Abstract by William Thompson

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

William Thompson

Degree Level



Connor Holman
Lavender Lin

Abstract Infomation


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor

J.C. Price


Effects of Protein Structure on Rheumatoid Arthritis


Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) is an autoimmune disease which lowers the quality of life. Current diagnosis depends on finding a rheumatoid factor which is difficult for early diagnosis. Our goal is to find biomarkers in serum for earlier diagnosis by using mass spectrometry. We compared blood serum heat denaturation curves from 25 RA patients versus 25 healthy controls and saw a significant difference. This difference should be caused by the most abundant proteins of human serum, which is Serum Albumin(ALBU). ALBU is a lipid carrier, which is important because lipid cargos might modify the overall structure and the heat of denaturation. We found evidence that surface accessible amino acids are different between healthy and RA groups. We tested whether an endogenous PTM or a change in lipid cargo carried by ALBU would alter the protein structures first, and then lead to a difference in the heat denaturation curves. We created samples enriched in ALBU through a Multiple Affinity Removal Column to separate the main proteins, and then examine the lipids associated with ALBU. Here we will report the PTM and lipid composition differences between samples.