Postgraduate Profiles

Amanda Blythe

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Thesis: Structural Characterization of Spt4/5 through RNA interactions.

Spt4/5 is a transcription elongation factor associating directly with RNAPII to regulate the efficiency of transcription. This protein complex is the only known RNAPII associated factor that has been conserved across all three domains of life indicating its importance in transcription elongation. Eukaryotic Spt5 contains five RNA binding (KOW) domains in which the function and biological importance of the multiple KOW domains remains unclear. This project will involves characterizing the RNA binding specificity of Spt4/5 using a variety of biophysical techniques to provide insight into the structure and mechanism of Spt4/5.

Why my research is important

Transcription elongation is one of the first stages of gene expression and is thus an important point for cell regulation. Therefore, a detailed understanding of the enzymes associated with this process will help to elucidate the mechanism of this critical cellular process.