Matching Items (8)

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Synthesis and Characterization of Mitochondria Targeting Fluorescent Probes

Description

A series of mitochondria targeting probes was synthesized for the purpose of exploring the feasibility of a mitochondria targeting fluorescent sensor. Of the probes, the probe with a two carbon

A series of mitochondria targeting probes was synthesized for the purpose of exploring the feasibility of a mitochondria targeting fluorescent sensor. Of the probes, the probe with a two carbon spacer showed the best co-localization from staining with the established MitoTracker Red® FM, indicating a potential development of the probe into mitochondria targeting sensor. However, cytotoxicity was observed for the probe with a six carbon spacer. Three additional mitochondria targeting fluorescent probes of longer spacer groups were synthesized, but the cytotoxicity was not observed to be as high as that of the probe with a two carbon spacer. The cytotoxicity was characterized to be that of caspase dependent cell death. To screen for a possible effect on apoptosis due to the mitochondrial probe, three fluorescent fusion proteins binding the anti-apoptotic proteins were designed and expressed. Each purified fusion protein was then incubated with the cytotoxic mitochondrial probe, and the mixture was isolated by running an affinity column. The fluorescence analysis of eluted fractions showed preliminary data of possible interaction between the protein and the mitochondrial probe.

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Date Created
  • 2014-12

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POTASSIUM EFFLUX DRIVES SYK-MEDIATED REGULATION OF INFLAMMASOME ACTIVITY IN MOUSE MACROPHAGES

Description

Inflammation is part of the body’s response to invading pathogens, injury, and a wide range of diseases. Although inflammation is paramount to maintain a healthy immune system, unregulated inflammation can

Inflammation is part of the body’s response to invading pathogens, injury, and a wide range of diseases. Although inflammation is paramount to maintain a healthy immune system, unregulated inflammation can aggravate chronic conditions or cause severe, acute pathologies. Pyroptosis, a caspase-1-dependent, pro-inflammatory cell death that results in the release of IL-1β and IL-18, has been implicated in propagating an inflammatory response in the body. Pyroptosis has been shown to result from the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Furthermore, multiple reports have demonstrated that intracellular potassium efflux and spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) activity are both essential for facilitating the assembly of the NLRP3 inflammasome and proper processing and release of IL-1β and IL-18. The focus of this thesis was to determine the relationship between intracellular potassium efflux and Syk during key regulatory events in the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by identifying their effect on pro-inflammatory cytokine release, inflammasome assembly, mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS) generation, and cell death. Both inhibiting potassium efflux from occurring and deactivating Syk significantly reduced the amount of pro-inflammatory cytokine released (70-100% reduction), the number of inflammasomes assembled (60-80% reduction), the amount of mROS generation, and the quantity of cell death (50-90% reduction). Moreover, it was discovered that potassium efflux was required for Syk activation, but Syk activation had no effect on potassium efflux. Their relationship proved to be unidirectional. This study provides the first demonstration of ion flux-dependent regulation of kinase activation in the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway and provides support for targeting ion regulation mechanisms and Syk kinase activity to manipulate macrophage-mediate inflammatory processes.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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In Situ RNA Expression Analysis Using Two-Photon Laser Lysis (2PLL) and Microfluidic RT-qPCR

Description

A major goal of the Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation (CBDA) is to design a diagnostic tool that detects novel cancer biosignatures at the single-cell level. We designed the

A major goal of the Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation (CBDA) is to design a diagnostic tool that detects novel cancer biosignatures at the single-cell level. We designed the Single-cell QUantitative In situ Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (SQUIRT-PCR) system by combining a two-photon laser lysis (2PLL) system with a microfluidic reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) platform. It is important to identify early molecular changes from intact tissues as prognosis for premalignant conditions and develop new molecular targets for prevention of cancer progression and improved therapies. This project analyzes RNA expression at the single-cell level and presents itself with two major challenges: (1) detecting low levels of RNA and (2) minimizing RNA absorption in the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic channel. The first challenge was overcome by successfully detecting picogram (pg) levels of RNA using the Fluidigm (FD) BioMark™ HD System (Fluidigm Corporation, South San Francisco, CA) for RT-qPCR analysis. This technology incorporates a highly precise integrated fluidic circuit (IFC) that allows for high-throughput genetic screening using microarrays. The second challenge entailed collecting data from RNA flow-through samples that were passed through microfluidic channels. One channel was treated with a coating of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and the other remained untreated. Various flow-through samples were subjected to RT-qPCR and analyzed using the FD FLEXsix™ Gene Expression IFC. As predicted, the results showed that the treated PDMS channel absorbed less RNA than the untreated PDMS channel. Once the optimization of the PDMS microfluidic platform is complete, it will be implemented into the 2PLL system. This novel technology will be able to identify cell populations in situ and could have a large impact on cancer diagnostics.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Single cell RT-qPCR based ocean environmental sensing device development

Description

This thesis research focuses on developing a single-cell gene expression analysis method for marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana and constructing a chip level tool to realize the single cell RT-qPCR analysis.

