CHARACTERIZATION OF β-HEAVY SPECTRIN SELF-INTERACTION

Open Access
Author:
Stoute, Julian Antonio
Area of Honors:
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Graham Thomas, Thesis Supervisor
  • Joseph Reese, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Spectrin
Abstract:
Spectrin is a protein which serves to form the membrane skeleton network of a cell for structural support. The protein has the form of tetramers consisting of two α and two β subunits. This study’s objective is to investigate the possibility that β-heavy spectrin functions independently of alpha spectrin to form higher order structures differing from the classical tetramer based structure found in erythrocyte membranes. An in-vitro western blot overlay method and chemical crosslinking are being utilized to observe a self-interaction of β-heavy spectrin. If a self-interaction is observed, new insight will be gained into how spectrin could function in biological processes other than purely serving as a structural membrane support.