Title

Examining the Transcriptional Upregulation of Rad51 and Dmc1 in Trichomonas vaginalis

Poster Number

22

Lead Author Major

Biological Sciences

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Lisa Wrischnik

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasitic eukaryote responsible for 250 million annual Trichomoniasis infections worldwide. Despite the prevalence of T. vaginalis infections there is still much to learn about the organism. Although there is evidence of conserved meiotic genes and of genetic exchange, sexual reproduction in Trichomonas has never been observed in a laboratory setting. The focus of this research is to examine transcriptional upregulation of genes involved in meiosis, such as Rad51 and Dmc1, in hopes of understanding the conditions required for sexual reproduction. Rad51 is involved in the repair of double stranded DNA breaks through homologous DNA pairing and strand exchange, while Dmc1 is meiotic-specific and involved in interhomolog recombination. An analysis of the putative upstream regulatory regions of several meiotic genes did not uncover any obvious shared regulatory elements. This research attempts to identify unique or shared regulatory elements in the upstream regions of TvDmc1 and TvRad51 by first examining conditions that change expression of a reporter gene fused to the TvDmc1 and TvRad51 promoters. T. vaginalis cells transfected with a plasmid containing the postulated regulatory region upstream of either GFP or luciferase are drug treated or examined after strain mixing, and expression is quantitated via fluorescent plate reader, confocal microscopy, and western blot. It is hypothesized that drugs causing direct or indirect double stranded DNA breaks should increase expression of Rad51, while strain mixing may induce expression of both. Early data is consistent with drug-induced expression of Rad51, but no expression of Dmc1 has yet been observed. The discovery of conditions that induce T. vaginalis sex has large implications for understanding the rise of strains resistant to drug treatment and genetic exchange among potentially zoonotic species.

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 Transcriptional Upregulation of Rad51 and Dmc1 in Trichomonas vaginalis

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasitic eukaryote responsible for 250 million annual Trichomoniasis infections worldwide. Despite the prevalence of T. vaginalis infections there is still much to learn about the organism. Although there is evidence of conserved meiotic genes and of genetic exchange, sexual reproduction in Trichomonas has never been observed in a laboratory setting. The focus of this research is to examine transcriptional upregulation of genes involved in meiosis, such as Rad51 and Dmc1, in hopes of understanding the conditions required for sexual reproduction. Rad51 is involved in the repair of double stranded DNA breaks through homologous DNA pairing and strand exchange, while Dmc1 is meiotic-specific and involved in interhomolog recombination. An analysis of the putative upstream regulatory regions of several meiotic genes did not uncover any obvious shared regulatory elements. This research attempts to identify unique or shared regulatory elements in the upstream regions of TvDmc1 and TvRad51 by first examining conditions that change expression of a reporter gene fused to the TvDmc1 and TvRad51 promoters. T. vaginalis cells transfected with a plasmid containing the postulated regulatory region upstream of either GFP or luciferase are drug treated or examined after strain mixing, and expression is quantitated via fluorescent plate reader, confocal microscopy, and western blot. It is hypothesized that drugs causing direct or indirect double stranded DNA breaks should increase expression of Rad51, while strain mixing may induce expression of both. Early data is consistent with drug-induced expression of Rad51, but no expression of Dmc1 has yet been observed. The discovery of conditions that induce T. vaginalis sex has large implications for understanding the rise of strains resistant to drug treatment and genetic exchange among potentially zoonotic species.