Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Aimin Liu

Second Advisor

Dr. David Wilson

Third Advisor

Dr. Donald Hamelberg


The transcription factor NF-κB interacts with many other co-regulator proteins that modulate its binding and transcriptional activity. One of these co-regulators, Pirin, is an iron-dependent metalloprotein that has been shown to enhance the DNA binding of NF-κB homodimers. Here, we characterize the interactions between Pirin and its known NF-κB binding partners and examined the role of Bcl-3, a protein that is required for Pirin’s interaction with p50. In addition, we use site-directed mutagenesis to alter conserved residues within Pirin’s metal binding environment and observed how it affected the DNA binding and conformation of the Pirin-NF-κB complex. These studies show that, while a similar enhancing effect on DNA binding is observed, the interactions of Pirin with different NF-κB members are distinct from each other and could possibly have different physiological purposes.