Matching Items (32)

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Towards Purification of human TRPV1 Pore Domain

Description

The transient receptor potential channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) functions as the heat and capsaicin receptor. It can be activated by heat, protons, pungent chemicals, and a variety of other endogenous mediators of nociception. TRPV1 is a non-selective cation

The transient receptor potential channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) functions as the heat and capsaicin receptor. It can be activated by heat, protons, pungent chemicals, and a variety of other endogenous mediators of nociception. TRPV1 is a non-selective cation channel consisting of 6 transmembrane domains (S1-S6), with helices S1-S4 forming the sensing domain and the S5-S6 helices forming the pore domain. Understanding the TRPV1 channel is imperative due to its relation to a variety of human diseases, including cancer, type II diabetes, hyper and hypothermia, and inflammatory disorders of the airways and bladder. Although TRPV1 is the best-studied thermosensitive-TRP channels of all the 28 family members, the molecular underpinning and the contributions of the human TRPV1 pore domain in thermo-sensing remains elusive. Recently, the human TRPV1 sensing domain was found to contribute to heat activation. It was found to undergo a non-denaturing temperature-dependent conformational change. This finding triggered interest in studying the function and the role of the human TRPV1 pore domain in the heat activation process. Specifically, to identify whether heat activation is intrinsic to the pore domain. This thesis paper explores and optimizes the purification protocol of the human TRPV1 pore domain through three different methods. The first method was using a denaturant, the second method was increasing the length of the histidine tags through Q5 insertion, and the third method was incorporating the protein construct into nanodiscs. In addition to the above three methods, size exclusion chromatography and ion-exchange chromatography were utilized after thrombin cleavage to separate the human TRPV1 pore domain from the cleaved MBP deca-histidine tags as well as the impurities.

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2020-12

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Data-driven Modeling of TRPM8 Ion Channel Kinetics

Description

Ion channels in the membranes of cells in the body allow for the creation of action potentials from external stimuli, allowing us to sense our surroundings. One particular channel, TRPM8, is a trans-membrane ion channel believed to be the primary

Ion channels in the membranes of cells in the body allow for the creation of action potentials from external stimuli, allowing us to sense our surroundings. One particular channel, TRPM8, is a trans-membrane ion channel believed to be the primary cold sensor in humans. Despite this important biological role and intense study of the channel, TRPM8 is not fully understood mechanistically and has not been accurately modeled. Existing models of TRPM8 fail to account for menthol activation of the channel. In this paper we re-implement an established whole cell model for TRPM8 with gating by both voltage and temperature. Using experimental data obtained from the Van Horn lab at Arizona State University, we refined the model to represent more accurately the dynamics of the human TRPM8 channel and incorporate the channel activation through menthol agonist binding. Our new model provides a large improvement over preexisting models, and serves as a basis for future incorporation of other channel activators of TRPM8 and for the modeling of other channels in the TRP family.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms of TRP Channel Activity

Description

Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are a diverse family of polymodally gated nonselective cation channels implicated in a variety of pathophysiologies. Two channels of specific interest are transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1).

Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are a diverse family of polymodally gated nonselective cation channels implicated in a variety of pathophysiologies. Two channels of specific interest are transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1).
TRPM8 is the primary cold sensor in humans and is activated by ligands that feel cool such as menthol and icilin. It is implicated to be involved in a variety of cancers, nociception, obesity, addiction, and thermosensitivity. There are thought to be conserved regions of structural and functional importance to the channel which can be identified by looking at the evolution of TRPM8 over time. Along with this, looking at different isoforms of TRPM8 which are structurally very different but functionally similar can help isolate regions of functional interest as well. Between TRP channels, the transmembrane domain is well conserved and thought to be important for sensory physiology. To learn about these aspects of TRPM8, three evolutionary constructs, the last common primate, the last common mammalian, and the last common vertebrate ancestor TRPM8 were cloned and subjected to preliminary studies. In addition to the initial ancestral TRPM8 studies, fundamental studies were initiated in method development to evaluate the use of biological signaling sequences to attempt to force non-trafficking membrane protein isoforms and biophysical constructs to the plasma membrane. To increase readout for these and other studies, a cellular based fluorescence assay was initiated. Eventual completion of these efforts will lead to better understanding of the mechanism that underlie TRPM8 function and provide enhanced general methods for ion channel studies.
Beyond TRPM8 studies, an experiment was designed to probe mechanistic features of TRPV1 ligand activation. TRPV1 is also a thermosensitive channel in the TRP family, sensing heat and vanilloid ligands like capsaicin, commonly found in chili peppers. This channel is also involved in many proinflammatory interactions and associated with cancers, nociception, and addiction. Better understanding binding interactions can lead to attempts to create therapeutics.

