Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science

First Advisor's Name

Fenfei Leng

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Lidia Kos

Third Advisor's Name

Kalai Mathee

Date of Defense



The high mobility group protein HMGA2 is an architectural transcription factor, which is expressed during embryogenesis. Aberrant expression causes benign and malignant tumor formation. The protein possesses three "AT hook" domains and an acidic Cterminal. HMGA2 is natively unstructured, however it forms a homodimer. In this study site-directed mutagenesis was used to create single methionine mutants, HMGA2Q37M, HMGA2I71M and HMGA2Q85M. These mutants were cross-linked using EDC and then cleaved using CNBr to determine which domains are involved in homodimer formation. Our results indicate that the second "AT hook" domain may interact with the C-terminal. We then labeled a peptide containing the C-terminal (CTP) with tetramethylrhodamine-5- maleimide (TRM). We found that the CTP-TMR binds to HMGA2Α95-108, which lacks the C-terminal. These results suggest that the C-terminal is required for homodimer formation. The techniques used within this study can be applied to forensics and with further research HMGA2 may have a forensic application.




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