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Full-Text Articles in Molecular Biology

Investigating The Roles Of Fucosylation And Calcium Signaling In Melanoma Invasion, Tyler S. Keeley Nov 2018

Investigating The Roles Of Fucosylation And Calcium Signaling In Melanoma Invasion, Tyler S. Keeley

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Prognosis for early stage melanoma patients is excellent, and surgery is often curative for these patients. However, once patients have presented with invasive disease, the average 5-year survival rate drops significantly from over 90% to between 10 and 15%. Several therapies have been developed to target a commonly mutated oncogene BRAF, or its downstream effectors. Unfortunately, while these treatments show robust initial response, most patients relapse within a year. Moreover, therapy-resistant tumors are often more invasive and metastatic. Therefore, it is important to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying melanoma invasion and metastasis ...


Investigating The Role Of The Rna Binding Protein Lin28 In The Human Placenta: Implications For Preeclampsia, John Canfield Nov 2018

Investigating The Role Of The Rna Binding Protein Lin28 In The Human Placenta: Implications For Preeclampsia, John Canfield

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

An essential event during early pregnancy is the invasion of trophoblasts into the maternal decidua, which is necessary for proper implantation and establishment of maternal-fetal interface and ultimately allows for proper nutrient exchange and immunological tolerance of the growing fetus. For this invasion to occur, cells originating from the trophectoderm undergo an epithelial to mesenchymal transition to become invasive extravillous trophoblasts and begin invading the uterine decidual tissue. Through the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases and through interactions with many cytokines and cell-adhesion molecules, this well-orchestrated process of trophoblast invasion results in extensive remodeling of the maternal spiral vasculature by the ...


The 2Β Insert Perturbs Folding, Stability And Hydrophobic Exposure Of Stromal Interaction Molecules, Steve Chung Oct 2018

The 2Β Insert Perturbs Folding, Stability And Hydrophobic Exposure Of Stromal Interaction Molecules, Steve Chung

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Stromal interaction molecule (STIM)1 and 2 regulate agonist-induced and basal cytosolic calcium (Ca2+) levels through oligomerization and translocation to endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-plasma membrane (PM) junctions. At these junctions, the STIM cytosolic coiled-coil domains couple to PM Orai1 protein subunits to form Ca2+ released activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels that facilitate store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE). One splice variant of STIM2, STIM2β, contains an extra 8-residue (2β insert) located within the coiled-coils and inhibits SOCE through an unresolved mechanism, adding another layer of complexity to Ca2+ regulation in mammals. I hypothesize that the 2β insert perturbs the coiled-coil conformation and dynamics ...


Host And Viral Molecular Patterns Relevant To Pathogenicity And Immunity, Alexander Christian Stabell Aug 2018

Host And Viral Molecular Patterns Relevant To Pathogenicity And Immunity, Alexander Christian Stabell

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Patterns in nature, many going unnoticed, are a defining characteristic of life. In this thesis, I will describe four studies that I have completed during my doctoral work. These will highlight how both host immune system and viral pathogens harness non-random biological patterns to aid in immunity or increase pathogenicity, respectively. Chapter 2 will describe the evolutionary history of a component of the primate innate immune system, Schlafen11, and its involvement in the defense against viruses. I attempt to show that Schlafen11 takes advantage of the pattern of non-optimal codon usage of HIV-1 transcripts in order to inhibit viral replication ...


The Molecular Basis Of Rna Recognition And Transcriptional Regulation By Fus And Prc2, Xueyin Wang Aug 2018

The Molecular Basis Of Rna Recognition And Transcriptional Regulation By Fus And Prc2, Xueyin Wang

Chemistry & Biochemistry Graduate Theses & Dissertations (1986-2018)

RNA and protein interact with each other in the cell nucleus to form RNP (ribonucleoprotein) complexes. These RNPs play key roles in various steps of gene expression. This thesis focuses on two nuclear RNA-binding proteins: Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) and Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2).

The normal functions of FUS are not fully understood, but RNA binding has been suggested to be crucial for FUS function and many RNA targets have been identified. Yet the features of RNAs necessary for FUS binding had not been systematically characterized. FUS bound all five published RNA motifs and other RNAs tightly, including fragments ...


