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- Adherence and haemagglutination of Moraxella catarrhalis.
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M. catarrhalis is a gram-negative diplococci frequently associated with infections of the upper respiratory tract. During the past decade, some preliminary studies have attempted to elucidate mechanisms of adherence and haemagglutination of M. catarrhalis. These studies have reported, in many cases, inconsistent results. There are two purposes of this research. First, identify mechanisms that may potentially be associated with the adherence and haemagglutination of M. catarrhalis. Second, suggest research directions that may be fruitful in clarifying these mechanisms.
- BioInformatics, Phylogenetics, and Aspartate Transcarbamoylase
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In this research, the necessity of understanding and using bioinformatics is demonstrated using the enzyme aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) as the model enzyme. The first portion of this research focuses on the use of bioinformatics. A partial sequence of the pyrB gene found in Enterococcus faecalis was submitted to GenBank and was analyzed against the contiguous sequence from its own genome project. A BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool; Atschul, et al., 1990) was performed in order to hypothesize the remaining portion of the gene from the contiguous sequence. This allowed a global comparison to other known aspartate transcarbamoylases (ATCases) and once deduced, a translation of the sequence gave the stop codon and thus the complete sequence of the open reading frame. When this was complete, upstream and downstream primers were designed in order to amplify the gene from genomic DNA. The amplified product was then sequenced and used later in phylogenetic analyses concerning the evolution of ATCase. The second portion of this research involves taking multiple ATCase nucleotide sequences and performing phenetic and phylogenetic analyses of the archaea and eubacter families. From these analyses, ancestral relationships which dictate both structure and function were extrapolated from the data and discussed.
- Carbachol- and ACPD- Induced Phosphoinositide Responses in the Developing Rat Neocortex
- Signal transduction via the phosphoinositide (PI) second messenger system has key roles in the development and plasticity of the neocortex. The present study localized PI responses to individual cortical layers in slices of developing rat somatosensory cortex. The acetylcholine agonist carbachol and the glutamate agonist trans-1-amino-1,3-cyclopentanedicarboxylic acid (ACPD) were used to stimulate PI turnover. The PI responses were compared to the distribution of the corresponding PI-linked receptors in order to investigate the regional ontogeny of PI coupling to receptors in relation to neural development. The method for assessing PI turnover was modified from Hwang et al. (1990). This method images the PI response autoradiographically through the localizaton of [3H]cytidine that has been incorporated into the membrane-bound intermediate, cytidine diphosphate diacylglycerol. In each age group (postnatal days 4-30), carbachol resulted in more overall labeling than ACPD. For both agonists, the response peaked on postnatal day 10 (P10) and was lowest in the oldest age group. The laminar distribution of the carbachol PI response from P4-P16 corresponded fairly well with the laminar distribution of [3H]quinuclidinyl benzilate binding (Fuchs, 1995). However, in the subplate layer the carbachol response was strong while receptor binding was minimal. The carbachol response decreased after postnatal day 10, while the overall levels of receptor binding continued to increase. From P5 - P14, PI-linked metabotropic glutamate receptors are most concentrated in layer IV (Blue et al., 1997), whereas only on P6 was there a correspondingly high ACPD-initiated PI response in this layer. Unlike receptors, the PI response was strong in upper V (P4 - P12) and within layers II/III (P8 - P16). From P4 - P21, the subplate showed relatively high PI labeling compared to receptor binding. The several differences between the distribution of PI response and receptors suggest spatiotemporal heterogeneity of receptor coupling to second messenger systems.
- Requirements for cell-free cyanide oxidation by Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764
- The involvement of cyanide oxygenase in the metabolism of pyruvate and a-ketoglutarate-cyanohydrin was investigated and shown to occur indirectly by the consumption of free cyanide arising from the cyanohydrins via chemical dissociation. Thus, free cyanide remains the substrate, for which the enzyme displays a remarkably high affinity (Kmapp,4 mM). A model for cyanide utilization is therefore envisioned in which the substrate is initially detoxified by complexation to an appropriate ligand followed by enzymatic oxidation of cyanide arising at sublethal levels via chemical dissociation. Putative cyanide oxygenase in cell extracts consumed both oxygen and NADH in equimolar proportions during cyanide conversion to CO2 and NH3 and existed separately from an unknown heat-stable species responsible for the nonenzymatic cyanide-catalyzed consumption of oxygen. Evidence of cyanide inhibition and nonlinear kinetics between enzyme activity and protein concentration point to a complex mechanism of enzymatic substrate conversion.
- Scientific Considerations of Olestra as a Fat Substitute
- Olestra is, a sucrose polyester, a noncaloric fat substitute, made from sucrose and several fatty acid esters. It has been approved by the FDA as a food additive used in preparing low-fat deep-frying foods such as savory snacks. Available literature on olestra was evaluated that had both positive and negative connotations. Clinical trials in numerous species of animals including humans were conducted to determine if olestra would affect the utilization and absorption of macro- and micronutrients; the effects of olestra on growth, reproduction, or its toxicity were also examined. The roles of olestra as a fat substitute, how it could effect on humans and the environment, and the potential impacts from its use in large amounts were assessed. Olestra can be removed from the environment by aerobic bacteria and fungi which may be isolated from activated sludge and soils.