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Analysis of Inhibition of Influenza Replication via Synthetic Antibodies

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The influenza virus, also known as "the flu", is an infectious disease that has constantly affected the health of humanity. There is currently no known cure for Influenza. The Center for Innovations in Medicine at the Biodesign Institute located on

The influenza virus, also known as "the flu", is an infectious disease that has constantly affected the health of humanity. There is currently no known cure for Influenza. The Center for Innovations in Medicine at the Biodesign Institute located on campus at Arizona State University has been developing synbodies as a possible Influenza therapeutic. Specifically, at CIM, we have attempted to design these initial synbodies to target the entire Influenza virus and preliminary data leads us to believe that these synbodies target Nucleoprotein (NP). Given that the synbody targets NP, the penetration of cells via synbody should also occur. Then by Western Blot analysis we evaluated for the diminution of NP level in treated cells versus untreated cells. The focus of my honors thesis is to explore how synthetic antibodies can potentially inhibit replication of the Influenza (H1N1) A/Puerto Rico/8/34 strain so that a therapeutic can be developed. A high affinity synbody for Influenza can be utilized to test for inhibition of Influenza as shown by preliminary data. The 5-5-3819 synthetic antibody's internalization in live cells was visualized with Madin-Darby Kidney Cells under a Confocal Microscope. Then by Western Blot analysis we evaluated for the diminution of NP level in treated cells versus untreated cells. Expression of NP over 8 hours time was analyzed via Western Blot Analysis, which showed NP accumulation was retarded in synbody treated cells. The data obtained from my honors thesis and preliminary data provided suggest that the synthetic antibody penetrates live cells and targets NP. The results of my thesis presents valuable information that can be utilized by other researchers so that future experiments can be performed, eventually leading to the creation of a more effective therapeutic for influenza.

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2014-05

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Structural and Biophysical Studies of Pathological Determinants in Cancer and Infectious Diseases

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This work advances structural and biophysical studies of three proteins important in disease. First protein of interest is the Francisella tularensis outer membrane protein A (FopA), which is a virulence determinant of tularemia. This work describes recombinant expression in Escherichia

This work advances structural and biophysical studies of three proteins important in disease. First protein of interest is the Francisella tularensis outer membrane protein A (FopA), which is a virulence determinant of tularemia. This work describes recombinant expression in Escherichia coli and successful purification of membrane translocated FopA. The purified protein was dimeric as shown by native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) analysis, with an abundance of β-strands based on circular dichroism spectroscopy. SAXS data supports the presence of a pore. Furthermore, protein crystals of membrane translocated FopA were obtained with preliminary X-ray diffraction data. The identified crystallization condition provides the means towards FopA structure determination; a valuable tool for structure-based design of anti-tularemia therapeutics.

Next, the nonstructural protein μNS of avian reoviruses was investigated using in vivo crystallization and serial femtosecond X-ray crystallography. Avian reoviruses infect poultry flocks causing significant economic losses. μNS is crucial in viral factory formation facilitating viral replication within host cells. Thus, structure-based targeting of μNS has the potential to disrupt intracellular viral propagation. Towards this goal, crystals of EGFP-tagged μNS (EGFP-μNS (448-605)) were produced in insect cells. The crystals diffracted to 4.5 Å at X-ray free electron lasers using viscous jets as crystal delivery methods and initial electron density maps were obtained. The resolution reported here is the highest described to date for μNS, which lays the foundation towards its structure determination.

Finally, structural, and functional studies of human Threonine aspartase 1 (Taspase1) were performed. Taspase1 is overexpressed in many liquid and solid malignancies. In the present study, using strategic circular permutations and X-ray crystallography, structure of catalytically active Taspase1 was resolved. The structure reveals the conformation of a 50 residues long fragment preceding the active side residue (Thr234), which has not been structurally characterized previously. This fragment adopted a straight helical conformation in contrast to previous predictions. Functional studies revealed that the long helix is essential for proteolytic activity in addition to the active site nucleophilic residue (Thr234) mediated proteolysis. Together, these findings enable a new approach for designing anti-cancer drugs by targeting the long helical fragment.

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2020