Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Determining the Relationship Between Protein Metabolism and Strain Virulence in the Human Parasite Toxoplasma gondii
by Monahan, Colleen, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 66; 13898944
Abstract (Summary)

Protein metabolism (PM) is necessary for the survival and invasion of new host-cells by the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasma gondii has multiple strain types that differ in virulence. In this study, the high virulent strain, RH, and a low virulent strain, PRU, were used. There is little research understanding the relationship between PM and strain virulence. This relationship was investigated by determining amino acid (AA) transport rates, free amino acid pool (FAAP) composition, and mass-specific rates of protein synthesis (PS). While no strain specific differences in rates of PS were determined (p = 0.623), lysine transport was 33% higher in PRU (p = 0.003). An inverse relationship of the levels of GABA and glutamate in the FAAP related to strain were identified (p < 0.001). The production of energy through aerobic respiration has been shown in T. gondii. It is unknown if T. gondii uses aerobic respiration to fuel PM and its relationship to strain virulence. Oxygen consumption was 30% higher in RH (p = 0.002). The addition of a PS inhibitor, anisomycin did not affect oxygen consumption (p = 0.725) suggesting, that PS is not fueled by aerobic respiration. To understand the importance of PM during invasion, parasites were incubated in anisomycin for 90min and then allowed to invade host-cells. Treatment with anisomycin did not affect invasion capability (p = 0.476), suggesting that proteins essential for invasion have a half-life greater than 90min. Therefore, PS inhibitors may not be effective therapeutic treatments. However, the targeting of AA transporters or other organic material transporters could be a new and exciting area of drug development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pace, Douglas
Commitee: Gharakhanian, Editte, Schwans, Jason
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Biological Sciences
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/3(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Biology, Cellular biology
Keywords: Metabolic rate, Protein synthesis, Protein metabolism
Publication Number: 13898944
ISBN: 9781088337219
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