Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Elena Slobodyanyuk Rose Hills

Investigating the Role of YY1 in Transcription Regulation

The physical organization of chromatin in the nucleus plays a crucial role in the coordination and regulation of gene expression. Long-distance interactions between DNA regulatory elements called enhancers and promoters are important for establishing cell type-specific gene expression programs. Dysregulation of enhancer-promoter interactions can lead to aberrant gene expression and thus promote developmental abnormalities and tumorigenesis. Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is a ubiquitously expressed transcription factor in mammalian cells that has recently been implicated in coordinating enhancer-promoter interactions, thus facilitating transcription activation during embryonic development. However, it remains unknown how YY1 can selectively mediate these chromatin interactions. Coupling CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing with live-cell fluorescence imaging, I will investigate the hypothesis that YY1 displays selective protein-protein interactions with protein complexes that regulate chromatin organization and transcription. Understanding the dynamic role of YY1 in regulating transcription may shed light onto the drivers of aberrant gene expression implicated in diseases such as cancer and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you to The Rose Hills Foundation for allowing me to be immersed in research over the summer. Embarking on an independent research project has been a very exciting and enriching experience for me. It has given me a broader understanding of my field and has allowed me to develop technical and analytical skills, engage meaningfully with other members of the lab, and gain confidence in my abilities as an aspiring scientist. This experience has also reinforced my desire to pursue graduate school in the future. For all of this I am very grateful!
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Robert Tjian and Xavier Darzacq
Sponsor: Rose Hills Independent
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