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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are long chains of negatively charged sulfated polysaccharides. They are often found to be covalently attached to proteins and form proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix (ECM). Many proteins bind GAGs through electrostatic interactions. GAG-binding proteins (GBPs) are involved in diverse physiological activities ranging from bacterial infections to cell-cell/cell-ECM contacts. This thesis is devoted to understanding how interactions between GBPs and their receptors modulate biological phenomena. Bacteria express GBPs on surface that facilitate dissemination and colonization by attaching to host ECM. The first GBP investigated in this thesis is decorin binding protein (DBP) found on the surface of Borrelia …

Contributors
Feng, Wei, Wang, Xu, Yarger, Jeff L, et al.
Created Date
2019

Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) is an enzyme that catalyzes disulfide bond formation by oxidizing two free sulfhydryl groups. QSOX1 consists of a thioredoxin (Trx) and an ERV (essential for respiration and viability)/ALR (augmenter of liver regeneration) domain which each contain CxxC motifs that work to bind to substrates and shuttle electrons to a flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) cofactor that accepts the electrons and reduces molecular oxygen to hydrogen peroxide. Investigation of the role of QSOX1 in cancer progression started when it was found at higher abundance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) patient plasma compared to healthy normal donor plasma. …

Contributors
Koelbel, Calvin, Lake, Douglas, Chen, Qiang "Shawn", et al.
Created Date
2019

In my thesis, I characterize multi-nuclear manganese cofactors in modified reaction centers from the bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. I characterized interactions between a variety of secondary electron donors and modified reaction centers. In Chapter 1, I provide the research aims, background, and a summary of the chapters in my thesis. In Chapter 2 and Chapter 3, I present my work with artificial four-helix bundles as secondary electron donors to modified bacterial reaction centers. In Chapter 2, I characterize the binding and energetics of the P1 Mn-protein, as a secondary electron donor to modified reaction centers. In Chapter 3, I present the …

Contributors
Espiritu, Eduardo, Allen, James P, Jones, Anne K, et al.
Created Date
2019

The highly predictable structural and thermodynamic behavior of deoxynucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) have made them versatile tools for creating artificial nanostructures over broad range. Moreover, DNA and RNA are able to interact with biological ligand as either synthetic aptamers or natural components, conferring direct biological functions to the nucleic acid devices. The applications of nucleic acids greatly relies on the bio-reactivity and specificity when applied to highly complexed biological systems. This dissertation aims to 1) develop new strategy to identify high affinity nucleic acid aptamers against biological ligand; and 2) explore highly orthogonal RNA riboregulators in vivo …

Contributors
Zhou, Yu, Yan, Hao, Green, Alexander, et al.
Created Date
2019

Microscopic algae have been investigated extensively by researchers for decades for their ability to bioremediate wastewater and flue gas while producing valuable biomass for use as feed, fuel, fertilizer, nutraceutical, and other specialty products. Reports of the exciting commercial potential of this diverse group of organisms started appearing in the literature as early as the 1940’s. However, nearly 80 years later, relatively few successful commercial microalgae installations exist and algae have not yet reached agricultural commodity status. This dissertation examines three major bottlenecks to commercial microalgae production including lack of an efficient and economical cultivation strategy, poor management of volatile …

Contributors
Wray, Joshua, Dempster, Thomas, Roberson, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2019

Generating amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) containing active pharmaceutical ingredients has become a favorable technique of emerging prominence to improve drug solubility and overall bioavailability. Cannabidiol (CBD) has now become a major focus in cannabinoid research due to its ability to serve as an anti-inflammatory agent, showing promising results in treating a wide array of debilitating diseases and pathologies. The following work provides evidence for generating homogenous glass phase amorphous solid dispersions containing 50% (w/w) up to 75% (w/w) CBD concentrations in the domain size of 2 – 5 nm. Concentrations up to 85% (w/w) CBD were concluded homogenous in the …

Contributors
Blass, Brandon Lewis, Yarger, Jeff L, Holland, Greg, et al.
Created Date
2019

