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Seasonal Switchgrass Ecotype Contributions To Soil Organic Carbon, Deep Soil Microbial Community Composition And Rhizodeposit Uptake During An Extreme Drought, Catherine E. Stewart, Damaris Roosendaal, Karolien Denef, Elizabeth Pruessner, Louise H. Comas, Gautam Sarath, Virginia L. Jin, Marty R. Schmer, Madhavan Soundararajan 2017 USDA-ARS

Seasonal Switchgrass Ecotype Contributions To Soil Organic Carbon, Deep Soil Microbial Community Composition And Rhizodeposit Uptake During An Extreme Drought, Catherine E. Stewart, Damaris Roosendaal, Karolien Denef, Elizabeth Pruessner, Louise H. Comas, Gautam Sarath, Virginia L. Jin, Marty R. Schmer, Madhavan Soundararajan

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

The importance of rhizodeposit C and associated microbial communities in deep soil C stabilization is relatively unknown. Phenotypic variability in plant root biomass could impact C cycling through belowground plant allocation, rooting architecture, and microbial community abundance and composition. We used a pulse-chase 13C labeling experiment with compound-specific stable-isotope probing to investigate the importance of rhizodeposit C to deep soil microbial biomass under two switchgrass ecotypes (Panicum virgatum L., Kanlow and Summer) with contrasting root morphology. We quantified root phenology, soil microbial biomass (phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA), and microbial rhizodeposit uptake (13C-PLFAs) to 150 cm over one year ...


End-To-End Molecular Communication Channels In Cell Metabolism: An Information Theoretic Study, Zahmeeth Sakkaff, Massimiliano Pierobon, Jennie L. Catlett, Nicole R. Buan, Christine A. Kelley, Mikaela Cashman, Myra B. Cohen 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

End-To-End Molecular Communication Channels In Cell Metabolism: An Information Theoretic Study, Zahmeeth Sakkaff, Massimiliano Pierobon, Jennie L. Catlett, Nicole R. Buan, Christine A. Kelley, Mikaela Cashman, Myra B. Cohen

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

The opportunity to control and fine-tune the behavior of biological cells is a fascinating possibility for many diverse disciplines, ranging from medicine and ecology, to chemical industry and space exploration. While synthetic biology is providing novel tools to reprogram cell behavior from their genetic code, many challenges need to be solved before it can become a true engineering discipline, such as reliability, safety assurance, reproducibility and stability. This paper aims to understand the limits in the controllability of the behavior of a natural (non-engineered) biological cell. In particular, the focus is on cell metabolism, and its natural regulation mechanisms, and ...


Oxidative Stress, Metabolomics Profiling, And Mechanism Of Local Anesthetic Induced Cell Death In Yeast, Cory Honsinger Thomas Boone, Ryan A. Grove, Dana Adamcova, Javier Seravalli, Jiri Adamec 2017 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Oxidative Stress, Metabolomics Profiling, And Mechanism Of Local Anesthetic Induced Cell Death In Yeast, Cory Honsinger Thomas Boone, Ryan A. Grove, Dana Adamcova, Javier Seravalli, Jiri Adamec

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

The World Health Organization designates lidocaine as an essential medicine in healthcare, greatly increasing the probability of human exposure. Its use has been associated with ROS generation and neurotoxicity. Physiological and metabolomic alterations, and genetics leading to the clinically observed adverse effects have not been temporally characterized. To study alterations that may lead to these undesirable effects, Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown on aerobic carbon sources to stationary phase was assessed over 6 h. Exposure of an LC50 dose of lidocaine, increased mitochondrial depolarization and ROS/RNS generation assessed using JC-1, ROS/RNS specific probes, and FACS. Intracellular calcium also increased ...


Significant Enhancement Of Fatty Acid Composition In Seeds Of The Allohexaploid, Camelina Sativa, Using Crispr/Cas9 Gene Editing, Wen Zhi Jhang, Isabelle M. Henry, Peter G. Lynagh, Lucia Comai, Edgar B. Cahoon, Donald P. Weeks 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Significant Enhancement Of Fatty Acid Composition In Seeds Of The Allohexaploid, Camelina Sativa, Using Crispr/Cas9 Gene Editing, Wen Zhi Jhang, Isabelle M. Henry, Peter G. Lynagh, Lucia Comai, Edgar B. Cahoon, Donald P. Weeks

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

The CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease system is a powerful and flexible tool for genome editing, and novel applications of this system are being developed rapidly. Here, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to target the FAD2 gene in Arabidopsis thaliana and in the closely related emerging oil seed plant, Camelina sativa, with the goal of improving seed oil composition. We successfully obtained Camelina seeds in which oleic acid content was increased from 16% to over 50% of the fatty acid composition. These increases were associated with significant decreases in the less desirable polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid (i.e. a decrease from ~16 ...


