Rebecca Ferreira Alves L&S Biological Sciences
Regulation of the Non-Mevalonate Pathway Genes of L. Monocytogenes
Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is a facultative intracellular pathogen used as a vaccine vector in over 20 cancer vaccine trials for its ability to induce robust CD8+ T-cell responses. Lm is also capable of inducing the V𝛾9V𝛿2 T-cells subset of the 𝛾𝛿 T-cells which possess strong cytotoxic capabilities against tumors. The Portnoy lab identified that the non-mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis that produces HMBPP, the activator of V𝛾9V𝛿2 T-cells, functions only anaerobically. To fully understand how Lm can produce HMBPP and induce the V𝛾9V𝛿2 T-cells immune response, I seek to investigate the transcription of the seven non-mevalonate pathway genes and explore the conditions that lead to their expression. There is a gap in knowledge between the transcriptional response of the seven genes of Lm and its ability to stimulate V𝛾9V𝛿2 T-cells. By exploring the non-mevalonate pathway gene expression, this investigation will also aid the development of Lm therapeutic strains that are modified to express the target non-mevalonate genes to improve HMBPP production through this pathway.