Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Maria Orozco - Northern New Mexico College
Co-Author(s): MariJo DeAguero and Mario Izaguirre-Sierra, Northern New Mexico College
The main goal of my research is to understand the basic biology of the cell nucleus, using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system. Specifically, I will be studying a protease of the Ubiquitin-Like Protease (Ulp) family. This group of protease is conserved in evolution. It regulates the amount of active and inactive SUMO (Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier) in the cell. SUMO is a protein modifier that is covalently attached to lysine residues of target proteins to alter functions that regulate growth, development, and environmental responses in animals and plants. It is also involved in human disease. My research consists in characterizing the SUMO protease ELS1 (ESD4 LIKE SUMO PROTEASE 1) in Arabidopsis. This protease has a central role in the SUMOylation pathway in eukaryotes and its role in Arabidopsis is unknown. I am interested in understanding the function of this protease in the SUMO pathway, its subcellular localization, and the role of this protein in the formation of Cajal bodies. To accomplish this, I am using molecular biology techniques and genetics to characterize several crosses of my mutant with fluorescent Cajal body markers. At the same time, I am analyzing the subcellular localization of my protein using in vivo fluorescence microscopy and the expression pattern of this protease in different tissues during development. My results suggest that ELS1 is a nucleolar protease and it is not involved in the formation of Cajal bodies. Although the role of this protein in the SUMOylation pathway is still not clear, I will analyze the protein profile of my mutants to establish its role as a ULP1 and/or ULP2 protease in the pathway. Together, my work will help to understand the basic biology of the SUMO pathway and its relationship of these nuclear proteases in plant development.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Research reported in this publication was supported by an Institutional Development Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103451. New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation HRD-1305011; New Mexico EPSCor IIA-1301346; Plant Education Experience in Research.
Faculty Advisor: Mario Izaguirre-Sierra, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I genotyped and identified els1-2 mutants. I have multiple crosses using fluorescent markers (PCB, U2B-GFP, Coilin YFP) I am characterizing two GFP lines (GFP-NO, GFP-PCB). I am currently doing Developmental Rt-PCR.