Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2010
Mentor: Steven Patrie
Department: Internal Medicine
Room number: NC7.302
a) Mail Code: 9185
Project title: Characterizing epigenetic regulation of histone/transcription factor interactions
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): No
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): No
Project Type: Basic research
Brief Description of Project:
In biology it is hypothesized that concomitant post-translational modifications (PTMs) on histones work cooperatively to drive unique transcription factor binding events. If true, this PTM-code presents an exciting avenue for not only gene specific transcription/translational regulation but also lays the foundation for epigenetic regulation through cell generations. Current technologies to study how PTMs effect functional interaction between histones and transcription factors are mostly limited to characterize if a single PTM on a synthetic peptide participates in driving the protein/protein interaction. Our lab works with a variety of mass spectrometry and protein biochip tools that will enable the characterization of how concomitant modifications on intact histones drive the protein's interaction events. This summer John will study how the spatial distribution of PTMs on intact histones drive interactions with unique transcription factors. A portion of this work will build upon a novel protein biochip/mass spectrometry technology that we are developing in our lab as well as to study the fundamental mechanisms that lead to gene specific translation and epigenetic memory in cancer cells.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
The Patrie lab is going into its second summer at UTSW. Last year John worked in my lab helping to develop a new method that enables high density protein/protein interaction experiments on protein biochips. The novel component of the work is the biochemical assays are subsequently analyzed with mass spectrometers. John's previous work has helped lay the foundation for a variety of projects ongoing in the lab. Our initial publications pertaining to this work are in development. Because of John's work he will be on these initial paper(s) when they are submitted.