Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date

Spring 4-2023


Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Biology, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Rebecca Adams, PhD

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


Gene expression is necessary for cell viability. In eukaryotic cells, this is accomplished in part by the export of mRNA transcripts from the nucleus to the cytoplasm for translation. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an mRNA needs a complex of RNA-binding adaptor proteins and a protein called Mex67 to pass through the nuclear pore complex (NPC) for mRNA export. Under stress conditions, such as heat-shock (42ºC), mRNA cannot bind adaptor proteins necessary for recruitment of Mex67, and is therefore sequestered inside the nucleus, halting their expression. However, select heat-induced mRNA transcripts, such as SSA4, are able to bind Mex67, allowing their specific export and expression. Previous research had suggested that the SSA4 3’ UTR is sufficient to allow this selective export, but using a GFP reporter for SSA4 expression, our lab has determined that additional sequence might be necessary. We hypothesize that a combination of the SSA4 ORF with the SSA4 3’ UTR will permit selective export of the reporter transcript. Therefore, to test this hypothesis, we have generated new reporter plasmids that include the SSA4 ORF and 3’ UTR. Export will be assessed via fluorescence microscopy, as the transcript must successfully export to enable export of GFP. Future experiments will focus on determining what specific sections of the SSA4 ORF and/or 3’ UTR are necessary for heat-shock nuclear export.