Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Simran Banga (chair), Noah Ashley, Rodney King

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Legionella pneumophila is a gram-negative bacterium that causes Legionnaire’s disease (a severe form of pneumonia) in humans. L. pneumophila can cause infection by utilizing its Type IV secretion system, a protein secretion system that transports proteins from the bacterial cytosol into the infected macrophage. Effectors released from the Type Iv secretion system allow L. pneumophila to create a safe environment to survive, replicate and cause infection. One such effector, RavQ, inhibits cell proliferation of mammalian HEK 293T cells and localizes to the cell’s nucleus, leading us to hypothesize that RavQ interferes with cellular activity in the nucleus. To detect its target and the pathways it affects, we performed RNA sequencing analysis using RNA extracted from HEK 293T cells that transiently expressed RavQ-GFP fusion protein to look for transcriptional changes. The data showed global modulation of the transcriptome in RavQ-GFP-expressing cells compared to the cells expressing GFP protein. Using Gene Ontology pathway analysis, we found that cell cycle pathways are most perturbed in cells expressing RavQ-GFP fusion protein. Our results provide insight into host-pathogen interaction and the potential pathways the RavQ protein effects.


Bacteriology | Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Biology | Life Sciences | Microbiology | Molecular Biology | Other Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Pathogenic Microbiology