Posted by: reganenosusd | January 13, 2016

December 2015

Abdullah, Ammara, Sane, Sanam, Freeling, Jessica L., Wang, Hongmin, Zhang, Dong, & Rezvani, Khosrow. (2015). Nucleocytoplasmic Translocation of UBXN2A Is Required for Apoptosis during DNA Damage Stresses in Colon Cancer Cells. Journal of Cancer, 6(11), 1066-1078.

The subcellular localization, expression level, and activity of anti-cancer proteins alter in response to intrinsic and extrinsic cellular stresses to reverse tumor progression. The purpose of this study is to determine whether UBXN2A, an activator of the p53 tumor suppressor protein, has different subcellular compartmentalization in response to the stress of DNA damage. We measured trafficking of the UBXN2A protein in response to two different DNA damage stresses, UVB irradiation and the genotoxic agent Etoposide, in colon cancer cell lines. Using a cytosol-nuclear fractionation technique followed by western blot and immunofluorescence staining, we monitored and quantitated UBXN2A and p53 proteins as well as p53’s downstream apoptotic pathway. We showed that the anti-cancer protein UBXN2A acts in the early phase of cell response to two different DNA damage stresses, being induced to translocate into the cytoplasm in a dose-and time-dependent manner. UVB-induced cytoplasmic UBXN2A binds to mortalin-2 (mot-2), a known oncoprotein in colon tumors. UVB-dependent upregulation of UBXN2A in the cytoplasm decreases p53 binding to mot-2 and activates apoptotic events in colon cancer cells. In contrast, the shRNA-mediated depletion of UBXN2A leads to significant reduction in apoptosis in colon cancer cells exposed to UVB and Etoposide. Leptomycin B (LMB), which was able to block UBXN2A nuclear export following Etoposide treatment, sustained p53-mot-2 interaction and had partially antagonistic effects with Etoposide on cell apoptosis. The present study shows that nucleocytoplasmic translocation of UBXN2A in response to stresses is necessary for its anti-cancer function in the cytoplasm. In addition, LMB-dependent suppression of UBXN2A’s translocation to the cytoplasm upon stress allows the presence of an active mot-2 oncoprotein in the cytoplasm, resulting in p53 sequestration as well as activation of other mot-2-dependent growth promoting pathways.

Basic Biomedical Sciences, Vermillion Campus.


Barr, J. L., Rasmussen, B. A., Tallarida, C. S., Scholl, Jamie L., Forster, Gina L., Unterwald, E. M., & Rawls, S. M. (2015). Ceftriaxone attenuates acute cocaine-evoked dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens of the rat. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172(22), 5414-5424.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Ceftriaxone is a beta-lactam antibiotic and glutamate transporter activator that reduces the reinforcing effects of psychostimulants. Ceftriaxone also reduces locomotor activation following acute psychostimulant exposure, suggesting that alterations in dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens contribute to its mechanism of action. In the present studies we tested the hypothesis that pretreatment with ceftriaxone disrupts acute cocaine-evoked dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were pretreated with saline or ceftriaxone (200 mg kg(-1), i.p. x 10 days) and then challenged with cocaine (15 mg kg(-1), i.p.). Motor activity, dopamine efflux (via in vivo microdialysis) and protein levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the dopamine transporter and organic cation transporter as well as alpha-synuclein, Akt and GSK3 beta were analysed in the nucleus accumbens. KEY RESULTS Ceftriaxone-pretreated rats challenged with cocaine displayed reduced locomotor activity and accumbal dopamine efflux compared with saline-pretreated controls challenged with cocaine. The reduction in cocaine-evoked dopamine levels was not counteracted by excitatory amino acid transporter 2 blockade in the nucleus accumbens. Pretreatment with ceftriaxone increased Akt/GSK3 beta signalling in the nucleus accumbens and reduced levels of dopamine transporter, TH and phosphorylated a-synuclein, indicating that ceftriaxone affects numerous proteins involved in dopaminergic transmission. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS These results are the first evidence that ceftriaxone affects cocaine-evoked dopaminergic transmission, in addition to its well-described effects on glutamate, and suggest that its ability to attenuate cocaine-induced behaviours, such as psychomotor activity, is due in part to reduced dopaminergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens.

Basic Biomedical Sciences, Vermillion Campus.


Mardones, Wladimir, Callegari, Eduardo, & Eyzaguirre, Jaime. (2015). Heterologous expression of a Penicillium purpurogenum exo-arabinanase in Pichia pastoris and its biochemical characterization. Fungal Biology, 119(12), 1267-1278.

