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Optimizing Crispr/Cas9 For Gene Silencing Of Sod1 In Mouse Models Of Als, Zachary C. Kennedy Aug 2019

Optimizing Crispr/Cas9 For Gene Silencing Of Sod1 In Mouse Models Of Als, Zachary C. Kennedy

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Mutations in the SOD1 gene are the best characterized genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and account for ~20% of inherited cases and 1-3% of sporadic cases. The gene-editing tool Cas9 can silence mutant genes that cause disease, but effective delivery of CRISPR-Cas9 to the central nervous system (CNS) remains challenging. Here, I developed strategies using canonical Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 to silence SOD1. In the first strategy, I demonstrate effectiveness of systemic delivery of guide RNA targeting SOD1 to the CNS in a transgenic mouse model expressing human mutant SOD1 and Cas9. Silencing was observed in both the brain ...


Engineered Exosomes For Delivery Of Therapeutic Sirnas To Neurons, Reka A. Haraszti May 2018

Engineered Exosomes For Delivery Of Therapeutic Sirnas To Neurons, Reka A. Haraszti

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Extracellular vesicles (EVs), exosomes and microvesicles, transfer endogenous RNAs between neurons over short and long distances. We have explored EVs for siRNA delivery to brain. (1) We optimized siRNA chemical modifications and siRNA conjugation to lipids for EV-mediated delivery. (2) We developed a GMP-compatible, scalable method to manufacture active EVs in bulk. (3) We characterized lipid and protein content of EVs in detail. (4) We established how protein and lipid composition relates to siRNA delivering activity of EVs, and we reverse engineered natural exosomes (small EVs) into artificial exosomes based on these data.

We established that cholesterol-conjugated siRNAs passively associate ...


Investigating The Structural Basis For Human Disease: Apobec3a And Profilin, Tania V. Silvas Jan 2018

Investigating The Structural Basis For Human Disease: Apobec3a And Profilin, Tania V. Silvas

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Analyzing protein tertiary structure is an effective method to understanding protein function. In my thesis study, I aimed to understand how surface features of protein can affect the stability and specificity of enzymes. I focus on 2 proteins that are involved in human disease, Profilin (PFN1) and APOBEC3A (A3A). When these proteins are functioning correctly, PFN1 modulates actin dynamics and A3A inhibits retroviral replication. However, mutations in PFN1 are associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) while the over expression of A3A are associated with the development of cancer. Currently, the pathological mechanism of PFN1 in this fatal disease is unknown ...


Identification Of Factors Involved In 18s Nonfunctional Ribosomal Rna Decay And A Method For Detecting 8-Oxoguanosine By Rna-Seq, Kelly A. Limoncelli Dec 2017

Identification Of Factors Involved In 18s Nonfunctional Ribosomal Rna Decay And A Method For Detecting 8-Oxoguanosine By Rna-Seq, Kelly A. Limoncelli

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

The translation of mRNA into functional proteins is essential for all life. In eukaryotes, aberrant RNAs containing sequence features that stall or severely slow down ribosomes are subject to translation-dependent quality control. Targets include mRNAs encoding a strong secondary structure (No-Go Decay; NGD) or stretches of positively-charged amino acids (Peptide-dependent Translation Arrest/Ribosome Quality Control; PDTA/RQC), mRNAs lacking an in-frame stop codon (Non-Stop Decay; NSD), or defective 18S rRNAs (18S Nonfunctional rRNA Decay; 18S NRD). Previous work from our lab showed that the S. cerevisiae NGD factors DOM34 and HBS1, and PDTA/RQC factor ASC1, all participate in the ...


Therapeutic Antibody Against Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Lipooligosaccharide, A Phase-Variable Virulence Factor, Srinjoy Chakraborti May 2017

Therapeutic Antibody Against Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Lipooligosaccharide, A Phase-Variable Virulence Factor, Srinjoy Chakraborti

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng) which causes gonorrhea has become multidrug-resistant, necessitating the development of novel therapeutics and vaccines. mAb 2C7 which targets an epitope within an important virulence factor, the lipooligosaccharide (LOS), is a candidate therapeutic mAb. Ninety-four percent of clinical isolates express the 2C7-epitope which is also a vaccine target.

Ng expresses multiple LOS(s) due to phase-variation (pv) of LOS glycosyltransferase (lgt) genes. mAb 2C7 reactivity requires a lactose extension from the LOS core Heptose (Hep) II (i.e. lgtG ‘ON’ [G+]). Pv results in HepI with: two (2-), three (3-), four (4-), or five (5-) hexoses (Hex). How ...


