Testing the pH-dependence of a Membrane Transport Protein

A cell's response to acidity.

Watch a cell defend itself from acid!

Project description

Many biological molecules are sensitive to changes in pH and thus changes of pH often cause pathology. Many of the membrane transport proteins that remove acids from cells are pH dependent, being allosterically activated by intracellular protons to help normalize cell pH. Our lab is interested in determining the pH dependence of a transporter that moves alkali (bicarbonate) into cells to neutralize intracellular acid. We hypothesize that it should also be activated by intracellular protons.

We are looking for a student to make wild-type and mutant versions of this transporter, generate RNA, and inject RNA into a model cell (frog egg) and monitor its activity while we experimentally vary pH. This is a chance to learn something new about how cells defend themselves from acid.

Project outcome

The specific outcomes of this project will be identified by the faculty mentor at the beginning of your collaboration. 

Data will be fit to a equation to determine parameters of pH dependence. Results will be presented at lab meeting and as a poster at a local meeting.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a year (10-12 months)
Start time Anytime 
In-person, remote, or hybrid? In person 
Level of collaboration Individual student project
Benefits Research experience
Who is eligible All undergraduate students who have taken a PGY course

Project mentor

Mark Parker

Associate Professor

Physiology and Biophysics

Phone: (716) 829-3966

Email: parker28@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

Please click the link below to read the review the journal article from The Molecular Aspects of Medicine: 

https://buffalo.app.box.com/s/cwmeyauac3qixkxuf2yb4qczr40wd7b6