Matching Items (5)

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Multifaceted regulation of V(D)J recombination

Description

V(D)J recombination is responsible for generating an enormous repertoire of immunoglobulins and T cell receptors, therefore it is a centerpiece to the formation of the adaptive immune system. The V(D)J

V(D)J recombination is responsible for generating an enormous repertoire of immunoglobulins and T cell receptors, therefore it is a centerpiece to the formation of the adaptive immune system. The V(D)J recombination process proceeds through two steps, site-specific cleavage at RSS (Recombination Signal Sequence) site mediated by the RAG recombinase (RAG1/2) and the subsequent imprecise resolution of the DNA ends, which is carried out by the ubiquitous non-homologous end joining pathway (NHEJ). The V(D)J recombination reaction is obliged to be tightly controlled under all circumstances, as it involves generations of DNA double strand breaks, which are considered the most dangerous lesion to a cell. Multifaceted regulatory mechanisms have been evolved to create great diversity of the antigen receptor repertoire while ensuring genome stability. The RAG-mediated cleavage reaction is stringently regulated at both the pre-cleavage stage and the post-cleavage stage. Specifically, RAG1/2 first forms a pre-cleavage complex assembled at the boarder of RSS and coding flank, which ensures the appropriate DNA targeting. Subsequently, this complex initiates site-specific cleavage, generating two types of double stranded DNA breaks, hairpin-ended coding ends (HP-CEs) and blunt signal ends (SEs). After the cleavage, RAG1/2 proteins bind and retain the recombination ends to form post-cleavage complexes (PCC), which collaborates with the NHEJ machinery for appropriate transfer of recombination ends to NHEJ for proper end resolution. However, little is known about the molecular basis of this collaboration, partly attributed to the lack of sensitive assays to reveal the interaction of PCC with HP-CEs. Here, for the first time, by using two complementary fluorescence-based techniques, fluorescence anisotropy and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), I managed to monitor the RAG1/2-catalyzed cleavage reaction in real time, from the pre-cleavage to the post-cleavage stages. By examining the dynamic fluorescence changes during the RAG-mediated cleavage reactions, and by manipulating the reaction conditions, I was able to characterize some fundamental properties of RAG-DNA interactions before and after cleavage. Firstly, Mg2+, known as a physiological cofactor at the excision step, also promotes the HP-CEs retention in the RAG complex after cleavage. Secondly, the structure of pre-cleavage complex may affect the subsequent collaborations with NHEJ for end resolution. Thirdly, the non-core region of RAG2 may have differential influences on the PCC retention of HP-CEs and SEs. Furthermore, I also provide the first evidence of RAG1-mediated regulation of RAG2. Our study provides important insights into the multilayered regulatory mechanisms, in modulating recombination events in developing lymphocytes and paves the way for possible development of detection and diagnotic markers for defective recombination events that are often associated immunodeficiency and/or lymphoid malignancy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Solving the mechanism of Na+/H+ antiporters using molecular dynamics simulations

Description

Na+/H+ antiporters are vital membrane proteins for cell homeostasis, transporting Na+ ions in exchange for H+ across the lipid bilayer. In humans, dysfunction of these transporters are implicated in hypertension,

Na+/H+ antiporters are vital membrane proteins for cell homeostasis, transporting Na+ ions in exchange for H+ across the lipid bilayer. In humans, dysfunction of these transporters are implicated in hypertension, heart failure, epilepsy, and autism, making them well-established drug targets. Although experimental structures for bacterial homologs of the human Na+/H+ have been obtained, the detailed mechanism for ion transport is still not well-understood. The most well-studied of these transporters, Escherichia coli NhaA, known to transport 2 H+ for every Na+ extruded, was recently shown to bind H+ and Na+ at the same binding site, for which the two ion species compete. Using molecular dynamics simulations, the work presented in this dissertation shows that Na+ binding disrupts a previously-unidentified salt bridge between two conserved residues, suggesting that one of these residues, Lys300, may participate directly in transport of H+. This work also demonstrates that the conformational change required for ion translocation in a homolog of NhaA, Thermus thermophilus NapA, thought by some to involve only small helical movements at the ion binding site, is a large-scale, rigid-body movement of the core domain relative to the dimerization domain. This elevator-like transport mechanism translates a bound Na+ up to 10 Å across the membrane. These findings constitute a major shift in the prevailing thought on the mechanism of these transporters, and serve as an exciting launchpad for new developments toward understanding that mechanism in detail.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Solvent electrostatic response: from simple solutes to proteins

Description

How water behaves at interfaces is relevant to many scientific and technological applications; however, many subtle phenomena are unknown in aqueous solutions. In this work, interfacial structural transition in hydration

How water behaves at interfaces is relevant to many scientific and technological applications; however, many subtle phenomena are unknown in aqueous solutions. In this work, interfacial structural transition in hydration shells of a polarizable solute at critical polarizabilities is discovered. The transition is manifested in maximum water response, the reorientation of the water dipoles at the interface, and an increase in the density of dangling OH bonds. This work also addresses the role of polarizability of the active site of proteins in biological catalytic reactions. For proteins, the hydration shell becomes very heterogeneous and involves a relatively large number of water molecules. The molecular dynamics simulations show that the polarizability, along with the atomic charge distribution, needs to be a part of the picture describing how enzymes work. Non Gaussian dynamics in time-resolved linear and nonlinear (correlation) 2D spectra are also analyzed.

