Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Biology, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Rebecca Adams

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


In eukaryotic cells, such as the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mRNA export is the essential process in which mature mRNA is transported from its site of production, the nucleus, through the nuclear pore complex (NPC) to the cytoplasm, where it can then be translated into protein. This is accomplished when a transcript interacts with the mRNA export protein Mex67, which shuttles the message across the NPC. When the cell is under conditions of stress, such as heat shock, most mRNA export is prohibited, allowing for selective gene expression that prioritizes cell recovery. Specifically, SSA4, which encodes a protein that assists denatured proteins to refold under stress conditions and is up-regulated in response to heat shock, is able to be selectively exported and expressed in response to heat shock. It is not known how SSA4 is selectively exported from the nucleus. I hypothesize that an unknown adaptor protein binds to the SSA4 transcript to recruit Mex67. To test this hypothesis, we will perform a yeast three-hybrid (Y3H) test by constructing a plasmid which contains the SSA4 ORF and 3’ UTR, in addition to MS2 hairpins. Work over this semester was aimed at generating this plasmid for future studies. If no interaction is observed with Mex67 in a candidate-based approach, then we will perform a screen for other proteins that are able to interact with the SSA4 transcript. We anticipate that these studies will allow for the elucidation of how specific transcripts are selectively exported in response to stress.