Summer Project

Molecular Mechanisms of Transcriptional Activation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

I investigated the molecular mechanisms of transcriptional activation in S. cerevisiae under the supervision of Dr. Alan Cheung at the ISMB.

The regulation of gene expression is an essential process underlying molecular events and behaviour in all cells. In eukaryotes, large coactivator complexes are important focal points for transcriptional regulation. However, detailed structural information on these complexes is lacking; this would help complete our molecular understanding of crucial events during transcription initiation.

Highly purified proteins are often required for these structural studies, using techniques such as cryo-electron microscopy, X-Ray crystallography, and mass spectrometry. To dissect their molecular architecture and function, I designed and tested the heterologous expression of recombinant subunits from these eukaryotic coactivators in E. coli.

This involved training in molecular cloning, recombinant protein expression, and protein purification techniques. This initial work will form the basis of ongoing projects in the lab centered around these coactivators.

I was also awarded an Undergraduate Student Bursary from the British Mycological Society for this research project, which took place during the summer of 2014.