Arabinan is a component of pectin, which is one of the polysaccharides present in lignocelluose. The enzymes degrading the main chain of arabinan are the endo- (EC and exo-arabinanases (3.2.1.-). Only three exo-arabinanases have been biochemically characterized; they belong to glycosyl hydrolase family 93. In this work, the cDNA of an exo-arabinanase (Arap2) from Penicillium purpurogenum has been heterologously expressed in Pichia pastoris. The gene is 1310 bp long, has three introns and codes for a protein of 380 amino acid residues; the mature protein has a calculated molecular mass of 39 823 Da. The heterologously expressed Arap2 has a molecular mass in the range of 60–80 kDa due to heterogeneous glycosylation. The enzyme is active on debranched arabinan with optimum pH of 4–5.5 and optimal temperature of 40 °C, and has an exo-type action mode, releasing arabinobiose from its substrates. The expression profile of arap2 in corncob and sugar beet pulp follows a different pattern and is not related to the presence of arabinan. This is the first exo-arabinanase studied from P. purpurogenum and the first expressed in yeast. The availability of heterologous Arap2 may be useful for biotechnological applications requiring acidic conditions.

Basic Biomedical Sciences, Vermillion Campus.


Ouellette, Scot P., Rueden, Kelsey J., AbdelRahman, Y. M., Cox, J. V., & Belland, R. J. (2015). Identification and Partial Characterization of Potential FtsL and FtsQ Homologs of Chlamydia. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6.

Chlamydia is amongst the rare bacteria that lack the critical cell division protein FtsZ. By annotation, Chlamydia also lacks several other essential cell division proteins including the FtsLBQ complex that links the early (e.g., FtsZ) and late (e.g., Ftsl/Pbp3) components of the division machinery. Here, we report chlamydial FtsL and FtsQ homologs. Ct271 aligned well with Escherichia coli FtsL and shared sequence homology with it, including a predicted leucine-zipper like motif. Based on in silico modeling, we show that Ct764 has structural homology to FtsQ in spite of little sequence similarity. Importantly, ct271/ftsL and ct764/ftsQ are present within all sequenced chlamydial genomes and are expressed during the replicative phase of the chlamydial developmental cycle, two key characteristics for a chlamydial cell division gene. GFP-Ct764 localized to the division septum of dividing transformed chlamydiae, and, importantly, over-expression inhibited chlamydial development. Using a bacterial two-hybrid approach, we show that Ct764 interacted with other components of the chlamydial division apparatus. However, Ct764 was not capable of complementing an E. coli FtsQ depletion strain in spite of its ability to interact with many of the same division proteins as E. coli FtsQ, suggesting that chlamydial FtsQ may function differently. We previously proposed that Chlamydia uses MreB and other rod-shape determining proteins as an alternative system for organizing the division site and its apparatus. Chlamydial FtsL and FtsQ homologs expand the number of identified chlamydial cell division proteins and suggest that Chlamydia has likely kept the late components of the division machinery while substituting the Mre system for the early components.

Basic Biomedical Sciences, Vermillion Campus.


Qin, Q. Y., Qu, C., Niu, T., Zang, H. M., Qi, L., Lyu, L. M., Wang, Xuejun, Nagarkatti, M., Nagarkatti, P., Janicki, J. S., Wang, X. L., & Cui, T. X. (2016). Nrf2-Mediated Cardiac Maladaptive Remodeling and Dysfunction in a Setting of Autophagy Insufficiency. Hypertension, 67(1), 107-117.

Nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) appears to exert either a protective or detrimental effect on the heart; however, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. Herein, we uncovered a novel mechanism for turning off the Nrf2-mediated cardioprotection and switching on Nrf2-mediated cardiac dysfunction. In a murine model of pressure overload-induced cardiac remodeling and dysfunction via transverse aortic arch constriction, knockout of Nrf2 enhanced myocardial necrosis and death rate during an initial stage of cardiac adaptation when myocardial autophagy function is intact. However, knockout of Nrf2 turned out to be cardioprotective throughout the later stage of cardiac maladaptive remodeling when myocardial autophagy function became insufficient. Transverse aortic arch constriction -induced activation of Nrf2 was dramatically enhanced in the heart with impaired autophagy, which is induced by cardiomyocyte-specific knockout of autophagy-related gene (Atg)5. Notably, Nrf2 activation coincided with the upregulation of angiotensinogen (Agt) only in the autophagy-impaired heart after transverse aortic arch constriction. Agt5 and Nrf2 gene loss-of-function approaches in combination with Jak2 and Fyn kinase inhibitors revealed that suppression of autophagy inactivated Jak2 and Fyn and nuclear translocation of Fyn, while enhancing nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and Nrf2-driven Agt expression in cardiomyocytes. Taken together, these results indicate that the pathophysiological consequences of Nrf2 activation are closely linked with the functional integrity of myocardial autophagy during cardiac remodeling. When autophagy is intact, Nrf2 is required for cardiac adaptive responses; however, autophagy impairment most likely turns off Fyn-operated Nrf2 nuclear export thus activating Nrf2-driven Agt transcription, which exacerbates cardiac maladaptation leading to dysfunction.

Basic Biomedical Sciences, Vermillion Campus.