Toxoplasma Dj-1 Regulates Organelle Secretion By A Direct Interaction With Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 1, Matthew A. Child, Megan Garland, Ian Foe, Peter Madzelan, Moritz Treeck, Wouter A. van der Linden, Kristina Oresic Bender, Evanthie Weerapana, Mark A. Wilson, John C. Boothroyd, Michael L. Reese 2017 Stanford University and Imperial College London

Toxoplasma Dj-1 Regulates Organelle Secretion By A Direct Interaction With Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 1, Matthew A. Child, Megan Garland, Ian Foe, Peter Madzelan, Moritz Treeck, Wouter A. Van Der Linden, Kristina Oresic Bender, Evanthie Weerapana, Mark A. Wilson, John C. Boothroyd, Michael L. Reese

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

Human DJ-1 is a highly conserved and yet functionally enigmatic protein associated with a heritable form of Parkinson’s disease. It has been suggested to be a redox-dependent regulatory scaffold, binding to proteins to modulate their function. Here we present the X-ray crystal structure of the Toxoplasma orthologue Toxoplasma gondii DJ-1 (TgDJ-1) at 2.1-A resolution and show that it directly associates with calcium-dependent protein kinase 1 (CDPK1). The TgDJ-1 structure identifies an orthologously conserved arginine dyad that acts as a phospho-gatekeeper motif to control complex formation. We determined that the binding of TgDJ-1 to CDPK1 is sensitive to oxidation ...


Secs (Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells), Liver Microenvironment, And Fibrosis, Vaishaali Natarajan, Edward N. Harris, Srivatsan Kidambi 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Secs (Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells), Liver Microenvironment, And Fibrosis, Vaishaali Natarajan, Edward N. Harris, Srivatsan Kidambi

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

Liver fibrosis is awound-healing response to chronic liver injury such as alcoholic/nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and viral hepatitis with no FDA-approved treatments. Liver fibrosis results in a continual accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and paves the way for replacement of parenchyma with nonfunctional scar tissue. The fibrotic condition results in drastic changes in the local mechanical, chemical, and biological microenvironment of the tissue. Liver parenchyma is supported by an efficient network of vasculature lined by liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs). These nonparenchymal cells are highly specialized resident endothelial cell type with characteristic morphological and functional features. Alterations in ...


Gene Duplication And Neo-Functionalization In The Evolutionary And Functional Divergence Of The Metazoan Copper Transporters Ctr1 And Ctr2, Brandon L. Logeman, L. Kent Wood, Jaekwoon Lee, Dennis J. Thiele 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Gene Duplication And Neo-Functionalization In The Evolutionary And Functional Divergence Of The Metazoan Copper Transporters Ctr1 And Ctr2, Brandon L. Logeman, L. Kent Wood, Jaekwoon Lee, Dennis J. Thiele

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

Copper is an essential element for proper organismal development and is involved in a range of processes, including oxidative phosphorylation, neuropeptide biogenesis, and connective tissue maturation. The copper transporter (Ctr) family of integral membrane proteins is ubiquitously found in eukaryotes and mediates the high-affinity transport of Cu_ across both the plasma membrane and endomembranes. Although mammalian Ctr1 functions as a Cu_ transporter for Cu acquisition and is essential for embryonic development, a homologous protein, Ctr2, has been proposed to function as a low-affinity Cu transporter, a lysosomal Cu exporter, or a regulator of Ctr1 activity, but its ...


