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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Identification of ISWI Chromatin Remodeling Complezes Required for Eye Development and Cataract Prevention

Status Complete
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 09/01/2004
End Date 06/30/2005
Funding Source Undergraduate Research Grants
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 07/05/2008 01:25AM


  Jocelyn Krebs

Student Researchers
  Lorraine Castillo


In overview, chromatin structures compact and organize nuclear DNA and influence genomic processes. Chromatin structure is composed of histone and non-histone chromatin proteins, and the organization and function of chromatin is controlled by superfamilies of related proteins. The ISWI chromatin remodeler, a member of the SWI2/SNF2 superfamily of remodelers, has been shown to be critical for Xenopus laevis nervous system development. Also, this protein is required to prevent congenital cataracts (Dirscherl and Krebs, submitted). However, ISWI is found in several different protein complexes: xACF, xCHRAC, and xWICH. Here, I will be studying three proteins that are found in different ISWI complexes. The project goal is to be able to understand which chromatin complex protein: xACF, xCHRAC, or xWICH is related to eye and cataract development in Xenopus laveis. This specific complex can be further studied to define its role in eye development and for cataract prevention. Congenital cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in children, and I hope to further develop Xenopus as a model system for the study of this important health concern.

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