Investigation of ciliary differentiation using knockdown experiments
Hewitt, Kevin M.
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Cilia are a pervasive organelle in eukaryotic cells possessing a great variety of uses. The improper function of cilia is the cause for many diseases in humans. The study of cilia and ciliogenesis should lead to improved knowledge about ciliary diseases. Ciliary diseases can be caused by a defective motile or sensory cilium. In order to study the effect of cilia on the early development of an embryo, the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus is often used because the early development of sea urchins is similar to that of humans, they are available perennially, and the entire genome is available to the public. In the present study, morpholino knockdown experiments were done to determine the functions of ciliary genes in sea urchins. Morpholinos were created for the gene NK2.1 and microinjected into sea urchin eggs. NK2.1 has been shown to control the length of apical tuft sensory cilia in gastrula stage embryos. The successful microinjection of NK2.1 morpholino should result in confirmation of the proposed function of NK2.1 and enable the further investigates of other ciliary genes such as OSM-3.
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Kevin Hewitt Honors Thesis.pdf