Matching Items (21)

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Incorporation, Expression, and Retained Enzymatic Activity of Six Tryptophan Analogues in Dihydrofolate Reductase at Positions 30 and 47

Description

Due to a continued interest in the fundamental properties of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and its enzymatic activities, this study employed the use of six fluorescent tryptophan derivatives, for single site

Due to a continued interest in the fundamental properties of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and its enzymatic activities, this study employed the use of six fluorescent tryptophan derivatives, for single site amino acid replacements. The two positions 30 and 47 within DHFR were studied to discover the rate at which these larger tryptophan analogues may be incorporated. Additionally, it was to be determined how much activity the mutated DHFR’s could retain when compared to their wild type counterpart. Through a review of literature, it was shown that previous studies have illustrated successful incorporation and toleration of unnatural amino acids.
Each of the six analogues A through F were relatively efficiently incorporated into the enzyme and well tolerated. Each maintained at least a third of their catalytic activity, measured through the consumption of β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. Primarily, derivatives B, C, and D were able to retain the highest amount of activity in each position; B and D were the most tolerated in positions 30 and 47 with respective values of 68 ± 6.1 and 80 ± 12. The findings in this study illustrate that single tryptophan derivatives are able to be incorporated into Escherichia coli DHFR while still allowing the maintenance of a significant portion of its enzymatic activity.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Modulating the Heat Shock Response in E. coli to Optimize Membrane Protein Expression

Description

Membrane proteins are essential for cell survival and show potential as pharmacological and therapeutic targets in the field of nanobiotechnology.[1,2] In spite of their promise in these fields, research surrounding

Membrane proteins are essential for cell survival and show potential as pharmacological and therapeutic targets in the field of nanobiotechnology.[1,2] In spite of their promise in these fields, research surrounding membrane proteins lags since their over-expression often leads to cell toxicity and death.[3,4] It was hypothesized that membrane protein expression could be regulated and optimized by modifying the heat shock response of Escherichia coli (E. coli). To test this hypothesis, the membrane protein expression pathway was reprogrammed using gene-blocks that were antisense to vital membrane protein DNA and RNA binding-site sequences and included an IbpA-σ32 heat shock promoter. Anti-PBAD and anti-HtdR gene-blocks were designed to have antisense sequences to the DNA of the arabinose PBAD promotor and Haloterrigena turkmenica deltarhodopsin (HtdR) transmembrane protein respectively. These sequences were then employed to be cloned into a pMM102 vector and grown in NEB-5α E. coli cells.

Stable glycerol stocks of the pIbpA-antiPBAD and pIbpA-antiHtdR in BW25113 cells with either a pBLN200 or pHtdR200 plasmid were created. Then after inducing the cells with L-arabinose and 10mM all-trans retinal to allow for membrane protein expression, spectrophotometry was used to test the optical density of the cells at an absorbance of 600nm. Although general trends showed that the pHtdR200-pMM102 and pHtdR200-pIbpA cells had lower optical densities than the pBLN200 cells of all types, the results were determined to be statistically insignificant. Continuing, the pHtdR200 cells of all types showed a purple phenotype when spun down, as expected, while the cells with the pBLN200 plasmid had a colorless phenotype in pellet form. Further work will include cloning a GFP gene-block to test the ability of the anti-PBAD sequence in tuning the transcription of the GFP protein.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Impact of Turbidity on the UV Inactivation of Escherichia coli

Description

Turbidity is a known problem for UV water treatment systems as suspended particles can shield contaminants from the UV radiation. UV systems that utilize a reflective radiation chamber may be

Turbidity is a known problem for UV water treatment systems as suspended particles can shield contaminants from the UV radiation. UV systems that utilize a reflective radiation chamber may be able to decrease the impact of turbidity on the efficacy of the system. The purpose of this study was to determine how kaolin clay and gram flour turbidity affects inactivation of Escherichia coli (E. coli) when using a UV system with a reflective chamber. Both sources of turbidity were shown to reduce the inactivation of E. coli with increasing concentrations. Overall, it was shown that increasing kaolin clay turbidity had a consistent effect on reducing UV inactivation across UV doses. Log inactivation was reduced by 1.48 log for the low UV dose and it was reduced by at least 1.31 log for the low UV dose. Gram flour had a similar effect to the clay at the lower UV dose, reducing log inactivation by 1.58 log. At the high UV dose, there was no change in UV inactivation with an increase in turbidity. In conclusion, turbidity has a significant impact on the efficacy of UV disinfection. Therefore, removing turbidity from water is an essential process to enhance UV efficiency for the disinfection of microbial pathogens.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Conservation of m6A in evolving long-term E. coli populations

