JONATHAN D. SCIENCE RESEARCH PAPER
Editor's Note: Jonathan D. ('15) has worked at the Cornell Medical Center for the past two years as part of the Packer Science Research Program. The paper here is the culmination of that research.
Author's Note: My two years at Cornell Medical Center have been a buildup to today’s result. The cGAS-STING DNA Sensing Pathway is a recently discovered immune response with the potential as a therapeutic tool against inflammatory diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus. In this study we are trying understand this pathway better. We tested this pathway by over expressing STING, cGAS and the myc tag genes involved to see if this would cause the production of a larger amount of interferon proteins, which would mean a more effective immune response. In my work, I first over expressed cGAMP, the product of cGAS in 293 cells as a way of jumpstarting the pathway in hopes of creating an abundance of IRF3 proteins. What I discovered was a possible degradation of STING, halting to the pathway and preventing any immune response. In order to counteract this imbalance I then overexpressed both cGAS and STING genes in hopes of creating an abundance of the resulting immune response proteins. I concluded from the experiments presented in this paper that cGAS and STING must be over expressed at the same time for efficient increase in immune response proteins.