Graduation Year

2016

Date of Submission

1-2016

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Biochemistry

Reader 1

Gabriel Therizols

Reader 2

Aaron Leconte

Rights Information

© 2015 Michael A. Swift

Abstract

High throughput RNA-sequencing data has revealed a cellular transcriptome that represents a much larger part of the genome than was thought even 10 years ago. The newfound transcripts are not translated to protein and a few are known to have essential functions regulating gene expression. However, most non-coding RNAs in the transcriptome have no identified function or mechanism of action. H19 is a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) that looks much like an mRNA with a 5’ methyl cap and a polyA tail, but it is not translated. H19 is associated with cell proliferation and most human cancers. The mechanisms governing H19’s role in these processes is unknown, but we wondered how translation avoidance is involved. Exciting preliminary results from the Weinberg lab show that H19 co-sediments with the 40S ribosomal subunit, suggesting the RNA is associated with cytoplasmic proteins. We hypothesized that RNA binding proteins may be mediating H19’s ability to avoid translation despite its having the characteristics of mRNA. Therefore, we are working to identify these RNA binding proteins associated with H19 by adapting a recently reported RNA antisense purification method.

Comments

Best Senior Thesis in Biological Sciences

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