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On The Challenges And Rewards Of Analyzing Molecular Dynamics At The Terabyte And Millisecond Scale, Justin Roy Porter 2021 Washington University in St. Louis

On The Challenges And Rewards Of Analyzing Molecular Dynamics At The Terabyte And Millisecond Scale, Justin Roy Porter

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Markov state models (MSMs) are powerful tools for estimating and concisely representing the conformational ensemble accessible to biological macromolecules, particularly proteins. Conformational ensembles are of special importance biological function, both in health and disease, because biology derives from molecules’ entire conformational distribution rather than any single structure. Consequently, MD is poised to become a powerful tool for personalized medicine and for the study of molecular sequence-function relationships generally. However, because of their hyperdimensionality and size, just generating MD datasets and Markov state models (MSMs) that represent biologically relevant molecules is a substantive technical challenge. Then, even …


Slo2.1 Channels: A New Molecular Mechanism To Regulate Uterine Excitability, Juan Jose Ferreira 2021 Washington University in St. Louis

Slo2.1 Channels: A New Molecular Mechanism To Regulate Uterine Excitability, Juan Jose Ferreira

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

At the end of pregnancy, the uterus transitions from a non-contractile state to a highly contractile state. Two processes primarily drive this transition. First, from the 28th week of pregnancy until labor, the resting membrane potential of uterine (myometrial) smooth muscle cells (MSMCs) gradually becomes more positive (depolarizes) (Parkington et al. 1999). Second, at the end of pregnancy, MSMCs express more oxytocin receptors and become more sensitive to oxytocin (Kimura et al. 1996). However, the detailed mechanisms by which these processes occur have not been determined. My central hypothesis was that the Na+-activated K+ channel SLO2.1 plays a key role …


Regulatory Effects Of The E. Coli Recbcd Nuclease Domain On Dna Unwinding Kinetics, Nicole Fazio 2021 Washington University in St. Louis

Regulatory Effects Of The E. Coli Recbcd Nuclease Domain On Dna Unwinding Kinetics, Nicole Fazio

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

I have examined the effects of deleting the nuclease domain of the E. coli helicase RecBCD on the rates of ATP-independent DNA melting, single stranded (ss) DNA translocation, and double stranded (ds) DNA unwinding by RecBCD. The canonical role of the nuclease domain is DNA degradation, but the removal of this domain showed unexpected effects on other RecBCD activities including DNA binding, melting, and unwinding. This thesis presents a mechanistic study of DNA unwinding by RecBCD and a RecBCD variant with the nuclease domain deleted (RecBΔnucCD). I examined the rates of ssDNA translocation and dsDNA unwinding by RecBCD and RecBΔnucCD …


Computational Methods For Analysis Of Data For Conformational And Phase Equilibria Of Disordered Proteins, Jared Michael M Lalmansingh 2021 Washington University in St. Louis

Computational Methods For Analysis Of Data For Conformational And Phase Equilibria Of Disordered Proteins, Jared Michael M Lalmansingh

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Intrinsically disordered proteins and regions (IDPs / IDRs) are a class of proteins with diverse conformational heterogeneity that do not fold into a tertiary structure due to the lack of a native structural state. Consequently, disordered proteins are remarkably flexible and exhibit multivalent properties that enable them to adopt myriad functional roles within the cell such as: signaling transduction, transcription, enzymatic catalysis, translation, and many more. Due to their multivalency, some IDPs undergo monomeric and heterotypic interactions which can drive phase separation. Such IDPs can form membraneless organelles with specific regulatory roles within the cell which include, but are not …


A Review Of Calcineurin Biophysics With Implications For Cardiac Physiology, Ryan B. Williams 2021 Mississippi State University

A Review Of Calcineurin Biophysics With Implications For Cardiac Physiology, Ryan B. Williams

Theses and Dissertations

Calmodulin is a prevalent calcium sensing protein found in all cells. Three genes exist for calmodulin and all three of these genes encode for the exact same protein sequence. Recently mutations in the amino acid sequence of calmodulin have been identified in living human patients. Thus far, patients harboring these mutations in the calmodulin sequence have only displayed an altered cardiac related phenotype. Calcineurin is involved in many key physiological processes and its activity is regulated by calcium and calmodulin. In order to assess whether or not calcineurin contributes to calmodulinopathy (a pathological state arising from dysfunctional calmodulin), a comprehensive …


Granulins In Norm And Neurodegenerative Pathologies, Anukool Bhopatkar 2021 The University of Southern Mississippi

