Back to top

Cecelia Murphy

Cecelia Murphy
Project Title: 
Unique Expansion of PARP Family Proteins in the Fusarium oxysporum species complex
Program Year: 
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Li-Jun Ma

This summer, I continued my research on the poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) family in the Fusarium oxysporum species complex. PARP family proteins participate in many cellular functions, including base excision repair, transcriptional regulation, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis. The PARP family has been extensively studied in humans and PARP inhibitors are known to be effective cancer treatments, but the cellular roles of PARP family proteins within the fungal kingdom are yet to be fully characterized. The Fusarium oxysporum species complex contains plant and human pathogens, with each strain infecting a different host. My mentor, Shiro Milo, and I are investigating the unique expansion of PARP family proteins across several strains of F. oxysporum. My work this summer included knocking out the primary DNA repair PARP, PARP1, in the MRL8996 strain that causes a keratitis infection in humans. I also infected Arabidopsis and tomato plants with wild-type and Parp1-deficient mutant strains to investigate Parp1’s role in fungal pathogenicity. I began the protein quantification phase of our project, which involved optimizing the protocol for crude protein extracts and running SDS-PAGE gels to visualize my protein extracts. Characterizing the PARPs’ role in plant and human pathogenicity could provide novel insights into solving both agricultural and public health issues, and I am looking forward to continuing this project during the fall semester.

Cecelia Murphy poster