The Norris lab recently identified two RNA binding proteins required for proper neuron-specific splicing. The lab conducted touch- response behavioral assays to assess the function of these proteins in touch-sensing neurons. After isolating C. elegans worms with specific phenotypes, the lab used automated computer tracking and video analysis to record the worms’ behavior. The behavior of mutant worms differed from that of wild-type worms.
The Norris lab also discovered two possible RNA binding protein sites in SAD-1, a neuronal gene implicated in the neuronal development of C. elegans1. These two binding sites may control the splicing of SAD-1. The lab transferred mutated DNA into the genome of wild-type worms by injecting a mutated plasmid. The newly transformed worms fluoresced green, indicating that the two binding sites control SAD-1 splicing.
Vandenburg, Alexa (2019) "Investigating the Roles of RNA Binding Protein Combinations in Neuronal Function and Organismal Behavior," SMU Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 4 , Article 7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25172/jour.4.1.7
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