Regulation of the retinoblastoma binding protein 6 in Drosophila melanogaster

Mokgohloa, Lehlogonolo
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SNAMA, the protein of interest in this thesis is found in the common model organism Drosophila melanogaster, also known as the fruit fly it is also found in all eukaryotic organisms but not in prokaryotes. SNAMA is a 1231 amino acid protein that belongs to the RbBP6 superfamily. Members of this family are characterized by a zinc finger motif, a DWNN domain (domain with no name) and a RING finger motif. The human RbBP6 contains the Rb-binding and p53-binding domains in addition. The mammalian RbBP6 hence interacts with p53 and Rb and it is important for the development and tumorigenesis as a negative regulator of p53. Bioinformatics studies show that transcription of the Snama gene is driven by a single TATA-less promoter which give rise to a single 3.9 kb transcript. However, experimental evidence confirming the promoter region has not being published. The main aim of this study was to examine the regulation of Snama by identifying the maximal promoter sequence that shows promoter activity in mammalian cell line. This was achieved by using specifically designed primers to amplify the putative Snama promoters, ligating promoters in reporter vector (pGL3 basic). The recombinant products used to transfect eukaryotic cells (Cos7, African green monkey cells) and determining the maximal promoter sequence that expresses luciferase activity. The promoter sequences were labelled with biotin attached to the primers and Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) was conducted to confirm binding of proteins on the putative promoter fragments. The segment designated promoter 6 has maximal positive activity and many proteins in the cell extract bind to it shown by EMSA. Interestingly the longer fragment designated promoter 7 has less promoter activity. This may suggest that this fragment also contains some repressive elements.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of requirements for the degree of Master of Science. 2015.