Matching Items (11)

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CO2 Reduction via Functionalized Protein/Organometallic Complexes

Description

As prices for fuel along with the demand for renewable resources grow, it becomes of paramount importance to develop new ways of obtaining the energy needed to carry out the

As prices for fuel along with the demand for renewable resources grow, it becomes of paramount importance to develop new ways of obtaining the energy needed to carry out the tasks we face daily. Costs of production due to energy and time constraints impose severe limitations on what is viable. Biological systems, on the other hand, are innately efficient both in terms of time and energy by handling tasks at the molecular level. Utilizing this efficiency is at the core of this research. Proper manipulation of even common proteins can render complexes functionalized for specific tasks. In this case, the coupling of a rhenium-based organometallic ligand to a modified myoglobin containing a zinc porphyrin, allow for efficient reduction of carbon dioxide, resulting in energy that can be harnessed and byproducts which can be used for further processing. Additionally, a rhenium based ligand functionalized via biotin is tested in conjunction with streptavidin and ruthenium-bipyridine.

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  • 2014-12

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Metal Replacement Studies in Bacillus subtilis Quercetinase

Description

Quercetin 2,3-dioxygenase from Bacillus subtilis has been identified and characterized as the first known prokaryotic quercetinase. This enzyme catalyzes the cleavage of the O-heteroaromatic ring of the flavonol quercetin to

Quercetin 2,3-dioxygenase from Bacillus subtilis has been identified and characterized as the first known prokaryotic quercetinase. This enzyme catalyzes the cleavage of the O-heteroaromatic ring of the flavonol quercetin to the corresponding depside and carbon monoxide. The first quercetinase was characterized from a species of Aspergillus genus, and was found to contain one Cu2+ per subunit. For many years, it was thought that the B. subtilis quercetinase contained two Fe2+ ions per subunit; however, it has since been discovered that Mn2+ is a much more likely cofactor. Studies of overexpressed bacterial enzyme in E. coli indicated that this enzyme may be active with other metal ions (e.g. Co2+); however, the production of enzyme with full metal incorporation has only been possible with Mn2+. This study explores the notion that metal manipulation after translation, by partially unfolding the enzyme, chelating the metal ions, and then refolding the protein in the presence of an excess of divalent metal ions, could generate enzyme with full metal occupancy. The protocols presented here included testing for activity after incubating purified quercetinase with EDTA, DDTC, imidazole and GndHCl. It was found that the metal chelators had little to no effect on quercetinase activity. Imidazole did appear to inhibit the enzyme at concentrations in the millimolar range. In addition, the quercetinase was denatured in GndHCl at concentrations above 1 M. Recovering an active enzyme after partial or complete unfolding proved difficult, if not impossible.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Targeting a Novel Genetic Risk Factor for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Description

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a devastating illness that causes the degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons, leading to eventual muscle atrophy.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a devastating illness that causes the degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons, leading to eventual muscle atrophy. ALS rapidly progresses into paralysis, with patients typically dying due to respiratory complications within three to five years from the onset of their symptoms. Even after many years of research and drug trials, there is still no cure, and current therapies only succeed in increasing life-span by approximately three months. With such limited options available for patients, there is a pressing need to not only find a cure, but also make new treatments available in order to ameliorate disease symptoms. In a genome-wide association study previously conducted by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) upstream of a novel gene, FLJ10968, were found to significantly alter risk for ALS. This novel gene acquired the name FGGY after publication of the paper. FGGY exhibits altered levels of protein expression throughout ALS disease progression in human subjects, and detectable protein and mRNA expression changes in a mouse model of ALS. We performed co-immunoprecipitation experiments coupled with mass spectrometry in order to determine which proteins are associated with FGGY. Some of these potential binding partners have been linked to RNA regulation, including regulators of the splicesomal complex such as SMN, Gemin, and hnRNP C. To further validate these findings, we have verified co-localization of these proteins with one another. We hypothesize that FGGY plays an important role in ALS pathogenesis, and we will continue to examine its biological function.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Photophysical Studies of the DNA Microenvironment and Small Molecule-DNA Interactions

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Photophysical Studies of the DNA Microenvironment and Small Molecule-DNA Interactions
The photophysical properties of ethidium in a variety of organic solvents, as well as several dsDNAs, were measured. We

Photophysical Studies of the DNA Microenvironment and Small Molecule-DNA Interactions
The photophysical properties of ethidium in a variety of organic solvents, as well as several dsDNAs, were measured. We report that the fluorescence quantum yield of intercalated ethidium is .30(.03), which falls between previous stated measurements of .14 and .60. We believe this to be the most accurately measured fluorescence quantum yield to date, as verified by Strickler-Berg analyses, which exhibit excellent agreement with experimental fluorescence lifetimes. A marked hypochromism upon binding to DNA is noted due to interactions of the dye’s and nucleobases’ respective π-stacks. This more than counteracts the expected increase in transition dipole due to increased conjugation caused by twisting of the phenyl moiety upon intercalation.
The reduced volume cylinder model was tested by the quenching of the fluorescence of an intercalator (ethidium bromide) by a groove binder (methyl viologen). We report that the model is not accurate over a relevant range of DNA concentrations.

