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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.


Contributor
Date Range
2010 2019


All organisms need to be able to sense and respond to their environment. Much of this process takes place via proteins embedded in the cell membrane, the border between a living thing and the external world. Transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels are a superfamily of membrane proteins that play diverse roles in physiology. Among the 27 TRP channels found in humans and other animals, TRP melastatin 8 (TRPM8) and TRP vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) are the primary sensors of cold and hot temperatures, respectively. They underlie the molecular basis of somatic temperature sensation, but beyond this are also known to …

Contributors
Hilton, Jacob, Van Horn, Wade D, Levitus, Marcia, et al.
Created Date
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

Since the discovery of graphene, two dimensional materials (2D materials) have become a focus of interest for material research due to their many unique physical properties embedded in their 2D structure. While they host many exciting potential applications, some of these 2D materials are subject to environmental instability issues induced by interaction between material and gas molecules in air, which poses a barrier to further application and manufacture. To overcome this, it is necessary to understand the origin of material instability and interaction with molecules commonly found in air, as well as developing a reproducible and manufacturing compatible method to …

Contributors
Yang, Sijie, Tongay, Sefaattin, Gould, Ian, et al.
Created Date
2017

Proteins are essential for most biological processes that constitute life. The function of a protein is encoded within its 3D folded structure, which is determined by its sequence of amino acids. A variation of a single nucleotide in the DNA during transcription (nSNV) can alter the amino acid sequence (i.e., a mutation in the protein sequence), which can adversely impact protein function and sometimes cause disease. These mutations are the most prevalent form of variations in humans, and each individual genome harbors tens of thousands of nSNVs that can be benign (neutral) or lead to disease. The primary way to …

Contributors
Butler, Brandon Mac, Ozkan, S. Banu, Vaiana, Sara, 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

The addition of aminoalkyl-substituted 2,6-bis(imino)pyridine (or pyridine diimine, PDI) ligands to [(COD)RhCl]2 (COD = 1,5-cyclooctadiene) resulted in the formation of rhodium monochloride complexes with the general formula (NPDI)RhCl (NPDI = iPr2NEtPDI or Me2NPrPDI). The investigation of (iPr2NEtPDI)RhCl and (Me2NPrPDI)RhCl by single crystal X-ray diffraction verified the absence of amine arm coordination and a pseudo square planar geometry about rhodium. Replacement of the chloride ligand with an outer-sphere anion was achieved by adding AgBF4 directly to (iPr2NEtPDI)RhCl to form [(iPr2NEtPDI)Rh][BF4]. Alternatively, this complex was prepared upon chelate addition following the salt metathesis reaction between AgBF4 and [(COD)RhCl]2. Using the latter method, …

Contributors
Levin, Hagit Ben-Daat, Trovitch, Ryan J, Gould, Ian R, et al.
Created Date
2016

Palladium metal in its various forms has been heavily studied for many catalytic, hydrogen storage and sensing applications and as an electrocatalyst in fuel cells. A short review on various applications of palladium and the mechanism of Pd nanoparticles synthesis will be discussed in chapter 1. Size dependent properties of various metal nanoparticles and a thermodynamic theory proposed by Plieth to predict size dependent redox properties of metal nanoparticles will also be discussed in chapter 1. To evaluate size dependent stability of metal nanoparticles using electrochemical techniques in aqueous media, a synthetic route was designed to produce water soluble Pd …

Contributors
Kumar, Ashok, Buttry, Daniel A., Gould, Ian R., et al.
Created Date
2016

Molecular docking serves as an important tool in modeling protein-ligand interactions. Most of the docking approaches treat the protein receptor as rigid and move the ligand in the binding pocket through an energy minimization, which is an incorrect approach as proteins are flexible and undergo conformational changes upon ligand binding. However, modeling receptor backbone flexibility in docking is challenging and computationally expensive due to the large conformational space that needs to be sampled. A novel flexible docking approach called BP-Dock (Backbone Perturbation docking) was developed to overcome this challenge. BP-Dock integrates both backbone and side chain conformational changes of a …

