Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Emerson, Joseph P.

Committee Member

Fitzkee, Nicholas C.

Committee Member

Mlsna, Debra Ann

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 3 years

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Chemistry


Transcription factors (TFs) are proteins that respond to a specific chemical signal and bind to DNA. In some bacteria, TFs control transition metal ion homeostasis by specifically binding with a particular metal ion or ions and then interacting with DNA. Although most first row metal ions are required as micronutrients for life, many of them can cause cellular damage or death if their concentrations are too high; this makes these TFs and their biological interactions excellent targets for drug development. The bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae is a pathogenic microorganism responsible for a range of diseases that target the young and the old, including pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia. Herein, we describe our efforts to study the Streptococcus pneumoniae TF responsible for copper(II) ion homeostasis. This thesis describes the classical biochemical techniques used to over-express and purify CopR. It also describes a series of preliminary characterization data associated with this novel copper(II)-dependent TF.