Smith, Justin P., Prince, Melissa A., Achua, Justin K., Robertson, James M., Anderson, Raymond T., Ronan, Patrick J., & Summers, Cliff H. (2016). Intensity of anxiety is modified via complex integrative stress circuitries. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 63, 351-361.

Escalation of anxious behavior while environmentally and socially relevant contextual events amplify the intensity of emotional response produces a testable gradient of anxiety shaped by integrative circuitries. Apprehension of the Stress-Alternatives Model apparatus (SAM) oval open field (OF) is measured by the active latency to escape, and is delayed by unfamiliarity with the passageway. Familiar OF escape is the least anxious behavior along the continuum, which can be reduced by anxiolytics such as icv neuropeptide S (NPS). Social aggression increases anxiousness in the SAM, reducing the number of mice willing to escape by 50%. The apprehension accompanying escape during social aggression is diminished by anxiolytics, such as exercise and corticotropin releasing-factor receptor 1 (CRF 1 ) antagonism, but exacerbated by anxiogenic treatment, like antagonism of α 2 -adrenoreceptors. What is more, the anxiolytic CRF 1 and anxiogenic α 2 -adrenoreceptor antagonists also modify behavioral phenotypes, with CRF 1 antagonism allowing escape by previously submissive animals, and α 2 -adrenoreceptor antagonism hindering escape in mice that previously engaged in it. Gene expression of NPS and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the central amygdala (CeA), as well as corticosterone secretion, increased concomitantly with the escalating anxious content of the mouse-specific anxiety continuum. The general trend of CeA NPS and BDNF expression suggested that NPS production was promoted by increasing anxiousness, and that BDNF synthesis was associated with learning about ever-more anxious conditions. The intensity gradient for anxious behavior resulting from varying contextual conditions may yield an improved conceptualization of the complexity of mechanisms producing the natural continuum of human anxious conditions, and potential therapies that arise therefrom.

Basic Biomedical Sciences, Vermillion Campus.


Hargreaves Heap, Shaun P., Ramalingam, Abhijit, Ramalingam, Siddharth, & Stoddard, Brock V. (2015). ‘Doggedness’ or ‘disengagement’? An experiment on the effect of inequality in endowment on behaviour in team competitions. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 120, 80-93.

Teams often suffer from a free rider problem with respect to individual contributions. That putting teams into competition with each other can mitigate this problem is an important recent insight. However, we know little about how inequality in endowment between teams might influence this beneficial effect from competition. We address this question with an experiment where teams contribute to a public good that then determines their chances of winning a Tullock contest with another team. The boost to efforts from competition disappears when inequality is high. This is mainly because the ‘rich’ ‘disengage’: they make no more contribution to a public good than they would when there is no competition. There is evidence that the ‘poor’ respond to moderate inequality ‘doggedly’, by expending more effort compared to competition with equality, but this ‘doggedness’ disappears too when inequality is high.

Beacom School of Business.


Vijayalakshmi, Akshaya, Muehling, Darrel D., & Laczniak, Russell N. (2015). An Investigation of Consumers’ Responses to Comparative “Attack” Ads. Journal of Promotion Management, 21(6), 760-775.

The current study contributes to the ever-expanding literature pertaining to comparative advertising by focusing specifically on comparative “attack” ads. Using the persuasion resistance process as a theoretical foundation, our findings indicate that users committed to the comparative referent are much more likely to resist persuasive attempts than are less-committed users, and hold brand attitudes with greater confidence. However, commitment of the consumers to the comparative referent has little impact on their reactions to positively- versus negatively-framed comparative ads. This pattern of effects was observed in both immediate and delayed (two-week) ad exposure conditions.

Beacom School of Business.


Daigh, A. L. M., Zhou, X. B., Helmers, M. J., Pederson, C. H., Horton, R., Jarchow, Meghann, & Liebman, M. (2015). Subsurface Drainage Nitrate and Total Reactive Phosphorus Losses in Bioenergy-Based Prairies and Corn Systems. Journal of Environmental Quality, 44(5), 1638-1646.

We compare subsurface-drainage NO3-N and total reactive phosphorus (TRP) concentrations and yields of select bioenergy cropping systems and their rotational phases. Cropping systems evaluated were grain-harvested corn-soybean rotations, grain- and stover-harvested continuous corn systems with and without a cover crop, and annually harvested reconstructed prairies with and without the addition of N fertilizer in an Iowa field. Drainage was monitored when soils were unfrozen during 2010 through 2013. The corn-soybean rotations without residue removal and continuous corn with residue removal produced similar mean annual flow-weighted NO3-N concentrations, ranging from 6 to 18.5 mg N L-1 during the 4-yr study. In contrast, continuous corn with residue removal and with a cover crop had significantly lower NO3-N concentrations of 5.6 mg N L-1 when mean annual flow-weighted values were averaged across the 4 yr. Prairies systems with or without N fertilization produced significantly lower concentrations below <1 mg NO3-N L-1 than all the row crop systems throughout the study. Mean annual flow-weighted TRP concentrations and annual yields were generally low, with values <0.04 mg TRP L-1 and <0.14 kg TRP ha(-1), and were not significantly affected by any cropping systems or their rotational phases. Bioenergy-based prairies with or without N fertilization and continuous corn with stover removal and a cover crop have the potential to supply bioenergy feedstocks while minimizing NO3-N losses to drainage waters. However, subsurface drainage TRP concentrations and yields in bioenergy systems will need further evaluation in areas prone to higher levels of P losses.

