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Study of the desmoplakin protein using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and its interaction with gold nanoclusters using atomic force microscopy

Rodriguez Zamora, Penelope (2014)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Desmoplakin is a cytolinker protein vital to tissue exposed to shear forces, such as the skin and the heart. This thesis research combines three physical techniques for the study of desmoplakin, namely Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy, Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).
The structure of the desmoplakin linker domain (in the C terminal end) has been resolved by NMR spectroscopy, exhibiting an unprecedented fold that contains a pair of regular and irregular subdomains and whose monomeric state has been confirmed by SAXS. The desmoplakin plakin domain (in the N terminal end) immobilisation on a surface of graphite decorated with size-selected gold clusters (with 55 and 147 atoms) was studied by tapping mode AFM, which provided evidence of enhanced weak adsorption of the protein to the clusters.
With the aim of improving the technique of immobilisation of single biological molecules with metal nanoparticles, a new technique of cluster immobilisation has been developed using small metal clusters (Au20) to create channels in a graphite substrate. These channels function as defects on the surface of the graphite to anchor soft-landed clusters with the potential to bind the biomolecules.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Palmer, Richard E. and Chidgey, Martyn and Overduin, Michael
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Physics and Astronomy
Subjects:QB Astronomy
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4807
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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