The effect of a youth activating cosmetic filler on Botox-related genes and behaviors in Tetrahymena thermophila

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Authors
Moseley, Marie
Greene, Sarah
Advisor
Otto-Hitt, Stefanie
Editor
Date of Issue
2023-04-28
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Citation
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Title
The effect of a youth activating cosmetic filler on Botox-related genes and behaviors in Tetrahymena thermophila
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Type
Presentation
Description
Abstract
With an estimated 4.4 million people in the United States using Botulinum neurotoxin (Botox) for cosmetic purposes, there has been a steady increase in the marketing of Botox-alternatives, like Invinity’s Youth Activating Cosmetic Filler. Produced by Clostridium botulinum, Botox inhibits acetylcholine binding at the neuromuscular junction, causing temporary paralysis of targeted muscles and reducing wrinkles. For this research study, we wanted to determine whether Invinity’s Cosmetic Filler acted on the same genetic and behavioral pathways as Botox in the model organism, Tetrahymena thermophila. We hypothesized that T. thermophila treated with Invinity’s Cosmetic Filler would exhibit altered expression of the SEC1 and LC4A genes and changes in cell growth, feeding, and motility; SEC1 and LC4A were chosen given their involvement in acetylcholine regulation and calcium signaling, respectively. To test our hypothesis, T. thermophila culture media was supplemented with Invinity’s Cosmetic Filler at a dose relative to the amount a human would receive but scaled to the size of T. thermophila; the control group did not receive the cosmetic filler. After 48 hours, cell growth, feeding, and motility assays were performed on the T. thermophila to determine how Invinity’s Cosmetic Filler impacted these behaviors. Following the behavioral assays, the cultures were subjected to RNA extraction and RT-qPCR for the analysis of SEC1 and LC4A gene expression. Treatment of T. thermophila with Invinity’s Cosmetic Filler was predicted to decrease expression of SEC1 and LC4A and decrease cell motility, growth, and phagocytosis in a manner similar to that which is observed with Botox treatment.
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Degree Awarded
Semester
Spring
Department
Biochemistry-Molecular Biology