C. elegans has been used as a model system for studies of nervous system development and function for over 50 years due to its relative simplicity and strong similarity to other animals. One of such similarities is the presence of an RFX transcription factor, which is responsible for controlling gene expression in a handful of important organs, including the brain. RFX proteins are a family of highly evolutionarily conserved proteins that usually function by binding to a specific region (called the X-box) in the promoter of their target genes. A single RFX-coding gene has been found in C. elegans, called daf-19. The function of DAF-19 proteins thus far identified include regulating innate immunity and ciliogenesis. The daf-19 gene encodes four related proteins, or isoforms: DAF-19A, B, C, and M. In this study, we fully characterize the expression pattern of the DAF-19C isoform through the use of fluorescently labeled protein constructs, confocal fluorescence microscopy, and neuron maps. We report that DAF-19C is expressed in at least 48 ciliated neurons and eight non-ciliated neurons in the head.
Level of Honors
magna cum laude
Elizabeth De Stasio
Liu, Hanwenheng (Billy), "Mapping Out Head Country: Expression of DAF-19C in the Head Neurons of C. elegans" (2018). Lawrence University Honors Projects. 118.