11 thoughts on “C75 – Badger

  1. Do you think future research should attempt to study Tetco61 in other organisms and as a tool in biotechnology due to your findings that it is involved in DNA repair?

    1. Good question Eli. The only sequence homologue to tetco61 in the BLAST and other databases appears in a closely related species in the Tetrahymena genus. This suggests that the telco61 gene is not found in the genomes of other organisms (whose genomes have been cataloged).

      We did however identify a potential prokaryotic structural homologue called EzrA involved in cytokinesis using a protein folding predication algorithm. Consequently an interesting avenue of future research would be to verify the true folded structure of Tetco61 using Cryo EM or Xray crystallography and investigate a potential role in cell division.

  2. Are Tetrahymena thermophila DNA repair genes similar to that of humans? What positive controls did you use to compare to your expression of Tetco61? Is it possible that the Tetco61 expression increase seen was due to human error rather than a difference between the untreated vs. treated? Did you run any repeats of your experiments to get more data? Great presentation!

    1. Great questions Ian. Tetrahymena thermophila has many genes involved in DNA repair that are very similar or the same as those in humans (tetco61 however is not – see comment above). Rad51, for example, is a well studied and characterized gene found in most eukaryotes and known to serve a key role in double stranded DNA damage repair. For this reason, we used Rad51 to verify that our hydroxyurea was effective inducing DNA damage as a positive control. We also used Atpvoc6 as a loading control which is a constitutively expressed housekeeping gene to control for any volumetric errors or extraction discrepancies between the treated and untreated cultures. In this study we saw similar levels of Atpv0c6 expression in both, as expected, giving us confidence that the expression levels could be directly interpreted. We ran a similar experiment using quantitative PCR which yielded essentially the same results, observing higher expression of tetco61 after induced DNA damage corroborating the end point PCR results presented.

  3. Great presentation! Are the DNA repair genes of Tetrahymena thermophila similar to those of humans? Also, is it possible that the increase in the treated vs untreated trials was due to human error rather than the actual treatment? Did you run any repeats of your experiments?

    1. Sorry for leaving a second response. My first one was not loading at first. Please ignore this comment!

    2. This looks like a duplicate of your question above. See my response. Let me know if you have any follow up questions.

  4. Assuming Tetco61 continues to yield promising results in the lab, what are some specific ways it could be used out in the world?

    1. That’s a great question America. Realistically, we don’t have enough data to know if might be useful for medical or other applications as this is one of the first studies on the gene. Tetco61, does however appear to be fairly unique at least relative to gene sequences that are archived. The next steps would be to better understand the structure of the protein product, how it functions in Tetrahymena, and what characteristics it may have in common with structurally similar proteins.

  5. Great presentation! Do you think Tetco61 is more influential than other genes in the model organism?

    1. Another good question Niharika. More experiments are necessary to determine the importance and role of telco61 in Tetrahymena. We know that its expression is correlated with DNA damage repair but we don’t know what function it serves. Cryo EM or X-ray crystallography imaging of the protein could provide a definitive folded structure which would provide clues to the function. Using GFP tags would be useful in determining its cellular localization. Gene KO and/or immunoprecipitation methods could also inform us about the function and importance.

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