Effect Of Arsenic Exposure On Early Eye Development In Zebrafish (Danio Rerio), Remy S. Babich Aug 2018

Effect Of Arsenic Exposure On Early Eye Development In Zebrafish (Danio Rerio), Remy S. Babich

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Arsenic is a metalloid that contaminates drinking water supplies worldwide. Due to concerns for human health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have established a safe level in drinking water of ≤ 10 ppb. Arsenic has been shown to have carcinogenic effects in humans at high and low doses. Chronic exposure may result in dermal conditions such as hyperkeratosis and hyperpigmentation. Recently, arsenic exposure has also been linked to lower IQ values in children. The effect of arsenic on neurogenesis, specifically eye development, has not been widely explored. This study aimed to examine the ...


The Role Of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells And Classical Dendritic Cells In The Maintenance And Regulation Of The Bone Marrow Niche, Jingzhu Zhang Aug 2018

The Role Of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells And Classical Dendritic Cells In The Maintenance And Regulation Of The Bone Marrow Niche, Jingzhu Zhang

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The bone marrow niche is an important microenvironment for the regulation of normal and malignant hematopoiesis. The first discovered niche component is mesenchymal stromal cells, which are the major source for the production and secretion of multiple niche factors. Mesenchymal stromal cells are heterogeneous and various transgenes have been used to target non-identical but overlapping subpopulations. To further characterize the heterogeneity of mesenchymal stromal cells, we tested the targeting specificity of three tissue-specific Cre-recombinase transgenes. We show that in addition to osteoblasts, Ocn-Cre targets a majority of Cxcl12-abundant reticular (CAR) cells and arteriolar pericytes. Surprisingly, Dmp1-Cre also targets a subset ...


The Role Of Membrane Excitability In Insulin Regulation, Christopher Howard Emfinger Aug 2018

The Role Of Membrane Excitability In Insulin Regulation, Christopher Howard Emfinger

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In mammals, ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels are essential regulators of insulin secretion from pancreatic islet [beta]-cells, illustrated by the finding that gain-of-function mutations in KATP channels (KATP-GOF) cause neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM). However, variability in symptom severity and effectiveness of treatment is seen in NDM, even for those with the same mutation and in the same family. Short-term treatment of mice expressing KATP-GOF mutations in [beta]-cells (KATP-GOF mice) with the KATP blocker glibenclamide during disease onset results in two outcomes: one subset becomes severely diabetic (non-remitters), whereas the other subset remains below the glucose levels at which significant ...


Characterization Of The Celf6 Rna Binding Protein: Effects On Mouse Vocal Behavior And Biochemical Function, Michael A. Rieger Aug 2018

Characterization Of The Celf6 Rna Binding Protein: Effects On Mouse Vocal Behavior And Biochemical Function, Michael A. Rieger

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Behavior in higher eukaryotes is a complex process which integrates signals in the environment, the genetic makeup of the organism, and connectivity in the nervous system to produce extremely diverse adaptations to the phenomenon of existence. Unraveling the subcellular components that contribute to behavioral output is important for both understanding how behavior occurs in an unperturbed state, as well as understanding how behavior changes when the underlying systems that generate it are altered. Of the numerous molecular species that make up a cell, the regulation of messenger RNAs (mRNAs), the coding template of all proteins, is of key importance to ...


Microbial Ecology Of South Florida Surface Waters: Examining The Potential For Anthropogenic Influences, Chase P. Donnelly Aug 2018

Microbial Ecology Of South Florida Surface Waters: Examining The Potential For Anthropogenic Influences, Chase P. Donnelly

HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

South Florida contains one of the largest subtropical wetlands in the world, and yet not much is known about the microbes that live in these surface waters. These microbes play an important role in chemical cycling and maintaining good water quality for both human and ecosystem health. The hydrology of Florida’s surface waters is tightly regulated with the use of canal and levee systems run by the US Army Corps of Engineers and The South Florida Water Management District. These canals run through the Everglades, agriculture, and urban environments to control water levels in Lake Okeechobee, the Water Conservation ...


