Student Work

A Rhetorical Inquiry: Molecular Characterization of the Histone Methyltransferase Suv420 as a Grant Proposal


Downloadable Content

open in viewer

The grant proposal process can be a demanding and overwhelming affair for researchers, especially early career investigators (ECI). This project seeks to establish a more comprehensive understanding of grant writing as a “genre system,” a series of interconnected texts and discourse communities. This rhetorical inquiry, which focuses on grant writing in the context of the review panel process, was integrated with a biotechnology component involving the identification and generation of disease-relevant mutations in the histone methyltransferase enzyme known as Suv420h1. Histone methylation by Suv420h1 has been implicated in gene expression and DNA damage response. Suv420h1 is also found to be mutated in several diseases, including cancer and autism. Nevertheless, the manner in which Suv420h1 is modulated to function in distinct pathways, nor the consequences of Suv420h1 mutation in disease is known. Our preliminary analysis suggests that Casein kinase 2 (CK2), an important cellular kinase with known roles in the DNA damage response and cell death pathways, phosphorylates Suv420h1. Our data also predict that several of these putative CK2 phosphorylation sites would be disrupted by mutations found in cancer patient samples. This project seeks to test the hypothesis that putative CK2 phosphorylation sites on Suv420 modulate the function of Suv420h1. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to create phosphomimetic and phosphomutant versions of Suv420h1 where serine residues that represent putative CK2 phosphorylation sites were individually mutated to Alanine or Aspartic Acid, respectively. This investigation of Suv420 mutations was used as preliminary data to write the most crucial components of a grant proposal that act as the deliverable for this project.

  • This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
  • 65921
  • E-project-042822-163855
  • 2022
Date created
  • 2022-04-28
Resource type
Rights statement


In Collection:



Permanent link to this page: