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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Role of ISWI Dependent Chromatin Remodeling Complexes in Development in Xenopus laevis

Status Complete
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 09/01/2005
End Date 06/30/2006
Funding Source N/A
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Last Updated 07/05/2008 01:25AM
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Faculty
  Jocelyn Krebs

Student Researchers
  Monica Anderson

Abstract

DNA in eukaryotic cells is in the form of chromatin, a highly compacted state that is necessary to fit into the nucleus. Chromatin consists of DNA wrapped around histone proteins to form nucleosomes. Imitation switch (ISWI) is an ATP-dependent chromatin remodeler, one of the group of enzymes with the ability to disrupt or alter the association between the DNA and histones or slide nucleosomes along DNA. These processes can facilitate the activation of genes by allowing the necessary transcription machinery access to the DNA or deactivate the genes by hiding necessary binding sites in the chromatin. There are at least four complexes that contain ISWI present in Xenopus oocytes: xWICH, xCHRAC, xACF, and one complex that has yet to be fully identified. Interfering with ISWI function can result in gastrulation defects, delayed development, eye malformations and the formation of cataracts. However, since ISWI is present in several complexes, we have begun to address which complexes are responsible for the observed phenotypes. We are determining the individual effects of ISWI-containing complexes through microinjection of Xenopus oocytes with either antisense mRNA, or Morpholino oligonucleotides to prevent expression of the subunits unique to different complexes.

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