Cancer is a major public health challenge and the second leading cause of death in the United States. Large amount of effort has been made to achieve sensitive and specific detection of cancer, and to predict the course of cancer. Glycans are promising avenues toward the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer, because aberrant glycosylation is a prevalent hallmark of diverse types of cancer. A bottom-up “glycan node analysis” approach was employed as a useful tool, which captures most essential glycan features from blood plasma or serum (P/S) specimens and quantifies them as single analytical signals, to a lung cancer set …

Contributors
Hu, Yueming, Borges, Chad R, Ros, Alexandra, et al.
Created Date
2019

This study aims to address the deficiencies of the Marcus model of electron transfer (ET) and then provide modifications to the model. A confirmation of the inverted energy gap law, which is the cleanest verification so far, is presented for donor-acceptor complexes. In addition to the macroscopic properties of the solvent, the physical properties of the solvent are incorporated in the model via the microscopic solvation model. For the molecules studied in this dissertation, the rate constant first increases with cooling, in contrast to the prediction of the Arrhenius law, and then decreases at lower temperatures. Additionally, the polarizability of …

Contributors
Waskasi, Morteza, Matyushov, Dmitry, Richert, Ranko, et al.
Created Date
2019

Phenotypic and molecular profiling demonstrates a high degree of heterogeneity in the breast tumors. TP53 tumor suppressor is mutated in 30% of all breast tumors and the mutation frequency in basal-like subtype is as high as 80% and co-exists with several other somatic mutations in different genes. It was hypothesized that tumor heterogeneity is a result of a combination of neo-morphic functions of specific TP53 driver mutations and distinct co-mutations or the co-drivers for each type of TP53 mutation. The 10 most common p53 missense mutant proteins found in breast cancer patients were ectopically expressed in normal-like mammary epithelial cells …

Contributors
Pal, Anasuya, LaBaer, Joshua, Roberson, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2019

The fundamental building blocks for constructing complex synthetic gene networks are effective biological parts with wide dynamic range, low crosstalk, and modularity. RNA-based components are promising sources of such parts since they can provide regulation at the level of transcription and translation and their predictable base pairing properties enable large libraries to be generated through in silico design. This dissertation studies two different approaches for initiating interactions between RNA molecules to implement RNA-based components that achieve translational regulation. First, single-stranded domains known as toeholds were employed for detection of the highly prevalent foodborne pathogen norovirus. Toehold switch riboregulators activated by …

Contributors
MA, DUO, Green, Alexander, Mangone, Marco, et al.
Created Date
2019

Redox enzymes represent a big group of proteins and they serve as catalysts for biological processes that involve electron transfer. These proteins contain a redox center that determines their functional properties, and hence, altering this center or incorporating non-biological redox cofactor to proteins has been used as a means to generate redox proteins with desirable activities for biological and chemical applications. Porphyrins and Fe-S clusters are among the most common cofactors that biology employs for electron transfer processes and there have been many studies on potential activities that they offer in redox reactions. In this dissertation, redox activity of Fe-S …

Contributors
Bahrami Dizicheh, Zahra, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, Allen, James P, et al.
Created Date
2019

Continuing and increasing reliance on fossil fuels to satisfy our population’s energy demands has encouraged the search for renewable carbon-free and carbon-neutral sources, such as hydrogen gas or CO2 reduction products. Inspired by nature, one of the objectives of this dissertation was to develop protein-based strategies that can be applied in the production of green fuels. The first project of this dissertation aimed at developing a controllable strategy to incorporate domains with different functions (e. g. catalytic sites, electron transfer modules, light absorbing subunits) into a single multicomponent system. This was accomplished through the rational design of 2,2’-bipyridine modified dimeric …

Contributors
Alcala-Torano, Rafael de Jesus, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, Moore, Ana L, et al.
Created Date
2019

In the past decade, technological breakthroughs have facilitated structure determination of so many difficult-to-study membrane protein targets. In this thesis research, three techniques were investigated to enable the structural determination of such challenging targets, polychromatic pink-beam serial crystallography with high-viscous sample, lipidic cubic phase (LCP)-based microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED), and single-particle cryogenic electron microscopy targeting (cryoEM). Inspired by the successful serial crystallography (SX) experiment at a synchrotron radiation source, it is first-time equipping the high-viscosity injector to X-ray fluxes increased at 100 times by a moderate increased in bandwidth to perform the pink beam SX experiments. The structure of proteinase …

