Protein-protein interactions between widely-expressed and testis specific subunits of TFIIA and TFIID in Drosophila melanogaster

Student: Leah Hirschman (Dept. of Biological Sciences)

Faculty Adviser: Mark Hiller (Dept. of Biological Sciences)

Abstract

The regulation of transcription plays an important role in cellular development and differentiation. Spermatogenesis is an excellent model to explore the regulation of tissue-specific transcription. In Drosophila melanogaster, General Transcription Factors TFIIA and TFIID work together during transcription initiation. TFIID is a complex composed of TATA-binding protein (TBP) and fourteen TATA binding protein-associated factors (TAFs). TFIIA is comprised of three subunits, including the TFIIAγ subunit. In the testes, there is a homolog of the TFIIAγ subunit, which is encoded by the gene tfiia-s-2. Also in the testes, there are additional testis-TAFs (tTAFs) which are components of TFIID. Homologues of TBP, TBP-related factors 1 and 2 (TRF1 and TRF2), are found in the testes and other tissues. With so many different versions of proteins located in the testes, there are many possible combinations of proteins that could aid in the regulation of transcription in spermatogenesis. To study the possible interactions between widely expressed proteins and testis specific proteins, GST pull-down assays were used to analyze protein-protein interactions in vitro. By studying the interactions between proteins that regulate transcription in spermatogenesis, we will create a more comprehensive model of the complexes that regulate testis-specific transcription.  


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