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Author

Meredith Weck

Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Gentile

Abstract

Kinesin is a motor protein that uses ATP to transport macromolecules along microtubules in the cell. It is a heterotetramer composed of two heavy chains, which walk along the microtubule, and two light chains, which are involved with cargo binding. The research described here focuses on the kinesin light chains (KLCs), which have been suggested to contain six tetratrico peptide repeats (TPRs). Each TPR has a 34 amino acid sequence and is predicted to form a helix-loop-helix motif. To experimentally determine if these TPRs form the expected secondary structure, KLC TPRs 1, 1-2, and 1-5 were isolated and characterized as fusion proteins with MBP. Separation of the KLC TPRs from MBP was attempted using genenase before isolating and characterizing KLC TPR 1-5 through direct expression. Results are presented that suggest KLC has α-helical secondary structure, consistent with it being a TPR protein.

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