Investigating the role of mucin-related genes in the dauer state of C. elegans

Francine Milone
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 10:10am
Ramsay Wright Building, Room 432
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, like many organisms, can mount adaptive responses to diverse stimuli that often involve altered gene expression in different cell types. High temperature, low food availability and the presence of a stress pheromone trigger the alternative developmental state in C.elegans known as dauer. Although the genetic mechanisms that govern this developmental state are well understood many questions still remain. My work has identified a potential link connecting the pharyngeal gland toxin-related (phat) genes and the dauer state. Specifically, I have observed that one of these genes, phat-2, encodes a protein that is localized to the pharyngeal lumen during normal development, but redistributes to the intestinal lumen in dauer animals. The phat genes encode proteins with SHK domains, which are found in mucin related proteins. My work has contributed to better understanding the significance of this redistribution on dauer development and physiology.
John Calarco
Dept of Cell and Systems Biology