Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Yiyang Jin L&S Sciences

Do CHD8 and Other CHD Family Proteins Interact With ELL2 to Control HIV Transcription and Latency

In this project, I want to find out if chromodomain helicase DNA bind protein 8 (CHD8) and other CHD family proteins, which are known chromatin regulators, will interact with the RNA polymerase II elongation factor ELL2. ELL2 is an important component of the Super Elongation Complex (SEC). SEC plays a very crucial role in HIV transcription and reactivation of HIV virus from latency. On the other hand, CHD8 is a member of the chromodomain helicase DNA-binding family, which consists of 9 protein homologs that are all chromatin remodeling factors. Chromatin remodeling factors regulate transcription by using their helicase/ATPase components to disrupt DNA base pairings, and they slide nucleosomes along the DNA to change chromatin structures. Our preliminary data indicate that CHD8 and other CHD family chromatin remodelers might interact with ELL2 and regulate transcription through their chromatin remodeling activity to alter chromatin structures. The potential interaction of CHD8 and ELL2 can be targeted for HIV treatment to trap the virus in latency state through preventing ELL2 in the SEC from positively regulating HIV reactivation from latency. Given this significant outcome, it is very important to identify whether CHD8 and ELL2 interact and whether CHD8 plays a role in HIV transcriptional control through various biochemical methods.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to the donors of my fellowship, Anselm M&PS Fund. I had a great summer working in the lab to complete my research goals, and the experience has been especially valuable during the pandemic. I not only learned about lab techniques and research planning skills, but also learned about how to think as a researcher as well. The SURF experience allowed me to more deeply understand the life of a researcher, and this has made me more determined to pursue my goal of being a researcher in the future. Because of SURF, I will be more confident when I apply to graduate school. My SURF experience is a solid foundation for my future research career.
Major: MCB, Statistics
Mentor: Qiang Zhou
Sponsor: Anselm MPS
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