Biology Department.


Thessen, A. E., Bunkers, D. E., Buttigieg, P. L., Cooper, L. D., Dahdul, Wasila M., Domisch, S., Franz, N. M., Jaiswal, P., Lawrence-Dill, C. J., Midford, P. E., Mungall, C. J., Ramirez, M. J., Specht, C. D., Vogt, L., Vos, R. A., Walls, R. L., White, J. W., Zhang, G. Y., Deans, A. R., Huala, E., Lewis, S. E., & Mabee, P. M. (2015). Emerging semantics to link phenotype and environment. Peerj, 3.

Understanding the interplay between environmental conditions and phenotypes is a fundamental goal of biology. Unfortunately, data that include observations on phenotype and environment are highly heterogeneous and thus difficult to find and integrate. One approach that is likely to improve the status quo involves the use of ontologies to standardize and link data about phenotypes and environments. Specifying and linking data through ontologies will allow researchers to increase the scope and flexibility of large-scale analyses aided by modern computing methods. Investments in this area would advance diverse fields such as ecology, phylogenetics, and conservation biology. While several biological ontologies are well-developed, using them to link phenotypes and environments is rare because of gaps in ontological coverage and limits to interoperability among ontologies and disciplines. In this manuscript, we present (1) use cases from diverse disciplines to illustrate questions that could be answered more efficiently using a robust linkage between phenotypes and environments, (2) two proof-of-concept analyses that show the value of linking phenotypes to environments in fishes and amphibians, and (3) two proposed example data models for linking phenotypes and environments using the extensible observation ontology (OBOE) and the Biological Collections Ontology (BCO); these provide a starting point for the development of a data model linking phenotypes and environments.

Biology Department.


Waters, R. Parrish, Rivalan, Marion, Bangasser, D. A., …., & Summers, Cliff H. (2015). Evidence for the role of corticotropin-releasing factor in major depressive disorder. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 58, 63-78.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a devastating disease affecting over 300 million people worldwide, and costing an estimated 380 billion Euros in lost productivity and health care in the European Union alone. Although a wealth of research has been directed toward understanding and treating MDD, still no therapy has proved to be consistently and reliably effective in interrupting the symptoms of this disease. Recent clinical and preclinical studies, using genetic screening and transgenic rodents, respectively, suggest a major role of the CRF 1 gene, and the central expression of CRF 1 receptor protein in determining an individual’s risk of developing MDD. This gene is widely expressed in brain tissue, and regulates an organism’s immediate and long-term responses to social and environmental stressors, which are primary contributors to MDD. This review presents the current state of knowledge on CRF physiology, and how it may influence the occurrence of symptoms associated with MDD. Additionally, this review presents findings from multiple laboratories that were presented as part of a symposium on this topic at the annual 2014 meeting of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS). The ideas and data presented in this review demonstrate the great progress that has been made over the past few decades in our understanding of MDD, and provide a pathway forward toward developing novel treatments and detection methods for this disorder.

Biology Department.


Zhang, Yufeng, Carter, Travis, Eyster, Kathleen, & Swanson, David L. (2015). Acute cold and exercise training up-regulate similar aspects of fatty acid transport and catabolism in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Journal of Experimental Biology, 218(24), 3885-3893.

Summit maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate (Msum) and maximum exercise metabolic rate (MMR) both increase in response to acute cold or exercise training in birds. Because lipids are the main fuel supporting both thermogenesis and exercise in birds, adjustments to lipid transport and catabolic capacities may support elevated energy demands from cold and exercise training. To examine a potential mechanistic role for lipid transport and catabolism in organismal cross-training effects (exercise effects on both exercise and thermogenesis, and vice versa), we measured enzyme activities and mRNA and protein expression in pectoralis muscle for several key steps of lipid transport and catabolism pathways in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) during acute exercise and cold training. Both training protocols elevated pectoralis protein levels of fatty acid translocase (FAT/CD36), cytosolic fatty acid-binding protein, and citrate synthase (CS) activity. However, mRNA expression of FAT/CD36 and both mRNA and protein expression of plasma membrane fatty acid-binding protein did not change for either training group. CS activities in supracoracoideus, leg and heart, and carnitine palmitoyl transferase (CPT) and β-hydroxyacyl CoA-dehydrogenase activities in all muscles did not vary significantly with either training protocol. Both Msum and MMR were significantly positively correlated with CPT and CS activities. These data suggest that up-regulation of trans-sarcolemmal and intramyocyte lipid transport capacities and cellular metabolic intensities, along with previously documented increases in body and pectoralis muscle masses and pectoralis myostatin (a muscle growth inhibitor) levels, are common mechanisms underlying the training effects of both exercise and shivering in birds.

