Presentation Time: 4:25-4:45
Home University: UNC-Greensboro
Research Mentor: Henrik Dohlman, Department of Pharmacology
Research Title: Detecting Activity of the Yeast Mating Pathway Through GFP
MAPKs (mitogen-activated protein kinase) receive external stimuli to induce various cellular processes such as the cell cycle in eukaryotic cells. Higher order eukaryotic cells such as mammalian cells are more complex, making them harder to study. Thus we use the simple eukaryotic yeast cells as a model to study the MAPK pathway. In the yeast mating pathway, mating pheromone, α or a- factor, activates the MAPK cascade, Ste11, Ste7, and Fus3, that results in mating gene transcription. Depending on the amount of pheromone and the age of the yeast cells, the mating pathway activity levels change. We hypothesize that the mating pathway will become less responsive to mating pheromones as yeast age. To test our hypothesis, we transformed Fus1-GFP plasmid into the yeast cells in order to monitor the mating pathway activity levels upon pheromone induction. We then measure the GFP intensity of the cells which corresponds to the activity of the mating pathway. As a result, the information obtained from this study can be applied to other, more complex eukaryotic cells and also grant a better understanding of cellular mechanisms when considering how cells respond to medications and therapeutics.