Contributors
Zhu, Lan, Liu, Wei, Mills, Jeremy, et al.
Created Date
2019

Exoelectrogenic microorganisms can grow by transferring electrons from their internal metabolism to extracellular substrates in a process known as extracellular electron transfer (EET). This dissertation explores the mechanisms of EET by both chemotrophic and phototrophic organisms and constructs a novel supramolecular structure that can be used as a model for microbial, long-range electron transfer. Geobacter sulfurreducens has been hypothesized to secrete and use riboflavin as a soluble, extracellular redox shuttle in conjunction with multi-heme, outer membrane, c-type cytochromes, but the required proteins and their properties have not been defined. To address the mechanism of extracellular electron transfer by G. sulfurreducens, …

Contributors
thirumurthy, miyuki abirami, Jones, Anne K, Redding, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2019

Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) uses diffraction patterns from crystals delivered in a serial fashion to an X-Ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) for structure determination. Typically, each diffraction pattern is a snapshot from a different crystal. SFX limits the effect of radiation damage and enables the use of nano/micro crystals for structure determination. However, analysis of SFX data is challenging since each snapshot is processed individually. Many photosystem II (PSII) dataset have been collected at XFELs, several of which are time-resolved (containing both dark and laser illuminated frames). Comparison of light and dark datasets requires understanding systematic errors that can be …

Contributors
Stander, Natasha, Fromme, Petra, Zatsepin, Nadia, et al.
Created Date
2019

This work aims to characterize protein-nanoparticle interactions through the application of experimental techniques to aid in controlled nanoparticle production for various applications from manufacturing through medical to defense. It includes multiple steps to obtain purified and characterized protein and then the production of nanoparticles using the protein. This application of protein requires extremely pure homogenous solution of the protein that was achieved using numerous protein separation techniques which were experimented with. Crystallization conditions, protein separation methods and protein characterization methods were all investigated along with the protein-nanoparticle interaction studies. The main protein of study here is GroEL and the inorganic …

Contributors
Sirajudeen, Luqmanal Hakim, Nannenga, Brent L, Acharya, Abhinav P, et al.
Created Date
2019

Spatial resolved detection and quantification of ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules in single cell is crucial for the understanding of inherent biological issues, like mechanism of gene regulation or the development and maintenance of cell fate. Conventional methods for single cell RNA profiling, like single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) or single-molecule fluorescent in situ hybridization (smFISH), suffer either from the loss of spatial information or the low detection throughput. In order to advance single-cell analysis, new approaches need to be developed with the ability to perform high-throughput detection while preserving spatial information of the subcellular location of target RNA molecules. Novel approaches …

Contributors
Xiao, Lu, Guo, Jia, Wang, Xu, et al.
Created Date
2019

The highly specialized telomerase ribonucleoprotein enzyme is composed minimally of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and telomerase RNA (TR) for catalytic activity. Telomerase is an RNA-dependent DNA polymerase that syntheizes DNA repeats at chromosome ends to maintain genome stability. While TERT is highly conserved among various groups of species, the TR subunit exhibits remarkable divergence in primary sequence, length, secondary structure and biogenesis, making TR identification extremely challenging even among closely related groups of organisms. A unique computational approach combined with in vitro telomerase activity reconstitution studies was used to identify 83 novel TRs from 10 animal kingdom phyla spanning 18 …

Contributors
Logeswaran, Dhenugen, Chen, Julian J-L, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2019

Transient receptor potential vanilloid member 1 (TRPV1) is a membrane protein ion channel that functions as a heat and capsaicin receptor. In addition to activation by hot temperature and vanilloid compounds such as capsaicin, TRPV1 is modulated by various stimuli including acidic pH, endogenous lipids, diverse biological and synthetic chemical ligands, and modulatory proteins. Due to its sensitivity to noxious stimuli such as high temperature and pungent chemicals, there has been significant evidence that TRPV1 participates in a variety of human physiological and pathophysiological pathways, raising the potential of TRPV1 as an attractive therapeutic target. However, the polymodal nature of …

