College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 11-26-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Eric Landahl, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Anuj Sarma, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jesus Pando, Ph.D.


The structural dynamics of the fusion protein (F protein) of parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV 5) was studied using time resolved Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS). Conformational changes of the F protein, equivalent to the conformational changes the protein must undergo while infecting a host cell, are triggered by temperature jump to the protein in solution. The time and temperature dependence of the rate of the protein changing state is then determined through standard SAXS analysis. Thermodynamic transition state theory is then used to calculate the activation energy, enthalpy and entropy of the transition which is independent of any particular model. It is determined that the transition is entropically driven. Additionally a new technique employing constrained singular value decomposition is used to decompose the SAXS scattering patterns into basis states. The new technique successfully corroborates results found using the standard SAXS analysis.

Included in

Physics Commons