2014 Science and Society at IPFW (SASI)



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Faculty Sponsor

Jaiyanth Daniel Ph.D.


Department of Biology

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne


Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that destroys pulmonary tissue and ultimately causes death by suffocation [1]. Modern antibiotics such as rifampicin and isoniazid have proven futile against Mtb when it goes into its dormant state under hypoxic conditions in the granuloma because of its ability to survive on host lipids [2,3]. Mtb is able to create a reservoir of triacylglycerol (TAG) by cleaving fatty acids from macrophage TAG, transporting them inside the phagosome, and subsequently reattaching the acyl groups to a glycerol backbone [2]. The genes involved in coordinating this process are thought to play a crucial role in the bacteria’s survival. Although the gene associated with the final step of the acyltransferase pathway that attaches the third acyl group to the glycerol backbone has been studied, the genes involved in attachment of the first and second acyl groups have not been studied even though they are essential to the pathway. Therefore, we have cloned the acyltransferase gene that catalyzes the first step of the pathway and expressed it in Escherichiacoli(E.coli) in order to understand how the protein functions. Expression of them GPAT1 protein in E.colihas been confirmed and future studies will characterize the enzymatic activity of the protein.



Cloning a Mycobacterial Acyltransferase Gene and Expressing the Protein in Escherichia coli

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