Title

Protein factors affecting the small RNA regulation of the mannitol operon in Vibro cholerae.

Date of Award

5-1-2014

Document Type

Thesis

School

College of Liberal Arts

Degree Name

Bachelor in Arts

Abstract

Vibrio cholerae causes hundreds of thousands of deaths yearly and continues to reemerge around the world after natural disasters. In order to better combat the pathogen more must be learned about how it adapts to the differing environments of fresh or saltwater reservoirs and the human small intestine. One possible mechanism for the rapid adaptation to these differing environments is through the use of small RNAs. V. cholerae possess a small RNA, MtlS, that regulates the synthesis of the mannitol transporter protein, MtlA, which allows mannitol into the cells. Mannitol is important as it can be used by the pathogen as a carbon source or possibly as a compatible solute for dealing with osmotic stress. MtlS, is the focus of this thesis. Three questions were addressed: What is the role of Hfq in the system, what is the role of MtlR in the system, and how can we study MtlR further. The results suggest that MtlS works independent of Hfq, a widely utilized chaperone protein for small RNAs, to repress MtlA synthesis and that MtlR also represses MtlA synthesis. Detection of MtlR proved a challenge; we conclude that MtlR is very lowly expressed. Future studies of MtlR must be done better understand how it functions and how the system is regulated overall. If more can be learned about the ways pathogens such as V. cholerae adapt and survive, the better treatment and prevention methods that can be created to fight infectious diseases.