Contributors
Kim, Minjoo, Van Horn, Wade D, Wang, Xu, et al.
Created Date
2019

Time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography is an emerging method that allows for structural discovery to be performed on biomacromolecules during their dynamic trajectory through a reaction pathway after activation. This is performed by triggering a reaction on an ensemble of molecules in nano- or microcrystals and then using femtosecond X-ray laser pulses produced by an X-ray free electron laser to collect near-instantaneous data on the crystal. A full data set can be collected by merging a sufficient number of these patterns together and multiple data sets can be collected at different points along the reaction pathway by manipulating the delay time …

Contributors
Coe, Jesse, Fromme, Petra, Sayres, Scott, et al.
Created Date
2018

Signal transduction networks comprising protein-protein interactions (PPIs) mediate homeostatic, diseased, and therapeutic cellular responses. Mapping these networks has primarily focused on identifying interactors, but less is known about the interaction affinity, rates of interaction or their regulation. To better understand the extent of the annotated human interactome, I first examined > 2500 protein interactions within the B cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway using a current, cutting-edge bioluminescence-based platform called “NanoBRET” that is capable of analyzing transient and stable interactions in high throughput. Eighty-three percent (83%) of the detected interactions have not been previously reported, indicating that much of the BCR …

Contributors
Petritis, Brianne Ogata, LaBaer, Joshua, Lake, Douglas, et al.
Created Date
2018

Alzheimer’s disease is a major problem affecting over 5.7 million Americans. Although much is known about the effects of this neurogenerative disease, the exact pathogenesis is still unknown. One very important characteristic of Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of beta amyloid protein which often results in plaques. To understand these beta amyloid proteins better, antibody fragments may be used to bind to these oligomers and potentially reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. This thesis focused on the expression and crystallization the fragment antigen binding antibody fragment A4. A fragment antigen binding fragment was chosen to be worked with as it is …

Contributors
Colasurd, Paige, Nannenga, Brent, Mills, Jeremy, et al.
Created Date
2018

The linear chromosomes ends in eukaryotes are protected by telomeres, a nucleoprotein structure that contains telomeric DNA with repetitive sequence and associated proteins. Telomerase is an RNA-dependent DNA polymerase that adds telomeric DNA repeats to the 3'-ends of chromosomes to offset the loss of terminal DNA repeats during DNA replication. It consists of two core components: a telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and a telomerase RNA (TR). Telomerase uses a short sequence in its integral RNA component as template to add multiple DNA repeats in a processive manner. However, it remains unclear how the telomerase utilizes the short RNA template accurately …

Contributors
Chen, Yinnan, Chen, Julian J-L, Jones, Anne K, et al.
Created Date
2018

Lipids perform functions essential to life and have a variety of structures that are influenced by the organisms and environments that produced them. Lipids tend to resist degradation after cell death, leading to their widespread use as biomarkers in geobiology, though their interpretation is often tricky. Many lipid structures are shared among organisms and function in many geochemical conditions and extremes. I argue it is useful to interpret lipid distributions as a balance of functional necessity and energy cost. This work utilizes a quantitative thermodynamic framework for interpreting energetically driven adaptation in lipids. Yellowstone National Park is a prime location …

Contributors
Boyer, Grayson Maxwell, Shock, Everett, Hartnett, Hilairy, et al.
Created Date
2018

Glycans are monosaccharide-based heteropolymers that are found covalently attached to many different proteins and lipids and are ubiquitously displayed on the exterior surfaces of cells. Serum glycan composition and structure are well known to be altered in many different types of cancer. In fact, glycans represent a promising but only marginally accessed source of cancer markers. The approach used in this dissertation, which is referred to as “glycan node analysis”, is a molecularly bottom-up approach to plasma/serum (P/S) glycomics based on glycan linkage analysis that captures features such as α2-6 sialylation, β1-6 branching, and core fucosylation as single analytical signals. …

Contributors
Roshdiferdosi, Shadi, Borges, Chad R, Woodbury, Neal, et al.
Created Date
2018

