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Autofluorescence Microscopy – Identifying Bacterial Signals On Rock Samples, Noel Case, Lukas Scott-Mendoza 2022 Portland State University

Autofluorescence Microscopy – Identifying Bacterial Signals On Rock Samples, Noel Case, Lukas Scott-Mendoza

University Honors Theses

One common method for identifying microbes present fluid and non-fluid samples is fluorescent dye staining, in which samples are stained with a fluorophore - a molecule excited by an external light source that re-emits energy as higher-wavelength light. The excitation wavelength used greatly impacts the observability of microbes in the resulting fluorescence images, and deep ultraviolet exctitation (200-280 nm) seems to provide the highest signal-to-noise ratio of any excitation range. By inoculating rock samples (gypsum and marble) with B. subtilis, staining with SYTO 9, Acridine Orange and FM 1-43 dyes, and imaging with deep UV (275 nm), near UV (365 nm ...


Mechanisms Of Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel (Nav1.5) Regulation By Intracellular Fgfs, Paweorn Angsutararux 2022 Washington University in St. Louis

Mechanisms Of Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel (Nav1.5) Regulation By Intracellular Fgfs, Paweorn Angsutararux

McKelvey School of Engineering Theses & Dissertations

Voltage-gated sodium channels (NaV) conduct the inward current responsible for the initiation and propagation of the electrical signals in myocytes and neurons, known as action potentials (AP). Precise regulation of cardiac NaV1.5 opening and closing is essential for maintaining a normal heart beat. A disruption of NaV1.5 function, especially of its inactivation after opening, results in inherited cardiac arrhythmias such as Long QT Type 3 (LQT3) syndrome. This pathology is caused by an increase in the late INa that enters myocytes later in the AP and prolongs its duration. Late INa is also enhanced in acquired diseases such ...


Ongoing Calculus In The Cerebral Cortex, Luke Long 2022 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Ongoing Calculus In The Cerebral Cortex, Luke Long

Physics Undergraduate Honors Theses

Various modes of neuronal computations have long been theorized to be possible based on the structure and geometry of the brain. These computations also seem necessary for many of the integral functions of the brain, like information processing and regulatory processes in the body. However, experimental data directly supporting these claims have been rare.

In this study, data collected in mice from a large number of neurons over a long period of time provided the opportunity to search for some of these computations, specifically change detection and squaring calculations. Using Matlab, the goal of this analysis was to find statistically ...


Developing And Applying Computational Algorithms To Reveal Health-Related Biomolecular Interactions, Yixin Xie 2022 The University of Texas at El Paso

Developing And Applying Computational Algorithms To Reveal Health-Related Biomolecular Interactions, Yixin Xie

Open Access Theses & Dissertations

Computational biology is an interdisciplinary area that applies computational approaches in biological big data, including protein amino acid sequences, genetic sequences, etc., which is widely used to analyze protein-protein interactions, make predictions in drug discovery, develop vaccines, etc. Popular methods include mathematical modeling, molecular dynamics simulations, data science mythology, etc. With the help of computational algorithms and applications, drug development is much faster than traditional processes, as it reduces risks early on in a drug discovery process and helps researchers select target candidates that have the highest potential for success. In my doctoral research, I applied multi-scale computational approaches to ...


The Electrostatic Features Of Dengue Virus Capsid Assembly, Alan Eduardo Lopez Hernandez 2022 The University of Texas at El Paso

The Electrostatic Features Of Dengue Virus Capsid Assembly, Alan Eduardo Lopez Hernandez

Open Access Theses & Dissertations

Dengue virus causes serious diseases and considerable deaths each year all around the globe. Dengue virus undergoes assembly in a capsid, matures and becomes viral. Revealing mechanisms of the viral capsid protein may lead to the discovery of novel drugs that prevent this assembly to happen and stop the virus from spreading. Here I present a computational work which is focused on the stability and assembly of the dengue viral capsid. The E and M proteins conform a heterotetramer, which consists of two copies of E and M proteins. The heterotetramers form a highly ordered capsid. In the electrostatic analysis ...


