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Title: Defining the role of ncbp-1 and ncbp-2 to regulate sensory ray identity in C. elegans
Authors: Wong, Julie Hiu Tung
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Gene modulations in eukaryotes are very important for guiding the differentiation of cell types that are specialized to serve a particular function. Pre-messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)-splicing and microRNA processing, coupled with non-sense mediated decay are common strategies adopted to control gene expression. Cap-binding complexes, which have subunits ncbp-1 and ncbp-2, are implicated to be required in all of these events in plants to humans, which suggest that they play a conserved role in the determination of cell fate. Indeed, ncbp-1 and ncbp-2 have been found to determine the fate and identities of ray cells in Caenorhabditis elegans. I have demonstrated that by reducing the levels of either ncbp-1 or ncbp-2, this transforms the identity of ray 6 to that of ray 4, which results in rays 6-4 fusion. It has been confirmed that NCBP-1 and NCBP-2 co-localize at ray precursor cells and able to physically interact with each other via translational reporters and yeast-2-hybrid assays respectively. Therefore, it is suggested that they work together for ray patterning. In addition, ncbp-1/ncbp-2 is demonstrated to regulate ray identities by repressing Dbl/Sma signaling, rather than having a direct influence on the components of the pathway. ncbp-1/ncbp-2 is suggested to influence at the mRNA level, as it binds to the mRNA of dbl-1. This interaction is likely to be at the rays, and not at the ventral nerve cord. The findings of this study confirm the roles of ncbp-1 and ncbp-2 in cell fate determination, and inspire us on their possible mechanisms and targets.
Description: Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2012
xvii, 158 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
HKUST Call Number: Thesis LIFS 2012 Wong
Appears in Collections:LIFS Master Theses

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