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Theses/Dissertations

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

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Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Molecular Biology

The Caspase Cascade During Hibernation In The Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel, Spermophilus Lateralis, Michael David Treat May 2018

The Caspase Cascade During Hibernation In The Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel, Spermophilus Lateralis, Michael David Treat

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

In several human pathologies like heart attack, stroke, neurodegenerative diseases, and autoimmune disorders, widespread cell death, or apoptosis, is a major cause of organ dysfunction and death. Hibernating golden-mantled ground squirrels, Spermophilus lateralis, experience numerous conditions during the winter that are known to be pro-apoptotic in other mammal systems (e.g. extreme hypothermia, ischemia and reperfusion, acidosis, increased reactive oxygen species, bone and muscle disuse). However, studies suggest that hibernators may invoke a protective phenotype to limit widespread cell damage and loss during the hibernation season. Could regulating apoptosis provide protection against the harmful conditions experienced during the hibernation season ...


Transcriptional Silencing And Anti-Silencing Of Virulence Genes In The Bacterial Pathogen Shigella Flexneri: Virb, Dna Supercoiling, And The Histone-Like Nucleoid Structuring Protein, Michael Adam Picker May 2018

Transcriptional Silencing And Anti-Silencing Of Virulence Genes In The Bacterial Pathogen Shigella Flexneri: Virb, Dna Supercoiling, And The Histone-Like Nucleoid Structuring Protein, Michael Adam Picker

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Transcriptional silencing and anti-silencing affect many aspects of bacterial physiology, including virulence in bacterial pathogens. In Shigella species, a group of gram-negative pathogens that cause bacillary dysentery in humans, the histone-like nucleoid structuring protein (H-NS) transcriptionally silences virulence genes found on the large virulence plasmid while VirB anti-silences these genes. However, the mechanistic details of their interplay are not fully understood. To elucidate their regulatory mechanisms, I use the icsP virulence locus, which shares a long intergenic region with the divergently transcribed ospZ gene (1535 bp from TSS to TSS). Prior to this work, two discrete H-NS binding regions had ...


Complete Sequencing And Comparative Analysis Of The Genomes Of The First Magnetotactic Gammaproteobacteria Isolated In Pure Culture: Strains Bw-2 And Ss-5, Corey Geurink Dec 2017

Complete Sequencing And Comparative Analysis Of The Genomes Of The First Magnetotactic Gammaproteobacteria Isolated In Pure Culture: Strains Bw-2 And Ss-5, Corey Geurink

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The genomes of the first two discovered magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) belonging to the ammaproteobacteria, strains BW-2 and SS-51, were sequenced, sealed, annotated and compared to MTB of other phylogenetic groups. Cells of both strains are rod-shaped and biomineralize cuboctahedral and elongated octahedral crystals of magnetite, respectively, that are enveloped in a protein-embedded, lipid-bilayer membrane referred to as the magnetosome membrane or vesicle. The crystals and their associated membranes are known as magnetosomes. Magnetosome crystals consist of either magnetite (Fe3O4) or greigite (Fe3S4) and, because of their specific mineral compositions, crystal morphologies and sizes, the biomineralization processes involved in magnetosome formation ...


The Presence Of Clostridium Difficile On Environmental Surfaces In Healthcare Facilities Pre- And Post-Decontamination Of Patient Rooms, Theresa Trice Aug 2015

The Presence Of Clostridium Difficile On Environmental Surfaces In Healthcare Facilities Pre- And Post-Decontamination Of Patient Rooms, Theresa Trice

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections related to receiving medical care. HAIs are responsible for an excess of morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients. Though most HAIs rates are on the decline, Clostridium difficile infection rates are at an all-time high, primarily due to the persistence of C. difficile spores in the environment. In the United States, Clostridium difficile-related mortality rates per million have increased from 5.7 in 1999 to 23.7 in 2004, with an estimated 26,642 deaths due to Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs). Clostridium difficile is transmitted via the fecal-oral route or aerosolized endospores, but it can ...


Determining The Presence Of Carbapenem Antibiotic Resistance In Clinical Isolates, Fidelis Uzoma Enyinnaya May 2014

Determining The Presence Of Carbapenem Antibiotic Resistance In Clinical Isolates, Fidelis Uzoma Enyinnaya

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Carbapenems are β-lactam antibiotics reserved for the treatment of severe microbial infections, especially those targeting the Enterobacteriaceae. Introduced in the 1980s, carbapenems have been used successfully in hospitals, and in the 1990s resistance was discovered. Carbapenem resistance is conferred through the production of carbapenemases. In the U.S., the most common carbapenemase is Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC). In 2012, the National Healthcare Safety Network reported a carbapenem resistance rate of 13.0% among Klebsiella pneumoniae infections, and indicated that the mortality rate associated with carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections ranged from 48.0-71.9%. According to the Food and Drug ...


