Publication Date

Summer 2018

Document Type



Life and Environmental Sciences

First Instructor

Stefanie Otto-Hitt

Experiment Type

Reverse transcriptase (RT) PCR


UV-C Radiation


Cwf16: Cell cycle control protein


The following research seeks to determine whether exposure to ultraviolet radiation will induce an increase in the expression of the Cwf16 gene in Tetrahymena thermophila. Cwf16 is a homolog of Ccgc94, whose gene product is a functioning member of the Prp19 complex, a protein complex which protects cells from committing apoptosisprogrammed cell deathdue to exposure to ionizing radiation. The homology between Cwf16 and Ccgc94 yields the hypothesis that Cwf16 expression in T. thermophila will increase in response to UV radiation exposure in a similar mechanism to that observed the Ccgc94 system. In the present research, T. thermophila cultures were randomly assigned into an experimental group and a negative control group, in which the experimental group was subject to incremental exposures to ultraviolet radiation over the course of one week. RT-PCR and gel electrophoresis were used to measure the level of expression of Cwf16 and a hemocytometer was used to measure the growth rate of the control and experimental cultures. Despite the homology between Cwf16 and Ccdc94, we predict that UV-radiation exposure will not raise T. thermophilas expression of Cwf16, because homology does not guarantee that the two genes products serve the same function. The Prp19 complex (the protein complex where we observe Ccdc94s expression) has not been observed in T. thermophila, either because researchers have not looked for it, or because T. thermophila do not have the Prp19 complex in its biochemical repertoire.