Minority Opportunities in Research



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Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series

Fall 2005 Poster Presentation

October 21, 2005 at 2 pm

Physical Sciences Lobby

Poster #1- JAKE LEON

p53 tumor suppressor forms a disulfide bond between Cys275 and Cys277 upon treatment with oxidants


Jake J. Leόn1, Hsiao-Huei Wu1, Christopher Vinci1, Julian Whitelegge2, Kristine Mann3, and Jamil Momand1

1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University, Los Angeles, CA 90032, USA

2Department of Molecular Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA

3Department of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Program, University of Alaska, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA



Academic Success as a Function of Peer Relationships among Latino College Students 

Delia Gutierrez and Jean Phinney, PhD

            One-hundred eighteen Latino urban college students participated in a study of the relationship between having friends in college and college adjustment variables. Students with more friends in college reported significantly higher levels of self-efficacy, better adjustment to college life, more confidence in obtaining their degrees and increased academic success. The relationship between having more friends in college and having higher college self-efficacy is mediated by the frequency of peer encouragement



The Effects of Distortion and Serial Position on Voice Recognition 

Abstract- This study examined the effects of acoustical distortion (low-pass filtering) and voice position in a serial list (i.e., "six pack" lineup) on voice identification. Specifically, this experiment tests whether high-frequency spectral content makes a difference in the perception and memory of voices and whether the task variable of serial-order position has an effect on correct identification. Results indicated that serial position in the line-up produced an inverse association with the likelihood of correct identification and that distorted voices were less likely to be correctly identified.


Poster #4- STACY DAHL

A Novel Mass Characterization Technique for In-situ Analysis of Gaseous Species

Stacie Dahl and Dr. Krishna Foster

The need for temporally resolved, sensitive techniques for the measurement of the gaseous compounds exchanged in heterogeneous reactions is the motivation for this work.  We have modified an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) head of a commercially available ion-trap mass spectrometer, originally designed for ionization of solutions, for the analysis of gas phase compounds.  The modified equipment has already been successfully used for real-time in-situ tracking of bromine-chlorine exchange at the air-ice interface.  A second heterogeneous system, the production of gaseous hydroxyl radicals (•OH) from irradiated nitrate solutions, may also be investigated with this technique.  The first step in this process is to calibrate the instrument for its response to cyclohexane, a good scavenger of •OH.  These latest data illustrate the expansion of this technique from inorganic to organic compounds.  The background subtracted mass signal  is linear for concentrations of cyclohexane in air between 1.6 x 1018 and 2.4 x 1018 molecules∙cm-3.  This poster discusses the role of water in the ionization of cyclohexane and the future of ion-trap mass spectrometry as a probe for gaseous compounds.



Does Your Relationship with Your Parents Impact Your Mental Health? The Relationship Between Sri Lankan Children’s Attitudes Toward Their Parents
and Self Report of Anxiety Symptoms.

There has always been an interest in research on the development of children and how their relationship with their parents affects their overall emotional and social development. However, there has been a lack of research done from the point of view of the child, and even fewer studies have examined how children’s relationships with their parents affect their mental health, especially in extreme situations such as exposure to violence.  Life in Sri Lanka has been marred by more than two decades of ethnic conflict, mainly between the national government and Tamil militant groups.  Living in these conditions can be detrimental to the upbringing of children.  Not only are these children more prone to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but anxiety in general.  Despite this, many children do grow up to be healthy adults.  The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between children’s perception of their relationship with their parents and their self report of anxiety symptoms. A non-clinical sample of school children from Sri Lanka (N = 778) was surveyed with a 68-item survey which included 9 items assessing anxiety. The survey was administered to 489 girls and 377 boys.  The mean age of respondents was 13.26 (sd=1.9).  An ANOVA was conducted with relationship between parents and gender as factors and anxiety scores as the outcome variable. Results revealed significant group differences on anxiety scores between those who had positive relationships with their parents, compared to those who had negative relationships with their parents. No gender differences or interaction effects were found for anxiety scores. The results lend support to the notion that a child with a secure relationship or secure attachment might be less at risk for mental distress, even in such extreme situations as war.



