Activator Protein CARD9 and Interleukin-23's Involvement in Innate Immunity to Candida albicans infection in Zebrafish

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Abstract Summary

Candida albicans is a commensal yet opportunistic pathogen. Candida albicans is found in 70% of adults, but can be fatal in immunocompromised individuals. The innate immune system is the first line of defense when foreign bodies enter a system. It recognizes a threat as soon as possible and recruits phagocytes to the threat site. Literature suggests CARD9 and Interleukin 23(IL-23) play crucial roles in the immune response. CARD9 is an activator protein involved in the reception and activation cascade starting from the time of infection to recruitment of immune cells. IL-23 has been found to communicate to naive CD4 T cells causing a heightened immune reaction. A larval zebrafish model is a great way to understand and visualize how pathogens interact with the immune system. This model allows for visualization of the interaction between immune cells and C. albicans in vivo. CRISPR is a genome editing tool that was utilized to remove a target sequence in the gene of interest and can be taken advantage of to effectively remove an entire gene. Breeding CRISPR generated mutant fish will result in a homozygous fish for the mutation, using zebrafish expressing fluorescent immune cells the recruitment and viability of the immune cells can be monitored in real time. To determine the mutation present, the fish were genotyped. We obtained genomic DNA from a small piece of the tail fin; we then performed PCR with gene-specific primers and separated DNA fragments by gel electrophoresis. Using mutant fish expressing fluorescent immune cells in C. albicans infection, the role of CARD9 and IL-23 can be observed and analyzed to draw conclusions on their role in innate immune response.


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Biomedical Sciences
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AM1 (9:30 - 10:30)