Supertertiary Structural Dynamics Modulate Function In Postsynaptic Density Protein 95, George L. Hamilton III 2022 Clemson University

Supertertiary Structural Dynamics Modulate Function In Postsynaptic Density Protein 95, George L. Hamilton Iii

All Dissertations

Proteins, RNA, and DNA serve as the primary sub-cellular machinery that give rise to the necessary functions of life. The long-standing paradigm has been that the structures of biomolecules, or the arrangement of the subunits that make up a biomolecule, determine biological function. However, biomolecules are not static objects. Instead, they often undergo structural rearrangements that are crucial to enabling and regulating their functions. In my thesis I present several studies of the interplay between the structures, dynamics, and functions of biomolecules that combine experimental fluorescence spectroscopy and computational methods to probe these systems at the single-molecule level. In particular ...


Improving The Biocompatibility Of The Bio-Inorganic Interface For Enhanced Photosystem I-Based Biophotovoltaic Device Performance, Alexandra H. Teodor 2022 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Improving The Biocompatibility Of The Bio-Inorganic Interface For Enhanced Photosystem I-Based Biophotovoltaic Device Performance, Alexandra H. Teodor

Doctoral Dissertations

The world’s energy demands are projected to increase by nearly 50% by the year 2040, and consumption of carbon-based fuels continues to release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. This has been causally linked with climate change and increased extreme weather events, which has been further linked to adverse health outcomes and negative effects on biodiversity, food security, and increased disease transmission. Clearly, there is a need for a sustainable, carbon-free, and cost-effective method of energy production to meet growing energy production demands. The sun irradiates Earth’s surface annually with ~80,000 terawatts ...


Crowd Control: Regulating The Spatial Organization Of Biopolymers And Gene Expression By Macromolecular Crowding, Gaurav Chauhan 2022 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Crowd Control: Regulating The Spatial Organization Of Biopolymers And Gene Expression By Macromolecular Crowding, Gaurav Chauhan

Doctoral Dissertations

The intracellular environment is crowded with macromolecules that can occupy a significant fraction of the cellular volume. This can give rise to attractive depletion interactions that impact the conformations and interactions of biopolymers, as well as their interactions with confining surfaces. We used computer simulations to study the effects of crowding on biologically-inspired models of polymers. We showed that crowding can lead to attractive interactions between two flexible ring polymers, and we further characterized the adsorption of both flexible and semiflexible polymers onto confining surfaces. These results indicate that crowding-induced depletion interactions could play a role in the spatial organization ...


A Pathway To Solving The Structure Of Cl-Par-4 Tumor Suppressor Protein: Challenges & Findings, Krishna Raut, Samjhana Pandey, Andrea M. Clark, Komala Ponniah, Steven M. Pascal 2022 Old Dominion University

A Pathway To Solving The Structure Of Cl-Par-4 Tumor Suppressor Protein: Challenges & Findings, Krishna Raut, Samjhana Pandey, Andrea M. Clark, Komala Ponniah, Steven M. Pascal

College of Sciences Posters

Prostate apoptosis response-4 (Par-4) is a pro-apoptotic tumor suppressor protein. Down-regulation of this protein has been reported in a myriad of cancers. Conversely, up-regulation of Par-4 is found to be associated with several neurodegenerative disorders. Par-4 is unique in the sense it can selectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells. For this, caspase-dependent intracellular cleavage of Par-4 is essential to produce the functionally active fragment, cl-Par-4 (caspase-cleaved Par-4). The cl-Par-4 protein inhibits the NF-κB-mediated cell survival pathway and causes selective apoptosis in various tumor cells.

Our laboratory is interested in determining the structure of cl-Par-4 and understanding it’s interaction with ...


Sars-Cov-2 Main Protease Inhibitors Repurposed For Hiv-1 Protease Binding, Jacob Minkkinen 2022 College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University

Sars-Cov-2 Main Protease Inhibitors Repurposed For Hiv-1 Protease Binding, Jacob Minkkinen

CSBSJU Distinguished Thesis

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) led to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with over 460 million cases of infection and over 6 million deaths since the start of the pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is a retrovirus that utilizes a main protease (Mpro). Mpro is a catalytic cys/his protease. Several treatments were proposed to stop the pandemic including repurposing drugs to inhibit the Mpro. Another retrovirus that uses a protease is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) which has been a global epidemic for 40 years and is a devastating disease that attacks the immune system. HIV-1 has infected 79.5 million people and has ...


