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  1. Conserved homology 1 (C1) domains are peripheral zinc finger domains that are responsible for recruiting their host signaling proteins, including Protein Kinase C (PKC) isoenzymes, to diacylglycerol-containing lipid membranes. In this work, we investigated the reactivity of the C1 structural zinc sites, using the cysteine-rich C1B regulatory region of the PKCα isoform as a paradigm. The choice of Cd 2+ as a probe was prompted by previous findings that xenobiotic metal ions modulate PKC activity. Using solution NMR and UV-vis spectroscopy, we found that Cd 2+ spontaneously replaced Zn 2+ in both structural sites of the C1B domain, with themore »formation of all-Cd and mixed Zn/Cd protein species. The Cd 2+ substitution for Zn 2+ preserved the C1B fold and function, as probed by its ability to interact with a potent tumor-promoting agent. Both Cys 3 His metal-ion sites of C1B have higher affinity to Cd 2+ than Zn 2+ , but are thermodynamically and kinetically inequivalent with respect to the metal ion replacement, despite the identical coordination spheres. We find that even in the presence of the oxygen-rich sites presented by the neighboring peripheral membrane-binding C2 domain, the thiol-rich sites can successfully compete for the available Cd 2+ . Our results indicate that Cd 2+ can target the entire membrane-binding regulatory region of PKCs, and that the competition between the thiol- and oxygen-rich sites will likely determine the activation pattern of PKCs.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 10, 2022
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. The inner ear is essential for maintaining balance and hearing predator and prey in the environment. Each inner ear contains three CaCO3 otolith polycrystals, which are calcified within an alkaline, K+-rich endolymph secreted by the surrounding epithelium. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms are poorly understood, especially in marine fish. Here, we investigated the presence and cellular localization of several ion-transporting proteins within the saccular epithelium of the Pacific Chub Mackerel (Scomber japonicus). Western blotting revealed the presence of Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA), carbonic anhydrase (CA), Na+-K+-2Cl--co-transporter (NKCC), vacuolar-type H+-ATPase (VHA), plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase (PMCA), and soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC). Immunohistochemistry analysismore »identified two distinct ionocytes types in the saccular epithelium: Type-I ionocytes were mitochondrion-rich and abundantly expressed NKA and NKCC in their basolateral membrane, indicating a role in secreting K+ into the endolymph. On the other hand, Type-II ionocytes were enriched in cytoplasmic CA and VHA, suggesting they help transport HCO3- into the endolymph and remove H+. In addition, both types of ionocytes expressed cytoplasmic PMCA, which is likely involved in Ca2+ transport and homeostasis, as well as sAC, an evolutionary conserved acid-base sensing enzyme that regulates epithelial ion transport. Furthermore, CA, VHA, and sAC were also expressed within the capillaries that supply blood to the meshwork area, suggesting additional mechanisms that contribute to otolith calcification. This information improves our knowledge about the cellular mechanisms responsible for endolymph ion regulation and otolith formation, and can help understand responses to environmental stressors such as ocean acidification.« less
  4. Synopsis Science education is most effective when it provides authentic experiences that reflect professional practices and approaches that address issues relevant to students’ lives and communities. Such educational experiences are becoming increasingly interdisciplinary and can be enhanced using digital fabrication. Digital fabrication is the process of designing objects for the purpose of fabricating with machinery such as 3D-printers, laser cutters, and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines. Historically, these types of tools have been exceptionally costly and difficult to access; however, recent advancements in technological design have been accompanied by decreasing prices. In this review, we first establish the historical andmore »theoretical foundations that support the use of digital fabrication as a pedagogical strategy to enhance learning. We specifically chose to focus attention on 3D-printing because this type of technology is becoming increasingly advanced, affordable, and widely available. We systematically reviewed the last 20 years of literature that characterized the use of 3D-printing in biological education, only finding a total of 13 articles that attempted to investigate the benefits for student learning. While the pedagogical value of student-driven creation is strongly supported by educational literature, it was challenging to make broad claims about student learning in relation to using or creating 3D-printed models in the context of biological education. Additional studies are needed to systematically investigate the impact of student-driven creation at the intersection of biology and engineering or computer science education.« less