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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Identification of Rad52 Protein Isoforms via Site-Directed Mutagenesis

Mitochondria are organelles found in eukaryotic cells whose function are to generate energy for the cell via respiration and ATP production. They contain an independent genome, the stability of which is critical to mitochondrial function. Accumulated mutations in the mitochondrial genome in humans can lead to diseases such as diabetes mellitus and neuromuscular disorders. In the lab, mitochondrial genome stability is studied using the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. RAD52 is a nuclear gene found on chromosome XIII of S. cerevisiae. Rad52p protein has been shown to play a role in the maintenance of the nuclear genome via homologous recombination and double-strand break repair. Unpublished data indicates that Rad52p plays a role in mitochondrial genome stability. Data from Western blots suggest that Rad52p exists as several distinct protein species. We hypothesize that specific Rad52p isoforms are targeted either to the nucleus or the mitochondria. Site-directed mutagenesis will be used to identify the function and localization of each isoform.

Presenter: Martin Bontrager (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Biology
Location: 101 Edwards
Time: 2:30 pm (Session IV)