Dzialo, Maria C. (2011-2014)


Maria is in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She joined the Training Program in 2011.  Her research mentor is Dr. Steven Clarke.  She received a B.S. degree in 2010 from Union College in New York. 

Mentor: Clarke, Steven

Research project:


Our lab works on identifying novel methyltransferases and elucidating the roles such modifications have on the function of the substrate proteins. Eukaryotic elongation factor 1A (eEF1A) is an essential protein involved in protein synthesis. The primary function of eEF1A is to escort tRNAs into the ribosomal A-site but it has been implicated in a variety of other roles such as cytoskeleton organization and apoptosis. eEF1A is extensively methylated at five different residues including a C-terminal methyl ester. Only two methyltransferases responsible for modifying two of the residues have been identified and it is still unknown how these modifications may affect the activity of eEF1A. My goal is to identify the remaining three methyltransferases, characterize their enzymatic capabilities, and determine the regulatory function these modifications may have on the role of eEF1A.