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Characterization of Aspartate Transcarbamoylase and Dihydroorotase in Moraxella Catarrhalis

Description: Bacterial aspartate transcarbamoylases (ATCase's) are divided into three classes that correspond to taxonomic relationships within the bacteria. The opportunistic pathogen Moraxeila catarrhalis has undergone several reclassifications based on traditional microbiological criteria. The previously uncharacterized ATCase from M. catarrhalis was purified to homogeneity and its chemical properties characterized. The ATCase from M. catarrhalis is a class C ATCase with an apparent molecular mass of 480-520 kDa. The M. catarrhalis ATCase is a dodecomer composed of six 35 kDa polypeptides and six 45 kDa polypeptides. The enzyme has an unusually high pH optimum of greater than pH 10. The enzyme exhibited hyperbolic kinetic with a Km for aspartate of 2 mM. A single, separate 78 kDa dihydroorotase from M. catarrhalis was identified and it was not associated with ATCase. These data support the reclassification of M. catarrhalis out of the Neisseriaceae family.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Fowler, Michael A. (Michael Allen), 1961-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Responses of Cultured Neuronal Networks to the Cannabinoid Mimetic Anandamide

Description: The effects of cannabinoid agonists on spontaneous neuronal network activity were characterized in murine spinal cord and auditory cortical cultures with multichannel extracellular recording using photoetched electrode arrays. Different cultures responded reproducibly with global decreases of spiking and bursting to anandamide and methanandamide, but each agonist showed unique minor effects on network activity. The two tissues responded in a tissue-specific manner. Spontaneous activity in spinal tissue was terminated by 1 μM anandamide and 6.1 μM methanandamide. Cortical activity ceased at 3.5 μM and 2.8 μM respectively. Irreversible cessation of activity was observed beyond 8 μM for both tissues and test substances. Palmitoylethanolamide, demonstrated that CB2 receptors were not present or not responsive. However, the data strongly suggested the presence of CB1 receptors.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Morefield, Samantha I. (Samantha Irene)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identification and Characterization of the Pyrimidine Biosynthetic Operon in Streptomyces griseus

Description: To further understand the ATCase/DHOase bifunctional complex formed in Streptomyces, the genes encoding these and other pyrimidine enzymes were identified and characterized. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was utilized in this effort. Primers were constructed by selecting conserved regions of pyrimidine genes from known gene and protein sequences of a wide variety of organisms. These sequences were then optimized to Streptomyces codon usage. PCR products were obtained from internal sites within pyrimidine genes and also from primer combinations of different genes. The size, orientation, and partial sequence of the resulting products shows that Streptomyces has a gene organization of pyrR followed by pyrB, pyrC, carA, carB, and pyrF in an operon similar to that found in other Gram-positive bacteria.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Hooten, Jody J. (Jody Jeran)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Forensic DNA Extraction Strategies for PCR Analysis

Description: There is a transition nationwide on the analysis of forensic evidentiary stains containing biological material from traditional serology to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) methodologies. The increased sensitivity of PCR, the limited number of alleles at each locus, and the necessity of producing unambiguous data for entry into the FBI's Combined DNA Index System make this study of extraction procedures of utmost importance. A "single tube" extraction procedure for blood stains collected onto FTA™ paper and a modified differential nonorganic extraction method from spermatozoa containing mixed stains were analyzed and compared. The extraction success was evaluated by amplification and typing of the amplified fragment length polymorphism, D1S80. These modifications of the nonorganic method utilized gave an improved separation of the spermatozoa-containing mixed stains.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Van Winkle, Carolyn
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Behavioral Model for Detection of Acute Stress in Bivalves

Description: A behavioral model for acute responses in bivalves, was developed using time series analysis for use in a real-time biomonitoring unit. Stressed bivalves closed their shell and waited for the stressful conditions to pass. Baseline data showed that group behavior of fifteen bivalves was periodic, however, individuals behaved independently. Group behavior did not change over a period of 20 minutes more than 30 percent, however, following toxic exposures the group behavior changed by more than 30 percent within 20 minutes. Behavior was mathematically modeled using autoregression to compare current and past behavior. A logical alarm applied to the behavior model determined when organisms were stressed. The ability to disseminate data collected in real time via the Internet was demonstrated.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Allen, H. Joel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analysis of the Trypanosoma brucei Genome and Identification and Characterization of a Gene Family Encoding Putative EF-Hand Calcium-Binding Proteins

Description: The flagellum of Trypanosoma brucei contains a family of antigenically related EF-hand calcium-binding proteins which are called the calflagins. Genomic Southern blots indicated that multiple copies of calflagin genes occur in T brucei. All of the copies were contained in a single 23 kb Xhol-Xhol fragment. Genomic fragments of 2.5 and 1.7 kb were cloned that encoded calflagin sequences. Two new members of the calflagin family were found from genomic clone sequences. The deduced amino acid sequences of the genomic clones showed the calflagin genes were arranged tandemly along the genomic fragments and were similar to previously described calflagins. The calflagin genes were related by two unrelated 3' flanking sequences. An open reading frame that was unrelated to any calflagin was found at the 5' end of the 2.5 kb genomic fragment. Each encoded protein (~24,000u) contained three EF-hand calcium-binding motifs and one degenerate EF-hand motif. In general, variability among the T. brucei calflagins is greater than related proteins in T. lewisii and T. cruzi. This variability results from amino acid substitutions at the amino and carboxy termini, and duplication of internal segments.
Date: May 1998
Creator: DeFord, James H. (James Henry), 1956-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Biochemical Identification of Molecular Components Required for Cyanide Assimilation in Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764

Description: Utilization of cyanide as a nutritional nitrogen source in P. fluorescens NCIMB 11764 was shown to involve a novel metabolic mechanism involving nonenzymatic neutralization outside of cells prior to further enzymatic oxidation within. Several cyanide degrading enzymes were produced by NCIMB 11764 in response to growth or exposure to cyanide, but only one of these cyanide, oxygenase (CNO), was shown to be physiologically required for assimilation of cyanide as a growth substrate.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Chen, Jui-Lin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conception and Design of Constructed Wetland Systems to Treat Wastewater at the Biosphere 2 Center with Use of Reaction Rate Models and the Habitat Evaluation Procedure to Determine the Effects of Designing for Wildlife Habitat on Treatment Efficiency

Description: A study was undertaken to explore relationships between wetland characteristics which make them efficient water purifiers versus their ability to serve as wildlife habitat. The effects of designing constructed wetlands for improved habitat on water treatment efficiencies were quantified. Results indicate that some sacrifice in treatment efficiency is required and that the degree of efficiency reduction is dependant upon pollutant loading rates. However, sacrifice in efficiency is much smaller than increase in habitat quality, and can be offset by increasing wetland area. A practical, theoretical application was then attempted.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Clingenpeel, Glenn C. (Glenn Christopher)
Partner: UNT Libraries