Granulins In Norm And Neurodegenerative Pathologies, Anukool Bhopatkar

Dissertations

Granulins (GRNs) are small, cysteine-rich modules produced from the proteolytic cleavage of the precursor protein called progranulin (PGRN). GRNs are present in the form of seven tandem repeats within the precursor and are known to be produced in the extracellular and in lysosomal environments. In physiology, PGRN and GRNs plays pleiotropic roles such as neuronal growth and differentiation, immunomodulation, wound healing. Recent studies have implicated pathological role for PGRN in Alzheimer disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) but specific mechanism(s) remains unclear. However, potential interactions between GRNs and Ab42 and TDP-43 seem like a plausible underlying mechanism. Studies presented here …


Utilizing Computational Approaches To Study Tubulin- Tubulin Electrostatic Interactions, Tolulope Ayodeji Ale 2021 University of Texas at El Paso

Utilizing Computational Approaches To Study Tubulin- Tubulin Electrostatic Interactions, Tolulope Ayodeji Ale

Open Access Theses & Dissertations

Microtubules play significant roles in transporting cargos within the cell, as well as the cell cycle. They are essentially the highway for the transportation of cell organelles. Understanding the interactions among microtubule components is crucial for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. In this study, we utilize a series of computational approaches to study the electrostatic interactions at the binding interfaces of interacting tubulin monomers. Our study revealed that the electrostatic attractive interactions in the αβ tubulin dimer is the strongest while the interaction between two αβ tubulin dimers in the longitude direction is the weakest. The result identified …


Liposomes: Production And Applications For Controlled Drug Delivery, Gamid Abatchev 2021 Boise State University

Liposomes: Production And Applications For Controlled Drug Delivery, Gamid Abatchev

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation recognizes the enormous potential presented by the ever-evolving development of liposomes as drug carriers and seeks to offer further investigation into their useful production and utilization. The first chapter presents the basic principles governing their formation by self-assembly in water solutions, briefly describes the most common production methods, and points out essential past advances that led to their use as drug carriers. Chapter two exemplifies production of liposomes by the traditional methods of extrusion and sonication, detailing passive and active loading, as well as physical characterization by Dynamic Light Scattering, microscopy imaging, and fluorescence spectroscopy. In the next …


Deciphering Chemomechanical Couplings In Proteins Using Microsecond-Level Molecular Dynamics Simulations, Vivek Govind Kumar 2021 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Deciphering Chemomechanical Couplings In Proteins Using Microsecond-Level Molecular Dynamics Simulations, Vivek Govind Kumar

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

All-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations combine the high temporal resolution of experimental methods like smFRET and spatial resolution of methods like x-ray crystallography, to provide a detailed dynamic picture of biomolecular processes. Here, microsecond-level atomistic MD simulations have been used to characterize chemomechanical couplings in human fibroblast growth factor 1 (hFGF1) and the spike proteins of SARS CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2. hFGF1 is a globular signaling protein that is involved in several physiological processes ranging from cell proliferation to wound healing. Experimental studies have previously described the low proteolytic and thermal stability of hFGF1, in addition to the stabilizing role of …


Adrenocortical Attunement, Reactivity, And Potential Genetic Correlates Among Parent-Daughter Dyads From Low-Income Families, Jennifer Byrd-Craven, Michael M. Criss, Jessica L. Calvi, Lixian Cui, Amanda Baraldi, Amanda Sheffield Morris 2021 Oklahoma State University

Adrenocortical Attunement, Reactivity, And Potential Genetic Correlates Among Parent-Daughter Dyads From Low-Income Families, Jennifer Byrd-Craven, Michael M. Criss, Jessica L. Calvi, Lixian Cui, Amanda Baraldi, Amanda Sheffield Morris

Athletic Performance Research

Examining the multitude of influences on the development of adolescent stress responses, especially among low-income families, is a critical and understudied topic in the field. The current study examined cortisol attunement between adolescent girls and parents (mostly mothers) from predominantly low-income, single parent, ethnic minority families before and after an in-laboratory disagreement discussion task. The sample consisted of 118 adolescents (Mage = 13.79 years, 76.3% ethnic minorities, 23.7% European Americans) and primary caregivers (Mage = 40.62 years; Mdn yearly income = $24,000; 43.2% single parents; 50% living below poverty line). We investigated oxytocin receptor (OXTR rs53576) …


Engineering Fluorescently Labeled Human Fibroblast Growth Factor One Mutants And Characterizing Their Photophysics Properties Towards Designing Fret Assays, Mamello Mohale 2021 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Engineering Fluorescently Labeled Human Fibroblast Growth Factor One Mutants And Characterizing Their Photophysics Properties Towards Designing Fret Assays, Mamello Mohale