Quantification of Myeloid and Epithelial Lysozyme Protein Expression in Mouse Small Intestine: Technical Challenges

The innate mucosal defense system functions to prevents microbes from invading the gut lining and gaining access to the bloodstream. In the small intestine, Paneth cells are believed to be major contributors to the local hose defense. Paneth cells are located in the crypts of Lieberkuehn, and are filled with antimicrobial (poly) peptides (AMP), such as lysozyme. When the epithelial defense fails and microbes translocate into the tissue, myeloid cells consisting of neutrophils and macrophages are recruited to the site of infection. These are also equipped with many powerful antimicrobial substances, including lysozyme. Mice express two lysozyme genes, one in Paneth cells (P-lysozyme) and one in myeloid cells (M-lysozyme). Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (ST) is a common intestinal pathogen and ST infection in mice is used as a model for Salmonella pathogenesis.  We have previously shown that lysozyme protein concentrations in the gut are diminished during ST infection in mice. We next wished to determine whether this decrease reflected a reduction of Paneth cell lyosyme only, suggesting a local down regulation of host defense, or whether Paneth cell and myeloid lysozyme were decreased consistent with a broader interference of ST with host defense. We prepared tissue extracts from mice infected with ST grown at various temperatures to modulate its pathogenicity and subjected the extracts along with recombinant lysozyme standard proteins to acid urea (AU)-PAGE followed by immunoblot probing with polyclonal anti-P and anti-M lysozyme antisera and quantification by VersaDoc imaging system and QuantumOne software. AU-PAGE separates proteins based on their charge and since P- and M- lysozyme differ substantially in their net charge we expected to easily separate those two lysozyme forms. However, we observed multiple problems in their electrophoretic separation and present here our results from optimization trials in our methods.


Poster #7-ANA GAMBOA

CdTe Quantum Dots as Photosensitizer Carriers

Sensitizers deposited on the surfaces of thiol-capped CdTe quantum dots were synthesized and have shown to effectively generate singlet oxygen through the process of photosensitization. These results suggest that CdTe quantum dots have potential as a useful vehicle for the delivery of photosensitizer agents in photodynamic therapy.



Dietary jojoba oil and cholesterol alter serum enzyme activities in new
Zealand White Rabbits

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, primarily due to elevated serum cholesterol concentrations.  Dietary studies indicate high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration [HDL-C]decreases when New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits are fed a 1% cholesterol diet, but remains at a normal level when fed a 1% cholesterol + 3% jojoba oil diet.  Our objective is to determine the mechanism of action by which dietary jojoba oil alters HDL-C metabolism in cholesterol-fed rabbits.  It is our hypothesis that dietary jojoba oil inhibits cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) and activates lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) activities.  This hypothesis was tested by feeding NZW rabbits a normal (N), 3% jojoba oil (J), 1% cholesterol (C), or 1% cholesterol+3% jojoba oil (CJ) diet.  Blood samples were collected at 0 and 7 days.  Total cholesterol (TC) and free cholesterol (FC) concentrations were measured enzymatically, the rate of CETP was obtained with a fluorometric assay, and the rate of LCAT was found by measuring the loss of FC over time.  Rabbits fed the CJ diet exhibit an increase in [HDL-FC] and a reduction in [HDL-CE], keeping [HDL-C] at a normal level.  CETP activity was slightly lower in CJ-fed rabbits than in C-fed rabbits, but both had a greater CETP activity than the N- and J-fed rabbits.  Cholesterol and jojoba oil have an additive effect on the activation of LCAT.  In conclusion, dietary jojoba oil inhibits CETP and activates LCAT in the presence of dietary cholesterol.  (Supported by NIH-MBRS-RISE grant R25 GM61331.)




Preparation and Characterization of a Silica Gel Supported
Zirconium(IV) Complex

The immobilization of zirconium centered chiral complexes by silica gel support to form heterogeneous chiral Lewis acid catalyst is our main focus.  Previously, the reaction between silica gel and tetrakis(dimethylamido)zirconium(IV) has been used as an intermediate to the final synthesis of a silica gel supported chiral complex. The elemental analysis of products (I) and (II) which are shown in synthetic diagram give us a direct understanding of the actual coordination that Zr will have when immobilized. The different numbers of surface hydroxide groups of silica gel are sensitive to temperature and are removed as temperature increases.  Results indicate that when silica gel is dried at 125°C, Zr(N(CH3))4 (I) loses two amido ligands to form two µ-oxo bonds to the silica gel surface, as confirmed by C/H/N analysis and solid state 13C and 29Si NMR.  One amido ligand reacts with phenethyl alcohol at room temperature, and one amido ligand remains bound to the Zirconium atom. The solid state NMR spectrum of silica gel supported phenylethyl alcohol zirconium(IV) (II) shows results consistent with this process.   Previous work focuses on the effectiveness of (II) as a catalyst for the [4+2] cycloaddition, and the effect that variant temperatures have on silica gel coordination modes.  Products (I) and (II) showed no diastereomeric catalytic activity and provide endo/exo ratio similar to the control.  Our current research is on maximizing the conditions and procedures to create compounds with catalytic capability and to further analyze the diastereomeric selective catalytic potential of a silica gel supported binol zirconium(IV) complex (III).