Biology Department.


Baride, A., Meruga, J. M., Douma, C., Langerman, D., Crawford, G., Kellar, J. J., Cross, W. M., & May, P. Stanley. (2015). A NIR-to-NIR upconversion luminescence system for security printing applications. Rsc Advances, 5(123), 101338-101346.

A covert print-and-read system is demonstrated based on NIR-to-NIR upconversion luminescence. Inks activated with Yb3+/Tm3+ doped beta-NaYF4 upconversion nanoparticles were used to print covert features on various substrates, including paper, epoxy resin, and circuit boards. The Yb3+/Tm3+ doping concentrations were optimized to maximize the brightness of 800 nm upconversion emission excited with 980 nm light, while simultaneously minimizing unwanted blue upconversion. Images printed with the NIR-optimized inks are invisible to the naked eye under ambient lighting or under 980 nm excitation. NIR-to-NIR images are easily captured, however, using an inexpensive, modified point-and-shoot CCD camera, even at modest excitation power densities (1.5 W cm(-2)). It is demonstrated that the latent images can also be read through select hard or soft coatings which are opaque to visible light, such as black inkjet print, or dyed epoxy resin, without significant attenuation of brightness. The ability to protect the printed images with durable, opaque coatings increases the tamper-resistance and the covertness of the system; removes the requirement that the print be invisible on the bare substrate; and blocks any visible emission that might be present, even under very high excitation power densities.

Chemistry Deaprtment.


Jia, L., Sun, H. L., & Wang, Zhenqiang. (2015). Crystal structures and luminescent properties of new lanthanide(III) complexes derived from 2-phenyl-4-pyrimidinecarboxylate. Rsc Advances, 5(117), 96855-96861.

In this work, five novel lanthanide(III) coordination polymers derived from 2-phenylpyrimidine-4-carboxylic acid (Hppmc), namely, [Ln(ppmc)(3)(H2O)(2)]center dot 2H(2)O [Ln = Eu (1), Tb (2)] and [Ln(ppmc)(3)(H2O)(2)] [Ln = Eu (3), Gd (4), Tb (5)] were successfully synthesized by a facile solution method and characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, power X-ray diffraction (PXRD), infrared (IR) spectroscopy, elemental analysis, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). It was found that subtly different reaction conditions result in disparate structural characteristics. For example, by combining Hppmc with lanthanide(III) ions at room temperature, compounds 1 and 2 featuring a carboxylate-bridging chain structure, in which the carboxylates adopt both chelating and bridging modes, are isolated. However, the reaction at 35 degrees C generates three isostructural compounds 3-5 with a distinct chain structure, in which the lanthanide ions are connected by carboxylates via syn-syn and syn-anti modes. Photoluminescent studies of the Eu3+ and Tb3+ complexes reveal that the Hppmc ligand is a better sensitizer for Tb3+ ion than for Eu3+ ion. The investigation of the relationship between the crystal structures and the photoluminescence properties indicate that the coordination environments of lanthanide ions and the arrangement of the ligands are the dominating factors that affect the luminescence behaviors of the solid samples.

Chemistry Department.


Loc, W. S., Quan, Z. W., Lin, Cuikun, Pan, J. F., Wang, Y. X., Yang, K. K., Jian, W. B., Zhao, B., Wang, H., & Fang, J. Y. (2015). Facet-controlled facilitation of PbS nanoarchitectures by understanding nanocrystal growth. Nanoscale, 7(45), 19047-19052.

Nanostructured lead sulphide is a significant component in a number of energy-related sustainable applications such as photovoltaic cells and thermoelectric components. In many micro-packaging processes, dimensionality-controlled nano-architectures as building blocks with unique properties are required. This study investigates different facet-merging growth behaviors through a wet-chemical synthetic strategy to produce high-quality controlled nanostructures of lead sulphide in various dimensionalities. It was found that 1D nanowires or 2D nanosheets can be obtained by the merging of reactive {111}- or {110}-facets, respectively, while promoting {100} facets in the early stages after nucleation leads to the growth of 0D nanocubes. The influence of temperature, capping ligands and co-solvent in facilitating the crystal facet growth of each intermediate seed is also demonstrated. The novelty of this work is characterized by the delicate manipulation of various PbS nanoarchitectures based on the comprehension of the facet-merging evolution. The synthesis of facet-controlled PbS nanostructures could provide novel building blocks with desired properties for use in many applications.

Chemistry Department.


Mottishaw, Jeffrey D., Erck, Adam R., Kramer, Jordan H., Sun, Haorn, & Koppang, Miles. (2015). Electrostatic Potential Maps and Natural Bond Orbital Analysis: Visualization and Conceptualization of Reactivity in Sanger’s Reagent. Journal of Chemical Education, 92(11), 1846-1852.