Description

Many factors are at play within the genome of an organism, contributing to much of the diversity and variation across the tree of life. While the genome is generally encoded

Many factors are at play within the genome of an organism, contributing to much of the diversity and variation across the tree of life. While the genome is generally encoded by four nucleotides, A, C, T, and G, this code can be expanded. One particular mechanism that we examine in this thesis is modification of bases—more specifically, methylation of Adenine (m6A) within the GATC motif of Escherichia coli. These methylated adenines are especially important in a process called methyl-directed mismatch repair (MMR), a pathway responsible for repairing errors in the DNA sequence produced by replication. In this pathway, methylated adenines identify the parent strand and direct the repair proteins to correct the erroneous base in the daughter strand. While the primary role of methylated adenines at GATC sites is to direct the MMR pathway, this methylation has also been found to affect other processes, such as gene expression, the activity of transposable elements, and the timing of DNA replication. However, in the absence of MMR, the ability of these other processes to maintain adenine methylation and its targets is unknown.
To determine if the disruption of the MMR pathway results in the reduced conservation of methylated adenines as well as an increased tolerance for mutations that result in the loss or gain of new GATC sites, we surveyed individual clones isolated from experimentally evolving wild-type and MMR-deficient (mutL- ;conferring an 150x increase in mutation rate) populations of E. coli with whole-genome sequencing. Initial analysis revealed a lack of mutations affecting methylation sites (GATC tetranucleotides) in wild-type clones. However, the inherent low mutation rates conferred by the wild-type background render this result inconclusive, due to a lack of statistical power, and reveal a need for a more direct measure of changes in methylation status. Thus as a first step to comparative methylomics, we benchmarked four different methylation-calling pipelines on three biological replicates of the wildtype progenitor strain for our evolved populations.
While it is understood that these methylated sites play a role in the MMR pathway, it is not fully understood the full extent of their effect on the genome. Thus the goal of this thesis was to better understand the forces which maintain the genome, specifically concerning m6A within the GATC motif.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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How the EnvZ/OmpR Two-component Regulatory System Affects fepA Gene Expression in Escherichia coli

Description

This study focused on the connection between the EnvZ/OmpR two-component regulatory system and the iron homeostasis system in Escherichia coli, specifically how a mutant form of EnvZ11/OmpR is able to

This study focused on the connection between the EnvZ/OmpR two-component regulatory system and the iron homeostasis system in Escherichia coli, specifically how a mutant form of EnvZ11/OmpR is able to reduce the expression of fepA::lacZ, a reporter gene fusion in E. coli. FepA is one of several outer membrane siderophore receptors that allow extracellular siderophores bound to iron to enter the cells to power various biological processes. Previous studies have shown that in E. coli cells that expressed a mutant allele of envZ, called envZ11, which led to altered expression of various iron genes including down regulation of fepA::lacZ. The wild type EnvZ/OmpR system is not considered to regulate iron genes, but because these envz11 strains had downregulated fepA::lacZ, this study was undertaken to understand the connection and mechanisms of this downregulation. A large number of Lac+ revertants were obtained from the B32-2483 strain (envz11 and fepA::lacZ) and 7 Lac+ revertants that had reversion mutations not directly correcting the envZ11 allele were further characterized. With P1 phage transduction genetic mapping that involved moving a kanamycin resistance marker linked to fepA::lacZ, two Lac+ revertants were found to have their reversion mutations in the fepA promoter region, while the other five revertants had their mutations mapping outside the fepA region. These two revertants underwent DNA sequencing and found to carry two different single base pair mutations in two different locations of the fepA promoter region. Each one is in the Fur repressor binding region, but one also may have affected the Shine-Dalgarno region involved in translation initiation. All 7 reveratants underwent beta-galactosidase assays to measure fepA::lacZ expression. The two revertants that had mutations in the fepA promoter region had significantly increased fepA activity, with the revertant with the Shine-Dalgarno mutation having the most elevated fepA expression. The other 5 revertants that did not map in the fepA region had fepA expression elevated to the same level as that found in the wild type EnvZ/OmpR background. The data suggest that the negative effect of envZ11 can be overcome by multiple mechanisms, including directly correcting the envZ11 allele or changing the fepA promoter region.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The Effectiveness of Inhibition and Biofilm Disruption on Antibiotic Resistant E. coli

