of the reproductive neuroendocrine system is well described in seasonally breeding birds, but the mechanisms that these animals use to integrate supplementary cues remain unclear. I hypothesized that (a) environmental cues that negatively affect energy balance inhibit reproductive development by acting at multiple levels along the reproductive endocrine axis including the hypothalamus (b) that the availability of metabolic fuels conveys alterations in energy balance to the reproductive system. I investigated these hypotheses in male house finches, Haemorhous mexicanus, caught in the wild and brought into captivity. I first experimentally reduced body condition through food restriction and found that gonadal development and function are inhibited and these changes are associated with changes in hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). I then investigated this neuroendocrine integration and found that finches maintain reproductive flexibility through modifying the release of accumulated GnRH stores in response to energetic conditions. Lastly, I investigated the role of metabolic fuels in coordinating reproductive responses under two different models of negative energy balance, decreased energy intake (food restriction) and increased energy expenditure (high temperatures). Exposure to high temperatures lowered body condition and reduced food intake. Reproductive development was inhibited under both energy challenges, and occurred with decreased gonadal gene expression of enzymes involved in steroid synthesis. Minor changes in fuel utilization occurred under food restriction but not high temperatures. My results support the hypothesis that negative energy balance inhibits reproductive development through multilevel effects on the hypothalamus and gonads. These studies are among the first to demonstrate a negative effect of high temperatures on reproductive development in a wild bird. Overall, the above findings provide important foundations for investigations into adaptive responses of breeding in energetically variable environments.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018

157426-Thumbnail Image.png

Genetic and Biochemical Insights into the Mycobacterial PrrAB System as a Regulator of Respiration and Central Metabolism

Description

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, is the 10th leading cause of death, worldwide. The prevalence of drug-resistant clinical isolates and the paucity of newly-approved antituberculosis drugs impedes the successful eradication of Mtb. Bacteria commonly use two-component systems

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, is the 10th leading cause of death, worldwide. The prevalence of drug-resistant clinical isolates and the paucity of newly-approved antituberculosis drugs impedes the successful eradication of Mtb. Bacteria commonly use two-component systems (TCS) to sense their environment and genetically modulate adaptive responses. The prrAB TCS is essential in Mtb, thus representing an auspicious drug target; however, the inability to generate an Mtb ΔprrAB mutant complicates investigating how this TCS contributes to pathogenesis. Mycobacterium smegmatis, a commonly used M. tuberculosis genetic surrogate was used here. This work shows that prrAB is not essential in M. smegmatis. During ammonium stress, the ΔprrAB mutant excessively accumulates triacylglycerol lipids, a phenotype associated with M. tuberculosis dormancy and chronic infection. Additionally, triacylglycerol biosynthetic genes were induced in the ΔprrAB mutant relative to the wild-type and complementation strains during ammonium stress. Next, RNA-seq was used to define the M. smegmatis PrrAB regulon. PrrAB regulates genes participating in respiration, metabolism, redox balance, and oxidative phosphorylation. The M. smegmatis ΔprrAB mutant is compromised for growth under hypoxia, is hypersensitive to cyanide, and fails to induce high-affinity respiratory genes during hypoxia. Furthermore, PrrAB positively regulates the hypoxia-responsive dosR TCS response regulator, potentially explaining the hypoxia-mediated growth defects in the ΔprrAB mutant. Despite inducing genes encoding the F1F0 ATP synthase, the ΔprrAB mutant accumulates significantly less ATP during aerobic, exponential growth compared to the wild-type and complementation strains. Finally, the M. smegmatis ΔprrAB mutant exhibited growth impairment in media containing gluconeogenic carbon sources. M. tuberculosis mutants unable to utilize these substrates fail to establish chronic infection, suggesting that PrrAB may regulate Mtb central carbon metabolism in response to chronic infection. In conclusion, 1) prrAB is not universally essential in mycobacteria; 2) M. smegmatis PrrAB regulates genetic responsiveness to nutrient and oxygen stress; and 3) PrrAB may provide feed-forward control of the DosRS TCS and dormancy phenotypes. The data generated in these studies provide insight into the mycobacterial PrrAB TCS transcriptional regulon, PrrAB essentiality in Mtb, and how PrrAB may mediate stresses encountered by Mtb during the transition to chronic infection.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019

157036-Thumbnail Image.png

Water as a physiological currency: hydration state impacts immune function, metabolic substrates, and reproductive investment

Description

Environmental changes are occurring at an unprecedented rate, and these changes will undoubtedly lead to alterations in resource availability for many organisms. To effectively predict the implications of such changes, it is critical to better understand how organisms have adapted

Environmental changes are occurring at an unprecedented rate, and these changes will undoubtedly lead to alterations in resource availability for many organisms. To effectively predict the implications of such changes, it is critical to better understand how organisms have adapted to coping with seasonally limited resources. The vast majority of previous work has focused on energy balance as the driver of changes in organismal physiology. While energy is clearly a vital currency, other resources can also be limited and impact physiological functions. Water is essential for life as it is the main constituent of cells, tissues, and organs. Yet, water has received little consideration for its role as a currency that impacts physiological functions. Given the importance of water to most major physiological systems, I investigated how water limitations interact with immune function, metabolism, and reproductive investment, an almost entirely unexplored area. Using multiple species and life stages, I demonstrated that dehydrated animals typically have enhanced innate immunity, regardless of whether the dehydration is a result of seasonal water constraints, water deprivation in the lab, or high physiological demand for water. My work contributed greatly to the understanding of immune function dynamics and lays a foundation for the study of hydration immunology as a component of the burgeoning field of ecoimmunology. While a large portion of my dissertation focused on the interaction between water balance and immune function, there are many other physiological processes that may be impacted by water restrictions. Accordingly, I recently expanded the understanding of how reproductive females can alter metabolic substrates to reallocate internal water during times of water scarcity, an important development in our knowledge of reproductive investments. Overall, by thoroughly evaluating implications and responses to water limitations, my dissertation, when combined previous acquired knowledge on food limitation, will enable scientists to better predict the impacts of future climate change, where, in many regions, rainfall events are forecasted to be less reliable, resulting in more frequent drought.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019