Frederick Sanger’s early work on protein sequencing through the use of colorimetric labeling combined with liquid chromatography involves an important nudeophilic aromatic substitution (SNAr) reaction in which the N-terminus of a protein is tagged with Sanger’s reagent. Understanding the inherent differences between this SNAr reaction and other nudeophilic substitution reactions (S(N)1 and S(N)2) can be challenging for students learning organic chemistry. Here, both electrostatic potential (ESP) maps and natural bond orbital (NBO) analyses are employed to visualize and conceptualize Sanger’s key observation of the difference in reactivity between 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene and 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene. The utility of this method is extended to compare the reactivity of a series of halobenzenes for SNAr fluorination, a widely used reaction in pharmaceutical and medicinal fields. In combination with experimental results from the literature, the ESP maps and NBO analyses are consistent with and provide excellent corroboration with the reactivity of different substrates toward SNAr reactions.

Chemistry Department.


Zhao, D., Wu, Q., Yang, C. F., & Koodali, Ranjit T. (2015). Visible light driven photocatalytic hydrogen evolution over CdS incorporated mesoporous silica derived from MCM-48. Applied Surface Science, 356, 308-316.

An attempt to synthesize CdS incorporated MCM-48 by ion-exchange method is reported in this work. The mesoporous structure, crystalline structure, morphology and optical properties of the prepared samples were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption isotherm, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). The photocatalytic activities were tested for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution under visible irradiation. The CdS incorporated mesoporous silica exhibited high photocatalytic activity for hydrogen evolution but the cubic phase of MCM-48 was destroyed by the ion-exchange reaction and sulfidation process. The influence of synthesis temperature and the presence of Pt co-catalyst were also examined in this work. The photocatalytic performance of CdS-mSiO(2) was also studied by recycling experiments and by comparing with the CdS-MCM-48 in our previous work. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Chemistry Department.


Balasubramanian, Vinothini, Srinivasan, Rekha, Miskimins, Robin, & Sykes, Andrew G. (2016). A simple aza-crown ether containing an anthraquinone fluorophore for the selective detection of Mg(II) in living cells. Tetrahedron, 72(1), 205-209.

A new aza-crown ether anthraquinone-coupled chemosensor ( 2 ) has been synthesized and employed for the selective fluorescence detection of Mg(II) in the nanomolar range with limited interference by Ca(II) ion. The binding stoichiometry for the chemosensor with Mg(II) is found to be 2:1, and the binding constant was determined to be 2.9×10 9 M −2 and 5.1×10 9 M −2 in acetonitrile and DMSO, respectively. The chemosensor also shows negligible fluorescence enhancement from other alkali, alkaline earth, and transition metals. Chemosensor 2 has been used in the bioimaging of Mg(II) in embryonic mouse fibroblast NIH3T3 cells at both native concentrations and cells incubated with excess Mg(II). The chemosensor can access Mg(II) ions in both the cytoplasm and nucleus of the cells. The corrected total cell fluorescence is also calculated to confirm the uptake of the chemosensor in living cells.

Chemistry Department.

Basic Biomedical Sciences, Vermillion Campus.


Scarborough, Rebecca, Zellou, Georgia, Mirzayan, Armik, & Rood, David S. (2015). Phonetic and phonological patterns of nasality in Lakota vowels. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 45(3), 289-309.

Lakota (Siouan) has both contrastive and coarticulatory vowel nasality, and both nasal and oral vowels can occur before or after a nasal consonant. This study examines the timing and degree patterns of acoustic vowel nasality across contrastive and coarticulatory contexts in Lakota, based on data from six Lakota native speakers. There is clear evidence of both anticipatory and carryover nasal coarticulation across oral and nasal vowels, with a greater degree of carryover than anticipatory nasalization. Nasality in carryover contexts is nonetheless restricted: the oral-nasal contrast is neutralized for high back vowels in this context and realized for three of the six speakers in low vowels. In the absence of nasal consonant context, contrastive vowel nasalization is generally greatest late in the vowel. Low nasal vowels in carryover contexts parallel this pattern (despite the location of the nasal consonant BEFORE the vowel), and low nasal vowels in anticipatory contexts are most nasal at the start of the vowel. We relate the synchronic patterns of coarticulation in Lakota to both its system of contrast and diachronic processes in the evolution of nasality in Lakota. These data reflect that coarticulatory patterns, as well as contrastive patterns, are grammatical and controlled by speakers.

Modern Languages and Linguistics.


Boettger, T., Thiel, C. W., Sun, Y., Macfarlane, R. M., & Cone, R. L. (2016). Decoherence and absorption of Er3+:KTiOPO4 (KTP) at 1.5 mu m. Journal of Luminescence, 169, 466-471.

