Research Interests

Forming DSBs in live worms by laser and following protein recruitment to DSBs in vivo in intact animals!

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  1. Early events in meiotic double strand breaks (DSB) processing in the germline and DSB repair pathway choice. In the germline DSBs are repaired by homologous recombination (HR), a primarily error free repair pathway. Our lab identified a separation of function allele of MRE-11, which abrogates the resection activity of this protein without affecting its role in meiotic DSB formation (Yin and Smolikove 2013). In this mutants DSB repair is now occurs by error prone repair pathway- non homologous end joining (NHEJ). We use this mutant as well as MRE-11 screening approaches as a tool for identifying novel meiotic gene involved in DSB repair in C. elegans and how repair pathway choice between HR and NHEJ is regulated (for example see Yin et. al. 2016).
  2. Recruitment of DSB repair proteins to the DSB in like worms. We have developed a method to detect recruitment of DSB repair proteins to sites of DSBs in live, intact, worms (Koury 2017, also see picture above). We use this method to identify the recruitment kinetics proteins involved in HR and NHEJ in different regions of the germline and in mitotic vs. meiotic nuclei of the worm. We welcome collaborations with our lab using this method.
  3. Elucidating the mechanism of SC assembly and disassembly through the study of central region proteins of the SC. This study is centered on our recently discovered gene involved in SC disassembly, akir-1, as well as other genes/proteins identified to interact with it. See our publications; Alleva et. al. 2017, Brockway et. al. 2014 and Clemons et. al. 2013.