Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Basic Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Samuel S Newton


Erythropoietin (EPO) is a cytokine hormone known for initiating red blood cell proliferation by binding to its homodimer receptor (EPOR)2 in the bone marrow. Recent progress in neurobiology has shown that EPO also exerts robust neurotrophic and neuroprotective activity in the CNS. It is widely thought that EPO’s neurotrophic activity is centrally involved in its antidepressant and cognitive enhancing effects. However, EPO’s potent erythropoietic effects prevent it from being used in the clinic to treat psychiatric disorders. A chemically engineered non-erythropoietic derivative of EPO, carbamoylated EPO (CEPO), produces psychoactive effects without activating hematopoiesis. However, CEPO is expensive to produce and batch variability limits its potential as pharmacotherapy. Using CEPO as a template, our lab has expressed and characterized two triple substitution mutants of EPO (known as QPO and RPO) in-vitro, in-vivo, and in-silico to determine their neurotrophic activity, behavioral effects, and ligand-receptor interactions.

Subject Categories

Biochemistry | Computational Chemistry | Computational Neuroscience


Antidepressant, Carbamoylated erythropoietin, mimetic, molecular dynamics, neurotrophic, Nonhematopoietic

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.