ChIP-Seq: genome wide analysis of histone 3 methylation in undifferentiated and differentiated mouse muscle cells.
Mentor: Xiaolan Zhang
How precursor cells differentiate into muscle cells is an important developmental process that is not well understood. It is clear that gene regulation is an important part of this process and that histone methylation is one way in which this gene expression is regulated. If researchers can determine which genes are bound by methylated histones at different points in muscle cell differentiation, the genes controlling cellular differentiation can be identified.
Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is a powerful tool for identifying DNA regions that are associated with specific proteins. By combining ChIP with high-throughput sequencing technology, Ita and her mentor used a "ChIP-Seq" technique to analyze all the DNA sequences bound by methylated histones at different points in muscle cell differentiation. Once the sequencing of their samples is completed, the data that Ita generated will reveal new insights into which genes are critical to muscle cell differentiation.
Ita, a senior at Boston Latin Academy, conducted research to reveal how histone proteins change during cell differentiation.