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Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (Enos) And The Cardiovascular System: In Physiology And In Disease States, N Tran, T Garcia, M Aniqa, S Ali, A Ally, Surya M. Nauli 2022 Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (Enos) And The Cardiovascular System: In Physiology And In Disease States, N Tran, T Garcia, M Aniqa, S Ali, A Ally, Surya M. Nauli

Pharmacy Faculty Articles and Research

Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) plays a critical role in regulating and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. The importance of eNOS can be emphasized from the genetic polymorphisms of the eNOS gene, uncoupling of eNOS dimerization, and its numerous signaling regulations. The activity of eNOS on the cardiac myocytes, vasculature, and the central nervous system are discussed. The effects of eNOS on the sympathetic autonomic nervous system (SANS) and the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system (PANS), both of which profoundly influence the cardiovascular system, will be elaborated. The relationship between the eNOS protein with cardiovascular autonomic reflexes such as the baroreflex ...


Novel Biomarkers Of Ciliary Extracellular Vesicles Interact With Ciliopathy And Alzheimer’S Associated Proteins, Ashraf M. Mohieldin, Amal Alachkar, John R. Yates III, Surya M. Nauli 2021 Chapman University

Novel Biomarkers Of Ciliary Extracellular Vesicles Interact With Ciliopathy And Alzheimer’S Associated Proteins, Ashraf M. Mohieldin, Amal Alachkar, John R. Yates Iii, Surya M. Nauli

Pharmacy Faculty Articles and Research

Ciliary extracellular vesicles (ciEVs), released from primary cilia, contain functional proteins that play an important role in cilia structure and functions. We have recently shown that ciEVs and cytosolic extracellular vesicles (cyEVs) have unique and distinct biomarkers. While ciEV biomarkers have shown some interactions with known ciliary proteins, little is known about the interaction of ciEV proteins with proteins involved in ciliopathy and neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we reveal for the first time the protein-protein interaction (PPI) between the top five ciEVs biomarkers with ciliopathy and Alzheimer disease (AD) proteins. These results support the growing evidence of the critical physiological roles ...


Sepa Enhances Shigella Invasion Of Epithelial Cells By Degrading Alpha-1 Antitrypsin And Producing A Neutrophil Chemoattractant, Mario Meza-Segura, James R. Birtley, Ana Maldonado-Contreras, Christian Mueller, Karl J. Simin, Lawrence J. Stern, Beth A. McCormick 2021 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Sepa Enhances Shigella Invasion Of Epithelial Cells By Degrading Alpha-1 Antitrypsin And Producing A Neutrophil Chemoattractant, Mario Meza-Segura, James R. Birtley, Ana Maldonado-Contreras, Christian Mueller, Karl J. Simin, Lawrence J. Stern, Beth A. Mccormick

UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science Supported Publications

Shigella spp. are highly adapted pathogens that cause bacillary dysentery in human and nonhuman primates. An unusual feature of Shigella pathogenesis is that this organism invades the colonic epithelia from the basolateral pole. Therefore, it has evolved the ability to disrupt the intestinal epithelial barrier to reach the basolateral surface. We have shown previously that the secreted serine protease A (SepA), which belongs to the family of serine protease autotransporters of Enterobacteriaceae, is responsible for the initial destabilization of the intestinal epithelial barrier that facilitates Shigella invasion. However, the mechanisms used by SepA to regulate this process remain unknown. To ...


Structural Basis Of The Super- And Hyper-Relaxed States Of Myosin Ii, Roger W. Craig, Raul A. Padron 2021 UMass Chan Medical School

Structural Basis Of The Super- And Hyper-Relaxed States Of Myosin Ii, Roger W. Craig, Raul A. Padron

Radiology Publications

Super-relaxation is a state of muscle thick filaments in which ATP turnover by myosin is much slower than that of myosin II in solution. This inhibited state, in equilibrium with a faster (relaxed) state, is ubiquitous and thought to be fundamental to muscle function, acting as a mechanism for switching off energy-consuming myosin motors when they are not being used. The structural basis of super-relaxation is usually taken to be a motif formed by myosin in which the two heads interact with each other and with the proximal tail forming an interacting-heads motif, which switches the heads off. However, recent ...


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 ...


