Major

Biology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2021

Access Type

Restricted Access

Abstract

Like most eukaryotic organisms, the malaria parasite Plasmodium relies on microtubules for cell organization, cell division and cell morphology. The complex functions of microtubules are regulated by Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). Our lab has identified the first MAP in Plasmodium and demonstrated that it stabilizes the microtubules at low temperatures and in the presence of certain drugs to prevent depolymerization. This new putative MAP called PbSAXO1 is related to the human MAP-6 class of proteins. It is my objective to further characterize the microtubule-binding activity of Plasmodium SAXO1 using a mammalian model system. I will utilize molecular cloning techniques, cell culturing, immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. Because PbSAXO1 has already been shown to bind and stabilize microtubules in low temperatures, my next step will be to expand upon this by analyzing the effects of specific repeat units on binding, using a wider range of temperatures to more accurately mimic natural conditions, and incorporating drugs such as colchicine and vinblastine

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Stefan Kanzok, Associate Professor, Department of Biology; Grifin Berge, Graduate Student, Department of Biology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Investigating the function of the microtubule binding protein SAXO1 of the malaria parasite Plasmodium

Like most eukaryotic organisms, the malaria parasite Plasmodium relies on microtubules for cell organization, cell division and cell morphology. The complex functions of microtubules are regulated by Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs). Our lab has identified the first MAP in Plasmodium and demonstrated that it stabilizes the microtubules at low temperatures and in the presence of certain drugs to prevent depolymerization. This new putative MAP called PbSAXO1 is related to the human MAP-6 class of proteins. It is my objective to further characterize the microtubule-binding activity of Plasmodium SAXO1 using a mammalian model system. I will utilize molecular cloning techniques, cell culturing, immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. Because PbSAXO1 has already been shown to bind and stabilize microtubules in low temperatures, my next step will be to expand upon this by analyzing the effects of specific repeat units on binding, using a wider range of temperatures to more accurately mimic natural conditions, and incorporating drugs such as colchicine and vinblastine