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Sarah E. Bondos

Sarah E. Bondos

Assistant Professor

Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine

College of Medicine

Room 258A Reynolds Building
1114 TAMU

College Station , TX 77843-1114
Office Phone: (979) 845-5399


  1. B.S. with Honors and Distinction, Chemistry, University of North Carolina, 1993
  2. Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Illinois, 1998
  3. Post-doc., Rice University (Dr. Kathleen Matthews)


Research Interests

Hox transcription factors as master regulators and biomaterials

Hox transcription factors drive key aspects of development, evolution, wound repair, stem cell differentiation, and carcinogenesis. Animal survival requires individual Hox proteins to sense the cellular context and implement the corresponding gene regulatory cascades. However, the Hox DNA binding homeodomains lack the requisite interaction specificity. Our lab is discovering regions outside Hox homeodomains that enhance DNA binding specificity and respond to conformational changes,tissue-specific alternative splicing, protein interactions, and cell signaling cascades. We explore these mechanisms in vitro and in vivo using a combination of biophysical, cell biological, and genetic approaches.

We have also developed methods to control aggregation of the Drosophila Hox protein Ultrabithorax to generate novel biomaterials. These materials self-associate into fibers 50 nm in diameter, which further assemble into remarkablely strong and elastic materials: films, thick sheets, ropes, bundles, lattices, and baskets. We are characterizing the structure and mechanical properties of these biomaterials, and integrating novel functions via nanoparticles and heterologous proteins.

Selected Publications:

Liu, Y., Matthews, K.S., and Bondos, S.E. 2009. Internal regulatory interactions determine DNA binding specificity by a Hox transcription factor. J Mol Biol 390: 760-774.

Greer, A.M., Huang, Z., Oriakhi, A., Lu, Y., Lou, J., Matthews, K.S., and Bondos, S.E. 2009. The Drosophila transcription factor ultrabithorax self-assembles into protein-based biomaterials with multiple morphologies. Biomacromolecules 10: 829-837.

Liu, Y., Matthews, K.S., and Bondos, S.E. 2008. Multiple intrinsically disordered sequences alter DNA binding by the homeodomain of the Drosophila hox protein ultrabithorax. J Biol Chem 283: 20874-20887.

Bondos, S.E., Tan, X.X., and Matthews, K.S. 2006. Physical and genetic interactions link hox function with diverse transcription factors and cell signaling proteins. Mol Cell Proteomics 5: 824-834.

Bondos, S.E., Catanese, D.J., Jr., Tan, X.X., Bicknell, A., Li, L., and Matthews, K.S. 2004. Hox transcription factor ultrabithorax Ib physically and genetically interacts with disconnected interacting protein 1, a double-stranded RNA-binding protein. J Biol Chem 279: 26433-26444.

Bondos, S.E. and Bicknell, A. 2003. Detection and prevention of protein aggregation before, during, and after purification. Anal Biochem 316: 223-231.

Tan, X.X., Bondos, S., Li, L., and Matthews, K.S. 2002. Transcription activation by ultrabithorax Ib protein requires a predicted alpha-helical region. Biochemistry 41: 2774-2785.

Current Genetics Students:

Kristine Arvola

Rebecca Booth

Kelly Churion

Gabriela Mendes


Hao Ching Hsaio