The Role Of Oswrky71 And Its Interacting Proteins In Seed Germination And Early Growth Of Cereal Grains, Margaret Ja Shin May 2013

The Role Of Oswrky71 And Its Interacting Proteins In Seed Germination And Early Growth Of Cereal Grains, Margaret Ja Shin

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

During seed germination and early seedling growth, complex molecular and physiological events occur in rice (Oryza sativa) and other cereal grains. As the seed transitions to vegetative tissue, it responds to both favorable and unfavorable environmental conditions and is vulnerable to attack by predation and disease. Although seeds are relatively small and tender in size, extensive and sophisticated molecular networks enables the immobile seed to grow, survive and adapt in its environment. One of the networks I am interested in is in the crosstalk between the gibberellin (GA) and abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathways. These pathways are interesting because they ...


Characterization Of Beryllium As A Novel Agent To Study Cell Cycle Arrest And Cellular Senescence, Priyatham Gorjala Dec 2012

Characterization Of Beryllium As A Novel Agent To Study Cell Cycle Arrest And Cellular Senescence, Priyatham Gorjala

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Cancer cells evade senescence, apoptosis, and other constraints on proliferation, often via mutation of the p53 tumor suppressor gene (TP53). Normal human lung fibroblasts have been shown to enter premature senescence upon exposure to beryllium. In these cells, BeSO4 stabilizes p53 protein, increases p21 gene expression, induces senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity and causes cell proliferation arrest. In the present study, we have investigated whether BeSO4 is able to induce similar effects in cancer cells that have wildtype p53. We have demonstrated that beryllium salt at low concentration can induce molecular changes in the p53 signaling pathway leading to cell ...


Global And Specific Controls Of Protein Synthesis In Hibernators, Peipei Pan Dec 2011

Global And Specific Controls Of Protein Synthesis In Hibernators, Peipei Pan

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Mammalian hibernation is a highly dynamic physiological process that is composed of a series of torpor bouts, wherein hibernators oscillate between periods of torpor and interbout arousal. Although normally vital to homeostasis, many energetically consumptive processes such as translation or protein synthesis are virtually ceased during hibernation. Earlier studies indicated that protein synthesis had fallen to almost negligible levels. Cap-dependent initiation of translation is well regulated by eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and its binding partner eIF4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) when hibernators cycle in and out the torpor state. Herein, I investigated well-characterized regulatory mechanisms of global and specific ...


A Polymerase Chain Reaction Method For The Detection Of Selenomonas Noxia, Arthuro Mehretu Dec 2011

A Polymerase Chain Reaction Method For The Detection Of Selenomonas Noxia, Arthuro Mehretu

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

In recent studies, periodontal health has been linked to being overweight and/or obese. Among common oral bacteria, Selenomonas noxia has been implicated in converting periodontal health to disease. Selenomonas spp. have also been found in gastric ulcers, and were misdiagnosed as Helicobacter -like organisms, but no further studies were conducted. The increasing clinical and epidemiological importance of S. noxia necessitates the development of a rapid detection method. In this study, a TaqMan 16S rRNA based real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method was developed, optimized and evaluated for the rapid and specific detection of S. noxia . The 16S PCR assay ...


Molecular Evolution And Historical Biogeography Of New World Birds, Brian T. Smith May 2011

Molecular Evolution And Historical Biogeography Of New World Birds, Brian T. Smith

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Deciphering the patterns of how biodiversity has evolved across time and space has remained a fundamental objective for biologists for the last 200 years. Researchers are faced with the challenge of interpreting the complexity of evolutionary patterns that have been generated over the deep history of the Earth. The advancement of DNA sequencing technology has yielded a new and powerful genetic toolkit that has allowed biologists to address novel evolutionary questions. For my dissertation research, I used molecular genetics and a statistical framework to study the evolution and historical biogeography of birds distributed in North and South America. My dissertation ...


Production, Purification And Crystallization Of Membrane Integrated Multimeric Bax, Adelbert Mark Villoso Dec 2010

Production, Purification And Crystallization Of Membrane Integrated Multimeric Bax, Adelbert Mark Villoso

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a vital process intimately involved in the embryonic development and homeostatic maintenance of all multicellular organisms. The committing step to apoptosis is regulated by a key protein, Bax, and its ability to integrate and form a pore structure at the outer mitochondrial membrane.


