'The effect of pCO2 on activation of Src/Pyk2 and NKCC' - PHGY 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: John W. Hanrahan

Supervisor's Email: John.hanrahan [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: Tel. (514) 398-8320

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Physiology

Course number: PHGY 396 (Physiology)

Term: Fall 2013-2014

Project start date: Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Project end date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Project title: The effect of pCO2 on activation of Src/Pyk2 and NKCC

Project description (50-100 words suggested): pCO2 at the apical surface of airway epithelial cells varies from 0.035% (when room air is inhaled) to 5% (when alveolar air is exhaled). The impact of these large pCO2 oscillations on intracellular pH and bicarbonate transport have not been studied. Src and Pyk-2 sense intracellular acidification in kidney cells and activate sodium bicarbonate cotransporters (Espiritu, Bernardo et al. 2002) and sodium proton exchangers (Tsuganezawa, Preisig et al. 1998). The student will study the effect of acute changes in pCO2 on airway epithelial cells and non-epithelial cells. Air-liquid interface cultures will be moved from an incubator containing room air to one containing 5% pCO2 for 5 min. Activation of Src and Pyk-2 will be monitored by probing Western blots cell lysates with phospho-specific antibodies.  If they are activated, the student will test if NBCe1 and H+ transporters also become phosphorylated on tyrosine by stripping and reprobing the blots with transporter- and phosphotyrosine-specific antibodies. These studies should provide new insight into acid-base regulation in airway epithelial cells.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade):

Project status: This project is taken.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves: Biohazardous substances; Handling chemicals.