Date Approved

2020

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Hannah Seidel

Second Advisor

Aaron Liepman

Third Advisor

Marianne Laporte

Abstract

Cancer is characterized by defects in the cell cycle, the program cells use to replicate and divide. One important factor controlling the cell cycle is a protein complex known as the anaphase promoting complex (APC/CCdh1). This complex controls the canonical cell cycle, but whether it functions similarly in the abbreviated cell cycle, a non-canonical form of the cell cycle, is unknown. Neural stem cells and embryonic stem cells are examples of cell types that undergo this alternative form of the cell cycle, which is characterized by a shortened G1 phase. We hypothesized that APC/CCdh1 is not required in the abbreviated cell cycle. To test this hypothesis, RNAi was used to knock down expression of the C. elegans homolog of Cdh1 and epifluorescence microscopy was used to visualize the adult hermaphrodite gonads to count the number of germline stem cells (GSCs) that are in active cell division. We found that RNAitreated animals had significantly fewer GSCs in active cell division than the control; however, the difference was only slight. We cannot say for certain whether our hypothesis was supported or not, but our findings suggest that there may be a potential minor role of APC/CCdh1 in the abbreviated cell cycle.

Included in

Biology Commons

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