Matching Items (27)

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Plant-expressed cocaine hydrolase variants of butyrylcholinesterase exhibit altered allosteric effects of cholinesterase activity and increased inhibitor sensitivity

Description

Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) is an enzyme with broad substrate and ligand specificities and may function as a generalized bioscavenger by binding and/or hydrolyzing various xenobiotic agents and toxicants, many of which

Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) is an enzyme with broad substrate and ligand specificities and may function as a generalized bioscavenger by binding and/or hydrolyzing various xenobiotic agents and toxicants, many of which target the central and peripheral nervous systems. Variants of BChE were rationally designed to increase the enzyme’s ability to hydrolyze the psychoactive enantiomer of cocaine. These variants were cloned, and then expressed using the magnICON transient expression system in plants and their enzymatic properties were investigated. In particular, we explored the effects that these site-directed mutations have over the enzyme kinetics with various substrates of BChE. We further compared the affinity of various anticholinesterases including organophosphorous nerve agents and pesticides toward these BChE variants relative to the wild type enzyme. In addition to serving as a therapy for cocaine addiction-related diseases, enhanced bioscavenging against other harmful agents could add to the practicality and versatility of the plant-derived recombinant enzyme as a multivalent therapeutic.

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Date Created
  • 2017-09-05

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Production and functional testing of a recombinant fusion protein immunotherapy for glioblastoma

Description

Fusion protein immunotherapies such as the bispecific T cell engager (BiTE) have displayed promising potential as cancer treatments capable of engaging the immune system against tumor cells. It has been

Fusion protein immunotherapies such as the bispecific T cell engager (BiTE) have displayed promising potential as cancer treatments capable of engaging the immune system against tumor cells. It has been shown that chlorotoxin, a 36-amino peptide found in the venom of the deathstalker scorpion (Leiurus quinquestriatus), binds specifically to glioblastoma (GBM) cells without binding healthy tissue, making it an ideal GBM cell binding moiety for a BiTE-like molecule. However, chlorotoxin’s four disulfide bonds pose a folding challenge outside of its natural context and impede production of the recombinant protein in various expression systems, including those relying on bacteria and plants. To overcome this difficulty, we have engineered a truncated chlorotoxin variant (Cltx∆15) that contains just two of the original eight cystine residues, thereby capable of forming only a single disulfide bond while maintaining its ability to bind GBM cells. We further created a BiTE (ACDClx∆15) which tethers Cltx∆15 to a single chain ⍺-CD3 antibody in order to bring T cells into contact with GBM cells. The gene for ACDClx∆15 was cloned into a pET-11a vector for expression in Escherichia coli and isolated from inclusion bodies before purification via affinity chromatography. Immunoblot analyses confirmed that ACDClx∆15 can be expressed in E. coli and purified with high yield and purity; moreover, flow cytometry indicated that ACDClx∆15 is capable of binding GBM cells. These data warrant further investigation into the ability of ACDClx∆15 to activate T cells against GBM cells.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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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)

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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The Development of a Plant-Expressed M2e-Based Universal Influenza Vaccine

Description

Influenza is a deadly disease for which effective vaccines are sorely lacking. This is largely due to the phenomena of antigenic shift and drift in the influenza virus's surface proteins,

Influenza is a deadly disease for which effective vaccines are sorely lacking. This is largely due to the phenomena of antigenic shift and drift in the influenza virus's surface proteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The ectodomain of the matrix 2 protein (M2e) of influenza A, however, has demonstrated high levels of conservation. On its own it is poorly immunogenic and offers little protection against influenza infections, but by combining it with a potent adjuvant, this limitation may be overcome. Recombinant immune complexes, or antigens fused to antibodies that have been engineered to form incredibly immunogenic complexes with one another, were previously shown to be useful, immunogenic platforms for the presentation of various antigens and could provide the boost in immunogenicity that M2e needs to become a powerful universal influenza A vaccine. In this thesis, genetic constructs containing geminiviral replication proteins and coding for a consensus sequence of dimeric M2e fused to antibodies featuring complimentary epitopes and epitope tags were generated and used to transform Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The transformed bacteria was then used to cause Nicotiana benthamiana to transiently express M2e-RICs at very high levels, with enough RICs being gathered to evaluate their potency in future mouse trials. Future directions and areas for further research are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Teaching Biology in a Maximum-Security Prison Unit: Feedback, Notes and Recommendations from a Pilot Class

Description

We, a team of students and faculty in the life sciences at Arizona State University (ASU), currently teach an Introduction to Biology course in a Level 5, or maximum-security unit

We, a team of students and faculty in the life sciences at Arizona State University (ASU), currently teach an Introduction to Biology course in a Level 5, or maximum-security unit with the support of the Arizona Department of Corrections and the Prison Education Program at ASU. This course aims to enhance current programs at the unit by offering inmates an opportunity to practice literacy and math skills, while also providing exposure to a new academic field (science, and specifically biology). Numerous studies, including a 2005 study from the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC), have found that vocational programs, including prison education programs, reduce recidivism rates (ADC 2005, Esperian 2010, Jancic 1988, Steurer et al. 2001, Ubic 2002) and may provide additional benefits such as engagement with a world outside the justice system (Duguid 1992), the opportunity for inmates to revise personal patterns of rejecting education that they may regret, and the ability of inmate parents to deliberately set a good example for their children (Hall and Killacky 2008). Teaching in a maximum security prison unit poses special challenges, which include a prohibition on most outside materials (except paper), severe restrictions on student-teacher and student-student interactions, and the inability to perform any lab exercises except limited computer simulations. Lack of literature discussing theoretical and practical aspects of teaching science in such environment has prompted us to conduct an ongoing study to generate notes and recommendations from this class through the use of surveys, academic evaluation of students' work and ongoing feedback from both teachers and students to inform teaching practices in future science classes in high-security prison units.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Expression and Purification of Viral Like Particles for Vaccines and Structural Analysis

Description

Succinylcholine-induced apnea is a common problem in pre-hospital medicine that affects 1/1800 patients who undergo rapid sequence intubation. Succinylcholine is an anesthetic that mimics the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. It binds to

Succinylcholine-induced apnea is a common problem in pre-hospital medicine that affects 1/1800 patients who undergo rapid sequence intubation. Succinylcholine is an anesthetic that mimics the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. It binds to cholinergic receptors, blocking acetylcholine access, and causes paralysis for (normally) only a short time. Butyrylcholinesterase, which is responsible for succinylcholine hydrolysis, is deficient in a small percentage of the population. Previous studies have shown that wild-type butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) can be produced in transient-expression Nicotiana benthamiana, and can reverse the effects of succinylcholine induced apnea through enzyme replacement therapy. The wild type enzyme is also capable of irreversibly binding and inactivating organophosphorus nerve agents and pesticides, and has also exhibited cocaine hydrolase activity. Super cocaine-hydrolyzing BChE mutants, which exceed 2000 times the catalytic capability of the wild-type, have been optimized and expressed in N. benthamiana. The purpose of this study was to determine whether these mutants also hydrolyze succinylcholine with improved efficiency. Variant 3 and Variant 4 exhibited catalytic efficiencies of 2.08 x 106 M-1 min-1 and 3.48 x 106 M-1 min-1, respectively, against their preferred substrate, butyrylthiocholine, in the Ellman assay. The wild-type plant-expressed BChE did exhibit hydrolysis of succinylcholine, as we had previously determined; however, neither Variant 3 nor Variant 4 demonstrated the ability to hydrolyze succinylcholine in our particular assay. Therefore, N. benthamiana-expressed Variant 3 and Variant 4 may not succeed as a dual treatment against cocaine toxicity and prolonged succinylcholine-induces paralysis.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

Evaluation of target cell binding by an immunotherapeutic bispecific fusion protein, anti-CD3/chlorotoxin

Description

Engaging the immune system to attack neoplastic glial cells in the brain may be a promising approach to eliminate glioblastoma (GBM), a deadly form of primary brain cancer with low

