Presentation Title

Binding of a Hypothetical Transcription Factor Drives Stage Conversion in Toxoplasma gondii

Advisor Information

Paul H. Davis

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 232

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

3-3-2017 9:30 AM

End Date

3-3-2017 9:45 AM

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate, intracellular parasite with worldwide distribution. This protozoan can infect all nucleated mammalian cells and causes toxoplasmosis in humans. The T. gondii life cycle includes the conversion from tachyzoite to bradyzoite – stages which give rise to acute and chronic infection, respectively. Chronic infection is lifelong and has no treatment or cure. This work highlights a transcription factor which is hypothesized to control stage conversion in T. gondii. Microarray analysis identified a cluster of genes which are likely involved in the conversion, and computational methods applied to these genes found a shared consensus sequence which is thought to be the binding site for this transcription factor. Using a Gateway cloning and reporter gene approach, we examine the ability of this binding site to cause bradyzoite gene expression. The results of this study aim to characterize the molecular events which occur during conversion and provide insight for future studies on bradyzoite gene regulation.

Comments

Winner of Meritorious Undergraduate Oral Presentation

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COinS
 
Mar 3rd, 9:30 AM Mar 3rd, 9:45 AM

Binding of a Hypothetical Transcription Factor Drives Stage Conversion in Toxoplasma gondii

UNO Criss Library, Room 232

Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate, intracellular parasite with worldwide distribution. This protozoan can infect all nucleated mammalian cells and causes toxoplasmosis in humans. The T. gondii life cycle includes the conversion from tachyzoite to bradyzoite – stages which give rise to acute and chronic infection, respectively. Chronic infection is lifelong and has no treatment or cure. This work highlights a transcription factor which is hypothesized to control stage conversion in T. gondii. Microarray analysis identified a cluster of genes which are likely involved in the conversion, and computational methods applied to these genes found a shared consensus sequence which is thought to be the binding site for this transcription factor. Using a Gateway cloning and reporter gene approach, we examine the ability of this binding site to cause bradyzoite gene expression. The results of this study aim to characterize the molecular events which occur during conversion and provide insight for future studies on bradyzoite gene regulation.