A Genetic Approach to Identify Proteins that Interact with Eukaryotic Microtubule Severing Proteins via a Yeast Two Hybrid System
Description: Microtubules (MT) are regulated by multiple categories of proteins, including proteins responsible for severing MTs that are therefore called MT-severing proteins. Studies of katanin, spastin, and fidgetin in animal systems have clarified that these proteins are MT-severing. However, studies in plants have been limited to katanin p60, and little is known about spastin or fidgetin and their function in plants. I looked at plant genomes to identify MT-severing protein homologues to clarify which severing proteins exist in plants. I obtained data from a variety of eukaryotic species to look for MT-severing proteins using homology to human proteins and analyzed these protein sequences to obtain information on the evolution of MT-severing proteins in different species. I focused this analysis on MT-severing proteins in the maize and Arabidopsis thaliana genomes. I created evolutionary phylogenetic trees for katanin-p60, katanin-p80, spastin, and fidgetin using sequences from animal, plant, and fungal genomes. I focused on Arabidopsis spastin and worked to understand its functionality by identifying protein interaction partners. The yeast two-hybrid technique was used to screen an Arabidopsis cDNA library to identify putative spastin interactors. I sought to confirm the putative protein interactions by using molecular tools for protein localization such as the YFP system. Finally, a Biomolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) assay was initiated as a proof of concept for confirmation of in vivo protein-protein interaction.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Alhassan, Hassan H
Partner: UNT Libraries