Short Carboxylic Acid-Carboxylate Hydrogen Bonds Can Have Fully Localized Protons, Jiusheng Lin, Edwin Pozharski, Mark A. Wilson 2017 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Short Carboxylic Acid-Carboxylate Hydrogen Bonds Can Have Fully Localized Protons, Jiusheng Lin, Edwin Pozharski, Mark A. Wilson

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

Short hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) have been proposed to play key functional roles in several proteins. The location of the proton in short H-bonds is of central importance, as proton delocalization is a defining feature of low barrier hydrogen bonds (LBHBs). Experimentally determining proton location in H-bonds is challenging. Here, bond length analysis of atomic (1.15–0.98 Å) resolution X-ray crystal structures of the human protein DJ-1 and its bacterial homolog YajL was used to determine the protonation states of H-bonded carboxylic acids. DJ-1 contains a buried, dimer-spanning 2.49 Å H-bond between Glu15 and Asp23 that satisfies standard ...


Structural And Mechanistic Insights Into Hemoglobincatalyzed Hydrogen Sulfide Oxidation And The Fate Of Polysulfide Products, Victor Vitvitsky, Pramod K. Yadav, Sojin An, Javier Seravalli, Uhn-Soo Cho, Ruma V. Banerjee 2017 University of Michigan Medical School

Structural And Mechanistic Insights Into Hemoglobincatalyzed Hydrogen Sulfide Oxidation And The Fate Of Polysulfide Products, Victor Vitvitsky, Pramod K. Yadav, Sojin An, Javier Seravalli, Uhn-Soo Cho, Ruma V. Banerjee

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

Hydrogen sulfide is a cardioprotective signaling molecule but is toxic at elevated concentrations. Red blood cells can synthesize H2S but, lacking organelles, cannot dispose of H2S via the mitochondrial sulfide oxidation pathway. We have recently shown that at high sulfide concentrations, ferric hemoglobin oxidizes H2S to a mixture of thiosulfate and iron-bound polysulfides in which the latter species predominates. Here, we report the crystal structure of human hemoglobin containing low spin ferric sulfide, the first intermediate in heme-catalyzed sulfide oxidation. The structure provides molecular insights into why sulfide is susceptible to oxidation in human ...


The Assembly Factor Pet117 Couples Heme A Synthase Activity To Cytochrome Oxidase Assembly, Nicholas G. Taylor, Samantha Swenson, Nicholas J. Harris, Edward M. Germany, Jennifer L. Fox, Oleh Khalimonchuk 2017 College of Charleston

The Assembly Factor Pet117 Couples Heme A Synthase Activity To Cytochrome Oxidase Assembly, Nicholas G. Taylor, Samantha Swenson, Nicholas J. Harris, Edward M. Germany, Jennifer L. Fox, Oleh Khalimonchuk

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

Heme a is an essential metalloporphyrin cofactor of the mitochondrial respiratory enzyme cytochrome c oxidase (CcO). Its synthesis from heme b requires several enzymes, including the evolutionarily conserved heme a synthase (Cox15). Oligomerization of Cox15 appears to be important for the process of heme a biosynthesis and transfer to maturing CcO. However, the details of this process remain elusive, and the roles of any additional CcO assembly factors that may be involved remain unclear. Here we report the systematic analysis of one such uncharacterized assembly factor, Pet117, and demonstrate in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that this evolutionarily conserved protein is necessary for ...


End-To-End Molecular Communication Channels In Cell Metabolism: An Information Theoretic Study, Zahmeeth Sayed Sakkaff, Jennie L. Catlett, Mikaela Cashman, Massimiliano Pierobon, Nicole R. Buan, Myra B. Cohen, Christine A. Kelley 2017 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

End-To-End Molecular Communication Channels In Cell Metabolism: An Information Theoretic Study, Zahmeeth Sayed Sakkaff, Jennie L. Catlett, Mikaela Cashman, Massimiliano Pierobon, Nicole R. Buan, Myra B. Cohen, Christine A. Kelley

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

The opportunity to control and fine-tune the behavior of biological cells is a fascinating possibility for many diverse disciplines, ranging from medicine and ecology, to chemical industry and space exploration. While synthetic biology is providing novel tools to reprogram cell behavior from their genetic code, many challenges need to be solved before it can become a true engineering discipline, such as reliability, safety assurance, reproducibility and stability. This paper aims to understand the limits in the controllability of the behavior of a natural (non-engineered) biological cell. In particular, the focus is on cell metabolism, and its natural regulation mechanisms, and ...


