Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Chemistry

Committee Chair

Todd Kroll

Second Committee Member

Carin Thomas

Third Committee Member

April Binder

Abstract

The neocortex is a structure within mammalian brains that processes sensory input from eyes, ears, and touch receptors and mediates the conscious use of skeletal muscles. The processing of information related to each of these types of functions is localized within discrete areas of the neocortex, which are separated by sharp borders. Proper development of these functional areas is regulated during embryogenesis by several transcription factors that are expressed in distinct gradients across the progenitor layer of the neocortex, the ventricular zone. Despite the vast amount of progress that has been made in describing how these transcription factors impact the organization of the neocortex, much more work is still needed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that involve these proteins. An important step in this process is identifying proteins that bind these various transcription factors. The goal of this project was to confirm protein binding partners for the neocortical transcription factor Emx2, which were previously identified in the Kroll lab. Pull-down assays were performed to test the protein-protein interactions between Emx2 and QkI-7, Emx2 and Cnot6l, and Cnot6l and QkI-7. The results were positive for all three interactions. Additionally, Emx2 was found to bind the two other QkI isoforms, QkI-5 and QkI-6.