Project Title

Does Neurogenin Control the Expression of cnd-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans?

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Martin Hudson

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Does Neurogenin Control the Expression of cnd-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans?

Undergraduate Student(s): Jessica Radchuk Graduate Student(s): Elyse Christensen

Faculty Mentor(s): Martin Hudson

Problems in nervous system development can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders such as Kanner syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, and Down syndrome. Transcription factors (TFs) are a class of proteins that help control the expression of genes, and multiple TFs are required for correct specification and function of the nervous system. It is difficult to understand how transcription factors work in an organism as complex as humans. Fortunately, many TFs are conserved across species, allowing the use of simple organisms such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in understanding TF function. C. elegans have an invariant cell lineage, a fully sequenced genome, and provide an opportunity to study these genes in a more controlled, simple way.

Neurogenin is a TF involved in neuronal differentiation. In fruit flies and mice, ngn-1 is known to regulate the basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) cnd-1, although whether this is so in other organisms is not understood. To further understand the relationship between ngn-1 and cnd-1, we are creating a C. elegans cnd-1; ngn-1 double mutant strain bearing a GFP reporter that marks the motor neurons in the ventral nerve cord. With this GFP marker, we will be able to compare the ventral nerve cord in C. elegans ngn-1 and cnd-1 single mutants with the ngn-1; cnd-1 double mutant. If ngn-1 controls cnd-1 function, we anticipate that the ngn-1; cnd-1 double mutant will appear similar to each single mutant. However, if ngn-1 has no role in cnd-1 function, then the double mutant should be synergistically worse than either single mutant.

Project Type

Poster

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Does Neurogenin Control the Expression of cnd-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans?

Does Neurogenin Control the Expression of cnd-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans?

Undergraduate Student(s): Jessica Radchuk Graduate Student(s): Elyse Christensen

Faculty Mentor(s): Martin Hudson

Problems in nervous system development can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders such as Kanner syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, and Down syndrome. Transcription factors (TFs) are a class of proteins that help control the expression of genes, and multiple TFs are required for correct specification and function of the nervous system. It is difficult to understand how transcription factors work in an organism as complex as humans. Fortunately, many TFs are conserved across species, allowing the use of simple organisms such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in understanding TF function. C. elegans have an invariant cell lineage, a fully sequenced genome, and provide an opportunity to study these genes in a more controlled, simple way.

Neurogenin is a TF involved in neuronal differentiation. In fruit flies and mice, ngn-1 is known to regulate the basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) cnd-1, although whether this is so in other organisms is not understood. To further understand the relationship between ngn-1 and cnd-1, we are creating a C. elegans cnd-1; ngn-1 double mutant strain bearing a GFP reporter that marks the motor neurons in the ventral nerve cord. With this GFP marker, we will be able to compare the ventral nerve cord in C. elegans ngn-1 and cnd-1 single mutants with the ngn-1; cnd-1 double mutant. If ngn-1 controls cnd-1 function, we anticipate that the ngn-1; cnd-1 double mutant will appear similar to each single mutant. However, if ngn-1 has no role in cnd-1 function, then the double mutant should be synergistically worse than either single mutant.