We present results of laser absorption spectroscopy and two-pulse photon echo decoherence measurements on the lowest I-4(15/2) to lowest I-4(13/2) transition in Er3+: KTiOPO4 (KTP-potassium titanyl phosphate) for the optical transition located at 1537.238 nm. This transition was found to have an inhomogeneous absorption linewidth of 950 MHz and pronounced polarization dependence. Two-pulse photon echo decay measurements as a function of applied magnetic field strength at 1.9 K revealed a narrow homogeneous linewidth of 2.5 kHz at 02 T that increased to 5.8 kHz at 1.2 T and then decreased to 1.6 kHz at 4.5 T. This behavior was successfully described by decoherence due to Er3+-Er3+ magnetic dipole interactions. Significant superhyperfine coupling of Er3+ spins to the nuclear moments of ions in the host lattice was observed, modulating the photon echo decay at low magnetic fields and limiting the effective homogenous linewidth at high fields. Combined with the well-established potential of KTP for fabrication of high-quality optical waveguides and integrated non-linear frequency conversion, our results suggest that Er3+:KTP is a promising material system for practical spectral hole burning, signal processing, and quantum information applications. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Physics Department.


Fairholm, Matthew R., & Gronau, Taylor W. (2015). Spiritual leadership in the work of public administrators. Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 12(4), 354-373.

This article focuses on the leadership practices of local public administrators that display elements of spiritual leadership in the workplace. It explores empirical research about municipal managers that suggests organizational leadership based on the notion of someone’s spirit, rather than merely someone’s bundle of workplace skills and abilities, is not only valid, but fairly common. The results illustrate that public administrators doing public administration admit that spiritual values, or a focus on the whole-soul of people, impact how they view leadership in their jobs and the public work they do every day. Potential elements of spiritual leadership culled from the research and leadership and Public Administration literature are shaped into a nascent model that serves to both describe and prescribe spiritual leadership perspectives, behaviors, and approaches to followers.

Political Science/Criminal Justice Department.


Gerrish, Ed. (2016). The Impact of Performance Management on Performance in Public Organizations: A Meta-Analysis. Public Administration Review, 76(1), 48-66.

Performance-based management is pervasive in public organizations; countless governments have implemented performance management systems with the hope that they will improve organizational effectiveness. However, there has been little comprehensive review of their impact. This article conducts a meta-analysis on the impact of performance management on performance in public organizations. It contributes to the current literature in three ways. First, it examines the effect of the ‘average’ performance management system. Second, it examines the influence of management: whether beneficial performance management practices moderate the average effect. Third, it examines the effect of ‘time’ on performance management. Using 2,188 effects from 49 studies, the analysis finds that performance management has a small average effect. However, the effect is substantially larger when indicators of best practices in high-quality studies are included, indicating that management practices have an important impact on the effectiveness of performance management systems. Evidence for the effect of time is mixed.

Political Science/Criminal Justice Department.


Eclov, J. A., Qian, Q. W., Redetzke, R., Chen, Q. H., Wu, S. C., Healy, C. L., Ortmeier, Steven B., Harmon, Erin, Shearer, G. C., & O’Connell, T. D. (2015). EPA, not DHA, prevents fibrosis in pressure overload-induced heart failure: potential role of free fatty acid receptor 4. Journal of Lipid Research, 56(12), 2297-2308.

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is half of all HF, but standard HF therapies are ineffective. Diastolic dysfunction, often secondary to interstitial fibrosis, is common in HFpEF. Previously, we found that supra-physiologic levels of omega 3-PUFAs produced by 12 weeks of omega 3-dietary supplementation prevented fibrosis and contractile dysfunction following pressure overload [transverse aortic constriction (TAC)], a model that resembles aspects of remodeling in HFpEF. This raised several questions regarding omega 3-concentration-dependent cardioprotection, the specific role of EPA and DHA, and the relationship between prevention of fibrosis and contractile dysfunction. To achieve more clinically relevant omega 3-levels and test individual omega 3-PUFAs, we shortened the omega 3-diet regimen and used EPA- and DHA-specific diets to examine remodeling following TAC. The shorter diet regimen produced omega 3-PUFA levels closer to Western clinics. Further, EPA, but not DHA, prevented fibrosis following TAC. However, neither omega 3-PUFA prevented contractile dysfunction, perhaps due to reduced uptake of omega 3-PUFA. Interestingly, EPA did not accumulate in cardiac fibroblasts. However, FFA receptor 4, a G protein-coupled receptor for omega 3-PUFAs, was sufficient and required to block transforming growth factor beta 1-fibrotic signaling in cultured cardiac fibroblasts, suggesting a novel mechanism for EPA. In summary, EPA-mediated prevention of fibrosis could represent a novel therapy for HFpEF.

Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls Campus.


Halaby, M. J., Harris, B. R. E., Miskimins, W. Keith, Cleary, M. P., & Yang, D. Q. (2015). Deregulation of Internal Ribosome Entry Site-Mediated p53 Translation in Cancer Cells with Defective p53 Response to DNA Damage. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 35(23), 4006-4017.