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Date Created
  • 2005-05

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An Examination of Citrate Synthase Activity in Experimentally Evolved Drosophila melanogaster

Description

Three populations of experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster populations made up of high temperature (H, constant 25 ᵒC), low temperature (C, constant 16 ᵒC) and temporal homogeneity (T, environment changes between

Three populations of experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster populations made up of high temperature (H, constant 25 ᵒC), low temperature (C, constant 16 ᵒC) and temporal homogeneity (T, environment changes between 16 ᵒC and 25 ᵒC) were prepared and assayed to determine difference in citrate synthase activity. Between the three groups, the results were inconclusive: the resulting reaction rates in units of nmol min-1mgfly-1 were 81.8 + 20.6, 101 + 15.6, and 96.9 + 25.2 for the hot (H), cold (C), and temporally homogeneous (T) groups, respectively. We conclude that the high associated variability was due to a lack of control regarding the collection time of the experimentally evolved Drosophila.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Study of protein production, folding, crystallization and structure: survival of motor neuron protein and Fenna-Matthews-Olson protein

Description

Protein crystallization has become an extremely important tool in biochemistry since the first structure of the protein Myoglobin was solved in 1958. Survival of motor neuron protein has proved to

Protein crystallization has become an extremely important tool in biochemistry since the first structure of the protein Myoglobin was solved in 1958. Survival of motor neuron protein has proved to be an elusive target in regards to producing crystals of sufficient quality for X-ray diffraction. One form of Survival of motor neuron protein has been found to be a cause of the disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy that currently affects 1 in 6000 live births. The production, purification and crystallization of Survival of motor neuron protein are detailed. The Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) protein from Pelodictyon phaeum is responsible for the transfer of energy from the chlorosome complex to the reaction center of the bacteria. The three-dimensional structure of the protein has been solved to a resolution of 2.0Å with the Rwork and Rfree values being 16.6% and 19.9% respectively. This new structure is compared to the FMO protein structures of Prosthecocholoris aestuarii 2K and Chlorobium tepidum. The early structures of FMO contained seven bacteriochlorophyll-a (BChl) molecules but the recent discovery that there is an eighth BChl molecule in Ptc. aestuarii 2K and Cbl. tepidum and now in Pld. phaeum requires that the energy transfer mechanism be reexamined. Simulated spectra are fitted to the experimental optical spectra to determine how the BChl molecules transfer energy through the protein. The inclusion of the eighth BChl molecule within these simulations may have an impact on how energy transfer through FMO can be described. In conclusion, a reliable method of purifying and crystallizing the SMNWT protein is detailed, the placement of the 8th BChl-a within the electron density and the implications on energy transfer within the FMO protein when the 8th BChl-a is included from the green sulfur bacteria Pld. phaeum is discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2010

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Synthesis and evaluation of a new class of cancer chemotherapeutics based on purine-like extended amidines

Description

A potential new class of cancer chemotherapeutic agents has been synthesized by varying the 2 position of a benzimidazole based extended amidine. Compounds 6-amino-2-chloromethyl-4-imino-1-(2-methansulfonoxyethyl)-5-methyl-1H-benzimidazole-7-one (1A) and 6-amino-2-hydroxypropyl-4-imino-1-(2-methansulfonoxyethyl)-5-methyl-1H-benzimidazole-7-one (1B) were assayed

A potential new class of cancer chemotherapeutic agents has been synthesized by varying the 2 position of a benzimidazole based extended amidine. Compounds 6-amino-2-chloromethyl-4-imino-1-(2-methansulfonoxyethyl)-5-methyl-1H-benzimidazole-7-one (1A) and 6-amino-2-hydroxypropyl-4-imino-1-(2-methansulfonoxyethyl)-5-methyl-1H-benzimidazole-7-one (1B) were assayed at the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Developmental Therapeutic Program (DTP) and found to be cytotoxic at sub-micromolar concentrations, and have shown between a 100 and a 1000-fold increase in specificity towards lung, colon, CNS, and melanoma cell lines. These ATP mimics have been found to correlate with sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1), a protein implicated in drug resistance and cell survival in various cancer cell lines. Using the DTP COMPARE algorithm, compounds 1A and 1B were shown to correlate to each other at 77%, but failed to correlate with other benzimidazole based extended amidines previously synthesized in this laboratory suggesting they operate through a different biological mechanism.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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The investigation and characterization of redox enzymes using protein film electrochemistry

Description

Redox reactions are crucial to energy transduction in biology. Protein film electrochemistry (PFE) is a technique for studying redox proteins in which the protein is immobilized at an electrode surface

Redox reactions are crucial to energy transduction in biology. Protein film electrochemistry (PFE) is a technique for studying redox proteins in which the protein is immobilized at an electrode surface so as to allow direct exchange of electrons. Establishing a direct electronic connection eliminates the need for redox­active mediators, thus allowing for interrogation of the redox protein of interest. PFE has proven a versatile tool that has been used to elucidate the properties of many technologically relevant redox proteins including hydrogenases, laccases, and glucose oxidase.

