Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access



Faculty Mentor

Rebecca Lyczak


Presented during the 17th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 24, 2015 at Ursinus College.

Supported by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant.

Project Description

In a single-celled Caenorhabditis elegans, the anterior posterior axis is established when the sperm-donated centrosome meets the posterior cortex, which is fundamental for proper development. pam-1 encodes for the protein puromycin sensitive aminopeptidase and plays a major role in the centrosome positioning and establishment of the anterior posterior axis. Failed polarization of the anterior posterior axis results in embryo lethality in pam-1 mutants. We are interested in the targets of PAM-1 since much remains unknown about the function of this aminopeptidase. To do this, we study five pam-1 suppressors that allow embryos to survive despite pam-1’s lethal phenotype and our goal is to locate their position within the C.elegans genome using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mapping techniques. Using DNA isolation, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and gel electrophoresis, we can differentiate between two geographically isolated strains of DNA to distinguish its proximity to pam-1. Through genetic crosses, we have determined that lz2 is a dominant suppressor of pam-1. Through SNP mapping techniques, we have identified the end of the third chromosome as a potential location. lz2 suppressor’s high hatch rate indicates a dominant inheritance pattern. A greater understanding of the mechanisms of suppressors will support our investigation of PAM-1. Additionally, humans share a homologue, NPEPPS, with C. elegans with potential future application to neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s.


Available to Ursinus community only.