Title

Protein-Protein Interactions in the Embryonic Mouse Neocortex: Emx2 and Binding Partners

Presenter Information

Cierra Miller

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137B

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

The mammalian neocortex, the brain structure responsible for consciousness, is divided into discrete functional areas that are marked by distinct boundaries whose positions are assigned through a process called neocortical arealization. The process of neocortical arealization is primarily mediated by the graded production of transcription factors (proteins that turns genes on and off). One of the proteins involved in this process is Emx2, a transcription factor that is expressed, or made, in a gradient along the anterior-posterior axis of the neocortex and is partially responsible for determining the positions of these areal boundaries. In order to determine how the varying levels of Emx2 act to assign areas to the neocortex at the molecular level, we have begun to search for proteins that interact with Emx2. This work has led to the identification of the proteins QKI-7 and Cnot6l as binding partners of Emx2 and we are currently working to confirm these interactions. To these ends, we have performed several pair-wise yeast two-hybrid experiments and have begun preparing to initiate more stringent additional experiments. This work involves expressing and purifying the proteins Emx2, QKI-7 and Cnot6l so that a more stringent method of confirming these protein-protein interactions, co-immunoprecipitation, can be performed. By identifying and confirming these protein-protein interactions between these proteins involved in neocortical arealization, we hope to shed light on the molecular events underlying the process of neocortical arealization.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Todd Kroll

Additional Mentoring Department

Chemistry

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Protein-Protein Interactions in the Embryonic Mouse Neocortex: Emx2 and Binding Partners

SURC 137B

The mammalian neocortex, the brain structure responsible for consciousness, is divided into discrete functional areas that are marked by distinct boundaries whose positions are assigned through a process called neocortical arealization. The process of neocortical arealization is primarily mediated by the graded production of transcription factors (proteins that turns genes on and off). One of the proteins involved in this process is Emx2, a transcription factor that is expressed, or made, in a gradient along the anterior-posterior axis of the neocortex and is partially responsible for determining the positions of these areal boundaries. In order to determine how the varying levels of Emx2 act to assign areas to the neocortex at the molecular level, we have begun to search for proteins that interact with Emx2. This work has led to the identification of the proteins QKI-7 and Cnot6l as binding partners of Emx2 and we are currently working to confirm these interactions. To these ends, we have performed several pair-wise yeast two-hybrid experiments and have begun preparing to initiate more stringent additional experiments. This work involves expressing and purifying the proteins Emx2, QKI-7 and Cnot6l so that a more stringent method of confirming these protein-protein interactions, co-immunoprecipitation, can be performed. By identifying and confirming these protein-protein interactions between these proteins involved in neocortical arealization, we hope to shed light on the molecular events underlying the process of neocortical arealization.