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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences

Graduate Student Directory

Sarah Clinton

Degree Program: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Room: PSC 619
Major Professor: Dr. Frank Berger

Nrf2 is a transcription factor, which under basal conditions is negatively regulated by Keap1 through ubiquitin mediated proteasomal degradation. Upon exposure to oxidative stress, the conformation of Keap1 changes and releases Nrf2. Nrf2 forms a heterodimer with a small Maf protein and translocates into the nucleus where it induces expression of antioxidant response proteins. Many cancers have shown Nrf2 to be constitutively activated and as a result many of these cancers cannot be treated by certain chemotherapeutics. My current work is focused on Nrf2 and its role in colon cancer. I am working on characterizing Nrf2 in a variety of human colon tumour cell lines along with determining the relative induction on antioxidant response proteins. We are also looking to determine if a wild-type Keap1 plasmid is able to negatively regulate Nrf2 and if that will now sensitize these cells to a common cancer therapeutic 5-FU.