Date of Award
Dr. Pamela J. Vanderzalm
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects millions of adults in the United States. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that is characterized by irreversible loss of cartilage. Cartilage develops when stem cells differentiate into chondrocytes, the cells found in cartilage, through a process called chondrogenesis. Several proteins are needed for chondrogenesis, including the SOXE family of proteins. The SOXE proteins act as transcriptional activators and consist of three members: SOX8, SOX9, and SOX10. The three proteins share the same basic structure consisting of two transactivation domains. A transactivation domain is a region of a protein that can activate transcription and therefore, expression of a specific gene. In this study, I compared the activities of each transactivation domain through a dual-luciferase assay to determine the strong transactivation domain of each protein. It was found that the K2 domains of SOX8 and SOX9, and both domains (K2 and TA) of SOX10 are the strong transactivation domains. This new insight will allow further characterization of the mechanisms and functions of the SOXE proteins in the process of chondrogenesis.
Beer, Abigail, "Comparing the Middle and C-terminal Domains of the SOXE Proteins" (2017). Senior Honors Projects. 106.
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