Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type






First Advisor

Dr. Kevin D.Sarge


At the beginning of mitosis, chromosomes are condensed and segregated to facilitate correct alignment later in cytokinesis. Condensin is the pentameric enzyme responsible for this DNA compaction and is composed of two structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) subunits and three non-SMC subunits. Condensin mutations generate chromosomal abnormalities due to improper segregation, leading to genome instability and eventual malignant transformation of the cell. Cdc2 phosphorylation of the non-SMC subunits, CAP-G, CAP-D2, and CAP-H, has been demonstrated to be important for condensin supercoiling activity and function. While these subunits are thought to be phosphorylated by Cdc2, the exact sites have not yet been identified and characterized. The basis of this research was to determine the Cdc2 phosphorylation sites in the CAP-G subunit of the condensin enzyme and to characterize the functional significance of the sites in the regulation of condensin activity using site-directed mutagenesis and immunofluoresence microscopy.

While DNA condensation represents a critical step early in mitosis, formation of the mitotic spindle represents a vital event leading to the division of a cell into two daughter cells in a process known as cytokinesis. Protein regulating cytokinesis 1 (PRC1) is a mitotic protein essential for cytokinesis that participates in formation of the mitotic spindle in a phosphorylation dependent manner. PRC1 possesses microtubule bundling properties. Loss of PRC1 leads to mis-segregation of chromosomes and abnormal cytokinesis.

HSF2 is a transcription factor known to be important in development and differentiation. Previous research has determined that HSF2 plays a significant mechanistic role in the process of hsp70i gene bookmarking during mitosis. Bookmarking is an epigenetic phenomenon whereby certain gene promoters remain uncompacted, in contrast to the majoritiy of genomic DNA during mitosis. This lack of compaction allows quick reassembly to a transcriptionally competent in G1 of the cell cycle and ensures the ability of the cell to induce expression of the cytoprotective hsp70i protein. HSF2 and PRC1 were found to interact in a yeast-two hybrid screen. Given the importance of both of these proteins during mitosis, this study seeks to characterize the HSF2/PRC1 interaction and determine the potential role for PRC1 in hsp70i gene bookmarking.