Additionally, a theoretical formalism is presented to show that when preferential orientations of water dipoles exist at the interface, electrophoretic charges can be produced without free charge carriers, i.e., neutral solutes can move in a constant electric field due to the divergence of polarization at the interface. Furthermore, the concept of interface susceptibility is introduced. It involves the fluctuations of the surface charge density caused by thermal motion and its correlation over the characteristic correlation length with the fluctuations of the solvent charge density. Solvation free energy and interface dielectric constant are formulated accordingly. Unlike previous approaches, the solvation free energy scales quite well in a broad range of ion sizes, namely in the range of 2-14 A° . Interface dielectric constant is defined such that the boundary conditions in the Laplace equation describing a micro- or mesoscopic interface are satisfied. The effective dielectric constant of interfacial water is found to be significantly lower than its bulk value. Molecular dynamics simulation results show that the interface dielectric constant for a TIP3P water model changes from nine to four when the effective solute radius is increased from 5 A° to 18 A° . The small value of the interface dielectric constant of water has potentially dramatic consequences for hydration.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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A comparative study of gold bonding via electronic spectroscopy

Description

The bonding and electrostatic properties of gold containing molecules are highly influenced by relativistic effects. To understand this facet on bonding, a series of simple diatomic AuX (X=F, Cl, O

The bonding and electrostatic properties of gold containing molecules are highly influenced by relativistic effects. To understand this facet on bonding, a series of simple diatomic AuX (X=F, Cl, O and S) molecules, where upon bond formation the Au atom donates or accepts electrons, was investigated and discussed in this thesis.

First, the optical field-free, Stark, and Zeeman spectroscopic studies have been performed on AuF and AuCl. The simple polar bonds between Au and typical halogens (i.e. F and Cl) can be well characterized by the electronic structure studies and the permanent electric dipole moments, el. The spectroscopic parameters have been precisely determined for the [17.7]1, [17.8]0+ and X1+ states of AuF, and the [17.07]1, [17.20]0+ and X1+ states of AuCl. The el have been determined for ground and excited states of AuF and AuCl. The results from the hyperfine analysis and Stark measurement support the assignments that the [17.7]1 and [17.8]0+ states of AuF are the components of a 3 state. Similarly, the analysis demonstrated the [19.07]1 and [19.20]0+ states are the components of the 3 state of AuCl.

Second, my study focused on AuO and AuS because the bonding between gold and sulfur/oxygen is a key component to numerous established and emerging technologies that have applications as far ranging as medical imaging, catalysis, electronics, and material science. The high-resolution spectra were record and analyzed to obtain the geometric and electronic structural data for the ground and excited states. The electric dipole moment, el, and the magnetic dipole moment, m, has been the precisely measured by applying external static electric and magnetic fields. el andm are used to give insight into the unusual complex bonding in these molecules.

In addition to direct studies on the gold-containing molecules, other studies of related molecules are included here as well. These works contain the pure rotation measurement of PtC, the hyperfine and Stark spectroscopic studies of PtF, and the Stark and Zeeman spectroscopic studies of MgH and MgD.

Finally, a perspective discussion and conclusion will summarize the results of AuF, AuCl, AuO, and AuS from this work (bond lengths, dipole moment, etc.). The highly quantitative information derived from this work is the foundation of a chemical description of matter and essential for kinetic energy manipulation via Stark and Zeeman interactions. This data set also establishes a synergism with computation chemists who are developing new methodologies for treating relativistic effects and electron correlation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Optical spectroscopy of heavy element containing molecules in support of fundamental physics

Description

Transient molecules are of great importance having proposed applications in quantum science and technology and tests of fundamental physics. In the present dissertation, the transient molecules studied are SrOH, ThF,

Transient molecules are of great importance having proposed applications in quantum science and technology and tests of fundamental physics. In the present dissertation, the transient molecules studied are SrOH, ThF, ThCl, YbF and YbOH; each having been selected because of their proposed application. Specifically, SrOH is a candidate of constructing a molecular magneto-optical trap (MOT). The simple actinide molecules, ThF and ThCl, were selected as ligand bonding model systems to gain insight into chemical processing of Spent Nuclear Fuel. The lanthanides YbF and YbOH are venues for the determination of electron electric dipole moment (eEDM) and the studies in this dissertation provide the requisite properties for those experiments.

Intense supersonic molecular beams of these transient molecules were generated via laser ablation and spectroscopically characterized using a novel medium-resolution two-dimensional (2D) spectroscopic approach, as well as high-resolution laser induced fluorescence (LIF). The 2D medium resolution approach, which was used in the studies SrOH, ThF, ThCl and YbOH, uses a multiplexing method that simultaneously records dispersed fluorescence and excitation spectra. A significant advantage of 2D-LIF imaging is that all the electronics states can be targeted to determine the electronics states and associated vibrational spacing individually. Consequently, in the 2D spectra of ThF, ThCl and YbOH, several previously unobserved band systems have been detected in one single scan. For the DF spectra of SrOH and YbOH, the determined branching ratios show that the transitions of these molecules are diagonal (i.e. Δv=0), which is essential for the proposed potential for laser cooling. In the high-resolution of YbF, ThF, ThCl and SrOH optical spectra were recorded to an accuracy of ±30 MHz, which represents an unprecedented precision of 1:10+8.

In addition to field free spectra, optical Stark and Zeeman studies were performed to determine the most fundamental magneto-and electro-static properties. Effective Hamiltonian operators were employed to analyze the recorded spectra and determine the spectroscopic parameters. This data set also establishes a contribution toward developing new computational methodologies for treating relativistic effects and electron correlation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019