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The puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase, PAM-1, is needed for meiotic exit and anteroposterior axis formation in early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. PAM-1 is also involved in oocyte maturation and the oocyte-to-embryo transition, making it of particular interest to study because of its association with infertility and Alzheimer’s disease in a human homolog. In this study, two proteins, MBK-2 and CDK-1, are studied to investigate their relationship with PAM-1. MBK-2 is a protein kinase that regulates the degradation of MEI-1, a katanin-related protein, during meiotic exit, and transduces polarity signals that control asymmetric division. In oocytes and early embryos of wildtype C. elegans, it is found along the perimeter of the last 2-3 late-stage oocytes. It then speckles throughout the embryos, with the amount of speckling decreasing after reaching position 2. CDK-1 is a cyclin-dependent kinase that has feedback loops with two proteins, WEE-1.3 and CDC-25.1, where CDC-25.1 counteracts WEE-1.3 by activating CDK-1. This protein is found in late-stage oocytes, and this research studies its presence in nucleoli. MBK-2 and CDK-1 are both involved in processes that PAM-1 regulates. Through studying them in wildtype and pam-1 mutant C. elegans, we hope to gain insight into their roles in developmental processes and better understand PAM-1.
Alessandrini, Alexa R., "The Role of MBK-2 and CDK-1 in Oocytes and Early Embryos of pam-1 C. elegans" (2023). Biology Summer Fellows. 100.
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