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2020-05

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Modifying and Optimizing 1H NMR for Amino Acid Analysis

Description

The parameters of microwave-assisted acid hydrolysis (MAAH) and 1H NMR highly affect the quantitative analysis of protein hydrolysates. Microwave-induction source, NMR spectral resolution, and data analysis are key parameters in the nuclear magnetic resonance – amino acid analysis (NMR-AAA) workflow

The parameters of microwave-assisted acid hydrolysis (MAAH) and 1H NMR highly affect the quantitative analysis of protein hydrolysates. Microwave-induction source, NMR spectral resolution, and data analysis are key parameters in the nuclear magnetic resonance – amino acid analysis (NMR-AAA) workflow where errors accrue due to lack of an optimized protocol. Hen egg white lysozyme was hydrolyzed using an 800W domestic microwave oven for varying time points between 10-25 minutes, showing minimal protein hydrolysis after extended time periods. Studies on paramagnetic doping with varying amounts of gadolinium chloride for increased NMR resolution resulted in little T1 reduction in a majority of amino acids and resulted in significant line broadening in concentrations above 1µM. The use of the BAYESIL analysis tool with HOD suppressed 1H-NMR spectra resulted in misplaced template peaks and errors greater than 1% for 10 of 13 profiled amino acids with the highest error being 7.6% (Thr). Comparatively, Chenomx NMR Suite (v7.1) analysis resulted in errors of less than 1% for 9 of 13 profiled amino acids with a highest error value of 3.6% (Lys). Using the optimized protocol, hen egg white lysozyme C was identified at rank 1 with a score of 64 in a Gallus gallus species wide AACompIdent search. This technique reduces error associated with sample handling relative to previously used amino acid analysis (AAA) protocols and requires no derivatization or additional processing of the sample prior to analysis.

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2017-05

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Refining the structure of hPIRT, a modulator of TRP channels, via measurement of residual dipolar couplings in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Description

Transient receptor potential channels (TRP channels) are a family of ion channels that mediate a wide variety of sensations, including pain, temperature, and mechanosensation. Human phosphoinositide-interacting regulator of TRP (hPIRT) is a 15.5 kDa, relatively uncharacterized membrane protein that has

Transient receptor potential channels (TRP channels) are a family of ion channels that mediate a wide variety of sensations, including pain, temperature, and mechanosensation. Human phosphoinositide-interacting regulator of TRP (hPIRT) is a 15.5 kDa, relatively uncharacterized membrane protein that has been shown to modulate the activity of certain TRP channels and some other ion channels. hPIRT is also able to interact with phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P¬2), a phospholipid that modulates the activity of many important signaling proteins, including TRP channels. Some information is already known about the structure of hPIRT: it contains a relatively unstructured N-terminus, two transmembrane helices, and a juxtamembrane region at the C-terminus that plays a role in binding PI(4,5)P2 and TRPV1. However, more detailed structural data about this molecule would be very informative in understanding how these interactions occur. In order to accomplish this, this thesis investigates the measurement of residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) to refine the structure of hPIRT. RDCs are a measurable effect in NMR experiments caused by partial alignment of molecules solubilized in a weakly anisotropic medium. The resulting data set can be used to calculate bond angles within the protein relative to the axis of the external magnetic field, which will assist efforts to further constrain the structure of hPIRT.