Contributors
Bolia, Ashini, Ozkan, Sefika Banu, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2015

As sunlight is an ideal source of energy on a global scale, there are several approaches being developed to harvest it and convert it to a form that can be used. One of these is though mimicking the processes in natural photosynthesis. Artificial photosynthetic systems include dye sensitized solar cells for the conversion of sunlight to electricity, and photoelectrosynthetic cells which use sunlight to drive water oxidation and hydrogen production to convert sunlight to energy stored in fuel. Both of these approaches include the process of the conversion of light energy into chemical potential in the form of a charge-separated …

Contributors
Antoniuk-Pablant, Antaeres, Gust, Devens, Moore, Ana L, et al.
Created Date
2015

The Heliobacterial reaction center (HbRC) is generally regarded as the most primitive photosynthetic reaction center (RC) known. Even if the HbRC is structurally and functionally simple compared to higher plants, the mechanisms of energy transduction preceding, inside the core, and from the RC are not totally established. Elucidating these structures and mechanisms are paramount to determining where the HbRC is in the grand scheme of RC evolution. In this work, the function and properties of the solubilized cyt c553, PetJ, were investigated, as well as the role HbRC localized menaquinone plays in light-induced electron transfer, and the interaction of the …

Contributors
Kashey, Trevor Scott, Redding, Kevin E, Fromme, Petra, et al.
Created Date
2015

Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) is an intrinsically disordered protein that has no regular secondary structure, but plays an important role in vasodilation and pain transmission in migraine. Little is known about the structure and dynamics of the monomeric state of CGRP or how CGRP is able to function in the cell, despite the lack of regular secondary structure. This work focuses characterizing the non-local structural and dynamical properties of the CGRP monomer in solution, and understanding how these are affected by the sequence and the solution environment. The unbound, free state of CGRP is measured using a nanosecond laser-pump spectrophotometer, …

Contributors
Sizemore, Sara, Vaiana, Sara, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2015

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has become an important tool to characterize and image surfaces with nanoscale resolution. AFM imaging technique has been utilized to study a wide range of substances such as DNA, proteins, cells, silicon surfaces, nanowires etc. Hence AFM has become extremely important in the field of biochemistry, cell biology and material science. Functionalizing the AFM tip made it possible to detect molecules and their interaction using recognition imaging at single molecule level. Also the unbinding force of two molecules can be investigated based on AFM based single molecule force spectroscopy. In the first study, a new chemical …

Contributors
SENAPATI, SUBHADIP, Lindsay, Stuart, Zhang, Peiming, et al.
Created Date
2015

The AAA+ ATPase Rubisco activase (Rca) regulates the activity of Rubisco, the photosynthetic enzyme responsible for catalyzing biological carbon fixation. However, the detailed mechanism by which Rca self-association controls Rubisco reactivation activity remains poorly understood. In this work, we are using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) to better characterize the thermodynamics of the assembly process of cotton Rca. We present FCS data for Rca in the presence of Mg*ATPgS and Mg*ADP and for the D173N Walker B motif mutant in the presence of Mg*ATP. Our data are consistent with promotion and stabilization of hexamers by Mg*ATPgS and Mg*ATP, whereas Mg*ADP facilitates …

Contributors
Kuriata, Agnieszka Magdalena, Wachter, Rebekka, Redding, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2014

A vast amount of energy emanates from the sun, and at the distance of Earth, approximately 172,500 TW reaches the atmosphere. Of that, 80,600 TW reaches the surface with 15,600 TW falling on land. Photosynthesis converts 156 TW in the form of biomass, which represents all food/fuel for the biosphere with about 20 TW of the total product used by humans. Additionally, our society uses approximately 20 more TW of energy from ancient photosynthetic products i.e. fossil fuels. In order to mitigate climate problems, the carbon dioxide must be removed from the human energy usage by replacement or recycling as …

Contributors
Vaughn, Michael David, Moore, Thomas, Fromme, Petra, et al.
Created Date
2014

