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Zinc finger-enzyme complex binding to DNA

Research Achievements

Zinc finger-enzyme complex binding to DNA

Research goals of Shayna Brocato include developing methods that yield high amount of double-stranded DNA wrapping around carbon nanotubes and identifying conditions that allow for maximum site-specific zinc finger binding to double stranded DNA. Using surface plasmon resonance, optimum conditions for zinc finger-enzyme complex binding to DNA were determined. These conditions were such that the enzyme without the zinc finger would not bind to DNA, while the zinc finger-enzyme complex would. DNA binding to carbon nanotubes was optimized using a process that includes sonication and centrifugation, followed by analysis using a circular dichroism spectrometry and spectrofluorometry. Interdisciplinary teamwork has been essential for Shayna's project. Her Chemical Engineering colleagues have the expertise in the carbon nanotube and DNA aspects of her project, but do not know much about enzymes. It was very helpful to be part of a team that was knowledgeable in all areas of her research.