2022 AMI Online Salon

SPT5 stabilization of promoter-proximal RNA polymerase II

Project Details

  • Entrant Name:  Brianna Monroe
  • Client: Shilatifard Laboratory at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics
  • Copyright: Brianna Monroe, 2022
  • Medium/software used: Image created using VMD (Visual Molecular Dynamics; Humphrey et al., J. Molec. Graphics, 14:33-38, 1996), Autodesk 3dsMax, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator. Structural data for proteins obtained from Protein Databank. RNAPII elongation complex bound
  • Final presentation format: Digital/Print Poster
  • Primary Audience: Academic and research scientists

Project Description

This visualization aims to communicate the importance and complexity of the protein SPT5 in safeguarding accurate gene expression and how mis-regulation of its function could lead to diverse human diseases including cancer. Based on the new experimental method auxin-inducible degradation performed in the Shilatifard Laboratory, the presence of a protein called SPT5 serves as a “passport,” determining if RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is allowed to proceed down the length of DNA (shown in step 6) or is instead degraded and destroyed (shown in steps 1-4). The new experimental method allows immediate observation of the effects of protein depletion, allowing them to discover this crucial checkpoint before elongation starts. Proving that RPB1 (RNAPII’s largest subunit) degradation occurs during early elongation (shown in step 5) through VCP inhibition allows better understanding of how this elongation checkpoint functions. 2D illustrations are used to supplement and provide background information in a simple manner for steps 3 and 5. By creating a 3D poster for this process, scientists can quickly understand a summary of Dr. Yuki Aoi’s recent publication in a dynamic way and see the significance of understanding this pathway and how it is linked to cancer.