This dissertation is comprised of two parts: extension of PFE to a novel electrode material and application of PFE to the investigation of a new type of hydrogenase. In the first part, mesoporous antimony-doped tin oxide (ATO) is employed for the first time as an electrode material for protein film electrochemistry. Taking advantage of the excellent optical transparency of ATO, spectroelectrochemistry of cytochrome c is demonstrated. The electrochemical and spectroscopic properties of the protein are analogous to those measured for the native protein in solution, and the immobilized protein is stable for weeks at high loadings. In the second part, PFE is used to characterize the catalytic properties of the soluble hydrogenase I from Pyrococcus furiosus (PfSHI). Since this protein is highly thermostable, the temperature dependence of catalytic properties was investigated. I show that the preference of the enzyme for reduction of protons (as opposed to oxidation of hydrogen) and the reactions with oxygen are highly dependent on temperature, and the enzyme is tolerant to oxygen during both oxidative and reductive catalysis.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Synthesis of halo alkyl and alkenyl ortho-carboxy aryls and bromo nitro lactones as inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatases and cancer cell growth

Description

Changes to a cell's DNA can result in cancer, which is permanently sustained cellular proliferation. When malfunctioning genes, oncogenes, were verified to be of human origin in the 1970s, drugs

Changes to a cell's DNA can result in cancer, which is permanently sustained cellular proliferation. When malfunctioning genes, oncogenes, were verified to be of human origin in the 1970s, drugs were designed to target their encoded, abnormal enzymes. Tyrosine kinases have been established as an oft-modified oncogene enzyme family, but the protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) were not investigated as thoroughly. PTPs have gradually been established as relevant enzymes that work in tandem with tyrosine kinases in cell signaling and are not just "house-keeping" enzymes. Some PTPs are thought to initiate tumorigenesis, and others may play a complementary role after the onset of cancer by extending the duration of cellular signals. Reversible inhibition of these enzymes by an oxalylamino group substituted on an ortho-carboxy aryl have been described in the literature. Modification of the oxalylamino group to favor irreversible inhibition of these cysteine-dependent enzymes may prevent inhibitor efflux by cells and subsequent mutation to gain resistance. Replacement of the oxalylamino group with halogenated propanoate and propenoate esters minimally inhibited cancer cell growth but did not inhibit activity of PTPs. Of the ortho-carboxy aryl structures, a methyl dichloropropanoate (compound 24) and a lactone alkene (compound 29) inhibited cell growth by 50% (GI-50) at micromolar concentrations. The GI-50s for compounds 24 and 29 were 19.9 (DU-145, prostate carcinoma) and 9.4 micromolar (A549, lung cancer), respectively. In contrast, brominated nitro lactones were able to inhibit both cancer cell growth and the activity of PTPs. In a sulforhodamine B assay, these compounds were able to achieve GI-50s as low 5.3 micromolar (compound 33 against BXPC-3, pancreatic adenocarcinoma), and some killed 50% of cancer cells (LC-50) at micromolar concentrations. Compound 33 displayed LC-50 of 23.3 micromolar (BXPC-3), and compound 35 had LC-50s of 32.9 and 32.7 micromolar against BXPC-3 and colon adenocarcinoma (KM20L2), respectively. A single concentration (100 micromolar) inhibition assay of inhibitor PTPs resulted in no enzyme activity for 4 out of 5 PTPs tested with compound 33. Similar results were obtained for compounds 35 and 37. Future analysis will determine if these bromo nitro lactones are irreversibly inhibiting PTPs.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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The involvement of S100B in Alzheimer's disease-related processes

Description

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the most common form of dementia. Its cause remains unknown, but it is known to

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the most common form of dementia. Its cause remains unknown, but it is known to involve two hallmark pathologies: Amyloid Beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Several proteins have been implicated in the formation of neurofibrillary tangles, including Tau and S100B. S100B is a dimeric protein that is typically found bound to Ca(II) or Zn(II). These experiments relate to the involvement of S100B in Alzheimer's Disease-related processes and the results suggest that future research of S100B is warranted. Zn(II)-S100B was found to increase the rate at which tau assembled into paired helical filaments, as well as affect the rate at which tubulin polymerized into microtubules and the morphology of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells after 72 hours of incubation. Zn(II)-S100B also increased the firing rate of hippocampal neurons after 36 hours of incubation. Together, these results suggest several possibilities: Zn(II)-S100B may be a key part of the formation of paired helical filaments (PHFs) that subsequently form NFTs. Zn(II)-S100B may also be competing with tau to bind tubulin, which could lead to an instability of microtubules and subsequent cell death. This finding aligns with the neurodegeneration that is commonly seen in AD and which could be a result of this microtubule instability. Ultimately, these results suggest that S100B is likely involved in several AD-related processes, and if the goal is to find an efficient and effective therapeutic target for AD, the relationship between S100B, particularly Zn(II)-S100B, and tau needs to be further studied.

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Date Created
  • 2013