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) represent a heterogeneous population of small vesicles, consisting of a phospholipidic bilayer surrounding a soluble interior cargo. These vesicles play an important role in cellular communication by virtue of their protein, RNA, and lipid content, which can be transferred among cells. Peripheral blood is a rich source of circulating EVs. An analysis of EVs in peripheral blood could provide access to unparalleled amounts of biomarkers of great diagnostic, prognostic as well as therapeutic value. In the current study, a plasma EV enrichment method based on pluronic co-polymer was first established and characterized. Plasma EVs from breast cancer …

Contributors
Zhong, Zhenyu, Spetzler, David, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2018

Over the last century, X-ray crystallography has been established as the most successful technique for unravelling the structure-function relationship in molecules. For integral membrane proteins, growing well-ordered large crystals is a challenge and hence, there is room for improving current methods of macromolecular crystallography and for exploring complimentary techniques. Since protein function is deeply associated with its structural dynamics, static position of atoms in a macromolecule are insufficient to unlock the mechanism. The availability of X-ray free electron lasers presents an opportunity to study micron-sized crystals that could be triggered (using light, small molecules or physical conditions) to capture macromolecules …

Contributors
Roy Chowdhury, Shatabdi, Fromme, Petra, Ros, Alexandra, et al.
Created Date
2018

Biological systems have long been known to utilize two processes for energy conservation: substrate-level phosphorylation and electron transport phosphorylation. Recently, a new bioenergetic process was discovered that increases ATP yields: flavin-based electron bifurcation (FBEB). This process couples an energetically favorable reaction with an energetically unfavorable one to conserve energy in the organism. Currently, the mechanisms of enzymes that perform FBEB are unknown. In this work, NADH-dependent reduced ferredoxin:NADP+ oxidoreductase (Nfn), a FBEB enzyme, is used as a model system to study this phenomenon. Nfn is a heterodimeric enzyme that reversibly couples the exergonic reduction of NADP+ by reduced ferredoxin with …

Contributors
Jennings, David, Jones, Anne K, Redding, Kevin E, et al.
Created Date
2018

To mimic the membrane environment for the photosynthetic reaction center of the photoheterotrophic Heliobacterium modesticaldum, a proteoliposome system was developed using the lipids found in native membranes, as well as a lipid possessing a Ni(II)-NTA head group. The liposomes were also saturated with menaquinone-9 to provide further native conditions, given that menaquinone is active within the heliobacterial reaction center in some way. Purified heliobacterial reaction center was reconstituted into the liposomes and a recombinant cytochrome c553 was decorated onto the liposome surface. The native lipid-attachment sequence of cytochrome c553 was truncated and replaced with a hexahistidine tag. Thus, the membrane-anchoring …

Contributors
Johnson, William Alexander, Redding, Kevin E, Van Horn, Wade D, et al.
Created Date
2018

Rubisco activase (Rca) from higher plants is a stromal ATPase essential for reactivating Rubiscos rendered catalytically inactive by endogenous inhibitors. Rca’s functional state is thought to consist of ring-like hexameric assemblies, similar to other members of the AAA+ protein superfamily. However, unlike other members, it does not form obligate hexamers and is quite polydisperse in solution, making elucidation of its self-association pathway challenging. This polydispersity also makes interpretation of traditional biochemical approaches difficult, prompting use of a fluorescence-based technique (Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy) to investigate the relationship between quaternary structure and function. Like cotton β Rca, tobacco β Rca appears to …

Contributors
Serban, Andrew J, Wachter, Rebekka M, Levitus, Marcia, et al.
Created Date
2018

The physiological phenomenon of sensing temperature is detected by transient receptor (TRP) ion channels, which are pore forming proteins that reside in the membrane bilayer. The cold and hot sensing TRP channels named TRPV1 and TRPM8 respectively, can be modulated by diverse stimuli and are finely tuned by proteins and lipids. PIRT (phosphoinositide interacting regulator of TRP channels) is a small membrane protein that modifies TRPV1 responses to heat and TRPM8 responses to cold. In this dissertation, the first direct measurements between PIRT and TRPM8 are quantified with nuclear magnetic resonance and microscale thermophoresis. Using Rosetta computational biology, TRPM8 is …

Contributors
Sisco, Nicholas John, Van Horn, Wade D, Mills, Jeremy H, et al.
Created Date
2018