Overcoming Toxicity From Transgene Overexpression Through Vector Design In Aav Gene Therapy For Gm2 Gangliosidoses, Diane L. Golebiowski Sep 2016

Overcoming Toxicity From Transgene Overexpression Through Vector Design In Aav Gene Therapy For Gm2 Gangliosidoses, Diane L. Golebiowski

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

GM2 gangliosidoses are a family of lysosomal storage disorders that include both Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases. These disorders result from deficiencies in the lysosomal enzyme β-N-acetylhexosaminidase (HexA). Impairment of HexA leads to accumulation of its substrate, GM2 ganglioside, in cells resulting in cellular dysfunction and death. There is currently no treatment for GM2 gangliosidoses. Patients primarily present with neurological dysfunction and degeneration. Here we developed a central nervous system gene therapy through direct injection that leads to long-term survival in the Sandhoff disease mouse model. We deliver an equal mixture of AAVrh8 vectors that encode for the two subunits (α ...


Viral Proteases As Drug Targets And The Mechanisms Of Drug Resistance: A Dissertation, Kuan-Hung Lin Sep 2016

Viral Proteases As Drug Targets And The Mechanisms Of Drug Resistance: A Dissertation, Kuan-Hung Lin

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Viral proteases have been shown to be effective targets of anti-viral therapies for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, under the pressure of therapy including protease inhibitors, the virus evolves to select drug resistance mutations both in the protease and substrates. In my thesis study, I aimed to understand the mechanisms of how this protease−substrate co-evolution contributes to drug resistance. Currently, there are no approved drugs against dengue virus (DENV); I investigated substrate recognition by DENV protease and designed cyclic peptides as inhibitors targeting the prime site of dengue protease.

First, I used X-ray crystallography ...


Structural Mechanisms Of The Sliding Clamp And Sliding Clamp Loader: Insights Into Disease And Function: A Dissertation, Caroline M. Duffy Jul 2016

Structural Mechanisms Of The Sliding Clamp And Sliding Clamp Loader: Insights Into Disease And Function: A Dissertation, Caroline M. Duffy

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Chromosomal replication is an essential process in all life. This dissertation highlights regulatory roles for two critical protein complexes at the heart of the replication fork: 1) the sliding clamp, the major polymerase processivity factor, and 2) the sliding clamp loader, a spiral-shaped AAA+ ATPase, which loads the clamp onto DNA.

The clamp is a promiscuous binding protein that interacts with at least 100 binding partners to orchestrate many processes on DNA, but spatiotemporal regulation of these binding interactions is unknown. Remarkably, a recent disease-causing mutant of the sliding clamp showed specific defects in DNA repair pathways. We aimed to ...


Characterizing The Disorder In Tristetraprolin And Its Contribution To Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation: A Dissertation, Laura M. Deveau May 2016

Characterizing The Disorder In Tristetraprolin And Its Contribution To Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation: A Dissertation, Laura M. Deveau

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are important for a wide variety of biological processes involved in gene regulation. However, the structural and dynamic contributions to their biological activity are poorly understood. The tristetraprolin (TTP) family of RBPs, including TTP, TIS11b and TIS11d, regulate the stability of mRNA transcripts encoding for key cancer-related proteins, such as tumor necrosis factor- and vascular endothelial growth factor. Biophysical studies have shown that the RNA binding domain, consisting of two CCCH zinc fingers (ZFs), is folded in the absence of RNA in TIS11d and TIS11b. In TTP, however, only ZF1 adopts a stable fold, while RNA is ...


The Mechanistic Role And Therapeutic Potential Of Microrna-122 In Alcoholic Liver Disease: A Dissertation, Abhishek Satishchandran Apr 2016

The Mechanistic Role And Therapeutic Potential Of Microrna-122 In Alcoholic Liver Disease: A Dissertation, Abhishek Satishchandran

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Chronic alcohol use results in accelerated liver injury, leading to alcoholic steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, due to the complex nature of this disease process, a central, druggable mechanism has remained elusive. microRNAs are potent post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. A single miRNA has the ability to regulate hundreds of pathways simultaneously, defining cellular fate and function. microRNA-122 (miR-122), the most abundant miRNA in hepatocytes, has a demonstrated role as an tumor suppressor, regulator of hepatocyte metabolism, and hepatic differentiation.

