Date of Publication


Degree Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Michel Pelletier, Associate Professor, Biology


Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of human African trypanosomiasis, also known as African sleeping sickness, expresses a protein known as TbLpn which plays a critical role in arginine methylation and phospholipid synthesis within T. brucei. In order to determine the effect and potential medical benefits of downregulated TbLpn expression in T. brucei, RNA interference was used by transfecting T. brucei with plasmid DNA through electroporation. After conducting this experimental protocol, T. brucei was unable to be grown successfully in media following transfection and the effect of downregulated TbLpn in T. brucei requires further investigation in order to determine its potential for developing new drug targets and treatment methods for human African trypanosomiasis. Experimental protocol changes and repetition and verification of the validity of current protocols could lead the way for successful growth of T. brucei with downregulated TbLpn.