Measuring molecular interaction with membrane proteins is critical for understanding cellular functions, validating biomarkers and screening drugs. Despite the importance, developing such a capability has been a difficult challenge, especially for small molecules binding to membrane proteins in their native cellular environment. The current mainstream practice is to isolate membrane proteins from the cell membranes, which is difficult and often lead to the loss of their native structures and functions. In this thesis, novel detection methods for in situ quantification of molecular interactions with membrane proteins are described. First, a label-free surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) platform is developed for …

Contributors
Zhang, Fenni, Tao, Nongjian, Chae, Junseok, et al.
Created Date
2018

Exposure of blood plasma/serum (P/S) to thawed conditions, greater than -30°C, can produce biomolecular changes that misleadingly impact measurements of clinical markers within archived samples. Reported here is a low sample-volume, dilute-and-shoot, intact protein mass spectrometric assay of albumin proteoforms called “ΔS-Cys-Albumin” that quantifies cumulative exposure of archived P/S samples to thawed conditions. The assay uses the fact that S-cysteinylation (oxidation) of albumin in P/S increases to a maximum value when exposed to temperatures greater than -30°C. The multi-reaction rate law that governs this albumin S-cysteinylation formation in P/S was determined and was shown to predict the rate of formation …

Contributors
Jeffs, Joshua W, Borges, Chad R, Van Horn, Wade, et al.
Created Date
2018

Most drugs work by binding to receptors on the cell surface. These receptors can then carry the message into the cell and have a wide array of results. However, studying how fast the binding is can be difficult. Current methods involve extracting the receptor and labeling them, but both these steps have issues. Previous works found that binding on the cell surface is accompanied with a small change in cell size, generally an increase. They have also developed an algorithm that can track these small changes without a label using a simple bright field microscope. Here, this relationship is further …

Contributors
Hunt, Ashley, Tao, Nongjian, Ros, Alexandra, et al.
Created Date
2018

Biochemical reactions underlie all living processes. Their complex web of interactions is difficult to fully capture and quantify with simple mathematical objects. Applying network science to biology has advanced our understanding of the metabolisms of individual organisms and the organization of ecosystems, but has scarcely been applied to life at a planetary scale. To characterize planetary-scale biochemistry, I constructed biochemical networks using global databases of annotated genomes and metagenomes, and biochemical reactions. I uncover scaling laws governing biochemical diversity and network structure shared across levels of organization from individuals to ecosystems, to the biosphere as a whole. Comparing real biochemical …

Contributors
Smith, Harrison Brodsky, Walker, Sara I, Anbar, Ariel D, et al.
Created Date
2018

Single-cell proteomics and transcriptomics analysis are crucial to gain insights of healthy physiology and disease pathogenesis. The comprehensive profiling of biomolecules in individual cells of a heterogeneous system can provide deep insights into many important biological questions, such as the distinct cellular compositions or regulation of inter- and intracellular signaling pathways of healthy and diseased tissues. With multidimensional molecular imaging of many different biomarkers in patient biopsies, diseases can be accurately diagnosed to guide the selection of the ideal treatment. As an urgent need to advance single-cell analysis, imaging-based technologies have been developed to detect and quantify multiple DNA, RNA …

Contributors
Mondal, Manas, Guo, Jia, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2018

The basic scheme for photosynthesis suggests the two photosystems existing in parity with one another. However, cyanobacteria typically maintain significantly more photosystem I (PSI) than photosystem II (PSII) complexes. I set out to evaluate this disparity through development and analysis of multiple mutants of the genetically tractable cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 that exhibit a range of expression levels of the main proteins present in PSI (Chapter 2). One hypothesis was that the higher abundance of PSI in this organism is used to enable more cyclic electron flow (CEF) around PSI to contribute to greater ATP synthesis. Results of this …

Contributors
Moore, Vicki, Vermaas, Willem, Wang, Xuan, et al.
Created Date
2017

The primary carbon fixing enzyme Rubisco maintains its activity through release of trapped inhibitors by Rubisco activase (Rca). Very little is known about the interaction, but binding has been proposed to be weak and transient. Extensive effort was made to develop Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) based assays to understand the physical interaction between Rubisco and Rca, as well as understand subunit exchange in Rca. Preparations of labeled Rubisco and Rca were utilized in a FRET-based binding assay. Although initial data looked promising, this approach was not fruitful, as no true FRET signal was observed. One possibility is that under …

