Creating novel PHB1 protein expression vectors: A route to sepsis treatment

Caleb Lay ‘20 | Major: Biological Sciences & Chemistry
Julissa Quinonez ‘20 | Major: Biological Sciences

Mentor: Michelle Combs, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Abstract: With 250,000 Americans dying each year from sepsis, this life-threatening condition is of interest to pharmaceutical companies. Recent studies suggest the PHB gene may have anti-sepsis effects. In theory, the PHB protein could be utilized as an anti-sepsis drug. Using plasmid PHB DNA sequences developed by a partnering lab, our research team successfully transformed and miniprepped several different vectors into Escherichia coli. After miniprepping the samples, a restriction digest was performed to confirm the transformation procedure. In order to study the structure and function of the desired PHB protein, site-directed mutagenesis was utilized to eliminate an undesired origin of replication to ensure a pure PHB protein. DNA samples will be sent back to the partner lab for further investigation into a novel anti-sepsis drug.