Characterization Of Interleukin (Il)-1Β Regulatory Elements And Chromatin Conformation In Macrophage Activation, Woohyun Cho Aug 2018

Characterization Of Interleukin (Il)-1Β Regulatory Elements And Chromatin Conformation In Macrophage Activation, Woohyun Cho

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

IL-1β is a potent inflammatory cytokine promptly expressed in activated myeloid cells. PU.1 is a lineage-determining transcription factor that regulates myeloid-specific genes by activating distal enhancers. This study addresses the functional importance of a potential enhancer of IL-1β, and how PU.1 regulates its activity state. A putative enhancer RNA (eRNA) was transcribed from the enhancer, and eRNA knock-down with antisense oligonucleotides inhibited IL-1β production. Furthermore, enhancer-promoter interactions in stimulated macrophages were detected via chromatin conformation capture (3C) analysis. The role of PU.1 was examined in PU.1-overexpressed B16-BL6 cells, which responded to LPS and expressed IL-1β mRNA ...


The N-Terminal Methyltransferase Homologs Nrmt1 And Nrmt2 Exhibit Novel Regulation Of Activity Through Heterotrimer Formation., Jon David Faughn Aug 2018

The N-Terminal Methyltransferase Homologs Nrmt1 And Nrmt2 Exhibit Novel Regulation Of Activity Through Heterotrimer Formation., Jon David Faughn

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Protein, DNA, and RNA methyltransferases have an ever-expanding list of novel substrates and catalytic activities. Even within families and between homologs, it is becoming clear the intricacies of methyltransferase specificity and regulation are far more diverse than originally thought. In addition to specific substrates and distinct methylation levels, methyltransferase activity can be altered through formation of complexes with close homologs. This work involves the N-terminal methyltransferase homologs NRMT1 and NRMT2. NRMT1 is a ubiquitously expressed distributive trimethylase. NRMT2 is a monomethylase expressed at low levels and in a tissue-specific manner. They are both nuclear methyltransferases with overlapping target consensus sequences ...


Deciphering The Role Of Human Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase 1 (Nat1) In Breast Cancer Cell Metabolism Using A Systems Biology Approach., Samantha Marie Carlisle Aug 2018

Deciphering The Role Of Human Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase 1 (Nat1) In Breast Cancer Cell Metabolism Using A Systems Biology Approach., Samantha Marie Carlisle

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Background: Human arylamine N-acetyltransferase 1 (NAT1) is a phase II xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme found in almost all tissues. NAT1 can additionally hydrolyze acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) in the absence of an arylamine substrate. NAT1 expression varies inter-individually and is elevated in several cancers including estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancers. Additionally, multiple studies have shown the knockdown of NAT1, by both small molecule inhibition and siRNA methods, in breast cancer cells leads to decreased invasive ability and proliferation and decreased anchorage-independent colony formation. However, the exact mechanism by which NAT1 expression affects cancer risk and progression remains unclear. Additionally, consequences ...


Bayesian Analytical Approaches For Metabolomics : A Novel Method For Molecular Structure-Informed Metabolite Interaction Modeling, A Novel Diagnostic Model For Differentiating Myocardial Infarction Type, And Approaches For Compound Identification Given Mass Spectrometry Data., Patrick J. Trainor Aug 2018

Bayesian Analytical Approaches For Metabolomics : A Novel Method For Molecular Structure-Informed Metabolite Interaction Modeling, A Novel Diagnostic Model For Differentiating Myocardial Infarction Type, And Approaches For Compound Identification Given Mass Spectrometry Data., Patrick J. Trainor

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Metabolomics, the study of small molecules in biological systems, has enjoyed great success in enabling researchers to examine disease-associated metabolic dysregulation and has been utilized for the discovery biomarkers of disease and phenotypic states. In spite of recent technological advances in the analytical platforms utilized in metabolomics and the proliferation of tools for the analysis of metabolomics data, significant challenges in metabolomics data analyses remain. In this dissertation, we present three of these challenges and Bayesian methodological solutions for each. In the first part we develop a new methodology to serve a basis for making higher order inferences in metabolomics ...