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2017-05

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Optimizing Transfection, Expression, and Purification of the Human Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 8 (hTRPM8) from HEK293 cells

Description

Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 8 (TRPM8) is a non-selective cation channel notable as a primary cold sensor in humans. It is also involved in a variety of (patho)physiological events including pain sensation, chronic cough, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. TRPM8 is

Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 8 (TRPM8) is a non-selective cation channel notable as a primary cold sensor in humans. It is also involved in a variety of (patho)physiological events including pain sensation, chronic cough, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. TRPM8 is modulated by a variety of stimuli including pH, temperature, cooling agents, voltage, lipid, and other proteins. However, the molecular mechanism underlining its function has not yet clear raising the need for isolated proteins to be well-characterized. Over 20 years, E. coli has been a heterologous expression system of interest due to its low cost and high yield. However, the lack of post-translational modifications and chaperone may cause a misfolding or affect protein function. Mammalian expression system addresses these drawbacks and is a good candidate for the functional study of complex human protein. Here I describe my research in optimizing the transfection, expression, and purification of the human TRPM8 from adherent Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK293) cells which can be used for small-scale studies including, but not limited to, planar lipid bilayer electrophysiology.

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2017-12

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Exploration of Enzymatic Reactivity of Human Endonuclease Enzyme APE1 in Clustered DNA Damages Involving an Abasic Site

Description

This study was conducted to understand the reactivity of APE1 in repairing abasic sites associated with clustered DNA damages and to determine if the efficiency of APE1 enzyme is affected by the type of bases (purines or pyrimidines) neighboring the

This study was conducted to understand the reactivity of APE1 in repairing abasic sites associated with clustered DNA damages and to determine if the efficiency of APE1 enzyme is affected by the type of bases (purines or pyrimidines) neighboring the AP site. DNA damages are always occurring in living cells and if left uncorrected can lead to various problems such as diseases and even cell death. Cells are able to recognize and correct these DNA damages to prevent further damages to the genome, and the Base Excision Repair (BER) pathway is one of the mechanisms used in repairing DNA damages. A former student in the Levitus Lab, Elana Maria Shepherd Stennett, henceforth referred to as Elana worked on this project. She observed that the activity of the APE1 enzyme increased some when the base opposing the abasic site was changed from thymine (T) to adenine (A) while no difference was observed when the surrounding bases were changed. Thus, this experiment was conducted to further study the results she obtained and to possibly validate her findings. The AP sites used in this study are natural abasic sites created by UDG glycosylase enzyme from a double stranded uracil-containing DNA samples ordered from IDT technologies. Each reaction was carried out at physiological temperature (37degrees Celsius) and analyzed using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.

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Date Created
2018-05

Synthesis and Characterization of Molecular Catalysts with Applications in Solar Fuels

Description

Metalloporphyrins serve important roles in biological processes and in emerging technologies with applications to energy conversion. When electrochemically activated in solution, metalloporphyrins have the ability to catalyze the conversion of protons into hydrogen fuels. In this report, the synthesis and

Metalloporphyrins serve important roles in biological processes and in emerging technologies with applications to energy conversion. When electrochemically activated in solution, metalloporphyrins have the ability to catalyze the conversion of protons into hydrogen fuels. In this report, the synthesis and characterization of zinc, nickel, cobalt and copper analogs of 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(pentafluorophenyl) porphyrin (PF20) and 5,10,15,20-tetra-p-tolyporphyrin (TTP) are described. All target compounds are characterized with UV-Vis spectroscopy and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The freebase porphyrins and non-paramagnetic metalloporphyrins are further characterized by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and all proton resonances are assigned. Electrochemical measurements show the reduction potential of the fluorinated phenyl substituted porphyrins is shifted to less negative values as compared to the reduction potential measured using non-fluorinated analogs. These results illustrate the ability to use fluorine as a synthetic tool for altering the electronic properties of metalloporphyrins. Further, these findings serve a critical role in choosing metalloporphyrin electrocatalysts with the appropriate energetic and optical properties for integration to semiconductors with applications to solar-to- fuels technologies.

