SURF

Aaron Kamajaya

Essential amino acids for the regulated proteolysis of the master cell cycle regulator, CtrA

CtrA is a central regulatory protein controlling cell cycle progression in Caulobacter crescentus. The active phosphorylated form of CtrA directly controls the transcription of at least 95 cell-cycle-regulated genes as well as binding to sites near the origin to prevent initiation of chromosome replication. CtrA consists of receiver domain and DNA binding domain. CtrA activity is regulated by phosphorylation and degradation. My project is to elucidate the degradation mechanism of CtrA. We hypothesized that there are specific amino acid residues on CtrA receiver domain that are essential for its proteolysis. Thus, I will employ Genetics, Molecular Biology and Biochemical approaches to uncover the identity of these residues, and to determine how they mediate the effects of other factors which are known to be necessary for CtrA degradation.

Message to Sponsor

Working in a lab will allow me to put the knowledge that I gained from my coursework into practice. Studying the various genetic, molecular and biochemical techniques that can be employed to characterize a regulatory pathway is one thing, but to actually design and carry out experiments, trouble shoot technical problems and in general bear with the ups and downs of laboratory research is a totally different experience. This summer research opportunity will give me a taste of what to expect during the next step of my academic path, Graduate School. Thanks to SURF, I can now enjoy my summer research experience without worrying about my fundamental biological needs: food!!
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology: Microbial Biology
  • Mentor: Kathleen Ryan, Plant and Microbial Biology