Just under half of all sepsis cases are caused by Gram-negative bacterial infections. Sepsis occurs when an infection results in a systemic inflammatory response, which can lead to organ dysfunction and death. Studies have shown that some outer membrane proteins, lipoproteins, and lipopolysaccharides are released from Gram-negative bacteria during sepsis; those proteins and LPS toxins are thought to induce the over-exuberant host inflammatory response, which is characteristic of sepsis. The ability to detect those proteins and determine the role they play in the development and severity of sepsis infection would be a powerful tool for immunotherapy. Escherichia coli (E. coli) are Gram-negative bacteria that release Lipopolysaccharide and several lipoproteins, including peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein (Pal), which we propose is a bacterial mediator of Gram-negative sepsis. The goal of this study is to detect released Pal in human sera or urine of Gram-negative sepsis patients using purification and protein detection techniques in order to further implicate Pal in the pathogenesis of E. coli sepsis. Our findings suggest E. coli is capable of releasing Pal into both human sera and urine of patients with Gram-negative sepsis.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Septicemia--Pathogenesis; Escherichia coli; Peptidoglycans; Lipoproteins--Measurement

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Chemistry (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)


Lea Michel

Advisor/Committee Member

Suzanne O’Handley

Advisor/Committee Member

Thomas Kim


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at RC182.S4 N68 2016


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