Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Casonya Matese Johnson, PhD

Second Advisor

Margo Ann Brinton, PhD

Third Advisor

Walter William Walthall, PhD

Abstract

The REF-1 family proteins are distinguished by the presence of two basic helix-loop helix domains. The REF-1 family members are considered functional homologs of the Hairy/Enhancer of Split in humans. HLH-25 is one of the six members of the REF-1 family. HLH-25 has not been studied extensively. In preliminary studies from our laboratory, genes identified by microarray analysis of hlh-25 mutants were essential for embryogenesis, larval development, and growth. Thus, the present study was designed to further characterize HLH-25 and to more precisely define its role during embryonic and larval development. The gene encoding HLH-25 is actively expressed in embryos, larvae and adults. In the absence of hlh-25, animals show a 54% embryonic lethality, a reduced brood size, an increased number of unfertilized eggs, a slower movement rate, a longer life span, and a longer dauer recovery. The human tumor suppressor PTEN homolog, daf-18 is one of the HLH-25 target genes. The regulation of daf-18 through HLH-25 is the responsible for changes to the life span and dauer recovery in hlh-25 mutant animals.

Available for download on Monday, April 25, 2016

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