Research – bioRxiv Pre-print – Tandem histone binding domains enhance the activity of a synthetic chromatin effector

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Tandem histone-binding domains enhance the activity of a synthetic chromatin effector
Tekel SJ, Vargas DA, Song L, LaBaer J, Haynes KA. (2017) bioRxiv. http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/06/03/145730

Here, we report the behavior of a re-engineered PcTF,  a gene-regulating fusion protein that is designed to activate genes that have been suppressed by chromatin condensation in cancer cells. We added an extra histone-binding domain to create Pc2TF and observed 2- to 4-fold enhancement of target binding and target gene activation. The new design was inspired by natural proteins that also have double-motifs that contribute to target affinity. The specific combination of motifs in Pc2TF does not exist in nature. By using design rules inferred from pre-existing motif patterns, we have improved the performance a novel synthetic chromatin effector. This improved activity advances PcTF towards clinical translation for anti-cancer therapy.

Related resources:

  1. In Vitro Development of Synthetic Chromatin Proteins That Function in Live Cells. FASEB. Abstract. http://www.fasebj.org/content/31/1_Supplement/922.8.short
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Dr. Haynes to present research at Harvard Systems Biology Retreat

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Dr. Haynes was invited to present her research at the Harvard Medical School Systems Biology Retreat at Seabasco Resort in Phippsburg, Maine. The Systems Biology retreats enable current and former department members to discuss science as a community. Dr. Haynes will present a talk on engineered proteins that bind aberrant marks in cancer cells on Thursday, June 8.

Dr. Haynes receives SBHSE Outstanding Assistant Professor Award 2016-2017

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Dr. Haynes received an award for SBHSE Outstanding Assistant Professor 2016-2017. Awardees are evaluated based on yearly performance and selected by the Director of the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering.

Haynes Lab to present research at ASBMB Meeting in Chicago

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Research abstracts from the Haynes lab have been selected to be showcased at the 2017 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) annual meeting. ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with over 12,000 members. This year’s meeting will be held at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL April 22 – 26, 2017. Dr. Karmella Haynes will be presenting a talk entitled In Vitro Development of Synthetic Chromatin Proteins That Function in Live Cells on Tuesday April 25 during the Spotlight Session Beyond the Code: Chemistry of Nucleotide and Amino Acid Modifications. For the poster session Protein Engineering and Design, also on April 25th, her doctoral student Stefan Tekel (Biological Design, PhD) will present a poster entitled Using Multivalency to Improve the Function of Synthetic Epigenetic Proteins. Dr. Haynes will also be presenting a poster.

Support: NIH NCI award (K01 CA188164) to K. Haynes, SBHSE Merit Award to S. Tekel

Undergrads – Lab experience: two weeks to one semester

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This opportunity is currently [CLOSED]

If you are an undergraduate who is enrolled at ASU and would like to get exposure to lab research-in-action, apply for a position as an Undergraduate Mentee (UGM). Accepted applicants will be partnered with a knowledgeable lab member (mentor) and will shadow their mentor’s research at the bench. UGM’s who are highly engaged may be invited to help analyze data or even set up and run experiments in molecular cloning, cell culture, gene editing, protein engineering, PCR, etc. depending upon the mentor’s current project. UGM’s may participate for as little as two consecutive weeks or as long as one full semester. Read the rest of this entry »

Masters – Masters Thesis Fellows Fall 2017

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The Haynes Lab at ASU is seeking Masters Thesis Fellows in the area of synthetic and systems biology for mammalian epigenetic engineering. Masters level training in the Haynes Lab will help you to develop expertise in skills that are highly attractive to the biomedical engineering and biotechnology industry: molecular cloning and DNA design; cancer molecular biology; mammalian cell culture, engineering, and analysis; protein engineering; CRISPR/Cas9 applications; and/or bioinformatics. Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Haynes to Present at Lawrence University’s Recent Advances in Biology

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Dr. Haynes was invited to present her research in the seminar series Recent Advances in Biology hosted by the Biology Department at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. The organizers of Recent Advances in Biology invite select speakers from other Universities to addresses issues and advances in biological research. The presentations expose students to the latest discoveries in a wide range of biological disciplines. Dr. Haynes will present a talk on engineering proteins to control gene expression in cancer cells on Monday, April 10.