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Title: Probes for bacterial ion channels
Author: Swallow, Isabella Diane
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 8848
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Using three complementary approaches, this work sought to tackle the widespread problem of antibiotic resistance. To circumvent the resistance mechanisms developed by bacteria, it is necessary to establish drug candidates that act on novel therapeutic targets, such as the ion channels used by bacteria to modulate homeostasis. Examples include the potassium efflux channel, Kef, and the mechanosensitive channel of small conductance, MscS, which are not found in humans. How these targets function must be well understood before drug candidates can be developed, as such, their identification and investigation is often accompanied by the evolution of the analytical techniques used to study them. Membrane protein mass spectrometry is one technique showing potential in the study of ion channels. However, spectra can be clouded by the detergents used to solubilise ion channels from their native membranes. Undertaken herein was the synthesis of some fluorescent glycolipid detergents, which it was hypothesised could be encouraged to dissociate from ion channels via laser-induced excitation within the gas phase of a mass spectrometer, thereby improving the clarity with which spectra can be obtained. For Kef, an unconfirmed mechanism of action had previously been proposed. To explore the suggestion that sterically-demanding central residues are important for channel activation, solid phase peptide synthesis was used to isolate three tripeptide analogues of N-ethylsuccinimido glutathione, a known activator with a high affinity for Kef. A competition fluorescence assay suggested these tripeptides bound to Kef with an affinity lower than predicted, allowing the conclusion that a more detailed assessment of the steric bulk required for activation was necessary before a mechanism of action could be confirmed. Lysophosphatidylcholine has been shown to activate MscS, although it is not known how. Affinity chromatography between MscS and lysophosphatidylcholine was proposed as a means by which specific binding interactions could be investigated. For this technique an amino-derivative of lysophosphatidylcholine was necessary and its challenging synthesis is also detailed herein.
Supervisor: Conway, Stuart Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Organic chemistry ; Organic synthesis ; Antibiotics ; Mass spectrometry ; Membrane proteins ; NMR spectroscopy ; Polymers Amino acid and peptide chemistry ; Synthetic organic chemistry