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.
If this is your Honors thesis, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Medicine
Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Dissertations, Academic -- Medicine; Medicine -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Herndon, Caitlyn, "Understanding the Role of a Hemerythrin-Like Protein in Mycobacterium Tumerculosis" (2014). HIM 1990-2015. 1836.