Description

The purpose of this study was to observe the effectiveness of the phenylalanyl arginine β-naphthylamide dihydrochloride inhibitor and Tween 20 when combined with an antibiotic against Escherichia. coli. As antibiotic

The purpose of this study was to observe the effectiveness of the phenylalanyl arginine β-naphthylamide dihydrochloride inhibitor and Tween 20 when combined with an antibiotic against Escherichia. coli. As antibiotic resistance becomes more and more prevalent it is necessary to think outside the box and do more than just increase the dosage of currently prescribed antibiotics. This study attempted to combat two forms of antibiotic resistance. The first is the AcrAB efflux pump which is able to pump antibiotics out of the cell. The second is the biofilms that E. coli can form. By using an inhibitor, the pump should be unable to rid itself of an antibiotic. On the other hand, using Tween allows for biofilm formation to either be disrupted or for the biofilm to be dissolved. By combining these two chemicals with an antibiotic that the efflux pump is known to expel, low concentrations of each chemical should result in an equivalent or greater effect on bacteria compared to any one chemical in higher concentrations. To test this hypothesis a 96 well plate BEC screen test was performed. A range of antibiotics were used at various concentrations and with varying concentrations of both Tween and the inhibitor to find a starting point. Following this, Erythromycin and Ciprofloxacin were picked as the best candidates and the optimum range of the antibiotic, Tween, and inhibitor were established. Finally, all three chemicals were combined to observe the effects they had together as opposed to individually or paired together. From the results of this experiment several conclusions were made. First, the inhibitor did in fact increase the effectiveness of the antibiotic as less antibiotic was needed if the inhibitor was present. Second, Tween showed an ability to prevent recovery in the MBEC reading, showing that it has the ability to disrupt or dissolve biofilms. However, Tween also showed a noticeable decrease in effectiveness in the overall treatment. This negative interaction was unable to be compensated for when using the inhibitor and so the hypothesis was proven false as combining the three chemicals led to a less effective treatment method.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Physical Water Treatment Effects on Evaporation Rates, Hardness, and Microbial Life

Description

The rising need for water reuse in the Southwest United States has increased awareness of the quality of wastewater. This need is caused by an increased population having basic water

The rising need for water reuse in the Southwest United States has increased awareness of the quality of wastewater. This need is caused by an increased population having basic water needs; inefficient water use, such as overwatering lawns and leaking pipes; and recent drought conditions all over the southwestern US. Reclaimed water is a possible solution. It's used for a variety of non-potable, or non-drinkable, reasons. These uses include: cooling power plants, concrete mixing, artificial lakes, and irrigation for public parks and golf courts. Cooling power plants utilizes roughly 41% of the total water consumed by the United States, which makes it the highest user of water in the US. The attention is turned to optimizing mechanical processes and reducing the amount of water consumed. Wet-recirculating systems reuse cooling water in a second cycle rather than discharging it immediately. Cooling towers are commonly used to expose water to ambient air. As the water evaporates, more water is withdrawn while the rest continues to circulate. These systems have much lower water withdrawals than once-through systems, but have higher water consumption. The cooling towers in wet-recirculating plants and other warm machinery have two major limitations: evaporation of pumped water and scale formation in the components. Cooling towers circulate water, and only draw as it evaporates, which conserves water. The scale formation in the components is due to the hardness of the water. Scale occurs when hard water evaporates and forms solid calcium carbonate. This formation can lead to reduced flow or even clogging in pipes, fouling of components or pipes, and reduced cooling efficiency. Another concern from the public over the use of reclaimed water is the possibility of there being fecal contamination. This fear stems from the stigma associated with drinking water that essentially came from the toilet. An emerging technology, in order to address these three issues, is the use of an electromagnetic device. The wires have a current flowing through which induces a magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of the flow, while the electrical field is proportional to the flow velocity. In other words, the magnetic and electrical fields will create an effect that will concentrate cations at the center of the pipe and anions at the wall of the pipe or the other way depending on the direction of the flow. Reversing the field will then cause the cations and anions to move toward one another and increase the collision frequency and energy. The purpose of these experiments is to test the effects of the electromagnetic device on the aforementioned topics. There are three tests that were performed, a surface tension test, a hardness test, and a microbial test. The surface tension test focused on the angle of a water droplet until it burst. The angle would theoretically decrease as the bond between water molecules increased due to the device. The results of this test shows a lower angle for the treated water but a higher angle for the untreated one. This means the device had an effect on the surface tension of the water. Hard water is caused by calcium and magnesium ions in the water. These ions are dissolved in the water as it travels past soil and rocks. The purpose of this test is to measure the free calcium ion amount in the water. If the free calcium number lowers, then it can be assumed it collided with the carbonate and formed calcium carbonate. This calcium carbonate causes a reduction in hardness in the water. The result of the test showed no correlation between ion concentrations in the treated/untreated system. The e. coli test focused on testing the effects of an electromagnetic device on inhibiting fecal contamination in water/wastewater at a treatment facility. In order to detect fecal contamination, we test for bacteria known as fecal coliforms, more specifically e. coli. The test involved spiking the system with bacteria and testing its concentrations after time had passed.The e. coli results showed no trend in the inactivation of the bacteria. In conclusion, the device had varying results, but multiple steps can be taken in the future in order to continue research.

