One of the most remarkable distinguishing features of living organisms is their
ability to fluidly adapt to changing environmental conditions. The advances in molecular biology over the past 50 years have resolved the general outlines this capacity for adaptation on the scale of molecules. We now view an organism’s ability to adapt as the result of many complex programs of gene expression. As a basic science, the improved resolution of these expression programs has proved invaluable
in understanding many clinical pathologies, the most dramatic being cancer. My
laboratory work has focused on resolving a process cells use, at the level of messenger
RNA (mRNA), to turn off genes before functional proteins are made. This enzymatic
process involves the break down of mRNA polymers where the degrading enzymes
are recruited by specifi c adaptor proteins to specifi c sets of mRNA. One of these
adaptor proteins is CUG-binding protein 1 (CUGBP1) and identifying the mRNA set
CUGBP1 targets has been a focus of our lab. The degradation proteins which CUGBP1 targets to the mRNA are only poorly resolved. I am using a yeast-two
hybrid screen to identify CUGBP1 binding candidates. These candidates will then be
con firmed by co-immunoprecipitation and mRNA a ffinity chromatography. This will
allow me to characterize the specifi c mechanism of decay elicited by the function of CUGBP1.
Additional contributors: Bernd Rattenbacher; Paul Bohjanen (faculty mentor).
Jeschke, Jonathan C..
Fishing for Function: Identifying Functional Binding Partners of CUG-Binding Protein 1.
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