Ruchika Singla L&S Sciences
Investigating the Enhancer Environment Through Proximity Labeling with TurboID
Embryos begin development using maternally-deposited RNA, but at a critical point in development, embryos begin to transcribe their own genomes. In Drosophila melanogaster, the maternally-deposited transcription factor Zelda is a key regulator of this transition. It binds to non-coding regulatory sequences known as enhancers to regulate the activity of early expressed genes. While the presence and actions of Zelda are known, details regarding its mode of enhancer activation and interactions with other proteins are still not well understood. My goal is to identify proteins that Zelda interacts with with the expectation that this will fill missing information about the mechanism of its activity. In order to further understand the mechanism of enhancer activation during early embryogenesis, I will use proximity labeling to identify proteins that associate with Zelda. This process involves introducing TurboID and miniTurboID enzymes that will attach a small molecule label, biotin, to nearby proteins to fly lines. This project will unlock information about the enhancer environment in general by enhancing our understanding of other proteins that are proximal to Zelda during this critical time in development.