Title

Identification of Candidate Lipid Droplet Structural Proteins in Trypanosoma brucei brucei

Author(s)

Lanie Croft, GSSM

School Name

Governor's School for Science and Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Microbiology

Presentation Type

Mentored

Written Paper Award

2nd Place

Abstract

Trypanosoma brucei brucei causes Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as African Sleeping Sickness. It causes spiking fevers and the disruption of circadian rhythms that, when left untreated, lead to death. Current treatments for HAT are limited, expensive, and can be fatal themselves. The World Health Organization estimates 61 million people are at risk of infection. Finding new treatments for HAT is imperative. T. brucei uses lipid droplets (LDs) to store essential fatty acids. The short, fatty acid myristate may be essential for T. brucei, is rarely found in blood, can only be made through fatty acid synthesis, and may be stored within LDs. Targeting proteins associated with myristate containing LDs may be an effective approach to developing new treatments. LD structural proteins, however, have not been previously identified in T. brucei. We searched the TrypTag database for proteins that localize with lipid droplets. After bioinformatic screening, we identified five candidate LD structural proteins. We built RNA interference (RNAi) constructs to knock down expression of these candidate LD structural proteins in T. brucei. We verified that the RNA interference plasmids were correctly constructed by restriction enzyme digest, gel electrophoresis, and sequencing. These RNAi constructs will allow us to determine if the absence of these proteins affect LDs in T. brucei. By identifying LD structural proteins and learning more about their involvement in fatty acid storage, these proteins may provide new treatment options for HAT.

Location

Neville 221

Start Date

4-14-2018 9:15 AM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

COinS
 
Apr 14th, 9:15 AM

Identification of Candidate Lipid Droplet Structural Proteins in Trypanosoma brucei brucei

Neville 221

Trypanosoma brucei brucei causes Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as African Sleeping Sickness. It causes spiking fevers and the disruption of circadian rhythms that, when left untreated, lead to death. Current treatments for HAT are limited, expensive, and can be fatal themselves. The World Health Organization estimates 61 million people are at risk of infection. Finding new treatments for HAT is imperative. T. brucei uses lipid droplets (LDs) to store essential fatty acids. The short, fatty acid myristate may be essential for T. brucei, is rarely found in blood, can only be made through fatty acid synthesis, and may be stored within LDs. Targeting proteins associated with myristate containing LDs may be an effective approach to developing new treatments. LD structural proteins, however, have not been previously identified in T. brucei. We searched the TrypTag database for proteins that localize with lipid droplets. After bioinformatic screening, we identified five candidate LD structural proteins. We built RNA interference (RNAi) constructs to knock down expression of these candidate LD structural proteins in T. brucei. We verified that the RNA interference plasmids were correctly constructed by restriction enzyme digest, gel electrophoresis, and sequencing. These RNAi constructs will allow us to determine if the absence of these proteins affect LDs in T. brucei. By identifying LD structural proteins and learning more about their involvement in fatty acid storage, these proteins may provide new treatment options for HAT.