Alpha-Synuclein: Insight Into The Hallmark Of Parkinson's Disease As A Target For Quantitative Molecular Diagnostics And Therapeutics, Baggio A. Evangelista 2017 University of Central Florida

Alpha-Synuclein: Insight Into The Hallmark Of Parkinson's Disease As A Target For Quantitative Molecular Diagnostics And Therapeutics, Baggio A. Evangelista

Honors Undergraduate Theses

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. With 500,000 individuals currently living with Parkinson’s and nearly 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year, this disease causes significant financial burden on the healthcare system - amassing to annual expenditures totaling 200 billion dollars; predicted to increase through 2050. The disease phenotype is characterized by a combination of a resting tremor, bradykinesia, muscular rigidity, and depression due to dopaminergic neuronal death in the midbrain. The cause of the neurotoxicity has been largely discussed, with strong evidence suggesting that the protein, alpha-Synuclein, is a key ...


Stability Of Peatland Carbon To Rising Temperatures, R. M. Wilson, A. M. Hopple, M. M. Tfaily, S. D. Sebestyen, C. W. Schadt, L. Pfeifer-Meister, Cassandra Medvedeff, K. J. McFarlane, J. E. Kostka, M. Kolton, R. K. Kolka, L. A. Kluber, Jason K. Keller, T. P. Guilderson, N. A. Griffiths, J. P. Chanton, S. D. Brigham, P. J. Hanson 2016 Florida State University

Stability Of Peatland Carbon To Rising Temperatures, R. M. Wilson, A. M. Hopple, M. M. Tfaily, S. D. Sebestyen, C. W. Schadt, L. Pfeifer-Meister, Cassandra Medvedeff, K. J. Mcfarlane, J. E. Kostka, M. Kolton, R. K. Kolka, L. A. Kluber, Jason K. Keller, T. P. Guilderson, N. A. Griffiths, J. P. Chanton, S. D. Brigham, P. J. Hanson

Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Sciences Faculty Articles and Research

Peatlands contain one-third of soil carbon (C), mostly buried in deep, saturated anoxic zones (catotelm). The response of catotelm C to climate forcing is uncertain, because prior experiments have focused on surface warming. We show that deep peat heating of a 2 m-thick peat column results in an exponential increase in CH4 emissions. However, this response is due solely to surface processes and not degradation of catotelm peat. Incubations show that only the top 20–30 cm of peat from experimental plots have higher CH4 production rates at elevated temperatures. Radiocarbon analyses demonstrate that CH4 and CO2 are produced primarily ...


Expression Of Glycine-Rich Proteins Found In Salivary Glands Of The Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma Americanum) Using A Mammalian Cell Line, Annabelle Clark 2016 University of Southern Mississippi

Expression Of Glycine-Rich Proteins Found In Salivary Glands Of The Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma Americanum) Using A Mammalian Cell Line, Annabelle Clark

Honors Theses

Ticks play an important ecological role as well as a growing role in human health and veterinary care. Ticks are hosts to a plethora of microbial pathogens that can be transferred during feeding to cause tick-borne diseases in humans and many animals. Ticks may in large part owe the success of the transfer of these pathogens between hosts to their complex saliva. The saliva secreted upon a tick’s attachment to a host serves the following, among other, functions: anti-hemostasis of the blood pool, preventing an inflammatory response at the bite site, and serving as a natural anti-microbial substance. An ...


The Intestinal Copper Exporter Cua-1 Is Required For Systemic Copper Homeostasis In Caenorhabditis Elegans, Haarin Chun, Anuj Kumar Sharma, Jaekwon Lee, Jefferson Chan, Shang Jia, Byung-Eun Kim 2016 University of California at Berkeley

The Intestinal Copper Exporter Cua-1 Is Required For Systemic Copper Homeostasis In Caenorhabditis Elegans, Haarin Chun, Anuj Kumar Sharma, Jaekwon Lee, Jefferson Chan, Shang Jia, Byung-Eun Kim

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

Copper plays key catalytic and regulatory roles in biochemical processes essential for normal growth, development, and health. Defects in copper metabolism cause Menkes and Wilson’s disease, myeloneuropathy, and cardiovascular disease and are associated with other pathophysiological states. Consequently, it is critical to understand the mechanisms by which organisms control the acquisition, distribution, and utilization of copper. The intestinal enterocyte is a key regulatory point for copper absorption into the body; however, the mechanisms by which intestinal cells transport copper to maintain organismal copper homeostasis are poorly understood. Here, we identify a mechanism by which organismal copper homeostasis is maintained ...


