Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry: Biochemistry and University Honors
Anti-infective agents, Copper -- Toxicology, Cell death, Escherichia coli, Cysteine, Cuprous oxide
The antimicrobial properties of copper have been thoroughly researched, but is still unclear what the actual mechanism of cell death is. This study explores the theory that copper ions and other copper sources act as an antibiotic for E. coli by cleaving the disulfide bonds of membrane proteins through redox chemistry, disrupting the cell membrane and causing cell death. The focus of this study is Cu(I) and Cu(II) interactions with the thiol containing amino acid, cysteine, and how these interactions may be responsible for copper’s toxicity. Cuprous ions have been found to be more toxic to E.coli than cupric ions. The difference between cysteine’s reactions with Cu(I) and Cu(II) are explored.
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Stewart, Morgan R., "The Role of Redox Chemistry of Disulfide Bonds in Cysteine Residues of Membrane Proteins by Cuprous and Cupric Ions in Cell Death of E. coli" (2020). University Honors Theses. Paper 841.