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Intelligent Input Parser for Organic Chemistry Reagent Questions

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Due to its difficult nature, organic chemistry is receiving much research attention across the nation to develop more efficient and effective means to teach it. As part of that, Dr. Ian Gould at ASU is developing an online organic chemistry

Due to its difficult nature, organic chemistry is receiving much research attention across the nation to develop more efficient and effective means to teach it. As part of that, Dr. Ian Gould at ASU is developing an online organic chemistry educational website that provides help to students, adapts to their responses, and collects data about their performance. This thesis creative project addresses the design and implementation of an input parser for organic chemistry reagent questions, to appear on his website. After students used the form to submit questions throughout the Spring 2013 semester in Dr. Gould's organic chemistry class, the data gathered from their usage was analyzed, and feedback was collected. The feedback obtained from students was positive, and suggested that the input parser accomplished the educational goals that it sought to meet.

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2013-05

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Synthesis and evaluation of multifunctional radical quenchers for the protection of mitochondrial function

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Mitochondria produce the majority portion of ATP required in eukaryotic cells. ATP is generated through a process known as oxidative phosphorylation, through an pathway consisting five multi subunit proteins (complex I-IV and ATP synthase), embedded inside the mitochondrial membrane. Mitochondrial

Mitochondria produce the majority portion of ATP required in eukaryotic cells. ATP is generated through a process known as oxidative phosphorylation, through an pathway consisting five multi subunit proteins (complex I-IV and ATP synthase), embedded inside the mitochondrial membrane. Mitochondrial electron transport chain dysfunction increases reactive oxygen species in the cell and causes several serious disorders. Described herein are the synthesis of antioxidant molecules to reduce the effects in an already dysfunctional system. Also described is the study of the mitochondrial electron transport chain to understand the mechanism of action of a library of antioxidants. Illustrated in chapter 1 is the general history of research on mitochondrial dysfunction and reported ways to ameliorate them. Chapter 2 describes the design and synthesis of a series of compounds closely resembling the redox-active quinone core of the natural product geldanamycin. Geldanamycin has been reported to confer cytoprotection to FRDA lymphocytes in a dose dependent manner under conditions of induced oxidative stress. A library of rationally designed derivatives has been synthesized as a part of our pursuit of a better neuroprotective drug. Chapter 3 describes the design and synthesis of a library of pyrimidinol analogues. Compounds of this type have demonstrated the ability to quench reactive oxygen species and sustain mitochondrial membrane potential. Described herein are our efforts to increase their metabolic stability and total ATP production. It is crucial to understand the nature of interaction between a potential drug molecule and the mitochondrial electron transport chain to enable the design and synthesis a better therapeutic candidates. Chapter 4 describes a part of the enzymatic

binding studies between a molecular library synthesized in our laboratory and the mitochondrial electron transport chain using sub mitochondrial particles (SMP).

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2015

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Synthesis of nitrogen heterocyclic compounds for therapeutic applications

Description

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a series of molecules, ions, and radicals derived from oxygen that possess remarkable reactivity. They act as signaling molecules when their concentration in cells is within a normal range. When the levels of ROS increase,

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a series of molecules, ions, and radicals derived from oxygen that possess remarkable reactivity. They act as signaling molecules when their concentration in cells is within a normal range. When the levels of ROS increase, reaching a concentration in which the antioxidants cannot readily quench them, oxidative stress will affect the cells. These excessive levels of ROS result in direct or indirect ROS-mediated damage of proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids. Excessive oxidative stress, particularly in chronic inflammation, has been linked with mutations and carcinogenesis. One of the main targets of ROS in severe oxidative stress is mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The synthesis of analogues of alpha-tocopherol is described as potential compounds with the ability to remediate defective mitochondria. An interesting possibility for eradicating cancer cells is to selectively target them with oxidative species while avoiding any deleterious effects on healthy cells. To accomplish this, analogues of the beta-hydroxyhistidine moiety of the antitumor agent bleomycin (BLM) were synthesized. The first part of this thesis focuses on the synthesis of simplified analogues of alpha-tocopherol. These analogues possess a bicyclic pyridinol as the antioxidant core and an alkyl group as the lipophilic chain to mimic alpha-tocopherol. Additionally, analogues with a completely oxidized pyridinol core were synthesized. Some of these analogues showed promising properties against ROS production and lipid peroxidation. The protection they conferred was shown to be tightly regulated by their concentration. The second part of this thesis focuses on the synthesis of analogues of beta-hydroxyhistidine. BLMs are glycopeptides that possess anticancer activity and have been used to treat testicular carcinomas, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and squamous cell carcinomas. The activity of BLM is based on the degradation of DNA, or possibly RNA, caused by a Fe(II)-BLM complex in the presence of O2. The beta-hydroxyhistidine moiety of BLM contributes to metal coordination via two ligands: the N-3 nitrogen atom of imidazole and possibly the nitrogen atom of the amide. A series of beta-hydroxyhistidine analogues has successfully been synthesized.

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2014

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Synthesis of methylene blue analogues as multifunctional radical quenchers, synthesis of unnatural amino acids and their ribosomal incorporation into proteins

Description

The energy required in a eukaryotic cell is provided by mitochondria. Mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) coupled with oxidative phosphorylation generates ATP. During electron transport, electron leakage from the ETC produces reactive oxygen species (ROS). In healthy cells, there are

The energy required in a eukaryotic cell is provided by mitochondria. Mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) coupled with oxidative phosphorylation generates ATP. During electron transport, electron leakage from the ETC produces reactive oxygen species (ROS). In healthy cells, there are preventive and defense mechanisms in place to manage ROS. Maintaining a steady balance of ROS is very important because overproduction of ROS can lead to several pathological conditions. There are several strategies to prevent ROS production. Addition of external antioxidants is widely used among them. Discussed in the first part of Chapter 1 is the mitochondrial ETC, ROS production and antioxidant strategies.

The second part of Chapter 1 is concerned with ribosomal protein synthesis in bacteria. Ribosome, the organelle that synthesizes proteins with exceptional fidelity, has a strong bias for α-L-amino acids. It has been demonstrated that reengineering of the peptidyltransferase center (PTC) of the ribosome could enable the incorporation of both α-D-amino acids and β-amino acids into full length protein.

Oxidative stress is a common cause of various neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Antioxidative strategies are used widely for the treatment of these disorders. Although several antioxidants demonstrated positive results in vitro as well as in in vivo models, none of them have been effective in clinical settings. Hence, there is an ongoing search for effective neuroprotective drugs. Described in Chapter 2 is the synthesis and biological evaluation of several methylene blue analogues as potentially effective antioxidants for the treatment of pathologies related to oxidative stress.

In Chapter 3, the synthesis and ribosomal incorporation of several rationally designed dipeptidomimetic analogues are discussed. The dipeptidomimetic analogues are structurally similar to the GFP chromophore and, therefore, highly fluorescent. In addition, the backbone of the dipeptidomimetic analogues resemble the peptide backbone of a dipeptide, due to which they can be incorporated into protein by modified ribosomes selected for the incorporation of dipeptides.

Discussed in Chapter 4 is the synthesis of the pdCpA derivatives of several β-amino acids. The pdCpA derivatives were ligated to tRNA-COH and were used as probes for studying the regio- and stereoselectivity of modified ribosomes.

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2016