Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Christina Othon

Major

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Animals, especially extremophiles such as zebra fishes and tardigrades use osmolytes to prevent protein denaturation. In order to understand better the mechanism of how osmolytes prevents proteins from denaturing, we conducted Circular Dichroism melting measurements using Staphylococcal nuclease and Bovine serum albumin as model proteins. In this project, we compared the melting process of these model proteins with different concentrations of sucrose, trehalose (both osmolytes that had been established to stabilize protein structure), and sucralose (a common ingredient in sugar substitutes). We have observed a correlation with increase in trehalose and sucralose concentrations and increasing melting temperature of protein samples as expected from the literature. However, we also observe a correlation with increasing sucralose concentration with a decrease in melting temperature of the protein samples. This could potentially imply that sucralose have a destabilizing effect on protein structure. Further studies on the effect of other molecules such as Difluorinated trehalose and urea will be explored in the future.

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