Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2009

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Mark Schmitt

Honors Reader

Dr. Scott Erdman

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories



This paper presents a method for imaging RNase mitochondrial RNA processing localization using fluorescent microscopy. RNase mitochondrial RNA Processing, MRP, is an essential ribonucleoprotein endoribonuclease that functions in the degradation of specific mRNAs that control the cell cycle. A mutation of the RNA component of RNase MRP leads to a genetic disorder called Cartilage-Hair Hypoplasia. This disorder results from the decreased rate of cell growth because the mutant cell no longer has the ability to assemble rRNA, and cyclin-dependent cell-cycle regulation no longer functions correctly. My Capstone Project will study the localization and regulation of RNase MRP so that we can learn more about this disease, and also answer questions about how RNase MRP localizes, if the RNase MRP localization focus is the site of CLB2 mRNA degradation, and if RNase MRP re-localizes back to the nucleolus after mitosis is completed. RNase MRP is localized in the nucleolus, and CLB2 mRNA has been assumed to be degraded in the cytoplasm. A proposed model by Gill, et al. suggests that RNase MRP localizes to a single spot in the daughter cell’s cytoplasm, and these locations are where CLB2 is degraded. My project will involve tagging of an RNase MRP protein to give off a fluorescent signal under an ultraviolet microscope. I will then track localization of RNase MRP throughout mitosis. In addition, minimal constructs of RNase MRP will be created to further reduce the RNA component of RNase MRP and potentially be able to examine the structure using X-ray crystallography. The research conducted in these two experiments has helped lay the framework for future studies of the localization of RNase MRP during mitosis and may one day provide greater insight into new targets for Cartilage-Hair Hypoplasia and cancer.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Included in

Biology Commons



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