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MSc Major Thesis :The Construction of Baculovirus Vectors for the Expression of Dyslexia-Related Proteins in Insect and Mammalian Cells

Akhirta Atikana, Monique van Oers (Laboratory of Virology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands)

Dyslexia is a reading disability that is caused by abnormalities of the neuronal system in the brain. The KIAA0319 (KIA) gene has a strong relation to dyslexia and a homologue of the KIA gene, the KIAA0319-like (KL) gene is predicted to have an association with dyslexia. Further characterization of the dyslexia-related genes and proteins is important to study their functional role and their association with reading disability. However, large amount of proteins are needed in order to achieve the purpose. 

The Baculovirus expression vector system (BEVS) is a well-known system for producing high amounts of recombinant proteins. The Gateway technology is known as a rapid and an efficient strategy for gene cloning. Research in dyslexia has been done worldwide yet little record is known about the use of both techniques (BEVS and Gateway) to design and to develop constructs that are suitable for the dyslexia-related genes expression to produce recombinant proteins.  A number of constructs were made in this research using BEVS and Gateway strategies to be able to express the dyslexia-related genes in insect cells (pEXP8-CD-KIA, pEXP8-CD-KL) and in mammalian cells (pBacMam2-CD-KIA, and pBacMam2-CD-KL). These constructs can now be used to study the expression of dyslexia-related genes, to analyse the functional role of the dyslexia-related proteins and to understand their affiliation with reading disability. However, further research using Western blot analysis is needed to confirm the expression of the constructs in both insect and mammalian cells. 

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