In this dissertation I demonstrate the role of miR-122 on alcoholic liver disease (ALD) pathogenesis over four parts. In ...


Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals That Argonaute Re-Shapes The Properties Of Its Nucleic Acid Guides: A Dissertation, William E. Salomon Dec 2015

Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals That Argonaute Re-Shapes The Properties Of Its Nucleic Acid Guides: A Dissertation, William E. Salomon

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Small RNA silencing pathways regulate development, viral defense, and genomic integrity in all kingdoms of life. An Argonaute (Ago) protein, guided by a tightly bound, small RNA or DNA, lies at the core of these pathways. Argonaute uses its small RNA or DNA to find its target sequences, which it either cleaves or stably binds, acting as a binding scaffold for other proteins. We used Co-localization Single-Molecule Spectroscopy (CoSMoS) to analyze target binding and cleavage by Ago and its guide. We find that both eukaryotic and prokaryotic Argonaute proteins re-shape the fundamental properties of RNA:RNA, RNA:DNA, and DNA ...


Roles Of Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 7 And Jumonji Domain-Containing Protein 6 In Adipocyte Differentiation: A Dissertation, Yu-Jie Hu Oct 2015

Roles Of Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 7 And Jumonji Domain-Containing Protein 6 In Adipocyte Differentiation: A Dissertation, Yu-Jie Hu

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Regulation of gene expression comprises a wide range of mechanisms that control the abundance of gene products in response to environmental and developmental changes. These biological processes can be modulated by posttranslational modifications including arginine methylation. Among the enzymes that catalyze the methylation, protein arginine methyltransferase 7 (PRMT7) is known to modify histones to repress gene expression. Jumonji domain-containing protein 6 (JMJD6) is a putative arginine demethylase that potentially antagonize PRMT7. However, the biological significance of these enzymes is not well understood. This thesis summarizes the investigation of both PRMT7 and JMJD6 in cell culture models for adipocyte differentiation. The ...


Causal Inference Methods For Assessing Neurodevelopment In Children Following Prenatal Exposure To Triptan Medications: A Dissertation, Mollie E. Wood Apr 2015

Causal Inference Methods For Assessing Neurodevelopment In Children Following Prenatal Exposure To Triptan Medications: A Dissertation, Mollie E. Wood

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Background: Migraine headache is a chronic pain condition that affects 20% of women of reproductive age, and is often treated with triptans. Triptans are serotonin 1B, 1D, and 1F receptor agonists that act as vasoconstrictors and inhibitors of the trigeminal cervical complex as well as peripheral neurons; they cross the blood brain barrier and placenta, and as such are plausible neurodevelopmental teratogens. No studies have examined risk of neurodevelopmental problems in children with prenatal triptan exposure. This dissertation had three aims: (1) to examine risk of behavioral problems in children using in the presence of time-varying confounding by concomitant medication ...


Yeast Upf1 Associates With Ribosomestranslating Mrna Coding Sequences Upstream Of Normal Termination Codons: A Dissertation, Ei Ei Min Apr 2015

Yeast Upf1 Associates With Ribosomestranslating Mrna Coding Sequences Upstream Of Normal Termination Codons: A Dissertation, Ei Ei Min

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) specifically targets mRNAs with premature translation termination codons for rapid degradation. NMD is a highly conserved translation-dependent mRNA decay pathway, and its core Upf factors are thought to be recruited to prematurely terminating mRNP complexes, possibly through the release factors that orchestrate translation termination. Upf1 is the central regulator of NMD and recent studies have challenged the notion that this protein is specifically targeted to aberrant, nonsense-containing mRNAs. Rather, it has been proposed that Upf1 binds to most mRNAs in a translation-independent manner. In this thesis, I investigated the nature of Upf1 association with its substrates ...


Dissecting The Role Of A Lncrna And Involvement Of Plasmodium Infections In The Innate Immune Response: A Dissertation, Jennie Chan Apr 2015

Dissecting The Role Of A Lncrna And Involvement Of Plasmodium Infections In The Innate Immune Response: A Dissertation, Jennie Chan

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

The innate immune system is a multicomponent response governed by intricate mechanisms of induction, regulation and resolution to elicit antimicrobial defenses. In recent years, the complexity of eukaryotic transcriptomes has become the subject of intense scrutiny and curiosity. It has been established, that RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcribes hundreds to thousands of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), often in a stimulus and cell-type specific manner. However, the functional significance of these transcripts has been particularly controversial. While the number of identified lncRNAs is growing, our understanding of how lncRNAs themselves regulate other genes is quite limited. In chapter 2, a novel ...


