IDENTIFYING ADDITIONAL CENTROSOME ATTACHMENT GENES AND CHARACTERIZING CENTROSOMAL LOCALIZATION OF ZYG-12

Open Access
Author:
Chen, Yi
Graduate Program:
Genetics
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Wendy Hanna Rose, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • zyg-12
  • zyg-1
  • centrosome attachment
  • suppressor screen
Abstract:
The association between the centrosome and the nucleus is crucial for mitosis in the early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. Four components are essential for this association: zyg-12, sun-1, microtubules and dynein complex (Reinsch and Karsenti, 1997; Malone et al., 2003). However, the molecular mechanism governing the centrosome-nucleus association is incompletely understood, and the question whether additional components are involved in this process has not been answered yet. To address this question, I performed two genetic screens to identify additional genes that may play roles in the centrosome-nucleus association. I found additional zyg-12-like genes in the suppressor screen on a centrosome-duplication gene zyg-1. I also identified suppressors that may genetically interact with zyg-12 through another suppressor screen on gene zyg-12. The preliminary characterizations of zyg-1 suppressors suggest that gene zyg-1 may have an unrevealed function in promoting the centrosome-nucleus association. My zyg-12 suppressor screen also provided strong evidence for the existence of the additional components involving in this process. In addition, to better understand the function of zyg-12 in the association, I investigated the mechanism of the centrosomal localization of ZYG-12. Using the microtubule binding assay, I tested the hypothesis that ZYG-12 interacts with microtubules to localize to the centrosome. However, ZYG-12 did not bind to microtubules in the assay, which suggested that it may localize to the centrosome through some other mechanism.