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Characterizing Protein-Protein Interactions of B0238.11, a Previously Uncharacterized Caenorhabditis elegans Intergenic Spacer Binding Protein

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Title: Characterizing Protein-Protein Interactions of B0238.11, a Previously Uncharacterized Caenorhabditis elegans Intergenic Spacer Binding Protein
Author: Omar, Syed A. A.
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Crease, Teresa
Abstract: A protein, B0238.11, was identified in a yeast one-hybrid screen to bind to the ribosomal intergenic spacer region (IGS) of Caenorhabditis elegans. Proteins interacting with this region of the DNA have been implicated in ribosome biogenesis in other model organisms, so it is also possible that B0238.11 plays a role in RNA transcription by interacting with RNA polymerase I or other transcription machinery. Thus, the goal of this study was to further characterize the structure and function of B0238.11. I used yeast two-hybrid experiments to identify proteins that interact with B0238.11 within the nucleus. RPS-0, K04G2.2, DPY-4, EFT-3, PAL-1, and B0238.11, itself, were found to bind to B0238.11. Additionally, I analysed the amino acid sequence of B0238.11 using in silico bioinformatics methods to determine its structure and putative function and also to identify and characterize the other interacting proteins. I found that B0238.11 contains a high-mobility group box domain, which is also found in HMO1P in yeast and UBF in vertebrates. These other proteins also bind to the IGS, are known to form homodimers and have been implicated in the initiation of ribosomal RNA transcription. Here I scrutinize the validity of the interaction between each protein and B0238.11. I conclude that B0238.11 is likely to be a C. elegans homolog of UBF and present an updated interactome map for B0238.11.
Description: Synopsis: I carried out yeast two-hybrid assay to find proteins interacting with B0238.11 (O16487_CAEEL). I found that this protein's DNA-binding profile and protein interaction profile mimic other HMG-box containing proteins UBF and HMO1P which are involved in ribosomal RNA transcription initiation. Acknowledgements: I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Teresa J. Crease, for not only giving me the opportunity to investigate an interesting topic in Molecular Biology, but also for her patient guidance, encouragement and sound advice. I feel extremely lucky to have a supervisor who cared so much about my work, who responded to my questions and queries so promptly, and was always available to discuss project and career related matters. I would also like to thank Dr. Todd Gillis and Dr. Terry Van Raay for their careful consideration of this project and timely constructive criticisms that helped shape my project. I would like to thank all the members of my committee for helping me see things from different perspectives and helping me develop and critical and mature understanding of the scientific process. I must also express my gratitude to Dr. Robin Floyd for allowing me to build upon his work and Dr. Marian Walhout, at the University of Massachusetts, for providing the Caenorhabditis elegans complimentary DNA library. A large part of this project would not have been possible without the people at the genomics facility in the Department of Integrative Biology, I commend their professionalism and punctuality in delivering results. Completing this work would have been all the more difficult were it not for the support and friendship provided by my peers Shannon Eagle, Tyler Elliott, Nick Jeffery, Joao Lima, Sabina Stanescu, Fatima Mitterboeck and Paola Pierossi. And finally, I would like to thank my parents and siblings Sara Omar and Ali Omar for their continued support through good times and bad, and letting me use their laptops when mine broke down.
Date: 2012-05
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