UAA Biological Sciences Master's Thesis Defense: Nicole Stopa, Feb. 14

by Michelle Saport  |   

Friday, Feb. 14, 12-1 p.m. ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building, Room 120

UAA biological sciences student Nicole Stopa will defend her thesis, "Chromatin Modifiers in Xenopus laevis: Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 5 Function and Williams Syndrome Transcription Factor Complexes in Development."

Abstract: Inside our cells, DNA is condensed and stored with the help of proteins, especially histones. This mix of DNA and proteins is termed chromatin. Manipulations of chromatin include post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histone proteins, such as the addition of methyl or acetyl groups, and the movement of histones by chromatin remodeling complexes to control how tightly or which regions of DNA are condensed or exposed. These actions can impact gene expression and influence the differentiation of tissues during development. Stopa investigated if protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5), which mono- or symmetrically dimethylates arginine, is acting on histones during early development in Xenopus laevis. Stopa also investigated whether Williams syndrome transcription factor (WSTF) occurs within chromatin remodeling complexes during early development in X. laevis. WSTF interacts with the protein ISWI in early embryos, indicating it is part of a chromatin-remodeling complex during this period of development.

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