Jared Carter


Introduction: Prions of yeast present a novel analytical challenge in terms of both initial characterization and in vitro manipulation as models for human disease research. Presently, few robust analysis strategies have been successfully implemented which enable the efficient study of prion behavior in vivo. This study sought to evaluate the utilization of conventional dual-channel cDNA microarrays for the surveillance of transcriptomic regulation patterns by the [PSI+] yeast prion relative to an identical prion deficient yeast variant, [psi-]. Methods: A data analysis and normalization workflow strategy was developed and applied to cDNA array images, yielded quality-regulated expression ratios for a subset of genes exhibiting statistical congruence across multiple experimental repetitions and nested hybridization events. The significant gene list was analyzed using classical analytical approaches including several clustering-based methods and singular value decomposition. To add biological meaning to the differential expression data in hand, functional annotation using the Gene Ontology as well as several pathway-mapping approaches was conducted. Finally, the expression patterns observed were queried against all publicly curated microarray data performed using S. cerevisiae in order to discover similar expression behavior across a vast array of experimental conditions. Results: These data collectively implicate a low-level of overall genomic regulation as a result of the [PSI+] state, where the maximum statistically significant degree of differential expression was less than ±1 Log2(FC) in all cases. Notwithstanding, the [PSI+] differential expression was localized to several specific classes of structural elements and cellular functions, implying under homeostatic conditions significant up or down regulation is likely unnecessary but possible in those specific systems if environmental conditions warranted. As a result of these findings additional work pertaining to this system should include controlled insult to both yeast variants of differing environmental properties to promote a potential [PSI+] regulatory response coupled with co-surveillance of these conditions using transcriptomic and proteomic analysis methodologies.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Prions--Research; Saccharomyces cerevisiae--Genetics; Computational biology

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Bioinformatics (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences (COS)


Not listed


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in December 2013. Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at QR502 .C37 2013


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