Canonical Nuclear Factor-Κb Signaling In Satellite Stem Cell Homeostasis And Function., Alex R. Straughn Aug 2018

Canonical Nuclear Factor-Κb Signaling In Satellite Stem Cell Homeostasis And Function., Alex R. Straughn

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Satellite cells are adult stem cells that are required for the regeneration of skeletal muscle following injury. However, the signaling mechanisms that regulate satellite stem cell homeostasis and function in adult animals remain less understood. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) is a major nuclear transcription factor that regulates the gene expression of a plethora of molecules involved in cellular proliferation, differentiation, survival, and the inflammatory immune response. NF-kB can be activated through a canonical or non-canonical pathway. However, the role of canonical NF-kB signaling in the regulation of satellite stem cell function during skeletal muscle regeneration has not been yet investigated ...


The Role Of Rad4 In Dna Repair And Its Interplay With Telomeres In Tetrahymena Thermophila, Emily Nischwitz Aug 2018

The Role Of Rad4 In Dna Repair And Its Interplay With Telomeres In Tetrahymena Thermophila, Emily Nischwitz

MSU Graduate Theses

Telomeres are repetitive parts of the genome that act as a protective end cap to the chromosomes. Telomeres are critical to the integrity and stability of the genome, therefore, ensuring that their sequence is maintained, even after damage, is crucial. Much of the pioneering work responsible for explaining telomeres has been conducted in ciliates, specifically in Tetrahymena thermophila. Telomeres in T. thermophila have a high amount of tandem thymine repeats (GGGGTT) and, thus, are susceptible to ultraviolet light (UV) induced lesions called pyrimidine dimers, which must be repaired by nucleotide excision repair (NER). In humans, Xeroderma Pigmentosum C (XPC) is ...


Computational Analysis Of Genomic Variants Affecting Predicted Microrna:Target Interactions In Prostate Cancer., Angélica Paola Hernández Pérez Jul 2018

Computational Analysis Of Genomic Variants Affecting Predicted Microrna:Target Interactions In Prostate Cancer., Angélica Paola Hernández Pérez

KGI Theses and Dissertations

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common cancer of men in the United States and is third only to lung and colon as a cause of cancer death. Clinical behavior of the disease is variable and the combination of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening and Gleason score staging are currently the best available molecular and pathology tools to predict outcomes. Cancer biology research establishes microRNAs (miRNAs) as key molecular components in both normal and pathological states. Thus, elucidating miRNAs perturbed by genomic alterations will expand our understanding of the molecular taxonomy of PCa with the aim to complement current practices in ...


Production Of A Candidate Recombinant Protein Vaccine For Mannheimia Haemolytica In Lettuce And Tobacco Chloroplasts, Coby K. Martin Jul 2018

Production Of A Candidate Recombinant Protein Vaccine For Mannheimia Haemolytica In Lettuce And Tobacco Chloroplasts, Coby K. Martin

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The cattle industry worldwide is ravaged by bovine respiratory disease (BRD), a bacterial disease caused by Mannheimia haemolytica. Recent efforts to design vaccines against M. haemolytica focus on a virulence factor, leukotoxin, in addition to surface lipoproteins. Plant-based protein production is a safe and inexpensive alternative to traditional methods. Edible vaccines deliver antigens to pharyngeal tissues, which can provide local immunization against M. haemolytica prior to its progression into the lungs. In this project, a chimeric protein containing M. haemolytica antigens was produced in tobacco chloroplasts as a candidate edible vaccine for BRD. Attempts were made to transform lettuce chloroplasts ...


Mechanisms Of Age-Related Prostate Growth And Tumorigenesis, Deon O'Bryant May 2018

Mechanisms Of Age-Related Prostate Growth And Tumorigenesis, Deon O'Bryant

Electronic Theses & Dissertations Collection for Atlanta University & Clark Atlanta University

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy among men, but few genetic factors that drive prostate cancer initiation have been identified. The WD repeat domain 77 (Wdr77) protein is essential for cellular proliferation when it localizes in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells at the early stage of prostate development. In the adult prostate, it is transported into the nucleus and functions as a co-regulator of the androgen receptor to promote cellular differentiation and prostate function. This developmental process is reversed during prostate tumorigenesis i.e., Wdr77 is translocated from the nucleus into the cytoplasm to drive proliferation of prostate ...


