Chromatin association of UHRF1 during the cell cycle

  • Bothayna Al-Gashgari

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Ubiquitin-like with PHD and RING Finger domains 1 (UHRF1) is a nuclear protein that associates with chromatin. Regardless of the various functions of UHRF1 in the cell, one of its more important functions is its role in the maintenance of DNA methylation patterns by the recruitment of DNMT1. Studies on UHRF1 based on this function have revealed the importance of UHRF1 during the cell cycle. Moreover, based on different studies various factors were described to be involved in the regulation of UHRF1 with different functionalities that can control its binding affinity to different targets on chromatin. These factors are regulated differently in a cell cycle specific manner. In light of this, we propose that UHRF1 has different binding behaviors during the cell cycle in regard to its association with chromatin. In this project, we first analyzed the binding behavior of endogenous UHRF1 from different unsynchronized cell systems in pull-down assays with peptides and oligonucleotides. Moreover, to analyze UHRF1 binding behavior during the cell cycle, we used two different approaches. First we sorted Jurkat and HT1080 cells based on their cell cycle stage using FACS analysis. Additionally, we synchronized HeLa cells to different stages of the cell cycle by chemical treatments, and used extracts from cellsorting and cell synchronization experiments for pull-down assays. We observed that UHRF1 in different cell systems has different preferences in regard to its binding to H3 unmodified and H3K9me3. Moreover, we detected that UHRF1, in general, displays different patterns between different stages of cell cycle; however, we cannot draw a final model for UHRF1 binding pattern during cell cycle.
Date of AwardMay 2017
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorWolfgang Fischle (Supervisor)


  • UHRF1
  • DNA maintenance
  • Methylation
  • Cell Cycle
  • Chromatin
  • Epigenetic

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