Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Blumenthal

Abstract

The nematode C. elegans exhibits SL1 trans-splicing, a unique form of pre-mRNA Processing seen in a variety of lower metazoans. In C. elegans, there are two types of trans-spliced leader that are added onto the 5' end of trans-spliced pre-mRNA: SL2 and its evolutionary predecessor, SL1. A bioinformatic analysis by Graber et al. (2007) revealed two conserved sequences associated with SL2 and SL1-accepting pre-mRNA known as the “Ur” and “Ou elements” respectively. Lasda et al. (2010) demonstrated that the Ur element is required for SL2 trans-splicing and predicted that the Ou element functions similarly for SL1 trans-splicing. The present study investigated the role of the Ou element in SL1 trans-splicing by gathering primary data using mutational analysis followed by SL1 in vitro trans-splicing assays. Two different Ou-mutations considerably decreased SL1 trans-splicing efficiency when compared to wild-type constructs of the same gene. These data suggest that the Ou element may play a key role in SL1 trans-splicing.

Share

COinS