"I applied to the Scholars program for a structured research experience. I aim to produce valid scientific results that would further the research of my PI, as well as the scientific community as a whole."
Chemistry, East Asian Studies
Microbiology, and biochemistry.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- National Merit Scholarship (2008)
- Feed a Need
- Heal the World
Feed a Need.
Hobbies and Interests
- Sports, sciences, and music.
Characterization of the Protein Interactions Occurring at Sites of Transcription Arrest at DNA Lesions
Cellular DNA is constantly exposed to damage inflicted by endogenous metabolism and environmental sources. Over time, the accumulated damage may have mutagenic and cytotoxic effects, threatening genomic integrity and proper functioning of cells. Cells have developed various mechanisms to deal with DNA damage. One of these DNA repair mechanisms is transcription-coupled DNA repair (TCR). TCR fixes DNA lesions, such as sunlight induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers located in transcribed regions of the genome where RNA polymerase (RNAP) may become arrested. The arrested state of RNAP triggers the initiation of TCR, which then recruits NER factors that remove the lesion from the DNA. The actual mechanism of action of TCR, however, is still unresolved. We propose to use a proteomics approach to identify coupling factors and repair proteins interacting with the arrested RNAP complex, based on our ability to prepare homogenous populations of RNAPII complexes arrested at DNA lesions by using well established techniques developed in our lab. We use an anti-RNA monoclonal antibody to purify the RNA polymerase II/RNA/DNA complex arrested at the lesion. Arrested RNAPII complexes will be incubated with HeLa extract in the presence of a crosslinking agent to stabilize binding of interacting proteins. The results will be subject to proteomics analysis. Preliminary studies include selecting crosslinking agents, determining amounts of immunopurified complex and extract to be used for mass spec analysis and testing mass spec conditions on RNAPII complexes arrested at lesions to establish experimental controls. Proteins identified by mass spec will be tested in repair assays in vivo and in vitro and their function in excision repair and TCR will be determined. Learning the molecular details of the coupling reaction will add new critical information to explain some phenotypic manifestations of TCR deficient-human diseases, which include neurodegeneration, mental retardation, developmental defects and premature aging.