Matching Items (3)

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Modulating Cyanovirin-N Lectins to Improve Glycoprotein Recognition

Description

Antiviral lectins are potential candidates for future therapies against enveloped viruses like HIV due to their ability to recognize and bind glycans displayed on their surface. Cyanovirin-N (CVN), a lectin that specifically recognizes mannose-rich moieties, serves as a useful model

Antiviral lectins are potential candidates for future therapies against enveloped viruses like HIV due to their ability to recognize and bind glycans displayed on their surface. Cyanovirin-N (CVN), a lectin that specifically recognizes mannose-rich moieties, serves as a useful model for studying these glycan-recognition mechanisms. This study seeks to improve CVN's glycan-binding affinity by conjugating a boronic acid functional group to the N-terminus via N-terminal specific reductive alkylation by way of a benzaldehyde handle. However, large discrepancies were observed when attempting to confirm a successful conjugation, and further work is necessary to identify the causes and solutions for these issues.

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Date Created
2018-12

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Identification of Mycobacterium smegmatis and antibiotic resistance through the utilization of high titer mycobacteriophage concentrations and MALDI-TOF MS

Description

The diagnosis of bacterial infections based on phage multiplication has the potential for profound clinical implications, particularly for antibiotic-resistant strains and the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possibility of hastening the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant mycobacterial infections was accomplished via the study

The diagnosis of bacterial infections based on phage multiplication has the potential for profound clinical implications, particularly for antibiotic-resistant strains and the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possibility of hastening the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant mycobacterial infections was accomplished via the study of Mycobacterium smegmatis, a generally non-pathogenic, comparatively fast growing microorganism to M. tuberculosis. These proof-of-concept studies established that after transduction of M. smegmatis cells with bacteriophages, MALDI-TOF MS could be used to detect increased amounts of phage proteins. Recording the growth of M. smegmatis over an 8-hour period, starting with very low OD600 measurements, simulated bacterial loads in clinical settings. For the purposes of MALDI-TOF MS, the procedure for the most effective lethal exposure for M. smegmatis was determined to be a 1-hour incubation in a 95°C water bath. Successful precipitation of the lytic mycobacteriophages D29 and Giles was performed using chloroform and methanol and overlaid with 1-2 μL of α-cyano-4-hydoxycinnaminic acid, which allowed for more distinct and repeatable MALDI-TOF MS spectra. Phage D29 was found to produce an m/z peak at 18.477 kDa, which may have indicated a 2+-charged ion of the 34.8 kDa minor tail protein. The Giles proteins that were identified with MALDI-TOF MS have not been directly compared to protein values reported in the scientific literature. However, the MALDI-TOF MS spectra suggested that distinct peaks existed between M. smegmatis mc2155 and mycobacteriophages, indicating that successful infection with lytic phage and replication thereafter may have occurred. The distinct peaks between M. smegmatis and the phage can be used as indicators of the presence of mycobacteria. At this point, the limits of detection of each phage must be elucidated in order for MALDI-TOF MS spectra to be successfully implemented as a mechanism to rapidly detect antibiotic-resistant mycobacteria.

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Date Created
2015-05

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MALDI-TOF MS as a rapid characterization tool for economically-relevant microalgae

Description

The ability of microalgae to be mass cultivated and harvested for production of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and biofuels has made microalgae a focal point of scientific investigation. However, negative impacts on production are essentially inevitable due to the open design

The ability of microalgae to be mass cultivated and harvested for production of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and biofuels has made microalgae a focal point of scientific investigation. However, negative impacts on production are essentially inevitable due to the open design of many microalgae mass culture systems. This challenge generates a need for the consistent monitoring of microalgae cultures for health and the presence of contaminants, predators, and competitors. The techniques for monitoring microalgae cultures are generally time-intensive, labor-intensive, and expensive. The scope of this work was to evaluate the use of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) as a viable alternative for the characterization of microalgae cultures. The studies presented here evaluated whether MALDI-TOF MS can be used to: 1) differentiate microalgae at the species and strain levels, 2) characterize simple mixtures of microalgae, 3) detect changes in a single microalgae culture over time, and 4) characterize growth phases of microalgae cultures. This research required the development of a MALDI-TOF MS microalgae analysis protocol for organism characterization. The results yielded in this research showed that MALDI-TOF MS was just as accurate, if not more so, than molecular techniques for the identification of microalgae at the species and strain levels during its logarithmic growth phase. Additionally, results suggest that MALDI-TOF MS is sensitive enough to characterize simple mixtures and detect changes in cultures over time. The data presented here suggests the next logical step is the development of protocols for the near-real time health monitoring of microalgae cultures and detection of contaminants using MALDI-TOF MS.

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Agent

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Date Created
2016