Title

Identification of proteins that interact with Lhx2 in the embryonic neocortex

Presenter Information

William Jackson

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137B

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

Neocortex is a mammalian region of the brain that gives rise to conscious decision making and is divided into functional areas that perform discrete computational tasks. Lhx2 is one of several transcription factors–proteins that turn other genes on and off–produced in concentration gradients across the neocortex during embryonic development. These gradients provide positional information that induces individual neocortical areas: the auditory, visual, motor and somatosensory cortices. The primary question of my research is to investigate the biochemical means through which Lhx2 determines the positions of boundaries between these functional areas. We hypothesize that the function of Lhx2, like most transcription factors, is mediated by interactions with additional proteins. To begin investigating this possibility, we conducted a yeast-two-hybrid screen which uses protein interaction to turn on genes allowing us to identify possible binding partners for Lhx2. The results of this screen suggest some novel and interesting binding partners for Lhx2 which suggest potentially new mechanisms for the action of Lhx2 within the context of neocortical arealization. We are now initiating experiments to confirm the interactions between Lhx2 and these identified proteins by using pair-wise yeast two-hybrid assays and co-immunoprecipitation with the full length binding partners. These results will shed light onto how Lhx2 performs its role in the neocortex and suggest additional experiments to probe the relevance of these interactions in the context of neocortical arealization.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Todd Kroll

Additional Mentoring Department

Chemistry

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Identification of proteins that interact with Lhx2 in the embryonic neocortex

SURC 137B

Neocortex is a mammalian region of the brain that gives rise to conscious decision making and is divided into functional areas that perform discrete computational tasks. Lhx2 is one of several transcription factors–proteins that turn other genes on and off–produced in concentration gradients across the neocortex during embryonic development. These gradients provide positional information that induces individual neocortical areas: the auditory, visual, motor and somatosensory cortices. The primary question of my research is to investigate the biochemical means through which Lhx2 determines the positions of boundaries between these functional areas. We hypothesize that the function of Lhx2, like most transcription factors, is mediated by interactions with additional proteins. To begin investigating this possibility, we conducted a yeast-two-hybrid screen which uses protein interaction to turn on genes allowing us to identify possible binding partners for Lhx2. The results of this screen suggest some novel and interesting binding partners for Lhx2 which suggest potentially new mechanisms for the action of Lhx2 within the context of neocortical arealization. We are now initiating experiments to confirm the interactions between Lhx2 and these identified proteins by using pair-wise yeast two-hybrid assays and co-immunoprecipitation with the full length binding partners. These results will shed light onto how Lhx2 performs its role in the neocortex and suggest additional experiments to probe the relevance of these interactions in the context of neocortical arealization.