Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2011

Document Type



Integrative Physiology

First Advisor

Prof. Dylan Taatjes


The human mediator complex is a 26 to 30 subunit complex that exists in various forms in cells. This multi subunit complex regulates all protein-coding genes and the expression of such genes. Though the mediator complex plays an important role in transcription, not much is known about it. In the quest to discover the structural composition, function and mechanism through which the mediator complex operates, most scientists and researchers have done extensive analysis of the mediator complex in He La cell lines and not so much in alternate cell lines. Analyzing two neuronal cell lines, LN-18, a malignant human glioma cell line, and SK-N-AS, a human neuroblastoma cell line, we hypothesize that the subunit composition of the mediator complex in these two neuronal cell lines might be different from that of HeLa cells due to the high specialization of the central nervous system. Employing the use of immunoprecipitation, gel electrophoresis, silver staining and ultimately mass spectrometry, we expect to observe “neuron specific” mediator complex. This research will open the door for further research on neuronal cell lines.