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Scholars Day 2006, Wednesday, April 12

The Role of Abf2p in Mitochondrial Genome Stability

Mitochondria are the site of respiration in the cell and are essential for eukaryotic cell viability. Instability within the mitochondrial genome can result in loss of respiration, and is thought to contribute to a number of diseases such as diabetes mellitus, certain cancers and neuromuscular diseases, as well as other age-related diseases. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is organized into protein-DNA complexes called nucleoids. Nucleoids help stabilize the mtDNA, and have been suggested to be the fundamental segregating unit of the mtDNA. Abf2p is a known nucleoid protein, and has been found to be necessary for growth of wild type cells on a non-fermentable carbon source. Preliminary data suggests that loss of Abf2p greatly decreases mitochondrial function resulting in increased respiration loss. Cells lacking Abf2p had ~80% loss of respiration compared to ~0.3% respiration loss in wild type cells. The means by which mitochondrial function is lost is unknown, however direct repeat mediated deletion, point mutation, and microsatellite slippage are all proposed methods being investigated.

Presenter: Stephanie Carroll (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Biological Sciences
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 3:15 pm (Session IV)