This thesis research focuses on developing a single-cell gene expression analysis method for marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana and constructing a chip level tool to realize the single cell RT-qPCR analysis. This chip will serve as a conceptual foundation for future deployable ocean monitoring systems. T. pseudonana, which is a common surface water microorganism, was detected in the deep ocean as confirmed by phylogenetic and microbial community functional studies. Six-fold copy number differences between 23S rRNA and 23S rDNA were observed by RT-qPCR, demonstrating the moderate functional activity of detected photosynthetic microbes in the deep ocean including T. pseudonana. Because of the ubiquity of T. pseudonana, it is a good candidate for an early warning system for ocean environmental perturbation monitoring. This early warning system will depend on identifying outlier gene expression at the single-cell level. An early warning system based on single-cell analysis is expected to detect environmental perturbations earlier than population level analysis which can only be observed after a whole community has reacted. Preliminary work using tube-based, two-step RT-qPCR revealed for the first time, gene expression heterogeneity of T. pseudonana under different nutrient conditions. Heterogeneity was revealed by different gene expression activity for individual cells under the same conditions. This single cell analysis showed a skewed, lognormal distribution and helped to find outlier cells. The results indicate that the geometric average becomes more important and representative of the whole population than the arithmetic average. This is in contrast with population level analysis which is limited to arithmetic averages only and highlights the value of single cell analysis. In order to develop a deployable sensor in the ocean, a chip level device was constructed. The chip contains surface-adhering droplets, defined by hydrophilic patterning, that serve as real-time PCR reaction chambers when they are immersed in oil. The chip had demonstrated sensitivities at the single cell level for both DNA and RNA. The successful rate of these chip-based reactions was around 85%. The sensitivity of the chip was equivalent to published microfluidic devices with complicated designs and protocols, but the production process of the chip was simple and the materials were all easily accessible in conventional environmental and/or biology laboratories. On-chip tests provided heterogeneity information about the whole population and were validated by comparing with conventional tube based methods and by p-values analysis. The power of chip-based single-cell analyses were mainly between 65-90% which were acceptable and can be further increased by higher throughput devices. With this chip and single-cell analysis approaches, a new paradigm for robust early warning systems of ocean environmental perturbation is possible.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Development of Microfabrication Technologies on Oil-based Sealing Devices for Single Cell Metabolic Analysis

Description

In the past decades, single-cell metabolic analysis has been playing a key role in understanding cellular heterogeneity, disease initiation, progression, and drug resistance. Therefore, it is critical to develop technologies

In the past decades, single-cell metabolic analysis has been playing a key role in understanding cellular heterogeneity, disease initiation, progression, and drug resistance. Therefore, it is critical to develop technologies for individual cellular metabolic analysis using various configurations of microfluidic devices. Compared to bulk-cell analysis which is widely used by reporting an averaged measurement, single-cell analysis is able to present the individual cellular responses to the external stimuli. Particularly, oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) are two key parameters to monitor heterogeneous metabolic profiles of cancer cells. To achieve multi-parameter metabolic measurements on single cells, several technical challenges need to be overcome: (1) low adhesion of soft materials micro-fabricated on glass surface for multiple-sensor deposition and single-cell immobilization, e.g. SU-8, KMPR, etc.; (2) high risk of using external mechanical forces to create hermetic seals between two rigid fused silica parts, even with compliance layers; (3) how to accomplish high-throughput for single-cell trapping, metabolic profiling and drug screening; (4) high process cost of micromachining on glass substrate and incapability of mass production.

In this dissertation, the development of microfabrication technologies is demonstrated to design reliable configurations for analyzing multiple metabolic parameters from single cells, including (1) improved KMPR/SU-8 microfabrication protocols for fabricating microwell arrays that can be integrated and sealed to 3 × 3 tri-color sensor arrays for OCR and ECAR measurements; (2) design and characterization of a microfluidic device enabling rapid single-cell trapping and hermetic sealing single cells and tri-color sensors within 10 × 10 hermetically sealed microchamber arrays; (3) exhibition of a low-cost microfluidic device based on plastics for single-cell metabolic multi-parameter profiling. Implementation of these improved microfabrication methods should address the aforementioned challenges and provide a high throughput and multi-parameter single cell metabolic analysis platform.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Integrative analyses of diverse biological data sources

Description

The technology expansion seen in the last decade for genomics research has permitted the generation of large-scale data sources pertaining to molecular biological assays, genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics and other modern

The technology expansion seen in the last decade for genomics research has permitted the generation of large-scale data sources pertaining to molecular biological assays, genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics and other modern omics catalogs. New methods to analyze, integrate and visualize these data types are essential to unveil relevant disease mechanisms. Towards these objectives, this research focuses on data integration within two scenarios: (1) transcriptomic, proteomic and functional information and (2) real-time sensor-based measurements motivated by single-cell technology. To assess relationships between protein abundance, transcriptomic and functional data, a nonlinear model was explored at static and temporal levels. The successful integration of these heterogeneous data sources through the stochastic gradient boosted tree approach and its improved predictability are some highlights of this work. Through the development of an innovative validation subroutine based on a permutation approach and the use of external information (i.e., operons), lack of a priori knowledge for undetected proteins was overcome. The integrative methodologies allowed for the identification of undetected proteins for Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Shewanella oneidensis for further biological exploration in laboratories towards finding functional relationships. In an effort to better understand diseases such as cancer at different developmental stages, the Microscale Life Science Center headquartered at the Arizona State University is pursuing single-cell studies by developing novel technologies. This research arranged and applied a statistical framework that tackled the following challenges: random noise, heterogeneous dynamic systems with multiple states, and understanding cell behavior within and across different Barrett's esophageal epithelial cell lines using oxygen consumption curves. These curves were characterized with good empirical fit using nonlinear models with simple structures which allowed extraction of a large number of features. Application of a supervised classification model to these features and the integration of experimental factors allowed for identification of subtle patterns among different cell types visualized through multidimensional scaling. Motivated by the challenges of analyzing real-time measurements, we further explored a unique two-dimensional representation of multiple time series using a wavelet approach which showcased promising results towards less complex approximations. Also, the benefits of external information were explored to improve the image representation.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Integrated -omics study of deep-sea microbial community and new Pseudoalteromonas isolate

Description

This thesis research focuses on phylogenetic and functional studies of microbial communities in deep-sea water, an untapped reservoir of high metabolic and genetic diversity of microorganisms. The presence of photosynthetic

This thesis research focuses on phylogenetic and functional studies of microbial communities in deep-sea water, an untapped reservoir of high metabolic and genetic diversity of microorganisms. The presence of photosynthetic cyanobacteria and diatoms is an interesting and unexpected discovery during a 16S ribosomal rRNA-based community structure analyses for microbial communities in the deep-sea water of the Pacific Ocean. Both RT-PCR and qRT-PCR approaches were employed to detect expression of the genes involved in photosynthesis of photoautotrophic organisms. Positive results were obtained and further proved the functional activity of these detected photosynthetic microbes in the deep-sea. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data was obtained, integrated, and analyzed from deep-sea microbial communities, including both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, from four different deep-sea sites ranging from the mesopelagic to the pelagic ocean. The RNA/DNA ratio was employed as an index to show the strength of metabolic activity of deep-sea microbes. These taxonomic and functional analyses of deep-sea microbial communities revealed a `defensive' life style of microbial communities living in the deep-sea water. Pseudoalteromonas sp.WG07 was subjected to transcriptomic analysis by application of RNA-Seq technology through the transcriptomic annotation using the genomes of closely related surface-water strain Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis TAC125 and sediment strain Pseudoalteromonas sp. SM9913. The transcriptome survey and related functional analysis of WG07 revealed unique features different from TAC125 and SM9913 and provided clues as to how it adapted to its environmental niche. Also, a comparative transcriptomic analysis of WG07 revealed transcriptome changes between its exponential and stationary growing phases.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Enhancement of polymer-mediated transgene expression using chemotherapeutic modulators of intracellular trafficking and cell-cycle progression

Description

Gene therapy is a promising technology for the treatment of various nonheritable and genetically acquired diseases. It involves delivery of a therapeutic gene into target cells to induce cellular responses

Gene therapy is a promising technology for the treatment of various nonheritable and genetically acquired diseases. It involves delivery of a therapeutic gene into target cells to induce cellular responses against diseases. Successful gene therapy requires an efficient gene delivery vector to deliver genetic materials into target cells. There are two major classes of gene delivery vectors: viral and non-viral vectors. Recently, non-viral vectors such as cationic polymers have attracted more attention than viral vectors because they are versatile and non-immunogenic. However, cationic polymers suffer from poor gene delivery efficiency due to biological barriers. The objective of this research is to develop strategies to overcome the barriers and enhance polymer-mediated transgene expression. This study aimed to (i) develop new polymer vectors for gene delivery, (ii) investigate the intracellular barriers in polymer-mediated gene delivery, and (iii) explore new approaches to overcome the barriers. A cationic polymer library was developed by employing a parallel synthesis and high-throughput screening method. Lead polymers from the library were identified from the library based on relative levels of transgene expression and toxicity in PC3-PSMA prostate cancer cells. However, transgene expression levels were found to depend on intracellular localization of polymer-gene complexes (polyplexes). Transgene expression was higher when polyplexes were dispersed rather than localized in the cytoplasm. Combination treatments using small molecule chemotherapeutic drugs, e.g. histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) or Aurora kinase inhibitor (AKI) increased dispersion of polyplexes in the cytoplasm and significantly enhanced transgene expression. The combination treatment using polymer-mediated delivery of p53 tumor-suppressor gene and AKI increased p53 expression in PC3-PSMA cells, inhibited the cell proliferation by ~80% and induced apoptosis. Polymer-mediated p53 gene delivery in combination with AKI offers a promising treatment strategy for in vivo and clinical studies of cancer gene therapy.

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Date Created
  • 2011