Title

Characterization of a Novel Kinase in the Protozoal Parasite Trichomonas vaginalis

Poster Number

53

Lead Author Major

Biological Sciences

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Kirkwood Land

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Protein kinases are part of several important cell signaling pathways. We seek to use protein kinases as an potential drug target for the clinical treatment of Trichomona vaginalis. Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoal parasite and the causative agent of trichamoniasis, a common sexually transmitted disease. While there are treatment options for trichamoniasis, these treatments are restricted to 5- nitroimidazole derivaties. Metronidazole, known by the name Flagyl, is the FDA approved treatment for a Trichomonas infection. Five percent of trichamoniasis cases cannot be treated effectively with Metronidazole however, and so the search for alternative therapies is essential. Several challenges arise when considering the treatment of a eukaryotic pathogen, its similarity to our own cells make targeting this disease difficult. We have discovered, in collaboration with a university partner, a unique protein which could act as a drug target. This class of enzyme, a protein kinase, is often involved in cell maintenance pathways and therefore is an attractive target for inhibition of cell growth. This enzyme, called the gatekeeper, has been previously examined and purified from several other eukaryotic parasites and the coding sequence has been found in the genome of T. vaginalis. We have been working to use this genomic sequence to recombinantly express the T.vaginalis Gatekeeper gene in E.coli.

Location

Grave Covell

Start Date

21-4-2012 10:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2012 12:00 PM

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Apr 21st, 10:00 AM Apr 21st, 12:00 PM

Characterization of a Novel Kinase in the Protozoal Parasite Trichomonas vaginalis

Grave Covell

Protein kinases are part of several important cell signaling pathways. We seek to use protein kinases as an potential drug target for the clinical treatment of Trichomona vaginalis. Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoal parasite and the causative agent of trichamoniasis, a common sexually transmitted disease. While there are treatment options for trichamoniasis, these treatments are restricted to 5- nitroimidazole derivaties. Metronidazole, known by the name Flagyl, is the FDA approved treatment for a Trichomonas infection. Five percent of trichamoniasis cases cannot be treated effectively with Metronidazole however, and so the search for alternative therapies is essential. Several challenges arise when considering the treatment of a eukaryotic pathogen, its similarity to our own cells make targeting this disease difficult. We have discovered, in collaboration with a university partner, a unique protein which could act as a drug target. This class of enzyme, a protein kinase, is often involved in cell maintenance pathways and therefore is an attractive target for inhibition of cell growth. This enzyme, called the gatekeeper, has been previously examined and purified from several other eukaryotic parasites and the coding sequence has been found in the genome of T. vaginalis. We have been working to use this genomic sequence to recombinantly express the T.vaginalis Gatekeeper gene in E.coli.