Saf-A Mutants Disrupt Chromatin Structure Through Dominant Negative Effects On Rnas Associated With Chromatin, Heather J. Kolpa, Kevin M. Creamer, Lisa L. Hall, Jeanne B. Lawrence 2021 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Saf-A Mutants Disrupt Chromatin Structure Through Dominant Negative Effects On Rnas Associated With Chromatin, Heather J. Kolpa, Kevin M. Creamer, Lisa L. Hall, Jeanne B. Lawrence

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Here we provide a brief review of relevant background before presenting results of our investigation into the interplay between scaffold attachment factor A (SAF-A), chromatin-associated RNAs, and DNA condensation. SAF-A, also termed heterogenous nuclear protein U (hnRNP U), is a ubiquitous nuclear scaffold protein that was implicated in XIST RNA localization to the inactive X-chromosome (Xi) but also reported to maintain open DNA packaging in euchromatin. Here we use several means to perturb SAF-A and examine potential impacts on the broad association of RNAs on euchromatin, and on chromatin compaction. SAF-A has an N-terminal DNA binding domain and C-terminal RNA ...


Computational Design Of Β-Fluorinated Morphine Derivatives For Ph-Specific Binding, Makena Augenstein, Nayiri Alexander, Matthew Gartner 2021 Chapman University

Computational Design Of Β-Fluorinated Morphine Derivatives For Ph-Specific Binding, Makena Augenstein, Nayiri Alexander, Matthew Gartner

Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Molecular extension and dissection techniques are used to design a morphine derivative that promotes selective binding in inflamed tissue due to its lower pH while avoiding dangerous activation in the brain. Morphine is used to treat pain associated with inflammation. While being effective analgesics, opioids carry the risk of central side effects, including addiction, respiratory depression, and sedation. Opioids are agonists that bind to the μ-opioid peptide receptor (MOR) within central and peripheral nerves and act via a G-protein coupled receptor pathway.

Deprotonation of the tertiary amine induces a negative charge on the nitrogen, discouraging binding at physiological pH (pH ...


Comparative Metabolism Of Aflatoxin B1 In Two Quail Genera Coturnix Japonica And Callipepla Californica, Sean Moody 2021 Utah State University

Comparative Metabolism Of Aflatoxin B1 In Two Quail Genera Coturnix Japonica And Callipepla Californica, Sean Moody

All Graduate Plan B and other Reports

Avian species are highly susceptible to the hepatotoxic mycotoxin aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). Domesticated turkeys are exquisitely sensitive, due to a combination of highly-efficient hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated bioactivation, and to dysfunctional alpha-class glutathione S-transferases (GSTAs) which typically detoxify the bioactivated electrophilic metabolite exo-AFB1-8,9-epoxide (AFBO). Wild turkeys are relatively resistant to AFB1 in large part due to expression of functional GSTAs. Quail, a related Galliforme, are slightly less sensitive in vivo to AFB1, but whether this is related to the hepatic metabolic profiles of these two critical enzymes has not been rigorously evaluated ...


Wormcat 2.0 Defines Characteristics And Conservation Of Poorly Annotated Genes In Caenorhabditis Elegans [Preprint], Daniel P. Higgins, Caroline M. Weisman, Dominique Lui, Frank A. D’Agostino, Amy K. Walker 2021 UMass Chan Medical School

Wormcat 2.0 Defines Characteristics And Conservation Of Poorly Annotated Genes In Caenorhabditis Elegans [Preprint], Daniel P. Higgins, Caroline M. Weisman, Dominique Lui, Frank A. D’Agostino, Amy K. Walker

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Genome-wide measurement of mRNA or protein levels provides broad data sets for biological discovery. However, subsequent computational methods are essential for uncovering the functional implications of the data as well as intuitively visualizing the findings. Current computational tools are biased toward well-described pathways, limiting their utility for novel discovery. Recently, we developed an annotation and category enrichment tool for Caenorhabditis elegans genomic data, WormCat, that provides an intuitive visualization output. Unlike GO, which excludes genes with no annotation information, WormCat 2.0 retains these genes as a special UNASSIGNED category. Here, we show that the UNASSIGNED gene category enrichment exhibits ...


