Link: University of Iowa

Dr. Dieckman awarded Nebraska EPSCoR First Award

Dr. Lynne Dieckman (Creighton University) former Biochemistry Post-Doc (Musselman Lab) and Molecular and Cell Biology Program PhD Student (Washington lab) is the recipient of the Nebraska EPSCoR FIRST Award. This is a one year award that includes a 100% match from Creighton University. The purpose of this NSF funded award is to help early career faculty compete for an NSF CAREER grant.

The National Science Foundation EPSCoR FIRST Award will fund Dr. Lynne Dieckman’s project entitled “Understanding Protein Interactions that Link DNA Replication and Nucleosome Assembly.” All living things, from simple microbes to higher plants and animals, depend on the stable transmission of biological information from parent to offspring. Genomic instability results from alterations in gene expression, which is controlled largely through the organization of the genes in eukaryotic chromosomes – i.e., the packaging of DNA into nucleosomes. The eukaryotic genome must be accurately organized into nucleosomes immediately following DNA replication. This process is called replication-coupled nucleosome assembly, and is mediated by two key factors: CAF-1, the protein complex that induces the formation of nucleosomes on newly synthesized DNA, and PCNA, the ring-shaped sliding clamp that recruits and regulates proteins during replication and nucleosome assembly. Studies show that the direct interaction between CAF-1 and PCNA is essential for the coupling of DNA replication and nucleosome assembly. However, how these two proteins interact and regulate replication-coupled nucleosome assembly is not clear. The major goals of Dr. Dieckman’s lab are to determine the biochemical and structural basis for binding between CAF-1 and PCNA, and how this interaction regulates CAF-1 activity and maintains genomic integrity. These studies will lead to a greater understanding of the link between DNA replication and nucleosome assembly, how the activity of CAF-1 is mediated by PCNA, and how disruptions of this regulation lead to aberrant gene expression.

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