Cyanovirin-N (CVN) is a cyanobacterial lectin with potent anti-HIV activity, mediated by binding to the N-linked oligosaccharide moiety of the envelope protein gp120. CVN offers a scaffold to develop multivalent carbohydrate-binding proteins with tunable specificities and affinities. I present here biophysical calculations completed on a monomeric-stabilized mutant of cyanovirin-N, P51G-m4-CVN, in which domain A binding activity is abolished by four mutations; with comparisons made to CVN<super>mutDB</super>, in which domain B binding activity is abolished. Using Monte Carlo calculations and docking simulations, mutations in CVN<super>mutDB</super> were considered singularly, and the mutations E41A/G and T57A were found to impact the affinity towards …

Contributors
Woodrum, Brian William, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, Redding, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2014

ABSTRACT Post Translational Modifications (PTMs) are a series of chemical modifications with the capacity to expand the structural and functional repertoire of proteins. PTMs can regulate protein-protein interaction, localization, protein turn-over, the active state of the protein, and much more. This can dramatically affect cell processes as relevant as gene expression, cell-cell recognition, and cell signaling. Along these lines, this Ph.D. thesis examines the role of two of the most important PTMs: glycosylation and phosphorylation. In chapters 2, 3 and 4, a 10,000 peptide microarray is used to analyze the glycan variations in a series lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from Gram negative …

Contributors
Morales Betanzos, Carlos Alberto, LaBaer, Joshua, Allen, James, et al.
Created Date
2014

The utilization of solar energy requires an efficient means of its storage as fuel. In bio-inspired artificial photosynthesis, light energy can be used to drive water oxidation, but catalysts that produce molecular oxygen from water are required. This dissertation demonstrates a novel complex utilizing earth-abundant Ni in combination with glycine as an efficient catalyst with a modest overpotential of 0.475 ± 0.005 V for a current density of 1 mA/cm<super>2</super> at pH 11. The production of molecular oxygen at a high potential was verified by measurement of the change in oxygen concentration, yielding a Faradaic efficiency of 60 ± 5%. …

Contributors
Wang, Dong, Allen, James P, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2014

Natural hydrogenases catalyze the reduction of protons to molecular hydrogen reversibly under mild conditions; these enzymes have an unusual active site architecture, in which a diiron site is connected to a cubane type [4Fe-4S] cluster. Due to the relevance of this reaction to energy production, and in particular to sustainable fuel production, there have been substantial amount of research focused on developing biomimetic organometallic models. However, most of these organometallic complexes cannot revisit the structural and functional fine-tuning provided by the protein matrix as seen in the natural enzyme. The goal of this thesis is to build a protein based …

Contributors
Roy, Anindya, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2014

Telomerase is a unique reverse transcriptase that has evolved specifically to extend the single stranded DNA at the 3' ends of chromosomes. To achieve this, telomerase uses a small section of its integral RNA subunit (TR) to reiteratively copy a short, canonically 6-nt, sequence repeatedly in a processive manner using a complex and currently poorly understood mechanism of template translocation to stop nucleotide addition, regenerate its template, and then synthesize a new repeat. In this study, several novel interactions between the telomerase protein and RNA components along with the DNA substrate are identified and characterized which come together to allow …

Contributors
Brown, Andrew, Chen, Julian J. L., Jones, Anne, et al.
Created Date
2014

This thesis explores a wide array of topics related to the protein folding problem, ranging from the folding mechanism, ab initio structure prediction and protein design, to the mechanism of protein functional evolution, using multi-scale approaches. To investigate the role of native topology on folding mechanism, the native topology is dissected into non-local and local contacts. The number of non-local contacts and non-local contact orders are both negatively correlated with folding rates, suggesting that the non-local contacts dominate the barrier-crossing process. However, local contact orders show positive correlation with folding rates, indicating the role of a diffusive search in the …

Contributors
Zou, Taisong, Ozkan, Sefika B, Thorpe, Michael F, et al.
Created Date
2014