Grant: $32,330 - National Institutes of Health - Jun. 4, 2009
No votes have been cast for this award yet
Award Description: An Administrative Supplement is requested to support two undergraduate students. These students will conduct research on the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. They will have project that support the specific aims of the grant: 5 RO1 AI026649-20 'Structure and Function of E. histolytica Adherence Lectin'. E. histolytica faces many complex challenges in the environment of the human host including competition with bacteria in the intestinal lumen and predation by the innate and acquired immune system. It also may be required to sense and respond to nutrient gradients. In the intestinal biome the trophozoite reaction to these inputs may well lead to the promotion of motility and tissue invasiveness, changes in adherence, and the consequent killing and ingestion of both host cells and gut flora. In metazoans receptor kinases at the cell surface can initiate cell signaling events. This protein family is structurally defined by the presence of extracellular ligand-binding receptor domain, a single transmembrane domain and a cytoplasmic kinase domain. While receptor kinases are either absent or present in only a few copies in ordinary unicellular organisms the Entamoeba genome, like that metazoan organisms, encodes a large number of potential receptor kinases (TMKs). We hypothesize that the E. histolytica TMKs are a major receptor system for sensing the environment and controlling the behavior of this parasite and that the putative receptor kinases are E. histolytica cell surface signaling molecules. We are focusing in particular of the role of two putative transmembrane receptor proteins, both associated with ingestion but with divergent extracellular domains and therefore the potential to interact with different extracellular ligands. The expression of dominant negative versions of these proteins indicate that they have non-redundant functions and potentially therefore differ in substrate specificity and downstream effectors and regulators. Substrate identification is crucial to gain a detailed molecular understanding of the full repertoire of cellular functions that can be modulated by the TMK's. The undergraduate student projects will focus on in vitro assays of TMK activity and downstream substrates. RELEVANCE: The Admninistrative Supplement will provide support for summer research experiencres for two undergraduate students for the summers of 2009 and 2010. Our goal will be to recruit students from the University of Virginia who are interested in working both summers, as well as without pay but with elective credit during the intervening school year, in order to provide a sUbstantial research experience.
Project Description: See Award Description; personnel in place; research underway
Jobs Summary: Created Lab Assistant and Undergraduate Research Assistant and Retained Undergraduate Research Assistant (Total jobs reported: 1)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jun. 4, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.