Regulation Of The Pi3-Kinase/Pten Signaling Pathway By Tgf-Β In Prostate Cancer Cells, Mawiyah Kimbrough-Allah May 2018

Regulation Of The Pi3-Kinase/Pten Signaling Pathway By Tgf-Β In Prostate Cancer Cells, Mawiyah Kimbrough-Allah

Electronic Theses & Dissertations Collection for Atlanta University & Clark Atlanta University

Transforming growth factor -β (TGF-β) plays an important role in the progression of prostate cancer. It acts as a tumor suppressor in normal epithelial cells but as a tumor promoter in advanced prostate cancer cells. The PI3-kinase pathway has been shown to play integral roles in many cellular processes including cell proliferation, survival, and cell migration in many cell types. PI3-kinase pathway mediates TGF-β effects on prostate cancer cell migration and invasion. Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a tumor suppressor gene, inhibits PI3-kinase pathway and is frequently mutated in prostate cancers. In this present study, we investigated possible roles of ...


The Role Of Mafb In Reverting The Transformed Phenotype Of Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells, Tulley Shofner May 2018

The Role Of Mafb In Reverting The Transformed Phenotype Of Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells, Tulley Shofner

Student Honors Theses By Year

The five-year survival rate for patients with acute myeloid leukemia is 27.4%, with most patients who achieve temporary remission relapsing, despite chemotherapeutic treatments (National Cancer Institute, 2014). With the inadequacy of current drug therapies for human acute myeloid leukemia patients, the genetic changes in AML cells’ genomes and transcriptomes have been studied for insights as to more effective targeted therapies. Data obtained by the Roberts lab demonstrates that treatment of HL-60 cells with PMA, which leads to cell cycle arrest, differentiation and apoptosis, is accompanied by upregulation of approximately 100 transcription factor genes. For this project, the basic leucine ...


Development Of Lc-Ms For The Identification And Characterization Of Non-Adjacent Dna Photoproduct Formation In G-Quadruplex Forming Sequences, Claudia Posadas May 2018

Development Of Lc-Ms For The Identification And Characterization Of Non-Adjacent Dna Photoproduct Formation In G-Quadruplex Forming Sequences, Claudia Posadas

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Ultraviolet light is well known to induce cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) and pyrimidine (6–4) pyrimidone photoproducts in duplex DNA, which interfere with DNA replication and transcription. Recently, a new class of DNA photoproducts known as anti cyclobutanepyrimidine dimers have been discovered, which form in G-quadruplex forming sequences in solution. G-quadruplex structures have been proposed to form in human DNA telomeres and certain promoters in vivo but evidence for their existence has been lacking. Since anti-cyclobutante pyrimidine dimers have been shown to form in G-quadruplex forming sequences, their formation in irradiated human cells could be used to confirm the ...


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 ...


Investigation Into The Amino Acid Characteristic Of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, Samantha Patterson May 2018

Investigation Into The Amino Acid Characteristic Of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, Samantha Patterson

Honors Theses AY 17/18

Caulobacter crescentus, which belongs to the class of Alphaproteobacteria, has a highly organized cytoplasm that includes complex macromolecular structures at the cell poles. These polar complexes are assembled through the activity of a scaffolding protein, known as the Polar Organizing Protein Z (PopZ). PopZ interacts with other proteins via an N-terminal domain that is mostly intrinsically disordered, and contains, an abundance of proline, glutamte, and aspartate (P,E, and D) residues. Surprisingly, scrambling the order of amino acids in the PED region does not affect PopZ function, suggesting that binding affinity and specificity are not dependent on interactions with individual ...


