Investigating the influence of Drosophila DNA bending proteins, HMGD/HMGZ, on P element transposase activity

Summer 2017

Tong Zhang : Molecular and Cell Biology, Bioengineering

Donor: Pergo Fund
Mentor: Donald Rio

DNA transposable elements are mobile genetic elements that can move through out a host genome by the action of an encoded DNA transposase. The activity of several DNA transposases is significantly stimulated by DNA bending proteins, presumably promoting correct assembly of the transposase upon the DNA transposon ends (i.e. Mu transposase , RAG1/2, …etc). While Drosophila P element transposase is well characterized, stimulation of the transposition reaction by DNA bending proteins has not been investigated. Here, I would like to investigate two Drosophila DNA bending proteins, HMGD and HMGZ, on Drosophila P element transposase activity. I will clone, recombinately express and purify HMGD and HMGZ then test if the presence of these proteins stimulate P element transposase activity. 

I would like to thank the Pergo Foundation for their generous support. I really appreciate this opportunity of doing full time research over the summer. I have learned so much for such a short time. This experience has greatly improved my skills as a researcher and and has made me more determined to pursue a career in research.