• S100A1 IS ESSENTIAL FOR PEDIATRIC TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (PEDTBI) INDUCED DEPRESSIVE BEHAVIOR

      Sharma, Avirale; Sura, Suvarsha; Chaudhary, Rafay; Fatima, Sumbul; College of Science and Mathematics; Department of Medical Laboratory, Imaging and Radiologic Sciences; Pandya, Chirayu; Department of Medical Laboratory, Imaging and Radiologic Sciences; Hoda, Md Nasrul; Augusta University; et al. (2018-02-12)
      Background:Majority of kids visit the emergency room due to a pediatric traumatic brain injury (PedTBI), which increases the risk of long-term prognosis. S100A1 is a small molecular weight calciumbinding protein, whichdifferentially regulates cell specific signaling. Hypothesis:We tested the hypothesis that increased neuronal-S100A1 expression after PedTBI exacerbates depression. Methods:Wild type (WT) or S100A1 KO mice (SKO; 3-weeks) were used for behavioral comparison. Male mice from both strains (3-weeks) were also subjected to a closed-head PedTBI, followed by neurobehavioral assessments and tissue biochemistry at 4-weeks. Statistical significance was determined at P<0.05. Results:Naïve SKO mice showed significant anti-depressive phenotype compared to the WT control, and were resistant to the post-PedTBI depression. In WT mice, PedTBI significantly increasedthe neuronal-S100A1 in the cortex compared to the control, which paralleled with the significant decrease in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and synapsin I expressions, the key molecules in neural plasticity. Post-PedTBI loss in BDNF/Synapsin I and behavioral abnormalities due were reversed in the SKO mice. Conclusions:Our data identify neuronal-S100A1 as a possible link in the development of post-PedTBI depression. Further studies are warranted to establish the functional role of neuronal-S100A1in the development of depression after PedTBI.
    • The Significance of the Study of Evolution: Development and Implementation of an Interactive Course Module: Phase I

      Wilson, Cynthia Lynn; Sanyal, Nilabhra; Wise, Alisha; Department of Biological Sciences; Hull College of Business; Mukhopadhyay, Soma; Department of Biological Sciences; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      The goal of this project is to create an interactive, one week coursemoduleto supplement teaching students about the connections between molecular evolution, macroevolution, microevolution and how they pertain tothehuman body and health. Thisinteractive course module is beingdeveloped using resources from the Internet that will allow the students to better understand the content. The main purpose of this course modulewill be to show that evolution is an evidence based science that affects public health and all fields of biology. Those who believe that evolution is antithetical to their beliefs, their concerns and the controversies that surround the study and teaching evolution will be addressed to ease any problemsthatthey may have. Surveys will be given at the beginning and end of the course to gauge the students' current and learned knowledge of evolutionand to get feedback for further improvement. This pedagogical research will be used to show that evolution is based on empirical evidence and is necessary to learn as it serves as the foundation of phylogenetic studies in biology. This knowledge can be applied to better understand individual human health and then to the wider field ofpublic health.
    • Structural Affinity of CAP1 and AC isoforms

      Mehrotra, Simran; Department of Biological Sciences; Sabbatini, Maria Eugenia; Department of Biological Sciences; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      The major cause of death of pancreatic cancer is metastases. For that reason, it is of interestto study the mechanism through which the pancreaticcancercells migrate as itcould help with future medicine and prolong survivalrate. Adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1)is involved in the regulation of actin microfilament formation, which ultimately regulatescell migration and invasion.CAP1 binds to G-actin,inhibiting polymerization. In previousresults,we found CAP1 interactswith a number ofadenylyl cyclase (AC) isoforms: AC1, AC3, AC4 and AC7. The goal for this project wasto study therelative affinityof CAP1 for each AC isoform. Using sequential co-immunoprecipitation, we found that AC1 is the isoform that interacts more firmly with CAP1 in HPAC cells. Further studies will be done usingthe homology modeling.
    • The Sublethal Effects and Bioaccumulation of 17 -Ethinyl Estradiol in Lumbriculus variegatus

      Ogun-Semore, Kikelomo; Department of Biological Sciences; Wiley, Faith; Department of Biological Sciences; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Freshwater sources are subject to contamination of toxic compounds and other harmful materials through improper sewage cleanup and pollution. Ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic, steroidal estrogen used as contraception, is present in varying concentrations across freshwater sources worldwide. The objective of this study is to observe the sublethal effects and bioaccumulation of ethinyl estradiol (EE) in Lumbriculus variegatus. Data on the reproduction rate and segment regrowth of L. variegatusare currently being collected. In the future, bioaccumulation of EE within L. variegatuswill be observed through sediment tests and an ethinyl estradiol ELISA. Preceding data has found that ethinyl estradiol exposure leads to an increase in mortality, a decrease in offspring, and changes in reproductive morphology among other freshwater invertebrates. The data collected from this experiment would contribute to information available on the effects of low-dosage endocrine disruptor concentrations on freshwater organisms. The effects of EE and its bioaccumulation could be extrapolated to include bioaccumulation of EE in organisms of higher trophic levels, including vertebrates.
    • SYNTHESIS OF PEPTIDES WITH FLUORESCENT TAGS

      Weather, Angel; Sweatman, Zachary; Bae, Junsoo; Lebedyeva, Iryna; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Augusta University (2018-02-21)
      Covalently linked acceptor-spacer-donor (A-S-D) multichromophoric systems have previously been discussed largely in mechanistic terms, with emphasis on the roles of electronic and nuclear functions in determining the factors of internal electron transfer. Electron energy transfer between donor (D) and acceptor (A) molecules has long been applied to measure or estimate distance in macromolecular systems, molecular stacking, intramolecular changes caused by ionic strength or target molecule binding, to define protein folding and aggregation and finally to give information about conformational changes in the molecule. Coumarins represent a family of dyes that often play the role of electron donor in electron-charged systems. During tailoring of new chromophore dyads, coumarin derivatives have been linked to fullerene, peptides, and dyes (benzimidazol benzopyrans). In particular, 7-methoxy-2-oxo-2H-chromene-3-carboxylic acid is a commonly used tag that provides strong fluorescence and acts as an electron-donor. In current work we are developing chiral systems of 10 Å and more in order to establish a structure map whenever the donor-acceptor fluorophore is conjugating with another system (e. g. peptides). Our team enhances the fluorescence of the two coumarin-based fluorophores by linking them to the N- and C-peptide moieties via 1,2,3-triazine linkers.