Subtle Controllers: Micrornas Drive Pancreatic Tumorigenesis And Progression: A Dissertation, Brian J. Quattrochi Apr 2015

Subtle Controllers: Micrornas Drive Pancreatic Tumorigenesis And Progression: A Dissertation, Brian J. Quattrochi

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is among the most lethal malignancies in the United States, with an average five-year survival rate of just 6.7%. One unifying aspect of PDAC is mutational activation of the KRAS oncogene, which occurs in over 90% of PDAC. Therefore, inhibiting KRAS function is likely an effective therapeutic strategy for this disease, and current research in our lab and others is focused on identifying downstream effectors of KRAS signaling that may be therapeutic targets. miRNAs are powerful regulators of gene expression that can behave as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Dysregulation of miRNA expression is commonly observed ...


Use Of Opioids For Pain Management In Nursing Homes: A Dissertation, Camilla B. Pimentel Apr 2015

Use Of Opioids For Pain Management In Nursing Homes: A Dissertation, Camilla B. Pimentel

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Nursing homes are an essential yet understudied provider of cancer-related care for those with complex health needs. Nine percent of nursing home residents have a cancer diagnosis at admission, and it is estimated that one-third of them experience pain on a daily basis. Although pain management is an essential component of disease treatment, few studies have evaluated analgesic medication use among adults with cancer in this setting. Use of opioids, which are the mainstay of pain management in older adults because of their effectiveness in controlling moderate to severe pain, may be significantly related to coverage by the Medicare Part ...


Characterization Of Innate Immune Pathways In Dna Vaccine-Induced, Antigen-Specific Immune Responses: A Dissertation, John J. Suschak Iii Dec 2014

Characterization Of Innate Immune Pathways In Dna Vaccine-Induced, Antigen-Specific Immune Responses: A Dissertation, John J. Suschak Iii

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

A major advantage of DNA vaccination is the ability to induce both humoral and cellular immune responses. DNA vaccines are currently used in veterinary medicine, but their tendency to display low immunogenicity in humans has hindered their usage, despite excellent tolerability and safety profiles. Various approaches have been used to improve the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines. Recent human study data re-established the value of DNA vaccines, especially in priming high-level antigen-specific antibody responses. Data suggests that innate immune responses to the DNA vaccine plasmid itself contribute to the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines, however the underlying mechanisms responsible remain unclear. In ...


A Feedback Loop Couples Musashi-1 Activity To Omega-9 Fatty Acid Biosynthesis: A Dissertation, Carina C. Clingman Sep 2014

A Feedback Loop Couples Musashi-1 Activity To Omega-9 Fatty Acid Biosynthesis: A Dissertation, Carina C. Clingman

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

All living creatures change their gene expression program in response to nutrient availability and metabolic demands. Nutrients and metabolites can directly control transcription and activate second-­‐messenger systems. In bacteria, metabolites also affect post-­‐transcriptional regulatory mechanisms, but there are only a few isolated examples of this regulation in eukaryotes. Here, I present evidence that RNA-­‐binding by the stem cell translation regulator Musashi-­‐1 (MSI1) is allosterically inhibited by 18-­‐22 carbon ω-­‐9 monounsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acid binds to the N-­‐terminal RNA Recognition Motif (RRM) and induces a conformational change that prevents RNA association. Musashi ...


Dynamic Regulation At The Neuronal Plasma Membrane: Novel Endocytic Mechanisms Control Anesthetic-Activated Potassium Channels And Amphetamine-Sensitive Dopamine Transporters: A Dissertation, Luke R. Gabriel Jun 2013

Dynamic Regulation At The Neuronal Plasma Membrane: Novel Endocytic Mechanisms Control Anesthetic-Activated Potassium Channels And Amphetamine-Sensitive Dopamine Transporters: A Dissertation, Luke R. Gabriel

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Endocytic trafficking dynamically regulates neuronal plasma membrane protein presentation and activity, and plays a central role in excitability and plasticity. Over the course of my dissertation research I investigated endocytic mechanisms regulating two neuronal membrane proteins: the anesthetic-activated potassium leak channel, KCNK3, as well as the psychostimulant-sensitive dopamine transporter (DAT). My results indicate that KCNK3 internalizes in response to Protein Kinase C (PKC) activation, using a novel pathway that requires the phosphoserine binding protein, 14-3-3β, and demonstrates for the first time regulated KCNK3 channel trafficking in neurons. Additionally, PKC-mediated KCNK3 trafficking requires a non-canonical endocytic motif, which is shared exclusively ...


