I’m doing a project for my molecular genetics class on Duchenne MD. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a degenerative disease that happens when your muscle cells aren’t producing dystrophin protein. Dystrophin is present in really low amounts in your muscles, but if it isn’t present in the right amount, your body really doesnt like it. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a long way to say that your body isn’t producing any dystrophin protein. This is bad, your muscles atrophy and as they waste away, there is a good chance you’ll die from complications. DMD is the human gene that encodes for dystrophin, and any number of mutations can stop it from working correctly.
So I wanted to see how common this dystrophin protein was in the animal world. I took the sequence of the human DMD gene and found the amino acid sequence of the protein it encodes using the OMIM database. Then I used the BLAST algorithm to find proteins with similar sequences and selected two, Canis lupus familiaris (dogs) and Bombus impatiens (bumblebees). Then I aligned these three sequences with CLUSTAL Omega.
And all I got was this pretty graph (which goes on for about 3800 more codons).
I think this is the last schoolwork I’ll do before spring break.