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Date Created
  • 2014-12

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Improving Biochemical Production in Escherichia coli through Nutrient Limitation

Description

Escherichia coli is a bacterium that is used widely in metabolic engineering due to its ability to grow at a fast rate and to be cultured easily. E. coli can

Escherichia coli is a bacterium that is used widely in metabolic engineering due to its ability to grow at a fast rate and to be cultured easily. E. coli can be engineered to produce many valuable chemicals, including biofuels and L-Phenylalanine—a precursor to many pharmaceuticals. Significant cell growth occurs in parallel to the biosynthesis of the desired biofuel or biochemical product, and limits product concentrations and yields. Stopping cell growth can improve chemical production since more resources will go toward chemical production than toward biomass. The goal of the project is to test different methods of controlling microbial uptake of nutrients, specifically phosphate, to dynamically limit cell growth and improve biochemical production of E. coli, and the research has the potential to promote public health, sustainability, and environment. This can be achieved by targeting phosphate transporter genes using CRISPRi and CRISPR, and they will limit the uptake of phosphate by targeting the phosphate transporter genes in DNA, which will stop transcriptions of the genes. In the experiment, NST74∆crr∆pykAF, a L-Phe overproducer, was used as the base strain, and the pitA phosphate transporter gene was targeted in the CRISPRi and CRISPR systems with the strain with other phosphate transporters knocked out. The tested CRISPRi and CRISPR mechanisms did not stop cell growth or improved L-Phe production. Further research will be conducted to determine the problem of the system. In addition, the CRISPRi and CRISPR systems that target multiple phosphate transporter genes will be tested in the future as well as the other method of stopping transcriptions of the phosphate transporter genes, which is called a tunable toggle switch mechanism.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Biological Alternative to Create Aromatic Esters Using Engineered Microorganisms as the Biocatalyst

Description

Four enzymes, ATF1, ATF2, ATF, and CAT, were screened to determine which would be most effective at catalyzing the formation of aromatic esters. The CAT enzyme successfully catalyzed the reaction

Four enzymes, ATF1, ATF2, ATF, and CAT, were screened to determine which would be most effective at catalyzing the formation of aromatic esters. The CAT enzyme successfully catalyzed the reaction to produce 2-phenethyl acetate using 20x more lysate to improve the probability of enzyme presence in the lysate. The CAT enzyme was able to catalyze the reaction producing concentrations that increased by 62% every 12 hours. Enzymatic activity resulted in the production of 2.15 mg/L of 2-phenethyl acetate at 12 hours, 5.62 mg/L of 2-phenethyl acetate at 24 hours, and 15.12 mg/L of 2-phenethyl acetate at 48 hours.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Engineering a Co-culture System for Co-utilization of Lignocellulose-derived Sugars for Improved Biomass Conversion

Description

The inability of a single strain of bacteria to simultaneously and completely consume multiple sugars, such as glucose and xylose, hinder industrial microbial processes for ethanol and lactate production. To

The inability of a single strain of bacteria to simultaneously and completely consume multiple sugars, such as glucose and xylose, hinder industrial microbial processes for ethanol and lactate production. To overcome this limitation, I am engineering an E. coli co-culture system consisting of two ‘specialists'. One has the ability to only consume xylose and the other only glucose. This allows for co-utilization of lignocellulose-derived sugars so both sugars are completely consumed, residence time is reduced and lactate and ethanol titers are maximized.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05