UROP Proceedings 2020-21

School of Science Division of Life Science 14 The Role of Parkinson’s Disease Linked Gene Product Alpha-Synuclein in Mitochondrial Dysfunction Supervisor: CHUNG Kenny K / LIFS Student: CHO King Yi / BCB Course: UROP1100, Spring Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a severe yet common neurodegenerative disorder which is characterized by the gradual death of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra. Recent evidence has highlighted the relationship between the accumulation of alpha synuclein (aSyn) and mitophagy. Here, different level of WT aSyn was expressed in the neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line. Carbonyl cyanide m‐chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP) was used to induce mitophagy. For treated group (CCCP), there is an increased conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II along with increased level of aSyn. Besides, the increased degradation of mitochondrial protein COX 4 (cytochrome c oxidase IV) was also observed after CCCP treatment, suggesting potential cleavage after translocation to mitochondria. Therefore, the plasmids pRK5-COX4-pEGFP N1 and pRK5-Myc-COX4 were cloned for determining cleavage terminal. Analysis of Surface Delivery of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors Supervisor: GUO Yusong / LIFS Student: NG Cheuk Hei / BCB Course: UROP3100, Fall The rapid spread of a novel and highly pathogenic coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) has caused a serious global public health emergency in 2020. The densely glycosylated spike (S) protein as a distinctive feature for corona viruses is the key player that promotes viral entry into cells. This protein is a trimeric protein composed of the S1 and S2 subunits. The receptor-binding domain (RBD), a subdomain of S1 directly binds a cell surface receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) present in human mucosal cells. This critical interaction for viral attachment serves as the prime therapeutic target. To develop effective therapeutic strategies, the interaction between ACE2 and CoV2-RBD, the essential step for viral attachment was analyzed to single residue resolution. With a pull-down assay, we have shown N501T and F486L to be key binding residues on CoV2-RBD in this interaction. Analysis of Surface Delivery of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors Supervisor: GUO Yusong / LIFS Student: ZHOU Siyu / BCB Course: UROP3100, Spring Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a tyrosine kinase which is activated by the binding of its specific ligands. Once activated, EGFR transfers from an inactive monomeric form to an active dimeric conformation which auto-phosphorylates its tyrosine residues in C-terminal domain and initiates several signal transduction cascades, leading to DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. Mutations that lead to EGFR overexpression have been associated with multiple cancer progressions, including head and neck, ovarian, cervical, bladder and esophageal cancers, as well as non-small cell lung cancer. These mutations lead to EFGR constant activation, causing uncontrolled cell division (Nicholson et al., 2001). My project aims to study whether the wild type and the cancer-related mutant versions of EGFR utilize the same machinery in the secretory pathway.

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