Modifications Of Myofilament Structure And Function During Global Myocardial Ischemia, Mike K. Woodward 2016 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Modifications Of Myofilament Structure And Function During Global Myocardial Ischemia, Mike K. Woodward

Masters Theses

Cardiac arrest is a prevalent condition with a poor prognosis, attributable in part to persistent myocardial dysfunction following resuscitation. The molecular basis of this dysfunction remains unclear. We induced cardiac arrest in a porcine model of acute sudden death and assessed the impact of ischemia and reperfusion on the molecular function of isolated cardiac contractile proteins. Cardiac arrest was electrically induced, left untreated for 12 min, and followed by a resuscitation protocol. With successful resuscitations, the heart was reperfused for 2 h (IR2) and the muscle harvested. In failed resuscitations, tissue samples were taken following the failed efforts (IDNR). Actin ...


Maintenance Of The Ph Gradient In The Gastric Mucus Layer., Owen Lewis 2016 The University Of Utah

Maintenance Of The Ph Gradient In The Gastric Mucus Layer., Owen Lewis

Annual Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology: Education and Research

No abstract provided.


Microfluidic Cantilever Detects Bacteria And Measures Their Susceptibility To Antibiotics In Small Confined Volumes, Hashem Etayash, M. F. Khan, Kamaljit Kaur, Thomas Thundat 2016 University of Alberta

Microfluidic Cantilever Detects Bacteria And Measures Their Susceptibility To Antibiotics In Small Confined Volumes, Hashem Etayash, M. F. Khan, Kamaljit Kaur, Thomas Thundat

Pharmacy Faculty Articles and Research

In the fight against drug-resistant bacteria, accurate and high-throughput detection is essential. Here, a bimaterial microcantilever with an embedded microfluidic channel with internal surfaces chemically or physically functionalized with receptors selectively captures the bacteria passing through the channel. Bacterial adsorption inside the cantilever results in changes in the resonance frequency (mass) and cantilever deflection (adsorption stress). The excitation of trapped bacteria using infrared radiation (IR) causes the cantilever to deflect in proportion to the infrared absorption of the bacteria, providing a nanomechanical infrared spectrum for selective identification. We demonstrate the in situ detection and discrimination of Listeria monocytogenes at a ...


Structural Determinants Allowing Transferase Activity In Sensitive To Freezing 2, Classified As A Family I Glycosyl Hydrolase, Rebecca Roston, Kun Wang, Leslie A. Kuhn, Christoph Benning 2016 University of Nebraska- Lincoln

Structural Determinants Allowing Transferase Activity In Sensitive To Freezing 2, Classified As A Family I Glycosyl Hydrolase, Rebecca Roston, Kun Wang, Leslie A. Kuhn, Christoph Benning

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

Background: SENSITIVE TO FREEZING 2 (SFR2) is classified as a glycosyl hydrolase, and by using glycosyltransferase activity, it modifies membrane lipids to promote freeze tolerance.

Results: Although the active site of SFR2 is identical to hydrolases, adjacent loop regions contribute to its transferase activity.

Conclusion: Transferase activity evolved by modifications external to the core catalytic site.

Significance: Defined structure-function relationships will inform engineering of transferases and freeze tolerance.


Sending Out An Sos: Mitochondria As A Signaling Hub, Iryna Bohovych, Oleh Khalimonchuk 2016 University of Nebraska- Lincoln

Sending Out An Sos: Mitochondria As A Signaling Hub, Iryna Bohovych, Oleh Khalimonchuk

Biochemistry -- Faculty Publications

Normal cellular physiology is critically dependent on numerous mitochondrial activities including energy conversion, cofactor and precursor metabolite synthesis, and regulation of ion and redox homeostasis. Advances in mitochondrial research during the last two decades provide solid evidence that these organelles are deeply integrated with the rest of the cell and multiple mechanisms are in place to monitor and communicate functional states of mitochondria. In many cases, however, the exact molecular nature of various mitochondria-to-cell communication pathways is only beginning to emerge. Here, we review various signals emitted by distressed or dysfunctional mitochondria and the stress-responsive pathways activated in response to ...


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