Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Mariana Torrente

Committee Members

Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle

Lesley Emtage

David Jeruzalmi

Emilio Gallicchio

Subject Categories



amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, epigenetics, posttranslational modifications, histones, prion, liquid liquid phase separation


Proper protein folding is a delicate balance that is crucial for normal biological function. In mammals, protein misfolding and aggregation leads to loss of function of the original protein while in many cases being associated with neurodegenerative diseases, eventually leading to death of the organism. In yeast however, the aggregated prion state is associated with positive cellular outcomes, and cells can switch between the [PRION+] and [prion-] states. Understanding the factors that lead to changes in prion state conformation in yeast could lead to novel insight into the conditions controlling misfolding by neurodegenerative proteinopathies. We believe that by studying the interface between neurodegeneration, protein misfolding, and epigenetics, we can elucidate the mechanisms leading to disease, and potentially reveal novel targets for therapeutic development. Our results highlight a need for further research into how misfolded protein aggregates disrupt the histone PTM landscape. We hope this work will lead to the discovery of novel targets for neurodegenerative disease therapeutics.

Included in

Chemistry Commons