Unfortunately, the molecular details of apoptosis remain largely unclear due to the lack of structural data of integral membrane (IM) Bax. Experimental limitations of membrane protein production have slowed the pursuit of an IM-Bax structure simply because standard protocols for producing recombinant IM-Bax are inefficient in producing adequate quantities of IM-Bax ...


Transcriptional Regulation Of Shigella Virulence Plasmid-Encoded Genes By Virb And Crp, Christopher Thomas Hensley Dec 2010

Transcriptional Regulation Of Shigella Virulence Plasmid-Encoded Genes By Virb And Crp, Christopher Thomas Hensley

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Shigella flexneri is a species of Gram-negative intracellular pathogens that causes bacillary dysentery in humans. Shigella relies on the precise transcriptional regulation of virulence genes, encoded by a large virulence plasmid, for invasion and infection of human colonic epithelial cells. The transcription of most identified virulence genes are regulated through a cascade controlled by the primary regulator of virulence genes, VirF, and the global transcriptional regulator, VirB. Currently, few studies have addressed how individual Shigella virulence genes are precisely regulated for optimal expression during specific stages of pathogenesis and within the constraints of the regulatory cascade. This work addresses how ...


The Larval Salivary Gland Of Drosophila Melangogaster: A Model System For Temporal And Spatial Steroid Hormone Regulation, Benjamin Constantino Aug 2010

The Larval Salivary Gland Of Drosophila Melangogaster: A Model System For Temporal And Spatial Steroid Hormone Regulation, Benjamin Constantino

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Drosophila melanogaster provides an ideal model organism to test genetic and molecular biological mechanisms within the context of a living animal. For over one hundred years Drosophila continues to produce a boundless extent of informative and important scientific data providing crucial insight into development, disease progression and genetic interactions. A century as a model organism allowed for the development of an abundance of unique genetic and molecular tools allowing researchers to tease apart cellular mechanisms with very little limitation. From the whole adult body to tissue function to molecular networks, if a biological question arises it most likely can be ...


From The Valleys To The Mountains: The Biographic History Of Antelope Squirrels, Bats, And Chipmunks In Western North America, Stacy James Mantooth Apr 2010

From The Valleys To The Mountains: The Biographic History Of Antelope Squirrels, Bats, And Chipmunks In Western North America, Stacy James Mantooth

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Genetic differentiation within and between species often coincides with significant geological or climatic changes that have shaped the sizes and locations of their geographic ranges and altered the connectivity between populations over time. Across western North America, many endemic taxa experienced high levels of initial divergence associated with geological transformations of the Neogene, with subsequent diversification and geographic structuring of populations associated with climatic changes during the Quaternary. As such, we can use a combination of molecular markers and genetic analyses to effectively examine the evolutionary and biogeographic histories of populations, species, and regional biotas whose signatures of differentiation are ...


Identifying Biomarkers For Resistance To Novel Cisplatin Analogues In Human Lung, Breast And Prostate Cancers, Becky Michelle Hess May 2009

Identifying Biomarkers For Resistance To Novel Cisplatin Analogues In Human Lung, Breast And Prostate Cancers, Becky Michelle Hess

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Cisplatin is a common therapeutic agent used in cancer treatment. Unfortunately, resistance to cisplatin in addition to severe side effects limits its use in cancer treatment. Two novel cisplatin analogues, 4DB and 4TB were shown to have varying cytotoxicity in lung, breast and prostate cancer cells. The hypothesis for this study states that the differences in 4DB and 4TB cytotoxicity among different tissue types is due to the type and efficiency of DNA repair mechanisms involved in response to these drugs.

To test the hypothesis, proteins involved in the rate limiting step of nucleotide excision repair (NER) and mismatch repair ...


Molecular Systematics And Phylogeography Of The Genus Richardsonius, Derek Dee Houston Jan 2009

Molecular Systematics And Phylogeography Of The Genus Richardsonius, Derek Dee Houston

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The complex geological and climatic events that significantly altered the landscape throughout the Cenozoic Era impacted the diversification of many North American taxa, including freshwater fishes. Here, I employ an array of phylogenetic analyses using a multiple gene tree approach to address several questions regarding the phylogenetic relationships of the North American cyprinid genus Richardsonius and two other closely related genera, Clinostomus and Iotichthys. I also use divergence time estimates generated using fossil calibrations to qualitatively assess the phylogeographic implications of evolution within and among these three genera. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences show a sister relationship between Iotichthys and ...