The Development Of Inhibitors For Sars-Cov-2 Orf8, My Thanh Thao Nguyen 2022 College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University

The Development Of Inhibitors For Sars-Cov-2 Orf8, My Thanh Thao Nguyen

CSBSJU Distinguished Thesis

An unexpected outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 caused a worldwide pandemic in 2020. Many repurposed drugs were tested, but there are currently only three FDA approved antivirals (Merck’s antiviral Molnupiravir, Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid, and Remdisivir).1 Most of the antiviral drugs tested SARS-CoV-2 main protease and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. However, it is important to explore different drug targets of SARS-CoV-2 to prepare for the virus mutations of the future. This research looks at an alternative approach in which SARSCoV- 2 Open Reading Frame 8 (ORF8), which has been shown to be a rapidly evolving hypervariable gene, was chosen to be ...


Conformational Dynamics And Allosteric Modulation Of The Sars-Cov-2 Spike, Marco A. Diaz-Salinas, Qi Li, Ejemel Monir, Leonid Yurkovetskiy, Jeremy Luban, Kuang Shen, Yang Wang, James B. Munro 2022 UMass Chan Medical School

Conformational Dynamics And Allosteric Modulation Of The Sars-Cov-2 Spike, Marco A. Diaz-Salinas, Qi Li, Ejemel Monir, Leonid Yurkovetskiy, Jeremy Luban, Kuang Shen, Yang Wang, James B. Munro

COVID-19 Publications by UMass Chan Authors

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects cells through binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). This interaction is mediated by the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike (S) glycoprotein. Structural and dynamic data have shown that S can adopt multiple conformations, which controls the exposure of the ACE2-binding site in the RBD. Here, using single-molecule Forster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) imaging, we report the effects of ACE2 and antibody binding on the conformational dynamics of S from the Wuhan-1 strain and in the presence of the D614G mutation. We find that D614G modulates the energetics of the RBD ...


Water-Based Lead Generation, Brian Olson 2022 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Water-Based Lead Generation, Brian Olson

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Water-based Lead Generation. The opioid epidemic and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic are current serious challenges whose devastating effects could be assuaged through the development of new drugs. Opioids that are functional painkillers, that are less likely to cause overdose, and small molecule drugs that could inhibit the life cycle of SARS-CoV-2 would be useful. The work herein investigated the use of water molecules for lead generation in drug development against opioid receptors and SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. In opioid receptor binding sites, purported bridging waters were obtained from crystal waters or from molecular dynamics simulations, as Hydration Site Analysis was used to ...


Transcriptomes Of Electrophysiologically Recorded Dbx1-Derived Respiratory Neurons Of The Prebötzinger Complex In Neonatal Mice, Prajkta S. Kallurkar, Maria Cristina D. Picardo, Yae K. Sugimura, Margaret Saha, Gregory D. Conradi Smith, Christopher A. Del Negro 2022 William & Mary

Transcriptomes Of Electrophysiologically Recorded Dbx1-Derived Respiratory Neurons Of The Prebötzinger Complex In Neonatal Mice, Prajkta S. Kallurkar, Maria Cristina D. Picardo, Yae K. Sugimura, Margaret Saha, Gregory D. Conradi Smith, Christopher A. Del Negro

Arts & Sciences Articles

Breathing depends on interneurons in the preBötzinger complex (preBötC) derived from Dbx1-expressing precursors. Here we investigate whether rhythm- and pattern-generating functions reside in discrete classes of Dbx1 preBötC neurons. In a slice model of breathing with ~ 5 s cycle period, putatively rhythmogenic Type-1 Dbx1 preBötC neurons activate 100–300 ms prior to Type-2 neurons, putatively specialized for output pattern, and 300–500 ms prior to the inspiratory motor output. We sequenced Type-1 and Type-2 transcriptomes and identified differential expression of 123 genes including ionotropic receptors (Gria3, Gabra1) that may explain their preinspiratory activation profiles and Ca2+ signaling (Cracr2a, Sgk1 ...


