Zoe Lung

Investigating the Role of plk-2 in Regulating the Synaptic Checkpoint in Meiosis

Meiosis is an essential cell division process that involves the reduction of chromosome number, thus creating haploid cells from diploid cells. Since mistakes in this process can lead to aneuploidy and many genetic defects such as cancer, this division is highly regulated and consists of many regulatory checkpoints. One such checkpoint, referred to as the synaptic checkpoint, is necessary during the early stages of meiosis when chromosomes are paired with homologous partners prior to segregation. The specific mechanisms that are involved in regulating this particular checkpoint still remain unknown. Recently, Polo-like kinase 2 (plk-2), a protein involved in multiple stages throughout meiosis, has been determined to play a major role in the synaptic checkpoint. Newly developed technology such as the auxin based chemically induced proximity method, will allow us to study the exact process by which plk-2 regulates this checkpoint. By identifying the major players and pathways involved, we can potentially target these specific proteins in the future in order to manage the meiotic process and prevent further disastrous mutations and results from aneuploidy.

Message to Sponsor

This summer has been a truly amazing experience and I feel that I have gained an immense amount of knowledge and expertise in my field of research. I am very grateful for having this opportunity to be fully immersed in my project through the funding provided by the Pergo Foundation. I was able to work closely with my professor and my post doc mentor to dive into research questions that involve the uncovering of how meiosis is carried out in cells. This research could have a very positive impact in understanding human meiotic diseases in the future, and I am very glad to have been able to be a part of this research being conducted on the Berkeley campus.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Sponsor: Pergo Fund
  • Mentor: Abby Dernburg