Protection Of Mice Against Experimental Cryptococcosis By Synthesized Peptides Delivered In Glucan Particles [Preprint], Charles A. Specht, E. Jane Homan, Chrono K. Lee, Zhongming Mou, Christina L. Gomez, Maureen M. Hester, Ambily Abraham, Florentina Rus, Gary R. Ostroff, Stuart M. Levitz 2021 UMass Chan Medical School

Protection Of Mice Against Experimental Cryptococcosis By Synthesized Peptides Delivered In Glucan Particles [Preprint], Charles A. Specht, E. Jane Homan, Chrono K. Lee, Zhongming Mou, Christina L. Gomez, Maureen M. Hester, Ambily Abraham, Florentina Rus, Gary R. Ostroff, Stuart M. Levitz

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

The high global burden of cryptococcosis has made development of a protective vaccine a public health priority. We previously demonstrated that a vaccine composed of recombinant Cryptococcus neoformans chitin deacetylase 2 (Cda2) delivered in glucan particles (GPs) protects BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice from an otherwise lethal challenge with a highly virulent C. neoformans strain. An immunoinformatic analysis of Cda2 revealed a peptide sequence predicted to have strong binding to the MHC Class II (MHC II) H2-IAd allele found in BALB/c mice. BALB/c mice vaccinated with GPs containing a 32 amino acid peptide (Cda2-Pep1) that included this ...


A Conserved Neuropeptide System Links Head And Body Motor Circuits To Enable Adaptive Behavior, Shankar Ramachandran, Navonil Banerjee, Raja Bhattacharya, Michele L. Lemons, Jeremy Florman, Christopher M. Lambert, Denis Touroutine, Kellianne Alexander, Liliane Schoofs, Mark J. Alkema, Isabel Beets, Michael M. Francis 2021 UMass Chan Medical School

A Conserved Neuropeptide System Links Head And Body Motor Circuits To Enable Adaptive Behavior, Shankar Ramachandran, Navonil Banerjee, Raja Bhattacharya, Michele L. Lemons, Jeremy Florman, Christopher M. Lambert, Denis Touroutine, Kellianne Alexander, Liliane Schoofs, Mark J. Alkema, Isabel Beets, Michael M. Francis

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Neuromodulators promote adaptive behaviors that are often complex and involve concerted activity changes across circuits that are often not physically connected. It is not well understood how neuromodulatory systems accomplish these tasks. Here, we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans NLP-12 neuropeptide system shapes responses to food availability by modulating the activity of head and body wall motor neurons through alternate G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) targets, CKR-1 and CKR-2. We show ckr-2 deletion reduces body bend depth during movement under basal conditions. We demonstrate CKR-1 is a functional NLP-12 receptor and define its expression in the nervous system. In contrast to ...


Camkii Binds Both Substrates And Activators At The Active Site [Preprint], Can Ozden, Roman Sloutsky, Tomohiro Mitsugi, Nicholas Santos, Emily Agnello, Christl Gaubitz, Joshua Foster, Emily Lapinskas, Edward A. Esposito, Takeo Saneyoshi, Brian A. Kelch, Scott C. Garman, Yasunori Hayashi, Margaret M. Stratton 2021 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Camkii Binds Both Substrates And Activators At The Active Site [Preprint], Can Ozden, Roman Sloutsky, Tomohiro Mitsugi, Nicholas Santos, Emily Agnello, Christl Gaubitz, Joshua Foster, Emily Lapinskas, Edward A. Esposito, Takeo Saneyoshi, Brian A. Kelch, Scott C. Garman, Yasunori Hayashi, Margaret M. Stratton

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Ca2+/calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a signaling protein that is required for long-term memory formation. Ca2+/CaM activates CaMKII by binding to its regulatory segment, thereby freeing the substrate binding site. Despite having a large variety of interaction partners, the specificity of CaMKII interactions have not been structurally well-characterized. One exceptional feature of this kinase is that interaction with specific binding partners persistently activates CaMKII. To address the molecular details of this, we solved X-ray crystal structures of the CaMKII kinase domain bound to four different binding partners that modulate CaMKII activity in different ways ...