Rna Interference By The Numbers: Explaining Biology Through Enzymology: A Dissertation, Liang Meng Wee Jun 2013

Rna Interference By The Numbers: Explaining Biology Through Enzymology: A Dissertation, Liang Meng Wee

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Small silencing RNAs function in almost every aspect of cellular biology. Argonaute proteins bind small RNA and execute gene silencing. The number of Argonaute paralogs range from 5 in Drosophila melanogaster , 8 in Homo sapiens to an astounding 27 in Caenorhabditis elegans. This begs several questions: Do Argonaute proteins have different small RNA repertoires? Do Argonaute proteins behave differently? And if so, how are they functionally and mechanistically distinct?

To address these questions, we examined the thermodynamic, kinetic and functional properties of fly Argonaute1 (dAgo1), fly Argonaute2 (dAgo2) and mouse Argonaute2 (mAGO2). Our studies reveal that in fly, small RNA ...


Adjuvant-Specific Serum Cytokine Profiles In The Context Of A Dna Prime-Protein Boost Hiv-1 Vaccine: A Dissertation, Rachel Buglione-Corbett Apr 2013

Adjuvant-Specific Serum Cytokine Profiles In The Context Of A Dna Prime-Protein Boost Hiv-1 Vaccine: A Dissertation, Rachel Buglione-Corbett

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

In recent years, heterologous prime-boost vaccination constructs have emerged as a promising strategy to generate broad and protective immunity against a variety of pathogens. The utility of DNA vaccination in priming the immune system, in particular, has improved the immunogenicity of vaccines against difficult pathogens such as HIV-1. In addition, many vaccine formulations include an adjuvant to augment immune responses. However, the mechanisms and profiles of many adjuvants remain largely unknown, particularly in the context of such combination immunization approaches.

My thesis research studied the effects of several adjuvants, QS-21, aluminum hydroxide, MPL, and ISCOMATRIX™ adjuvant in the context of ...


An Extra-Embryonic Wnt Signaling Event Controls Gastrulation In Mice: A Dissertation, Giovane G. Tortelote Nov 2012

An Extra-Embryonic Wnt Signaling Event Controls Gastrulation In Mice: A Dissertation, Giovane G. Tortelote

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

The formation of the anterior-posterior axis requires a symmetry-breaking event that starts gastrulation. Ultimately, the morphogenetic movements of gastrulation reshape the embryo to its final tri-dimensional form. In mouse embryos, the identity of the molecule that breaks the bilateral symmetry and sets in motion gastrulation remains elusive. The Wnt signaling pathway plays a pivotal role during axial specification and gastrulation in metazoans. Loss-of-function experiments have demonstrated a requirement of Wnt3 for gastrulation in mice. But because Wnt3 is expressed sequentially in two tissues, the visceral endoderm and the epiblast, its tissue specific requirements remain uncertain. Here, we report that embryos ...


Investigating The Roles Of Nedd4.2s And Nef In The Release And Replication Of Hiv-1: A Dissertation, Eric R. Weiss Sep 2012

Investigating The Roles Of Nedd4.2s And Nef In The Release And Replication Of Hiv-1: A Dissertation, Eric R. Weiss

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Replication of HIV-1 requires the assembly and release of mature and infectious viral particles. In order to accomplish this goal, HIV-1 has evolved multiple methods to interact with the host cell. HIV-1 recruits the host cell ESCRT machinery to facilitate the release of nascent viral particles from the host cell membrane. Recruitment of these cellular factors is dependent on the presence of short motifs in Gag referred to as Late-domains. Deletion or mutation of these domains results in substantial decrease in the release of infectious virions. However, previously published work has indicated that over-expression of the E3 ubiquitin ligase, NEDD4 ...


Hepatitis C Virus Non-Structural Protein 3/4a: A Tale Of Two Domains: A Dissertation, Cihan Aydin Aug 2012

Hepatitis C Virus Non-Structural Protein 3/4a: A Tale Of Two Domains: A Dissertation, Cihan Aydin

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Two decades after the discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), Hepatitis C infection still persists to be a global health problem. With the recent approval of the first set of directly acting antivirals (DAAs), the rate of sustained viral response for HCV-infected patients increased significantly. However, a complete cure has not been found yet. Drug development efforts primarily target NS3/4A protease, bifunctional serine protease-RNA helicase of HCV. HCV NS3/4A is critical in viral function; protease domain processes the viral polyprotein and helicase domain aids replication of HCV genome by unwinding double stranded RNA transcripts produced by NS5B ...


