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Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Second Student Contributor
Proper development of the one-cell embryo in the nematode C. elegans depends on polarization along the anterior-posterior axis. The actin cytoskeleton is critical to this process, and mutation in the gene pam-1 results in aberrant polarization phenotypes consistent with misregulation of the cytoskeleton. Such phenotypes include mislocalization of protein foci on the cell cortex, weak or aberrant cortical flows, and pseudocleavage exhibiting membrane protuberances called “blebs”. We investigate some proteins implicated in cytoskeletal processes to characterize PAM-1’s protein targets and effects on the cytoskeleton. pfn-1 and ani-1 are implicated in securing proper polarization; when these proteins are artificially depleted by RNAi, improper polarization occurs, and cortical flows are absent. pam-1 mutant embryos can be treated with RNAi and their phenotype examined. If blebs at pseudocleavage are absent, or pam-1-mutant-characteristic cortical flows are absent or normalized, then it is reasonable to infer that the gene at hand is a target in pam-1’s signaling pathway.
Belville, AJ, "The Connection Between Cytoskeletal Proteins and pam-1 Mutants" (2019). Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Summer Fellows. 13.
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