Synthesis of the p53 tumor suppressor and its subsequent activation following DNA damage are critical for its protection against tumorigenesis. We previously discovered an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) at the 5′ untranslated region of the p53 mRNA. However, the connection between IRES-mediated p53 translation and p53’s tumor suppressive function is unknown. In this study, we identified two p53 IRES trans-acting factors, translational control protein 80 (TCP80), and RNA helicase A (RHA), which positively regulate p53 IRES activity. Overexpression of TCP80 and RHA also leads to increased expression and synthesis of p53. Furthermore, we discovered two breast cancer cell lines that retain wild-type p53 but exhibit defective p53 induction and synthesis following DNA damage. The levels of TCP80 and RHA are extremely low in both cell lines, and expression of both proteins is required to significantly increase the p53 IRES activity in these cells. Moreover, we found cancer cells transfected with a shRNA against TCP80 not only exhibit decreased expression of TCP80 and RHA but also display defective p53 induction and diminished ability to induce senescence following DNA damage. Therefore, our findings reveal a novel mechanism of p53 inactivation that links deregulation of IRES-mediated p53 translation with tumorigenesis.

Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls Campus.


Kranzler, John H., Benson, Nicholas, & Floyd, Randy G. (2015). Using estimated factor scores from a bifactor analysis to examine the unique effects of the latent variables measured by the WAIS-IV on academic achievement. Psychological Assessment, 27(4), 1402-1416.

This study used estimated factor scores from a bifactor analysis of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) to examine the unique effects of its latent variables on academic achievement. In doing so, we addressed the potential limitation of multicollinearity in previous studies of the incremental validity of the WAIS-IV. First, factor scores representing psychometric g and 4 group factors representing the WAIS-IV index scales were computed from a bifactor model. Subtest and composite scores for the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Third Edition (WIAT-II) were then predicted from these estimated factor scores in simultaneous multiple regression. Results of this study only partially replicated the findings of previous research on the incremental validity of scores that can be derived from performance on the WAIS-IV. Although we found that psychometric g is the most important underlying construct measured by the WAIS-IV for the prediction of academic achievement in general, results indicated that the unique effect of Verbal Comprehension is also important for predicting achievement in reading, spelling, and oral communication skills. Based on these results, measures of both psychometric g and Verbal Comprehension could be cautiously interpreted when considering high school students’ performance in these areas of achievement.

School of Education [Former Faculty Member].


Amolins, Michael W., Ezrailson, Cathy M., Pearce, David A., Elliott, Amy J., & Vitiello, Peter F. (2015). Evaluating the effectiveness of a laboratory-based professional development program for science educators. Advances in Physiology Education, 39(4), 341-351.

The process of developing effective science educators has been a long-standing objective of the broader education community. Numerous studies have recommended not only depth in a teacher’s subject area but also a breadth of professional development grounded in constructivist principles, allowing for successful student-centered and inquiry-based instruction. Few programs, however, have addressed the integration of the scientific research laboratory into the science classroom as a viable approach to professional development. Additionally, while occasional laboratory training programs have emerged in recent years, many lack a component for translating acquired skills into reformed classroom instruction. Given the rapid development and demand for knowledgeable employees and an informed population from the biotech and medical industries in recent years, it would appear to be particularly advantageous for the physiology and broader science education communities to consider this issue. The goal of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a laboratory-based professional development program focused on the integration of reformed teaching principles into the classrooms of secondary teachers. This was measured through the program’s ability to instill in its participants elevated academic success while gaining fulfillment in the classroom. The findings demonstrated a significant improvement in the use of student-centered instruction and other reformed methods by program participants as well as improved self-efficacy, confidence, and job satisfaction. Also revealed was a reluctance to refashion established classroom protocols. The combination of these outcomes allowed for construction of an experiential framework for professional development in applied science education that supports an atmosphere of reformed teaching in the classroom.

School of Education.


Linn, Vicki, & Jacobs, Gera. (2015). Inquiry-Based Field Experiences: Transforming Early Childhood Teacher Candidates’ Effectiveness. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 36(4), 272-288.

Contemporary teacher preparation programs are challenged to provide transformational learning experiences that enhance the development of highly effective teachers. This mixed-methods case study explored the influence of inquiry-based field experiences as a pedagogical approach to teacher preparation. Four teacher candidates participated in a 15-week practicum hosted by four community-based early childhood classrooms. Research methods included peer discussions, self-assessments, coaching sessions facilitated by the instructor/researcher, and a survey. Triangulated content analysis indicated that inquiry-based field experiences positively contributed to the participants’ (a) understanding and application of core knowledge, (b) consciousness of teacher–child interactions, (c) appreciation of co-inquiry learning, and (d) utilization of reflective learning. Inquiry-based field experiences also positively contributed to the participants’ professional intentionality and discernment.

School of Education.



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