Serotonin-Expressing Cells In The Corpus Of The Stomach Originate From Bone Marrow: A Master’S Thesis, Brian T. Johnston Aug 2012

Serotonin-Expressing Cells In The Corpus Of The Stomach Originate From Bone Marrow: A Master’S Thesis, Brian T. Johnston

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Neurogenin 3 and its downstream target NeuroD are basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors which promote endocrine differentiation in the gastrointestinal tract. However, mice lacking Ngn3 still produce several hormones in the stomach. Lineage tracing mouse models demonstrated that a majority of hormone cells in the corpus region of the stomach did not express Ngn3 or NeuroD during differentiation. Serotonin and histamine cells were entirely NeuroD-independently derived, and serotonin cells were additionally entirely Ngn3-independently derived. In this study, we isolated serotonin and histamine cells from the gastric corpus of transgenic mice expressing the fluorescent marker CFP. Serotonin cells expressed multiple mast cell ...


Psychosocial And Behavioral Determinants Of Medication Nonadherence Among African Americans With Hypertension: A Dissertation, Yendelela L. Cuffee Aug 2012

Psychosocial And Behavioral Determinants Of Medication Nonadherence Among African Americans With Hypertension: A Dissertation, Yendelela L. Cuffee

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

The overarching goal of this dissertation was to elucidate the psychosocial and behavioral determinants of medication nonadherence among African Americans with hypertension. One in three Americans in the United States has hypertension, and the prevalence of hypertension among African Americans is among the highest in the world. In addition to healthy behaviors such as following a low-salt and low-fat diet, getting regular exercise, and reducing stress, patients with hypertension must also adhere to antihypertensive medications. Poor medication adherence may be driven by psychosocial and behavioral factors; however, the impact of these factors on medication adherence is unclear especially within the ...


A Novel Communication Mechanism Between The Presynapse And Postsynapse Through Exosomes: A Dissertation, Ceren Korkut Aug 2012

A Novel Communication Mechanism Between The Presynapse And Postsynapse Through Exosomes: A Dissertation, Ceren Korkut

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

The minimal element of the nervous system, the synapse, is a plastic structure that has the ability to change in response to various internal and external factors. This property of the synapse underlies complex behaviors such as learning and memory. However, the exact molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in this process are not fully understood. To understand the mechanisms that regulate synapse development and plasticity I took advantage of a powerful model system, the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). In this system, both anterograde and retrograde signaling pathways critical for coordinated synapse development and plasticity have been documented.

An anterograde ...


Sequence And Target Specificity Of The C. Elegans Cell Fate Specification Factor Pos-1: A Dissertation, Brian M. Farley Aug 2012

Sequence And Target Specificity Of The C. Elegans Cell Fate Specification Factor Pos-1: A Dissertation, Brian M. Farley

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

In most metazoans, early embryogenesis is controlled by the translational regulation of maternally supplied mRNA. Sequence-specific RNA-binding proteins play an important role in regulating early embryogenesis, yet their specificities and regulatory targets are largely unknown. To understand how these RNA-binding proteins select their targets, my research focused on the C. elegans CCCH-type tandem zinc finger protein POS-1. Embryos lacking maternally supplied POS-1 die prior to gastrulation, and exhibit defects in the specification of pharyngeal, intestinal, and germline precursor cells. To identify the regulatory targets that contribute to the POS-1 mutant phenotype, we set out to determine the sequence specificity of ...


The Role Of Itk In The Development Of Gamma Delta Nkt Cells: A Dissertation, Catherine C. Yin Aug 2012

The Role Of Itk In The Development Of Gamma Delta Nkt Cells: A Dissertation, Catherine C. Yin

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

The immune system is a complex network of interacting cells and tissues that is designed to protect the body from pathogens and other foreign substances. T cells are a major component of the immune system and consist of two distinct lineages distinguished by the expression of αβ or γδ T cell receptors (TCR). The Tec family kinase, Itk is an important mediator of signaling downstream of the TCR. Past studies on Itk has focused on how Itk regulates development, activation and differentiation of conventional αβ T cells and more recently how Itk regulates the development of innate-like αβ T cells ...