Date of Award

Summer 1995

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Karrer, kathleen

Second Advisor

Fredricks, Walter

Third Advisor

Halligan, Brian

Abstract

DNA rearrangements are basic biological processes which occur in a variety of organisms ranging from bacteria to mammals. DNA rearrangements are responsible for many human health problems including: Lyme disease caused by antigenic variation of specific bacteria, relapsing fevers caused by unicellular parasites, and cancer or AIDS as the result of retrovirus integration. Aberrant rearrangements have been implicated in the development of some B-cell mmors, chronic myolgenous leukemia, retinoblastoma and osteosarcoma. Ciliated protozoa provide particularly advantageous systems in which to study DNA rearrangements because their genomes undergo thousands of site-specific DNA rearrangements which can be induced synchronously in large numbers of cells. The isolation and characterization of the molecular machinery required for developmentally regulated DNA rearrangements could lead a better understanding of the general mechanism of DNA rearrangement events.

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