Abstract

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8 million people each year are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) leading to 1.5 million deaths annually. This staggering number calls for advancements in understanding this bacterium so progress can be made in treating and preventing the disease. It is particularly important to understand mechanisms by which TB survives inside hostile host immune cells known as macrophages and within hypoxic granuloma lesions of the lung. Preliminary microarray data has shown that a TB gene known as Rv2633c is induced upon macrophage invasion. Bioinformatic analysis of Rv2633c coding sequence shows the product of Rv2633c has homology with hemerythrin-like proteins. Hemerythrins are a class of proteins commonly used to bind oxygen and sense nitric oxide and iron, leading us to hypothesize a role for Rv2633c in surviving hypoxic or nitrosative stress encountered within macrophages and granulomas. My first aim will be to generate a reporter strain of Mycobacterium smegmatis (Msm) expressing the mCherry fluorescent protein driven by the Rv2633c promoter. This tool will allow us to determine the stress conditions (i.e. hypoxia, nitric oxide treatment, acid pH) that activate expression of this gene by measuring the change in fluorescence. Linking the regulation of Rv2633c to specific environmental cues relevant to infections in vivo will provide insight into the role of this unique protein. Secondly, a knockout mutant of Rv2633c in the attenuated M. bovis BCG will be constructed and characterized to determine the importance and function of this protein during TB infections.

Notes

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Thesis Completion

2014

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Rohde, Kyle

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Medicine

Department

Molecular Biology and Microbiology

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Medicine; Medicine -- Dissertations, Academic

Format

PDF

Identifier

CFH0004647

Language

English

Access Status

Campus-only Access

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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