Title

Examining the Role of Cystatins in Regulating Trichomonas vaginalis Activity in Co-culture with HeLa cells

Poster Number

13

Lead Author Major

Pre-Dentistry

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Lisa Wrischnik

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Additional Faculty Mentor Name

Kirkwood Land

Abstract/Artist Statement

Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD), affecting around 3.7 million people in the United States each year. In general, women are more commonly infected, yet in most cases symptoms are not present. Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasitic protist, is the causal agent of trichomoniasis. Several virulence factors that Trichomonas vaginalis utilizes include cysteine proteases. These cysteine proteases (CPs) may induce the apoptosis of human vaginal epithelial cells. CPs possess an N-terminal pro-domain that folds into the active site and inhibits protease function until it is cleaved off. The specificity is important as it is detrimental to have a general protease active in the cytoplasm, so controlling the activation of CPs is crucial. In addition to the inhibitory prodomain, Trichomonas vaginalis also contains three genes which encode for CP inhibitors called cystatins. Our project was to look at the localization of tagged cystatins in Trichomonas cells, examine how the over-expression of cystatins influences Trichomonas behavior in coculture with HeLa cells; and observe the effects of the purified cystatins on HeLa cells in culture.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

30-4-2016 10:00 AM

End Date

30-4-2016 12:00 PM

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Apr 30th, 10:00 AM Apr 30th, 12:00 PM

Examining the Role of Cystatins in Regulating Trichomonas vaginalis Activity in Co-culture with HeLa cells

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD), affecting around 3.7 million people in the United States each year. In general, women are more commonly infected, yet in most cases symptoms are not present. Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasitic protist, is the causal agent of trichomoniasis. Several virulence factors that Trichomonas vaginalis utilizes include cysteine proteases. These cysteine proteases (CPs) may induce the apoptosis of human vaginal epithelial cells. CPs possess an N-terminal pro-domain that folds into the active site and inhibits protease function until it is cleaved off. The specificity is important as it is detrimental to have a general protease active in the cytoplasm, so controlling the activation of CPs is crucial. In addition to the inhibitory prodomain, Trichomonas vaginalis also contains three genes which encode for CP inhibitors called cystatins. Our project was to look at the localization of tagged cystatins in Trichomonas cells, examine how the over-expression of cystatins influences Trichomonas behavior in coculture with HeLa cells; and observe the effects of the purified cystatins on HeLa cells in culture.