The Effects of Punicalagin and Tannic Acid on Caenorhabditis elegans Models of Alzheimer's Disease
Authors: Veronica L Coyle, Veroniki Nikolaki, Florentia Nicole Ong
Advisor: Jagan, Srinivasan
Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth leading cause of death in the US. This neurodegenerative disease involves neuronal death associated with amyloid-beta (AB) plaques. Current treatments can manage symptoms, but there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Our study focused on C. elegans models of Alzheimer’s disease and the ability of punicalagin and tannic acid, plant polyphenols, to prevent the onset of disease symptoms. Behavioral assays were used to study the ability of these extracts to combat the effects of AB expression in C. elegans. These assays tested chemosensory and muscular deficits, similar to olfactory defects and paralysis seen in patients. Our results suggest that punicalagin reduces neuronal deficits caused by the expression of AB, while tannic acid does not.
Transcriptional evidence for the role of the rootstock in different Artemisia annua chemotypes
Author: Hailey Cambra
Advisors: Pamela Weathers
Artemisinin, an antimalarial drug, is a specialized metabolite produced in glandular trichomes by the plant Artemisia annua. Artemisinic derivatives in combination therapies are currently used to treat malaria. Understanding regulation of the artemisinin pathway will lead to production of higher yielding plants for use in treatment. Currently in the Weathers lab, one high producing artemisinin chemotype, nS, and a low producing artemisinin chemotype, n15, are used to study how this pathway is regulated in A. annua. Prior metabolite data of cross-grafted plants indicated that the rootstock of nS stimulated artemisinin production in n15 shoots, and n15 rootstocks inhibited artemisinin production in nS shoots. In this study, I measured transcripts of two transcription factors, AaWRKY1 and AaERF1, and one artemisinic enzyme, DBR2. Results showed that the transcription factor AaWRKY1 was significantly down regulated in the shoots of the 15/S grafts.
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