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Human fibroblast growth factor one (hFGF1) belongs to a family of 22 FGF members produced by fibroblast cells. Cell signaling during physiological processes of angiogenesis and wound healing occurs when hFGF1 binds to its receptor (FGFR). However, when heterogenous homeostasis is not maintained, fibroblast cells exhibit excessive proliferation which can lead to a myriad of cancers. smFRET is an ultrasensitive distant dependent (1-10 nm) technique capable of resolving such heterogeneity in structural dynamics and binding affinities (Kd). Therefore, we successfully designed and characterized fluorescently labeled hFGF1 tracers which span the visible light region of the electromagnetic spectrum for use in …


Structure Of A Monomeric Photosystem Ii Core Complex From A Cyanobacterium Acclimated To Far-Red Light Reveals The Functions Of Chlorophylls D And F, Christopher J. Gisriel, Gaozhong Shen, Ming-Yang Ho, Vasily Kurashov, David A. Flesher, Jimin Wang, William H. Armstrong, John H. Golbeck, Marilyn R. Gunner, David J. Vinyard, Richard J. Debus, Gary W. Brudvig, Donald A. Bryant 2021 Yale University

Structure Of A Monomeric Photosystem Ii Core Complex From A Cyanobacterium Acclimated To Far-Red Light Reveals The Functions Of Chlorophylls D And F, Christopher J. Gisriel, Gaozhong Shen, Ming-Yang Ho, Vasily Kurashov, David A. Flesher, Jimin Wang, William H. Armstrong, John H. Golbeck, Marilyn R. Gunner, David J. Vinyard, Richard J. Debus, Gary W. Brudvig, Donald A. Bryant

Publications and Research

Far-red light (FRL) photoacclimation in cyanobacteria provides a selective growth advantage for some terrestrial cyanobacteria by expanding the range of photosynthetically active radiation to include far-red/near-infrared light (700–800 nm). During this photoacclimation process, photosystem II (PSII), the water:plastoquinone photooxidoreductase involved in oxygenic photosynthesis, is modified. The resulting FRL-PSII is comprised of FRL-specific core subunits and binds chlorophyll (Chl) d and Chl f molecules in place of several of the Chl a molecules found when cells are grown in visible light. These new Chls effectively lower the energy canonically thought to define the “red limit” for light required to drive photochemical …


Mechanistic Insight Into Β-Lactamase Catalysis, Inhibitor Design And Resistance, Michael Trent Kemp 2021 University of South Florida

Mechanistic Insight Into Β-Lactamase Catalysis, Inhibitor Design And Resistance, Michael Trent Kemp

USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The emergence of antibiotic resistance and spread of Gram negative bacteria poses a very real health threat to the public. The main mode of resistance within Gram negative bacteria is the production of β-lactamase enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of β-lactam antibiotics through a hydrolysis mechanism. Once the β-lactam ring is hydrolyzed and opened, the drug loses its efficacy, which allows for the bacteria to grow and proliferate uninhibited. These β-lactamase enzymes are organized into four categories based on the Ambler classification, with classes A, C and D being denoted as serine-based β-lactamase enzymes. Class B is composed of metalloenzymes …


Investigation Of Immobilized Enzymes In Confined Environment Of Mesoporous Host Matrices, Xiaoliang Wang 2021 University of South Florida

Investigation Of Immobilized Enzymes In Confined Environment Of Mesoporous Host Matrices, Xiaoliang Wang

USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Enzyme immobilization in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as a promising strategy, is attracting the interest of scientists from different disciplines with the expansion of MOF’s development. Different from other traditional host materials, their unique strengths of high surface areas, large yet adjustable pore sizes, functionalizable pore walls, and diverse architectures make MOFs an ideal platform to investigate hosted enzymes, which is critical to the industrial and commercial process. In addition to the protective function of MOFs, the extensive roles of MOFs in the enzyme immobilization are being well-explored by making full use of their remarkable properties like well-defined structure, high porosity, …


A Nosy Neighbor: Purification And Functional Characterization Of Lpg2149, Ashley M. Holahan 2021 Purdue University

A Nosy Neighbor: Purification And Functional Characterization Of Lpg2149, Ashley M. Holahan

The Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research

Ubiquitination is a process that marks proteins for various cell-signaling pathways, namely protein degradation and other processes. Th ese pathways are essential in a wide array of cellular processes, including defense mechanisms against invading pathogens. Th e ubiquitination process is universally found in all eukaryotic organisms, including plants and animals, and thus plays a vital role in cellular homeostasis. Recently, more discoveries have been made on prokaryotic effector proteins that hijack the ubiquitination system even when they do not possess a ubiquitin system of their own. MavC, also known as lpg2147 (Gan, Nakayasu, Hollenbeck, & Luo, 2019; Puvar et al., …


Understanding How Camkii Holoenzyme Dynamics Facilities Activation-Triggered Subunit Exchange, Ana P. Torres-Ocampo 2021 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Understanding How Camkii Holoenzyme Dynamics Facilities Activation-Triggered Subunit Exchange, Ana P. Torres-Ocampo

Doctoral Dissertations

Long-term memory and learning are still poorly understood from a molecular and cellular standpoint. Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is an oligomeric kinase that is involved in this remarkable process. However, the molecular details of its specific roles in these processes remains elusive. CaMKII activation-triggered subunit exchange presents a novel possible mechanism involved in long-term memory and learning by exchanging active subunits with other CaMKIIs. CaMKII subunit exchange also shows that exchanged CaMKIIs spread their phosphorylation state to newly synthesized CaMKIIs. This provides a long-lasting signal that might possibly be involved in long-term memory by escaping a cell’s …


Validation Of Arterial Spin Labeling For Longitudinal Monitoring And Differential Diagnosis Of Frontotemporal Dementia, Tracy Ssali 2021 The University of Western Ontario

Validation Of Arterial Spin Labeling For Longitudinal Monitoring And Differential Diagnosis Of Frontotemporal Dementia, Tracy Ssali

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease characterized by a rapid decline in behavioural, language, and motor abilities. Advances in the understanding of FTD genetics and pathophysiology, and the subsequent development of novel disease modifying treatments have highlighted the need for tools to assess their efficacy. While structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional imaging with 18F-flurodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) are used for clinical diagnosis, structural changes are subtle at the early stages and PET imaging is expensive and access limited. Given the coupling of cerebral blood flow (CBF) to energy metabolism, an attractive alternative is …


Phase Imaging For Reducing Macrovascular Signal Contributions In High-Resolution Fmri, Olivia W. Stanley 2021 The University of Western Ontario

Phase Imaging For Reducing Macrovascular Signal Contributions In High-Resolution Fmri, Olivia W. Stanley

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

High resolution functional MRI allows for the investigation of neural activity within the cortical sheet. One consideration in high resolution fMRI is the choice of which sequence to use during imaging, as all methods come with sensitivity and specificity tradeoffs. The most used fMRI sequence is gradient-echo echo planar imaging (GE-EPI) which has the highest sensitivity but is not specific to microvasculature. GE-EPI results in a signal with pial vessel bias which increases complexity of performing studies targeted at structures within the cortex. This work seeks to explore the use of MRI phase signal as a macrovascular filter to correct …


Exogenous Surfactant As A Delivery Vehicle For Intrapulmonary Therapeutics, Brandon J. Baer 2021 The University of Western Ontario

Exogenous Surfactant As A Delivery Vehicle For Intrapulmonary Therapeutics, Brandon J. Baer

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

As an organ system, the lung has unique advantages and disadvantages for direct drug delivery. Its contact with the external environment allows for the airways to be easily accessible to intrapulmonary delivery. However, its complex structure, which divides into more narrow airways with each branch, can make direct delivery to the remote alveoli challenging. The objective of this thesis was to overcome this issue by using exogenous surfactant, a lipoprotein complex used to treat neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, as a carrier for pulmonary therapeutics. It was hypothesized that therapeutics administered with a surfactant vehicle would display enhanced delivery to the …


Determining The Primary Dna Substrates Of Shld2'S Ob-Fold Domains, Hari Patchigolla 2021 University of Connecticut - Storrs

Determining The Primary Dna Substrates Of Shld2'S Ob-Fold Domains, Hari Patchigolla

Holster Scholar Projects

Failure to repair DNA double-stranded breaks leads to cell death. Radiation therapy is commonly used to kill cancer cells by inducing these breaks. However resistance to radiation therapy, due to a hyperactive DNA double-stranded break repair pathway, is a common occurrence that makes cancer patients more prone to relapse. The Shieldin complex is shown to promote DNA-double stranded break repair by binding to DNA at sites of damage. Thus, the objective of this project is to understand the affinity and type of DNA that Shieldin binds to, through gel-shift assays, for the eventual creation of an inhibitor for this protein …


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