Date of Award

6-1997

Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Chemistry

Language

English

Abstract

In the past decade scientists have discovered that the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans contains a highly specific estrogen-binding protein (EBP). Since it is known that the use of estrogen-containing compounds causes one to be more prone to infection by this organism, it is hypothesized that this estrogen system may have a role in infection. Understanding the structure and function of EBP would be helpful in developing treatments for infection by C. albicans. One way to approach the structure and function question of any protein is to crystallize the protein and solve its structure using X-ray diffraction. In the past few months, crystal~ of EBP have been produced using the hanging drop method of vapor diffusion. These crystals are yellow and "spiky" in appearance and grow as clusters within two weeks at 4°C in a solution containing the following: 0.1 M sodium cacodylate, pH 6.5; 0.1 M sodium acetate; and 25% polyethylene glycol (PEG) 8000. Crystals of similar appearance have been grown in less than one week using the technique of microseeding. Because neither the unseeded nor the seeded crystals grow singly, they cannot be subjected to X-ray diffraction in order for structural data to be taken. Since the jagged appearance of these crystals may be due to some microheterogeneity in the T.BP sample used, I believe that the future work on this project include an attempt to grow diffraction-grade EBP crystals with a more homogeneous EBP sample. Additionally, since other conditions have been found in which EBP crystalizes, I believe that these conditions should be explored to determine whether or not sharper crystals can be grown.

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