Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Molecular Cellular and Systemic Physiology

First Advisor

Huggenvik, Jodi

Second Advisor

Collard, Michael


Deformed epidermal autoregulatory factor 1 (DEAF1) is a transcription factor that binds to (T/C)TCG(G/T) half-sites and has been shown to be involved in human diseases of cancer, diabetes, depression and intellectual disorders. We used chromatin immunoprecipitation assays to assess endogenous levels of DEAF1 and RNA polymerase II occupancy on the promoter and 5'UTR of the DEAF1 gene. In exponentially growing HEK293 cells, low levels of DEAF1 bind to sequences between -718 and +232, with +1 marking the start of translation. Within 0.5 hr of treating the cells with 500 µM H2O2, DEAF1 occupancy is increased between 7-18 fold at B (-718/-569), -577/-444, C (-432/-299), D (-205/-112) and E(-97/17). There were no statistically significant changes in either RNA polymerase II phospho-serine 5 (RNA PolII pS5) or RNA polymerase II phospho-serine 2 (RNA PolII pS2) binding with H2O2 treatment compared to control. With media change, there is an increase in RNA PolII pS2 and pS5 occupancy at both a distal site -1462/-1326 and in the coding region at 133/232, while no significant change in DEAF1 occupancy was detected. DEAF1 occupancy at the DEAF1 promoter and 5'UTR are inversely correlated with RNA polymerase II occupancy, however, there were no measurable differences in DEAF1 RNA levels at 0.5 hr and 1 hr time points. In summary, these data indicate that there is increased occupancy of DEAF1 at its own promoter following stress, which inversely affects occupancy of RNA polymerase at proximal promoter and 5'UTR sites of the DEAF1 gene.




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