Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


Fatal Familial Insomnia is a rare genetic disorder affecting about 27 families worldwide, caused by mutations in the prion protein gene PRNP. Symptoms include loss of sleep and disrupted circadian rhythms. The function of PNRP in circadian rhythms is not well understood. The goal of this project was to create a cellular PRNP gene knockout and test the effects on circadian proteins using novel circadian luciferase reporter assays. The results indicate that one CRISPR-treated WI-38 cell line contains a disrupted coding region for PRNP, so this cell line can be used in future experiments to observe potential alterations in the expression of several cellular circadian rhythm proteins in the absence of PRNP.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2014


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology