Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Sonia Roedersheimer Rose Hills

Cu-Dependent Degradation of the CRR1 Transcription Factor

Copper (Cu) homeostasis is essential for all organisms as it plays a role in redox and oxygen chemistry in many cellular processes. Cu content in the cell can be maintained through regulating its uptake, export, and distribution. Chlamydomonas, a single-celled green alga, is used as a reference organism to understand Cu homeostasis in organisms. Previous work led to the discovery of CRR1, a transcription factor, which turns on genes in Cu deficiency. Among its targets, CRR1 regulates the CTR family of assimilatory copper transporters. In low nutritional Cu, the transporter genes are on, in high Cu the genes are turned off because CRR1 is degraded. Various approaches ranging from cell biology to bioinorganic chemistry will be applied to further understand the functions of CRR1. Known physiological phenotypes were confirmed in wild-type strain, 4A+, which I will use to generate CRISPR-Cas9 CRR1 protein mutants. By targeting specific protein sites, we will be able to unlock key features of the mechanism behind Cu-dependent degradation of CRR1 in Chlamydomonas and Cu regulation in organisms as a whole.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you so very much for this opportunity and for funding my research. I am very grateful to be able to continue this project throughout the summer to further investigate Cu regulatory mechanisms. Thank you again for your generosity and support!
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Sabeeha Merchant
Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
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