Cyclic Peptide-Gadolinium Nanocomplexes As Sirna Delivery Tools, Amir Nasrolahi Shirazi, Muhammad Imran Sajid, Dindyal Mandal, David Stickley, Stephanie Nagasawa, Joshua Long, Sandeep Lohan, Keykavous Parang, Rakesh Kumar Tiwari 2021 Marshall B. Ketchum University

Cyclic Peptide-Gadolinium Nanocomplexes As Sirna Delivery Tools, Amir Nasrolahi Shirazi, Muhammad Imran Sajid, Dindyal Mandal, David Stickley, Stephanie Nagasawa, Joshua Long, Sandeep Lohan, Keykavous Parang, Rakesh Kumar Tiwari

Pharmacy Faculty Articles and Research

We have recently reported that a cyclic peptide containing five tryptophan, five arginine, and one cysteine amino acids [(WR)5C], was able to produce peptide-capped gadolinium nanoparticles, [(WR)5C]-GdNPs, in the range of 240 to 260 nm upon mixing with an aqueous solution of GdCl3. Herein, we report [(WR)5C]-GdNPs as an efficient siRNA delivery system. The peptide-based gadolinium nanoparticles (50 µM) did not exhibit significant cytotoxicity (~93% cell viability at 50 µM) in human leukemia T lymphoblast cells (CCRF-CEM) and triple-negative breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) after 48 h. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis ...


Applicability Of Small-Molecule Inhibitors In The Study Of Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase 2 (Pad2) And Pad4, Maria Teresa. Martin Monreal, Alexandra Stripp Rebak, Laura Massarenti, Santanu Mondal, Ladislav Senolt, Niels Odum, Michael L. Nielsen, Paul R. Thompson, Claus H. Nielsen, Dres Damgaard 2021 Copenhagen University Hospital

Applicability Of Small-Molecule Inhibitors In The Study Of Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase 2 (Pad2) And Pad4, Maria Teresa. Martin Monreal, Alexandra Stripp Rebak, Laura Massarenti, Santanu Mondal, Ladislav Senolt, Niels Odum, Michael L. Nielsen, Paul R. Thompson, Claus H. Nielsen, Dres Damgaard

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Citrullination, the conversion of peptidyl-arginine into peptidyl-citrulline, is involved in the breakage of self-tolerance in anti-CCP-positive rheumatoid arthritis. This reaction is catalyzed by peptidyl arginine deiminases (PADs), of which PAD2 and PAD4 are thought to play key pathogenic roles. Small-molecule PAD inhibitors such as the pan-PAD inhibitor BB-Cl-amidine, the PAD2-specific inhibitor AFM-30a, and the PAD4-specific inhibitor GSK199 hold therapeutic potential and are useful tools in studies of citrullination. Using an ELISA based on the citrullination of fibrinogen, we found that AFM-30a inhibited the catalytic activity of PADs derived from live PMNs or lysed PBMCs and PMNs and of PADs in ...


Cyclic Dipeptides: The Biological And Structural Landscape With Special Focus On The Anti-Cancer Proline-Based Scaffold, Joanna Bojarska, Adam Mieczkowski, Zyta M. Ziora, Mariusz Skwarczynski, Istvan Toth, Ahmed O. Shalash, Keykavous Parang, Shaima Ahmed El-Mowafi, Eman H. M. Mohammed, Sherif Elnagdy, Maha AlKhazindar, Wojciech M. Wolf 2021 Technical University of Lodz

Cyclic Dipeptides: The Biological And Structural Landscape With Special Focus On The Anti-Cancer Proline-Based Scaffold, Joanna Bojarska, Adam Mieczkowski, Zyta M. Ziora, Mariusz Skwarczynski, Istvan Toth, Ahmed O. Shalash, Keykavous Parang, Shaima Ahmed El-Mowafi, Eman H. M. Mohammed, Sherif Elnagdy, Maha Alkhazindar, Wojciech M. Wolf

Pharmacy Faculty Articles and Research

Cyclic dipeptides, also know as diketopiperazines (DKP), the simplest cyclic forms of peptides widespread in nature, are unsurpassed in their structural and bio-functional diversity. DKPs, especially those containing proline, due to their unique features such as, inter alia, extra-rigid conformation, high resistance to enzyme degradation, increased cell permeability, and expandable ability to bind a diverse of targets with better affinity, have emerged in the last years as biologically pre-validated platforms for the drug discovery. Recent advances have revealed their enormous potential in the development of next-generation theranostics, smart delivery systems, and biomaterials. Here, we present an updated review on the ...