Contributors
Forbrook, Dayna, Wachter, Rebekka M, Allen, James, et al.
Created Date
2017

Development of efficient and renewable electrocatalytic systems is foundational to creation of effective means to produce solar fuels. Many redox enzymes are functional electrocatalysts when immobilized on an electrode, but long-term stability of isolated proteins limits use in applications. Thus there is interest in developing bio-inspired functional catalysts or electrocatalytic systems based on living organisms. This dissertation describes efforts to create both synthetic and biological electrochemical systems for electrocatalytic hydrogen production. The first part of this dissertation describes the preparation of three different types of proton reduction catalysts. First, four bioinspired diiron complexes of the form (μ-SRS)Fe(CO)3[Fe(CO)(N-N)] for SRS = …

Contributors
Laureanti, Joseph Anthony, Jones, Anne K., Moore, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2017

The evolution of photosynthesis caused the oxygen-rich atmosphere in which we thrive today. Although the reaction centers involved in oxygenic photosynthesis probably evolved from a protein like the reaction centers in modern anoxygenic photosynthesis, modern anoxygenic reaction centers are poorly understood. One such anaerobic reaction center is found in Heliobacterium modesticaldum. Here, the photosynthetic properties of H. modesticaldum are investigated, especially as they pertain to its unique photochemical reaction center. The first part of this dissertation describes the optimization of the previously established protocol for the H. modesticaldum reaction center isolation. Subsequently, electron transfer is characterized by ultrafast spectroscopy; the …

Contributors
Gisriel, Christopher James, Redding, Kevin E, Jones, Anne K, et al.
Created Date
2017

The energy required in a eukaryotic cell is provided by mitochondria. Mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) coupled with oxidative phosphorylation generates ATP. During electron transport, electron leakage from the ETC produces reactive oxygen species (ROS). In healthy cells, there are preventive and defense mechanisms in place to manage ROS. Maintaining a steady balance of ROS is very important because overproduction of ROS can lead to several pathological conditions. There are several strategies to prevent ROS production. Addition of external antioxidants is widely used among them. Discussed in the first part of Chapter 1 is the mitochondrial ETC, ROS production and …

Contributors
Roy Chowdhury, Sandipan, Hecht, Sidney, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2016

Nature is a master at organizing biomolecules in all intracellular processes, and researchers have conducted extensive research to understand the way enzymes interact with each other through spatial and orientation positioning, substrate channeling, compartmentalization, and more. DNA nanostructures of high programmability and complexity provide excellent scaffolds to arrange multiple molecular/macromolecular components at nanometer scale to construct interactive biomolecular complexes and networks. Due to the sequence specificity at different positions of the DNA origami nanostructures, spatially addressable molecular pegboard with a resolution of several nm (less than 10 nm) can be achieved. So far, DNA nanostructures can be used to build …

Contributors
Yang, Yuhe Renee, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2016

Biomass synthesis is a competing factor in biological systems geared towards generation of commodity and specialty chemicals, ultimately limiting maximum titer and yield; in this thesis, a widely generalizable, modular approach focused on decoupling biomass synthesis from the production of the phenylalanine in a genetically modified strain of E. coli BW25113 was explored with the use of synthetic trans-encoded small RNA (sRNA) to achieve greater efficiency. The naturally occurring sRNA MicC was used as a scaffold, and combined on a plasmid with a promoter for anhydrous tetracycline (aTc) and a T1/TE terminator. The coding sequence corresponding to the target binding …

Contributors
Herschel, Daniel Jordan, Nielsen, David R, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2016

One of the greatest problems facing society today is the development of a sustainable, carbon neutral energy source to curb the reliance on fossil fuel combustion as the primary source of energy. To overcome this challenge, research efforts have turned to biology for inspiration, as nature is adept at inter-converting low molecular weight precursors into complex molecules. A number of inorganic catalysts have been reported that mimic the active sites of energy-relevant enzymes such as hydrogenases and carbon monoxide dehydrogenase. However, these inorganic models fail to achieve the high activity of the enzymes, which function in aqueous systems, as they …

