Gufran Taha

Document Type

Honors Thesis


A significant threat in the medical field today is the rise of antibiotic resistance, which challenges physicians and can severely limit patient survival outcomes. Discovering new means of protecting the host against infection are therefore needed. Using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, we previously discovered that we could increase host survival during infection with the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa by simple supplementation with the branched chain amino acid leucine. Using genetics, we found that the nuclear hormone receptor NHR-114 mediated this pro-survival benefit of leucine supplementation. In an effort to understand the mechanism of NHR-114 function, we explored its spatial regulation and localization using GFP reporters. Using this approach, we find that while transcription of nhr-114 is robust, NHR-114 protein levels are inherently unstable. We subsequently used a forward genetics approach to identify the cause of NHR-114 instability. Unfortunately, our initial screen did not yield any promising candidates.

Publication Date






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