Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (MS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Judith Ochrietor

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Lentz

Third Advisor

Dr. Terri Ellis

Department Chair

Dr. Cliff Ross

College Dean

Dr. Daniel Moon


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a major group of pattern recognition receptors expressed on the surface of immune cells that recognize molecular patterns associated with all classes of pathogenic microorganisms. TLR4 recognizes the lipopolysaccharide component of Gram-negative bacterial cell walls and is the only TLR known to induce signaling through both the MyD88 and TRIF pathways. Basigin, a ubiquitous cell adhesion molecule, is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily that has the ability to influence cell signaling mediated by the MyD88 and TRIF pathways, the same signaling pathways induced by the TLR4 receptor protein. Analysis of the Basigin protein sequence indicates the presence of a hydrophilic glutamate residue within the hydrophobic transmembrane domain, but no consensus binding sites for MyD88 or TRIF. The purpose of this study was to determine if Basigin uses TLR4 for signal transduction. It is hypothesized that Basigin interacts with TLR4 and that the glutamate residue plays a role in the interaction. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent binding assays were performed using endogenous TLR4 and recombinant Basigin proteins. These analyses demonstrated that binding of Basigin to TLR4 was significantly greater than that of the control protein and that the glutamate residue in the Basigin transmembrane domain does play a role in the interaction between Basigin and TLR4 as well as many hydrophobic residues in the Basigin transmembrane domain. The data suggest that Basigin interacts with TLR4 to influence signaling cascades using MyD88 and TRIF.