Contributors
Sommer, Dayn Joseph, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, Redding, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2016

Viral protein U (Vpu) is a type-III integral membrane protein encoded by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV- 1). It is expressed in infected host cells and plays vital roles in down-regulation of CD4 receptors in T cells and also in the budding of virions. But, there remain key structure/function questions regarding the mechanisms by which the Vpu protein contributes to HIV-1 pathogenesis and thus, it makes for an attractive target to study the structural attributes of this protein by elucidating a structural model with X-ray crystallography. This study describes a multi-pronged approach of heterologous over-expression of Vpu. The strategies of …

Contributors
Deb, Arpan, Leket-Mor, Tsafrir S, Fromme, Petra, et al.
Created Date
2016

Accurate virus detection is important for diagnosis in a timely manner to facilitate rapid interventions and treatments. RNA viruses affect an extensive amount of the world’s population, particularly in tropical countries where emerging infectious agents often arise. Current diagnostic methods have three main problems: they are time consuming, typically not field-portable, and expensive. My research goal is to develop rapid, field-portable and cost sensitive diagnostic methods for RNA viruses. Herein, two different approaches to detect RNA viruses were proposed: Conjugated gold nanoparticles for detection of viral particles or virus-specific antibodies by monitoring changes in their optical properties, and Tentacle Probes …

Contributors
Franco, Lina Stella, Mujica, Vladimiro, Blattman, Joseph N, et al.
Created Date
2016

Measles is a contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that continues to be the leading cause of death in children younger than the age of 5 years. While the introduction of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine (MMR) has significantly decreased morbidity and mortality rates worldwide, vaccine coverage is highly variable across global regions. Current diagnostic methods rely on enzyme immunoassays (EIA) to detect IgM or IgG Abs in serum. Commercially available Diamedix Immunosimplicity® Measles IgG test kit has been shown to have 91.1% sensitivity and 93.8% specificity, with a positive predictive value of 88.7% and a negative predictive value of 90.9% on …

Contributors
Mushtaq, Zuena, Anderson, Karen, Blattman, Joseph, et al.
Created Date
2016

The ability to manipulate the interaction between small molecules and biological macromolecules towards the study of disease pathogenesis has become a very important part of research towards treatment options for various diseases. The work described here shows both the use of DNA oligonucleotides as carriers for a nicotine hapten small molecule, and the use of microsomes to study the stability of compounds derived to treat mitochondrial diseases. Nicotine addiction is a worldwide epidemic because nicotine is one of the most widely used addictive substances. It is linked to early death, typically in the form of heart or lung disease. A …

Contributors
Schmierer, Margaret Louise, Hecht, Sidney M, Allen, James, et al.
Created Date
2016

Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) is a highly conserved disulfide bond-generating enzyme that represents the ancient fusion of two major thiol-disulfide oxidoreductase gene families: thioredoxin and ERV. QSOX1 was first linked with cancer after being identified as overexpressed in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (but not in adjacent normal ductal epithelia, infiltrating lymphocytes, or chronic pancreatitis). QSOX1 overexpression has been confirmed in a number of other histological tumor types, such as breast, lung, kidney, prostate, and others. Expression of QSOX1 supports a proliferative and invasive phenotype in tumor cells, and its enzymatic activity is critical for promoting an invasive phenotype. An in …

Contributors
Hanavan, Paul Daniel, Lake, Douglas, LaBaer, Joshua, et al.
Created Date
2015

Efficient separation techniques for organelles and bacteria in the micron- and sub-micron range are required for various analytical challenges. Mitochondria have a wide size range resulting from the sub-populations, some of which may be associated with diseases or aging. However, traditional methods can often not resolve within-species size variations. Strategies to separate mitochondrial sub-populations by size are thus needed to study the importance of this organelle in cellular functions. Additionally, challenges also exist in distinguishing the sub-populations of bio-species which differ in the surface charge while possessing similar size, such as Salmonella typhimurium (Salmonella). The surface charge of Salmonella wild-type …

Contributors
Luo, Jinghui, Ros, Alexandra, Hayes, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2015