Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Marlene Murray-Nseula (Biology)

The Effect(s) of Decosahexaenoic Acid on Intracellular Inositol Levels in the yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

The drugs currently used to treat bipolar disorder, lithium and valproate, are not always effective and are associated with many negative side effects. Since depletion of intracellular inositol levels is a common mechanism of both drugs and preliminary studies done in my lab suggest the omega-3-fatty acid decosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may have an effect on inositol metabolism and omega-3-fatty acids have been shown to alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder, the objective of this project is to determine if DHA depletes or reduces intracellular inositol levels.

This will be accomplished by coupled enzymatic reactions using extracts from cells grown in the presence of DHA, followed by spectrophotometrically measuring the end product of the reactions. The end product indicates the level of inositol. The study will be conducted in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae-an organism used for many years as a model for understanding the pathophysiology of several human diseases. Completion of this project will shed light on the mechanism underlying the therapeutic benefit of omega-3-fatty acids.

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