Aug
03

July Update

Hello again!

I can’t believe another month is almost over! I have spent most of this one trying out some new antibodies on spe-6 mutants to see what else I can learn! Most of my work has revolved around the cellularization defect I noted in June – it seems that spermatocytes lacking SPE-6 are unable to properly detach from the rachis (the cytoplasmic bridge that connects all early spermatocytes) following karyosome formation, and often wind up in large multinuclear compartments (Shakes 2009). I corroborated this finding with an antibody against the ezrin-radixin-moesin 1 protein (ERM-1), which functions as a linker between plasma membrane proteins and assembled actin microfilaments (Bretscher 2002). The ERM protein family is also commonly associated with establishment of polarization across regions of cells. Although the rachis could not be visualized with this stain, I did confirm that late spermatocytes begin demonstrating this multinucleate cell phenotype around the time when cells detach from the rachis, near the end of the karyosome stage. I also attempted to label both ERM-1 and assembled actin microfilaments on the same gonad, but it turns out that the protocols for the two stains are not compatible.

I was out of town last week at a conference, but now that I have returned for the last two weeks of my fellowship, I have a couple more experiments up my sleeve, in addition to a lot of image analysis and writing. I am also hoping to attend a cytoskeletal meeting this fall, where I can hopefully get a little more insight into the cellularization defects, so I will also be submitting an abstract for that!

Bretscher, Anthony, et al. “ERM Proteins and Merlin: Integrators at the Cell Cortex.”Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, vol. 3, no. 8, 2002, pp. 586–599., doi:10.1038/nrm882.

Shakes, Diane C., Jui-Ching Wu, Penny L. Sadler, Kristen Laprade, Landon L. Moore, Alana Noritake, and Diana S. Chu. “Spermatogenesis-Specific Features of the Meiotic Program in Caenorhabditis Elegans.” PLoS Genetics5.8 (2009): n. pag.

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