Title

Sigma Factors of Coxiella burnetii and their relationship to 6S rRNA-mediated regulation

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Coxiella burnetii is a bacterium known to be the causative agent of Q fever in humans. Q fever most commonly manifests with a crippling flu-like illness along with pneumonia. A minority of cases result in a chronic infection which usually involves life-threatening endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart and valves). C. burnetii is an extremely infectious bacterium, and is resistant to environmental stresses such as high temperature, ultraviolet light, and common disinfectants. It is an obligate, intracellular parasite which resides in the acidic, lysosome-like compartments of a host cell. Little is known about C. burnetii’s virulence determinants. Our group is currently investigating the role that small RNAs (sRNAs) play in regulating RNA transcription. Sigma factors are proteins that associate with RNA polymerase (RNAP) to influence differential transcription, based on the local environment of the organism. The hypothesis of this research is that a particular type of sRNA known as 6s sRNA regulates gene expression in C. burnetii. More specifically, 6S RNA does this through interactions with RNAP and the three sigma factors, RpoS, RpoH, and RpoD. To date, we have cloned the three sigma factors of C. burnetii and have begun purifying the recombinant proteins. Through the employment of various molecular techniques we will be able to see if RpoD, RpoH and RpoS associate with the 6s sRNA. If there is time, RNA polymerase will also be tested in the same manner to see if it interacts directly with 6s sRNA. With these data we can elucidate how 6s sRNA interacts with RNA polymerase to influence gene expression.

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Apr 12th, 3:00 PM Apr 12th, 4:00 PM

Sigma Factors of Coxiella burnetii and their relationship to 6S rRNA-mediated regulation

UC Ballroom

Coxiella burnetii is a bacterium known to be the causative agent of Q fever in humans. Q fever most commonly manifests with a crippling flu-like illness along with pneumonia. A minority of cases result in a chronic infection which usually involves life-threatening endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart and valves). C. burnetii is an extremely infectious bacterium, and is resistant to environmental stresses such as high temperature, ultraviolet light, and common disinfectants. It is an obligate, intracellular parasite which resides in the acidic, lysosome-like compartments of a host cell. Little is known about C. burnetii’s virulence determinants. Our group is currently investigating the role that small RNAs (sRNAs) play in regulating RNA transcription. Sigma factors are proteins that associate with RNA polymerase (RNAP) to influence differential transcription, based on the local environment of the organism. The hypothesis of this research is that a particular type of sRNA known as 6s sRNA regulates gene expression in C. burnetii. More specifically, 6S RNA does this through interactions with RNAP and the three sigma factors, RpoS, RpoH, and RpoD. To date, we have cloned the three sigma factors of C. burnetii and have begun purifying the recombinant proteins. Through the employment of various molecular techniques we will be able to see if RpoD, RpoH and RpoS associate with the 6s sRNA. If there is time, RNA polymerase will also be tested in the same manner to see if it interacts directly with 6s sRNA. With these data we can elucidate how 6s sRNA interacts with RNA polymerase to influence gene expression.