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Melanie Dobson

DPhil (Oxon)


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department
Undergraduate Program Advisor
Department member since 1993

Tupper 10-J1


Yeast and Mammalian Molecular Genetics

Research Areas

Plasmid segregation and chromosome function

The focus of the laboratory involves NSERC-funded studies of chromosome and plasmid segregation. We are studying the inheritance of a plasmid, the 2Ám circle, found at high copy number in the nucleus of most strains of the brewing yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The 2Ám plasmid relies on nuclear genes for its replication and encodes proteins that allow it to borrow the host chromosome segregation machinery for its own efficient delivery to daughter cells. Our goal is to employ standard molecular genetic techniques, protein-protein and protein-DNA interaction assays and immunocytological analyses to determine how this molecular hitch-hiking occurs. Future work will include analysis of interactions of plasmid-encoded gene products with each other, with the plasmid and with other nuclear-encoded proteins including those identified as interacting specifically with the 2Ám plasmid segregation locus.

yeast, molecular genetics, functional genomics, PCR, gene deletion and cloning, reporter gene assays, chromatin immunoprecipitation, Western blotting, fluorescence microscopy, protein-protein and protein-DNA interaction assays

Graduate Students

Anastasiia Mereshchuk MSc

Lab Personnel

Joyce S.K. Chew Senior Research Technician/Lab manager


  1. Pinder, J.B, McQuaid, M.E. and Dobson, M.J., (2013) Deficient sumoylation of yeast 2-micron plasmid proteins Rep1 and Rep2 associated with their loss from the plasmid-partitioning locus and impaired plasmid inheritance. PLoS One 8 (3):e60384 [PubMed]
  2. Zencir,S., Banerjee,M., Dobson.M.J., Ayaydin, F., Ayaydin Fodor, E., Topcu, Z. and Mohanty, S. , (2013) New partner proteins containing novel internal recognition motif for human Glutaminase Interacting Protein (hGIP). Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 432:10-15 [PubMed]
  3. Zencir, S., Sike, A., Dobson, M.J., Ayaydin, F., Boros, I., and Topcu, Z. , (2013) Identification of transcriptional and phosphatase regulators as interaction partners of human ADA3, a component of histone acetyltransferase complexes. Biochem. J. 450:311-320 [PubMed]
  4. Dobson, M.J., Pickett, A.J., Velmurugan, S., Pinder, J.B., Barrett, L.A., Jayaram, M., and Chew, J.S.K. , (2005) The 2µm plasmid causes cell death in yeast with a mutation in Ulp1 protease. Mol. Cell Biol. 25:4299-4310 [PubMed]
  5. Mehta, S., Yang, X.M., Chan, C.S., Dobson, M.J., Jayaram, M., and Velmurugan, S., (2002) The 2micron plasmid purloins the yeast cohesion complex: a mechanism for coupling plasmid partitioning and chromosome segregation? J. Cell Biol. 158:625-637 [PubMed]
  6. Sengupta, A., Blomqvist, K., Pickett, A., Zhang, Y., Chew, J.S.K. and Dobson, M.J., (2001) Functional domains of yeast plasmid-encoded Rep proteins. J.Bacteriol. 183:2306-2315 [PubMed]
  7. Velmurugan, S., Yang, X., Chan, C, Dobson, M.J., and Jayaram, M., (2000) Partitioning of the 2µm circle plasmid of Saccharomyces cerevisiae: functional coordination with chromosome segregation and plasmid-encoded Rep protein distribution. J. Cell Biol. 149:553-566 [PubMed]