Engaging the immune system to attack neoplastic glial cells in the brain may be a promising approach to eliminate glioblastoma (GBM), a deadly form of primary brain cancer with low median survival. A bispecific fusion protein, anti-CD3/chlorotoxin (ACDClx), has been developed to engage cytotoxic T cells for destruction against GBM with little to no expected toxicity to surrounding healthy tissue. Previously, ACDClx has been demonstrated to induce calcium flux in T cells, indicating activation when cultured with GBM cells in vitro. Here, ACDClx fails to demonstrate successful binding to the CD3 domain of the T-cell receptor on CD4 T cells in vitro and fails to bind GBM cells despite demonstrated binding of chlorotoxin to the same cell line. This data warrants further investigation into the binding characteristics of ACDClx to target cells.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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The Production of a Chimeric Monoclonal Antibody as a Therapeutic Agent Against Flaviviruses

Description

A chimeric, humanized monoclonal antibody that recognizes a highly conserved fusion loop found on flaviviruses was constructed with a geminiviral replicon and transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants through Agrobacterium

A chimeric, humanized monoclonal antibody that recognizes a highly conserved fusion loop found on flaviviruses was constructed with a geminiviral replicon and transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants through Agrobacterium tumefaciens infiltration. Characterization and expression studies were then conducted to confirm correct assembly of the antibody. Once the antibody was purified, an ELISA was conducted to validate that the antibody was able to bind to the flavivirus fusion loop.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Plant-derived Virus-like Particles and Recombinant Immune Complexes as Potential Components of a Future HIV Vaccine

Description

HIV continues to remain a global health issue, in particular in many low and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that of the nearly 38 million HIV-1 positive

HIV continues to remain a global health issue, in particular in many low and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that of the nearly 38 million HIV-1 positive individuals, 25% are unaware they are infected. Despite decades of research, a safe and effective preventative vaccine has yet to be produced. The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein41 and the Gag structural protein have been identified to be particularly important in HIV-1 transcytosis and cytotoxic lymphocyte response, respectively. Enveloped virus-like particles (VLPs) consisting of Gag and a deconstructed form of glycoprotein (dgp41) comprising the membrane proximal external region (MPER), transmembrane domain and cytoplasmic tail may present a unique and safe way of presenting these proteins in a state mimicking their natural formation. Another form of presenting the immunogenic glycoprotein41, particularly the MPER component, is by presenting it onto the N-terminal of an IgG molecule, thereby creating an IgG fusion molecule. In our lab, both VLPs and IgG fusion molecules are highly expressed and purified within GnGn Nicotiana benthamiana. The results indicated that these recombinant proteins can be assembled properly within plants and can elicit an immune response in mice. This provides a preliminary step in using such Gag/dpg41 VLPs and RIC as present a safe, effective, and inexpensive HIV vaccine.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Bacterial Expression, Correct Membrane Targeting, and Functional Folding of the HIV-1 Membrane Protein Vpu Using a Periplasmic Signal Peptide

Description

Viral protein U (Vpu) is a type-III integral membrane protein encoded by Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV- 1). It is expressed in infected host cells and plays several roles in viral

Viral protein U (Vpu) is a type-III integral membrane protein encoded by Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV- 1). It is expressed in infected host cells and plays several roles in viral progeny escape from infected cells, including down-regulation of CD4 receptors. But key structure/function questions remain regarding the mechanisms by which the Vpu protein contributes to HIV-1 pathogenesis. Here we describe expression of Vpu in bacteria, its purification and characterization. We report the successful expression of PelB-Vpu in Escherichia coli using the leader peptide pectate lyase B (PelB) from Erwinia carotovora. The protein was detergent extractable and could be isolated in a very pure form. We demonstrate that the PelB signal peptide successfully targets Vpu to the cell membranes and inserts it as a type I membrane protein. PelB-Vpu was biophysically characterized by circular dichroism and dynamic light scattering experiments and was shown to be an excellent candidate for elucidating structural models.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-02-22