Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Lee Niswander

Second Advisor

Dr. Robin Dowell

Third Advisor

Dr. Eric Stade


A major receptor for intracellular iron transport is the transferrin receptor complex (TFRC). Iron plays a major role in embryonic development, but the way in which iron is transported throughout mammalian cells is still under investigation. A large portion of protein transport is facilitated by a family of proteins called sorting nexins. This paper shows that TFRC is being trafficked by one of these sorting nexins, SNX3 in Mus musculus. This claim is based on data collected from qPCR, flow cytometry, and live cell imaging. In short, the absence of Snx3 resulted in a 1.765-fold increase in Tfrc mRNA but a statistically significant (p<0.005) decrease in surface level expression of TFRC. Additionally, this decrease in surface level expression was restored upon exogenous addition of SNX3. Further evidence of this interaction was shown by colocalization of SNX3 and TFRC using live cell imaging. My work uncovers a regulatory mechanism of iron transport via the SNX3-TFRC complex in mice.

Available for download on Friday, April 02, 2021