Title

Functional analysis of the purified Rad51 protein from Trichomonas vaginalis

Poster Number

9

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Lisa Wrischnik

Additional Faculty Mentor Name

Kirkwood Land

Abstract/Artist Statement

Trichomonas vagina/is is a parasitic protist that is responsible for the sexually transmitted disease Trichomoniasis. It has been observed in other parasitic protists (such as Giardia and Trypanosoma) that the variable surface proteins (proteins on the outside of the cell) can be modified, essentially hiding the parasite from the host immune system. While this has yet io be directly observed in Trichomonads, the cellular machinery required for this process appears to be present. One protein that could play an important role is the Rad51 recombinase. Rad51 is involved in repairing double strand DNA breaks that can occur by accident or on purpose during meiosis. In Trichomonas, it may be involved in recombining DNA to express new functional gene products not recognized by the host immune system. This project deals with characterizing the Rad51 homolog in Trichomonas vagina/is. We are performing protein purification and functional assays to demonstrate different activities normally found in Rad51 proteins, such as ATP hydrolyzing activity, strand exchange and D-loop formation.

Location

Wendell Phillips Center, 1st floor hallways

Start Date

3-5-2008 1:00 PM

End Date

3-5-2008 3:00 PM

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May 3rd, 1:00 PM May 3rd, 3:00 PM

Functional analysis of the purified Rad51 protein from Trichomonas vaginalis

Wendell Phillips Center, 1st floor hallways

Trichomonas vagina/is is a parasitic protist that is responsible for the sexually transmitted disease Trichomoniasis. It has been observed in other parasitic protists (such as Giardia and Trypanosoma) that the variable surface proteins (proteins on the outside of the cell) can be modified, essentially hiding the parasite from the host immune system. While this has yet io be directly observed in Trichomonads, the cellular machinery required for this process appears to be present. One protein that could play an important role is the Rad51 recombinase. Rad51 is involved in repairing double strand DNA breaks that can occur by accident or on purpose during meiosis. In Trichomonas, it may be involved in recombining DNA to express new functional gene products not recognized by the host immune system. This project deals with characterizing the Rad51 homolog in Trichomonas vagina/is. We are performing protein purification and functional assays to demonstrate different activities normally found in Rad51 proteins, such as ATP hydrolyzing activity, strand exchange and D-loop formation.