Physical Characteristics And Classification Of The Large Amplitude Variable Star V1719 Cygni, Ashley Lieber, Logan Siems, Julia Kennefick, Michael Fitzgerald 2022 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Physical Characteristics And Classification Of The Large Amplitude Variable Star V1719 Cygni, Ashley Lieber, Logan Siems, Julia Kennefick, Michael Fitzgerald

Inquiry: The University of Arkansas Undergraduate Research Journal

Pulsating stars are used as standard candles which are helpful in determining distances to stellar objects along with the relationship between their period and apparent luminosity. The focus of this study was the variable star, V1719 Cygni, which is often classified as a Delta (δ) Scuti star, but there exists debate that it should be classified as a RR Lyrae star due to its abnormal light curve and similar characteristics between the two variable star categories. Observational data was taken in 2019 using the Las Cumbres Observatory international telescope network. The resulting data were calibrated using comparison stars in the ...


Investigating The Main Protease (Mpro) Of Sars-Cov-2 As A Potential Drug Target, Valerie Giovina Pascetta 2022 University of New Hampshire

Investigating The Main Protease (Mpro) Of Sars-Cov-2 As A Potential Drug Target, Valerie Giovina Pascetta

Honors Theses and Capstones

The rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic has claimed the lives of roughly 6.2 million people worldwide as of May 2022. The virus’s main protease (Mpro ) has been identified as an attractive drug target due to the critical role it plays in the viral life cycle. The roughly 34 kDa Mpro cleaves functional viral polypeptides out of two long polyproteins at conserved cut sites, allowing them to fulfill their role in processes like transcription and replication. Here, we have studied the enzymatic ...


Growing Meat On Plants: Using Intermediate Cbd-Rgd Fusion Proteins To Improve Bovine Satellite Cell Attachment On Cellulose-Based Scaffolds, Julian Cohen 2022 Claremont Colleges

Growing Meat On Plants: Using Intermediate Cbd-Rgd Fusion Proteins To Improve Bovine Satellite Cell Attachment On Cellulose-Based Scaffolds, Julian Cohen

Pitzer Senior Theses

Cellular agriculture is an emerging technology aiming to replace existing methods for animal agriculture with tissue engineering and cell culture-based technologies. Cultured meat falls within this purview, using a biomimetic approach to recreate animal muscle tissue through tissue engineering. In the attempt to diminish the necessity of animal-derived materials within this process, plant-based scaffolds can be used as a substrate upon which stem cells are cultured. Due to the unfavorable environment of cellulose for mammalian cell-surface proteins, the approach was taken of coating cellulose nanofiber films with a fusion protein composed of a cellulose binding domain (CBD) protein and the ...


High-Resolution Cryo-Electron Microscopy Structure Of Photosystem Ii From The Mesophilic Cyanobacterium, Synechocystis Sp. Pcc 6803, Christopher J. Gisriel, Jimin Wang, Jinchan Liu, David A. Flesher, Krystle M. Reiss, Hao-Li Huang, Ke R. Yang, William H. Armstrong, M. R. Gunner, Victor S. Batista, Richard J. Debus, Gary W. Brudvig 2021 Yale University

High-Resolution Cryo-Electron Microscopy Structure Of Photosystem Ii From The Mesophilic Cyanobacterium, Synechocystis Sp. Pcc 6803, Christopher J. Gisriel, Jimin Wang, Jinchan Liu, David A. Flesher, Krystle M. Reiss, Hao-Li Huang, Ke R. Yang, William H. Armstrong, M. R. Gunner, Victor S. Batista, Richard J. Debus, Gary W. Brudvig

Publications and Research

Photosystem II (PSII) enables global-scale, light-driven water oxidation. Genetic manipulation of PSII from the mesophilic cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 has provided insights into the mechanism of water oxidation; however, the lack of a highresolution structure of oxygen-evolving PSII from this organism has limited the interpretation of biophysical data to models based on structures of thermophilic cyanobacterial PSII. Here, we report the cryo-electron microscopy structure of PSII from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 at 1.93-Å resolution. A number of differences are observed relative to thermophilic PSII structures, including the following: the extrinsic subunit PsbQ is maintained, the C terminus of ...


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 limited ...


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 ...


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