Elucidating the Function of RESC14 in Trypanosome RNA Editing
My work focuses on characterizing protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions involved in RNA editing in the kinetoplastid parasite, Trypanosoma brucei. Kinetoplastid parasites undergo a unique posttranscriptional RNA editing process wherein hundreds of uridines are inserted into and dozens are deleted from an immature transcript. The RNA Editing Substrate Binding Complex (RESC) is responsible for facilitating a number of these protein and RNA interactions required for RNA editing. My research project focuses on one RESC protein, RESC14, and trying to better characterize its role in editing initiation and progression through using different protein and RNA biochemical techniques as well as bioinformatic analysis of complex high throughput sequencing data. As this editing process is necessary for the survival of T. brucei and related parasites, elucidating the role of RESC14 will be beneficial in helping to better understand the crucial biological processes within these human pathogens as well as determine potential drug targets.