FUNCTION OF AN ENGRAILED-CLASS PROTEIN IN LEECH

Project Details

Description

The long term goal of this research is to understand the process of
segment formation in diverse animal phyla. This will contribute toward
an understanding of how ancestral developmental processes were
modified over the course of evolution, resulting in the dramatic
differences that are observed between species. To approach this
problem, the function of an engrailed-class protein (ht-en) will be
examined in the leech, Helobdella triseflalis. engrailed (en) is a
homeobox protein originally identified in Drosophila melanogaster.
Homologues of en have since been identified in species throughout the
animal kingdom, including human. In all species, en-class proteins
appear to function in bCLh pattern formation and in neurogenesis.
Consequently, determining the role of an en-class protein in a lower
eukaryote (i.e., leech) is likely to contribute toward an
understanding of normal development, and also to anomalies associated
with abnormal development in higher eukaryotes (i.e., human). The
function of ht-en will be examined by manipulating its expression
during leech embryogenesis. Specifically, ht-en progenitor cells will
be ablated using a 485 nm laser beam; ht-en expression will be
abrogated with microinjected antisense oligodeoxynucleotides or
ribozymes; and ht-en will be expressed ectopically in selected cell
lineages. The effects of these manipulations will be measured against
a previously observed fused ganglia phenotype, which results upon
elimination of ht-en expressing cells during normal leech development.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2/12/962/11/99

Funding

  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

ASJC

  • Structural Biology

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