Transfer RNA modifications of Thermus thermophilus grown in selenium-containing culture media

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Aysenur Gunacar Balasubrahmanyam Addepalli


By Aysenur Gunacar, Biochemistry & Neuroscience

Advisor: Balasubrahmanyam Addepalli

Presentation ID: PM_D10

Abstract: Transfer ribonucleic acids (tRNAs) deliver amino acids to the ribosome during messenger RNA (mRNA) translation. These tRNAs are post-transcriptionally modified with different chemical groups including metal ions, which impact their structure and function. Thermus thermophilus is an extremophile that grows in extreme conditions which are generally non-conducive to life. It was first discovered in underwater thermal vents off the coast of Japan, exhibiting optimal growth at 65 �C. Given the highly mineral-rich environment in its natural habitat, we hypothesized that the selenium addition to the growth media of organisms domesticated in the laboratory could have impact on RNA modification profiles. We are investigating this possibility through addition of selenium to the T. thermophilus culture media and analyzing the purified tRNA. Preliminary data showed changes in abundance of one modification N6-isopentenyladenosine through liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis. Further studies are in progress through evaluation of multiple strains of T. thermophilus under identical culture conditions and to understand the potential reasons behind such a change.

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PM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- D: New Frontiers