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Violacein, a purple pigment naturally produced by several types of bacteria (Janthenobacterium lividuma) has shown potential as a targeted cancer treatment. In order to investigate the mechanism by which Violacein induces cancer cell death, Violacein toxicity experiments were conducted using yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as a model for cancer. The toxic effects of Violacein was quantified for two strains of Yeast, BY4741 and RAD2, the first strain being wild type yeast and the second having a knockout mutation in the RAD2 gene which is critical in DNA excision repair, thus modeling the rapid growth that is characteristic of cancer cells. Growth curves were abstracted from measurements of optical density at 600 nm for each strain at varying concentrations of Violacein and were analyzed to reveal that Violacein has no significant toxic effect on either of the strains. This evidence suggests that yeast does not possess the necessary genes and subsequent pathway to be targeted by Violacein, furthering elucidating that the mechanism by which Violacein induces cell death is one that is specific to and commonly utilised among most strains of gram-positive bacteria, Chytridiomycota, C. elegans, and human cancer cells.
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Cleveland, Alyx, "The Potentially Cytotoxic Effects of Violacein treatment on BY4741 and RAD2 yeast strain cultures" (2018). Senior Projects Spring 2018. 16.