Melatonin-Micronutrients Osteopenia Treatment Study (Mots): A Translational Study Assessing The Effects Of Melatonin, Strontium Citrate, Vitamin D3 And Vitamin K2 On Bone Density, Bone Turnover Markers And Health-Related Quality Of Life In Postmenopausal Osteopenic Women Following A One-Year Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial And On Osteoblast-Osteoclast Co-Cultures, Sifat Maria May 2018

Melatonin-Micronutrients Osteopenia Treatment Study (Mots): A Translational Study Assessing The Effects Of Melatonin, Strontium Citrate, Vitamin D3 And Vitamin K2 On Bone Density, Bone Turnover Markers And Health-Related Quality Of Life In Postmenopausal Osteopenic Women Following A One-Year Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial And On Osteoblast-Osteoclast Co-Cultures, Sifat Maria

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess if a novel combination of melatonin and three other natural bone-aiding micronutrients: strontium citrate, vitamins D3 and K2 (MSDK) could improve bone health by modulating the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts in favor of balanced bone remodeling and by improving the overall health-related quality of life in postmenopausal osteopenic women.

Methods: The Melatonin-micronutrients Osteopenia Treatment Study (MOTS) is a translational research study that used both clinical and in vitro approaches to assess the efficacy of MSDK on bone health in women and to identify potential mechanisms for its effects ...


Muc4 Based Immunotherapy For Pancreatic Cancer, Kasturi Banerjee May 2018

Muc4 Based Immunotherapy For Pancreatic Cancer, Kasturi Banerjee

Theses & Dissertations

Pancreatic Cancer (PC) is a lethal disease claiming approximately 45000 lives in the US in 2018, and it establishes an elaborate immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that aids in disease pathogenesis. Immunotherapy has emerged as a strategy to target tumor cells by reprogramming patient’s immune system. Challenges present in PC immunotherapy are: i) identifying a tumor-associated antigen that could be targeted, ii) identifying adjuvants that could efficiently deliver antigens, iii) eliciting robust anti-tumor responses and iv) overcoming peripheral tolerance and immunosuppression elicited by the tumor.

Firstly, we detected circulating autoantibodies to MUC4 present in PC patients and observed that IgM autoantibodies ...


Ph Sensitivity Of Connexin 50 Hemichannels: H95 And Beyond, Leah Volk May 2018

Ph Sensitivity Of Connexin 50 Hemichannels: H95 And Beyond, Leah Volk

Biology Theses

Gap junction channels formed by connexin proteins are critical for the health and function of the vertebrate lens. It is important to understand how these channels are affected by pH because a pH gradient exists in lens tissue. Intracellular pH (pHi) is a regulator of gap junction coupling, and different connexins show different sensitivities to pHi. A “Particle-Receptor” model for pH-dependent channel closure involves the intramolecular interaction between the cytoplasmic tail of the connexin and a region near the mouth of the channel dependent on a highly conserved histidine residue at position 95. While this model explains the ...


The Regulation Of Dna Methylation In Mammalian Development And Cancer, Nicolas Veland May 2018

The Regulation Of Dna Methylation In Mammalian Development And Cancer, Nicolas Veland

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

DNA methylation is an essential epigenetic modification in mammals, as it plays important regulatory roles in multiple biological processes, such as gene transcription, maintenance of chromosomal structure and genomic stability, genomic imprinting, retrotransposon silencing, and X-chromosome inactivation. Dysregulation of DNA methylation is associated with various human diseases. For example, cancer cells usually show global hypomethylation and regional hypermenthylation, which have been implicated in genomic instability and tumor suppressor silencing, respectively. Although great progress has been made in elucidating the biological functions of DNA methylation over the last several decades, how DNA methylation patterns and levels are regulated and dysregulated is ...


Nanoscale Organization Of The Small Gtpase Rac1, Kelsey Maxwell May 2018

Nanoscale Organization Of The Small Gtpase Rac1, Kelsey Maxwell

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Rac1 is a small, guanine-nucleotide binding protein that cycles between an inactive GDP-bound and active GTP-bound state to regulate actin-mediated motility, migration, and adhesion. Plasma membrane (PM) localization is essential for its biological activity. Rac1 PM targeting is directed by a C-terminal membrane anchor that encompasses a geranylgeranyl-cysteine-methyl-ester, palmitoyl, and a polybasic domain (PBD) of contiguous lysine and arginine residues. Using high-resolution imaging combined with spatial mapping analysis, I found that Rac1 forms nanoclusters on the PM. Cycling between the GTP- and GDP-bound states, Rac1 forms nanoclusters that are non-overlapping, consequently undergoing guanine nucleotide-dependent spatial segregation. I further found that ...