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2018-05

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Expression of Pleiotrophin as Separate Domains to Examine Glycosaminoglycan Binding Sites

Description

Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) binding by the cytokine pleiotrophin (PTN) was examined by expressing both thrombospondin 1 type-1 repeat domains of PTN separately, as PTN-N and PTN-C. PTN-N contains residues 31-89, and PTN-C contains residues 90-146. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments were

Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) binding by the cytokine pleiotrophin (PTN) was examined by expressing both thrombospondin 1 type-1 repeat domains of PTN separately, as PTN-N and PTN-C. PTN-N contains residues 31-89, and PTN-C contains residues 90-146. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments were conducted on both PTN-N and PTN-C to elucidate GAG binding regions. Titration with heparin dp6 showed a twofold increase in affinity when expressing PTN-N and PTN-C separately rather than as intact PTN. Paramagnetic relaxation rate enhancement experiments and surface paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) perturbation experiments were used to determine which residues were involved in GAG binding. One binding site was observed in PTN-N, around residue T82, and two binding sites were observed in PTN-C, one around residue K93 and the other around residue G142. These observed binding sites agree with the binding sites already proposed by the Wang lab group and other studies. Future work on the subject could be done on confirming that other varieties and length GAGs bind at the same sites, as well as examining the effect longer GAG fragments have on the affinity of intact PTN versus separate domains.

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2015-12

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ELECTRON TRANSFER PROCESS BETWEEN COFACTORS OF HELIOBACTERIA'S REACTION CENTER

Description

ABSTRACT:
The experiment was conducted to analyze the role of menaquinone (MQ) in heliobacteria’s reaction center (HbRC). Their photosynthetic apparatus is a homodimeric of type I reaction center (1). HbRC contains these cofactors: P800 (special pair cholorphyll), A0 (8-hydroxy-chlorophyll [Chl]

ABSTRACT:
The experiment was conducted to analyze the role of menaquinone (MQ) in heliobacteria’s reaction center (HbRC). Their photosynthetic apparatus is a homodimeric of type I reaction center (1). HbRC contains these cofactors: P800 (special pair cholorphyll), A0 (8-hydroxy-chlorophyll [Chl] a), and FX (iron-sulfur cluster). The MQ factor is bypassed during the electron transfer process in HbRC. Electrons from the excited state of P800 (P800*) are transported to A0 and then directly to Fx. The hypothesis is that when electrons are photoaccumulated at Fx, and without the presence of any electron acceptors to the cluster, they would be transferred to MQ, and reduce it to MQH2 (quinol). Experiments conducted in the past with HbRC within the cell membranes yielded data that supported this hypothesis (Figures 4 and 5). We conducted a new experiment based on that foundation with HbRC, isolated from cell membrane. Two protein assays were prepared with cyt c553 and ascorbate in order to observe this phenomenon. The two samples were left in the glove box for several days for equilibration and then exposed to light in different intensity and periods. Their absorption was monitored at 800 nm for P800 or 554 nm for cyt c553 to observe their oxidation and reduction processes. The measurements were performed with the JTS-10 spectrophotometer. The data obtained from these experiments support the theory that P800+ reduced by the charge recombination of P800+Fx-. However, it did not confirm the reduction of P800+ done by cyt c553¬ which eventually lead to a net accumulation of oxidized cyt c553; instead it revealed another factor that could reduce P800+ faster and more efficient than cyt c553 (0.5 seconds vs several seconds), which could be MQ. More experiments need to be done in order to confirm this result. Hence, the data collected from this experiment have yet to support the theory of MQ being reduced to MQH2 outside the bacterial membranes.

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2015-05