Poster #10- LUIS GOMEZ

Poster #11- NOHEMY SORTO



Poster #12- JOSE LOZANO


 Derivatives of adamantane have been used for various applications in medicinal chemistry and material science as potentially valuable scaffolds due to their rigidity and well-defined tetrahedral conformation.  We are interested in the synthesis of bifunctional iron chelators for which our tetraaminomethyladamantane backbone will serve as a perfect core, that is a close structural analog of enterobactin, 1.  We developed novel route for preparation of tetrahedral adamantane derivatives such as 2 with three identical 2,3-dimethoxybenzoyl-arms in the 3,5,7-positions for iron binding and fourth position occupied by group R, which potentially could be conjugated to fluorescent probe or an antibiotic through a linker, such as 3.


Synthesis of THF Xenon Deuteriohydrate by vapor deposition and hyper quenching


The Reconstruction of pRGV-19 Sendai cDNA



Quantum Yield of Singlet Oxygen by Water Soluble Nano Sensitizers


Diquinoxaline Cavitand: A Versatile Building Block For Macrocyclic Hosts


Poster #17- JASON LUNDEN

A microarray study of estrogen effects on the basal forebrain.

It is well known that estrogen (E2) has multiple effects not only on the reproductive behavior of female rats, but also on other aspects such as cognition. The adult female rat experiences an estrous cycle in which E2 levels fluctuate on a 4-5 days pattern. These variations in E2 levels most likely have many physiological effects on the brain, as they could modify the hormonal microenvironment of particular sets of neurons. We are using microarray technology to start to address at a global level how widespread the effect of presence/absence of E2 is on the genetic makeup of basal forebrain cells. In this first experiment, rats were ovariectomized and given one injection of 2 mg E2. Seven days later rats were divided into two groups; one group was given another injection of 2 µg E2, and the other group received only an oil injection. Forty-eight hours later, the rats were sacrificed and had their brains excised. Messenger RNA was then extracted from the basal forebrain for microarray analysis. An Affymetrix GeneChip Rat Genome 230 2.0 array was then used. This microarray held probes complementary to over 28,000 rat genes. The extracted mRNA was hybridized to the microarray, and gene imaging software was used to photograph the array. The results were analyzed using GeneSifter software to determine the gene expression levels of each gene on the chip. Ongoing statistical analysis of the results will enable the determination of E2 effects on a variety of cellular functions in the basal forebrain.


This work is being performed in collaboration with Drs. P. Micevych, K. Sinchak and A. Lakhter, from the UCLA Neurobiology Department.


Poster #18- JORGE OSUNA
Quinoxaline-crown ether cavitands

Crown ethers have a significant history in supramolecular chemistry.  Quinoxaline cavitands have been demonstrated to undergo drastic "vase to kite"
conformational changes under conditions of low temperature, low pH or the presence of certain metalions.  We report here that a range of crown ether
spanners has been incorporated into quinoxaline cavitands that possess two or three quinoxaline spanners.  The syntheses, conformational studies and binding studies of these quinoxaline-crown ether cavitands willl be detailed.


Poster #19- JOSE MIRANDA

Detection of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Alpha Subunit
Proteins in the Rat Ovary

The ovary is a crucial component of the female reproductive system, playing key roles in follicular maturation and production of hormones such as estradiol. AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) is an enzyme involved in protection of cells from metabolic stress, particularly in liver and skeletal muscle.  Preliminary studies in our laboratory have shown mRNA for AMPK is expressed in the rat ovary, and suggest roles of AMPK in regulating hormone production and cell viability. The purpose of this study is to examine the presence and activation of AMPK a-subunit protein in the ovary.  Twenty-one day old mice were treated with eCG and hCG to induce follicle development and ovulation, respectively, and ovaries collected at different time points.  One ovary was fixed with paraformaldehyde for immunohistochemical analysis while the other was snap-frozen for immunoblot analysis.  For immunoblot analysis, whole liver and treated ovary were obtained from rats and total protein lysate extracted.  Lysates were run through 7.5% SDS-gel electrophoresis and blotted onto a PVDF Immobilon-P membrane.  Blots were incubated with phosphoAMPKa (Thr172) immunopurified rabbit polyclonal anti-human specific antibody, and detected with anti-rabbit horseradish peroxidase secondary antibody.  Specific immunoreactive signal of the expected molecular weights (63 kD) were observed in both ovary and liver homogenates.  To examine the cell-specific location of AMPK a1 and a2 subunit in addition to the phosphorylated form of AMPK proteins in the ovary, immunohistochemical studies were performed.  Paraformaldehyde fixed ovaries were then processed for immunohistochemical analysis, and 8 mM paraffin sections were affixed onto slides.  Confocal analysis revealed that AMPKa2 is the predominant alpha subunit, localized in all oocytes and in granulosa cells of small primary but not larger developing follicles. In addition, after 72 hours after hCG AMPK a2 immunoreactivity was seen in the corpus luteum.  These findings reveal that AMPK is expressed primarily in oocytes, small follicles, and corpora lutea, suggesting roles in oocyte maturation, follicle development and maturation, and luteal function.  

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