Development of new fluorescent protein biosensors

  • Author / Creator
    Belal, Ahmed S. F.
  • The discovery of green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the Aequorea victoria Jellyfish followed by the extensive efforts of protein engineers to produce other fluorescent proteins (FPs) spanning the visible color spectrum made fluorescent proteins indispensable biochemical tools in the scientific community. Experimental biologists have utilized FPs as genetically encoded markers for the imaging of subcellular structures and protein dynamics in live cells. Another important application of FPs is their design for use in biosensors for either enzymes or small biological molecules of interest. The work described in this thesis is an attempt to portray different experimental designs of FP based biosensors with the final objective of either modifying previously reported or introducing novel biosensors. We addressed the FP biosensors based on the principle of intramolecular Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in two projects. In the first project we demonstrated a modification of a methodology of development and optimization of FRET-based biosensor for a post translational modification. The end result of this project has led to improving a previously reported protein kinase B (PkB) biosensor and the discovery of a new cyclin B1- cyclin dependent kinase 1 (Cyclin B1-CDK1) biosensor of a higher dynamic range than previously published one. In the second project our efforts were directed to develop a matrix metallo proteinase 2 (MMP2) FRET based biosensor, with the ultimate goal of using this biosensor in live cell imaging of cardiomyocytes to explore postulated MMP2 intracellular role in ischemia-reperfusion injury. We designed protein constructs based on both previously reported MMP2 substrate sequences and potential cardiac protein target sequences. After testing and characterizing the designed constructs, the expression of the best candidate in neonatal cardiomyocytes cell lines is undertaken by our collaborator Professor Richard Schulz, Department of Pharmacology, University of Alberta. In the third and final project we utilized single FP-based biosensor concept in trying to develop Hydrogen peroxide biosensors of different hues. Our efforts were fruitful in discovering two green biosensors, one is with direct and the other is with inverse response to hydrogen peroxide.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Zechel, David (Chemistry)
    • Vederas, John (Chemistry)
    • McDermott, Mark (Chemistry)