Factorbook: An Updated Catalog Of Transcription Factor Motifs And Candidate Regulatory Motif Sites [Preprint], Henry E. Pratt, Gregory Andrews, Nishigandha Phalke, Michael J. Purcaro, Arjan van der Velde, Jill E. Moore, Zhiping Weng 2021 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Factorbook: An Updated Catalog Of Transcription Factor Motifs And Candidate Regulatory Motif Sites [Preprint], Henry E. Pratt, Gregory Andrews, Nishigandha Phalke, Michael J. Purcaro, Arjan Van Der Velde, Jill E. Moore, Zhiping Weng

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

The human genome contains roughly 1,600 transcription factors (TFs) (1), DNA-binding proteins recognizing characteristic sequence motifs to exert regulatory effects on gene expression. The binding specificities of these factors have been profiled both in vitro, using techniques such as HT-SELEX (2), and in vivo, using techniques including ChIP-seq (3, 4). We previously developed Factorbook, a TF-centric database of annotations, motifs, and integrative analyses based on ChIP-seq data from Phase II of the ENCODE Project. Here we present an update to Factorbook which significantly expands the breadth of cell type and TF coverage. The update includes an expanded motif catalog ...


Neuroligin-3: A Circuit-Specific Synapse Organizer That Shapes Normal Function And Autism Spectrum Disorder-Associated Dysfunction, Motokazu Uchigashima, Amy Cheung, Kensuke Futai 2021 Niigata University

Neuroligin-3: A Circuit-Specific Synapse Organizer That Shapes Normal Function And Autism Spectrum Disorder-Associated Dysfunction, Motokazu Uchigashima, Amy Cheung, Kensuke Futai

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Chemical synapses provide a vital foundation for neuron-neuron communication and overall brain function. By tethering closely apposed molecular machinery for presynaptic neurotransmitter release and postsynaptic signal transduction, circuit- and context- specific synaptic properties can drive neuronal computations for animal behavior. Trans-synaptic signaling via synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) serves as a promising mechanism to generate the molecular diversity of chemical synapses. Neuroligins (Nlgns) were discovered as postsynaptic CAMs that can bind to presynaptic CAMs like Neurexins (Nrxns) at the synaptic cleft. Among the four (Nlgn1-4) or five (Nlgn1-3, Nlgn4X, and Nlgn4Y) isoforms in rodents or humans, respectively, Nlgn3 has a ...


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 ...


Atomistic Simulations And In Silico Mutational Profiling Of Protein Stability And Binding In The Sars-Cov-2 Spike Protein Complexes With Nanobodies: Molecular Determinants Of Mutational Escape Mechanisms, Gennady M. Verkhivker, Steve Agajanian, Deniz Yasar Oztas, Grace Gupta 2021 Chapman University

Atomistic Simulations And In Silico Mutational Profiling Of Protein Stability And Binding In The Sars-Cov-2 Spike Protein Complexes With Nanobodies: Molecular Determinants Of Mutational Escape Mechanisms, Gennady M. Verkhivker, Steve Agajanian, Deniz Yasar Oztas, Grace Gupta

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Faculty Articles and Research

Structure-functional studies have recently revealed a spectrum of diverse high-affinity nanobodies with efficient neutralizing capacity against SARS-CoV-2 virus and resilience against mutational escape. In this study, we combine atomistic simulations with the ensemble-based mutational profiling of binding for the SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD complexes with a wide range of nanobodies to identify dynamic and binding affinity fingerprints and characterize the energetic determinants of nanobody-escaping mutations. Using an in silico mutational profiling approach for probing the protein stability and binding, we examine dynamics and energetics of the SARS-CoV-2 complexes with single nanobodies Nb6 and Nb20, VHH E, a pair combination VHH E + U ...


Angiogenesis' Effect Overall On Health And Disease, Wendy Tang 2021 University of Louisville

Angiogenesis' Effect Overall On Health And Disease, Wendy Tang

The Cardinal Edge

Angiogenesis plays a major role in the development of diseases and cancer. The development of illnesses like metastatic breast cancer, cell carcinomas, tumors and various other illnesses, originate from the activation of endothelial cells. When the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is released from hypoxic tissues, they bind to vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR). The binding of VEGF and VEGFR allows for cellular proliferation, increased migration of lattice networks, and the invasion of endothelial cells, which stimulate the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones. As a result, it can be concluded that the inhibition of VEGFs would ...


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