Colleen Cassidy

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Innocuous touch of the skin is detected by distinct populations of neurons, the low-threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs), which are classified as Aβ-, Aδ-, and C-LTMRs. Here, we report genetic labeling of LTMR subtypes and visualization of their relative patterns of axonal endings in hairy skin and the spinal cord. We found that each of the three major hair(More)
The bacteriophage population is large, dynamic, ancient, and genetically diverse. Limited genomic information shows that phage genomes are mosaic, and the genetic architecture of phage populations remains ill-defined. To understand the population structure of phages infecting a single host strain, we isolated, sequenced, and compared 627 phages of(More)
Cutaneous mechanosensory neurons detect mechanical stimuli that generate touch and pain sensation. Although opioids are generally associated only with the control of pain, here we report that the opioid system in fact broadly regulates cutaneous mechanosensation, including touch. This function is predominantly subserved by the delta opioid receptor (DOR),(More)
The industrial application of enzymes that can withstand harsh conditions has greatly increased over the past decade. This is mainly a result of the discovery of novel enzymes from extremophilic microorganisms. Recent advances in the study of extremozymes point to the acceleration of this trend. In particular, enzymes from thermophilic organisms have found(More)
Touch perception begins with activation of low-threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs) in the periphery. LTMR terminals exhibit tremendous morphological heterogeneity that specifies their mechanical receptivity. In a survey of mammalian skin, we found a preponderance of neurofilament-heavy-chain(+) circumferential endings associated with hair follicles,(More)
The structures of the hemiketal adducts of Ser 195 in chymotrypsin with N-acetyl-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanyl trifluoromethyl ketone (AcLF-CF3) and N-acetyl-L-phenylalanyl trifluoromethyl ketone (AcF-CF3) were determined to 1.4-1.5 A by X-ray crystallography. The structures confirm those previously reported at 1.8-2.1 A [Brady, K., Wei, A., Ringe, D., and(More)
The perception of touch, including the direction of stimulus movement across the skin, begins with activation of low-threshold mechanosensory neurons (LTMRs) that innervate the skin. Here, we show that murine Aδ-LTMRs are preferentially tuned to deflection of body hairs in the caudal-to-rostral direction. This tuning property is explained by the finding(More)
A series of naturally occurring and synthetic biflavonoids was evaluated for inhibitory activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv (Mtb). Compounds 6, 24, and 25 demonstrated 96, 95, and 87% inhibition, respectively, at a screening concentration of 12.5 microg/mL. The type of linkage and the presence of methoxy- and nitro-substituents in biflavonoids(More)
We present spectroscopic evidence for the presence of low-barrier hydrogen bonds (LBHBs) in molecular complexes composed of carboxylic acids and 1-methylimidazole (1-MeIm) dissolved in aprotic organic solvents. A plot of the values of the low-field proton NMR chemical shifts versus the aqueous pKa of the carboxylic acid exhibits a positive slope for pKa(More)
Fibril formation is the basis of amyloid production in a number of disease states, such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and immunocytic dyscrasias. Compounds that inhibit fibril formation could be directly relevant to the treatment of amyloid diseases, and may also provide a foundation for the development of interventions in other molecular condensation(More)