Caslavka, Katelyn (2012-2015)


Katelyn is in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  She joined the training program in 2012. Her research mentor is Dr. Steven Clarke.  She received a B.S. degree in 2011 from Santa Clara U.

Mentor: Dr. Steven Clarke

Research project:


Many molecules involved in translation are methylated in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, such as ribosomal proteins, elongation factors, and associated rRNA. While the exact function of these modifications is unknown, methylation of ribosomal proteins may be necessary for translation regulation or ribosome structure and assembly as knockouts for the methyltransferases responsible display a variety of phenotypes. The situation is entirely unknown in the mitochondria, however, which have their own translational apparatus, including distinct ribosomal proteins that must be imported from the nucleus. Our laboratory has identified putative methyltransferases in yeast that localize to the mitochondria or are involved in ribosome biogenesis, yet do not have a known substrate on the cytoplasmic ribosome. These are candidates for methylating mitochondrial ribosomal proteins. I seek to determine which mitochondrial ribosomal proteins are methylated and identify what putative methyltransferases are responsible. I then plan to characterize the phenotype of the methyltransferase knockouts, allowing the function of the modifications to be assessed.