Actin Dynamics During Endothelial Tubulogenesis
Is Version Of
The Honors project is potentially the most valuable component of an Honors education. Typically Honors students choose to do their projects in their area of study, but some will pick a topic of interest unrelated to their major.
The Honors Program requires that the project be presented at a poster presentation event. Poster presentations are held each semester. Most students present during their senior year, but may do so earlier if their honors project has been completed.
This site presents project descriptions and selected posters for Honors projects completed since the Fall 2015 semester.
Endothelial tubulogenesis is the formation of functional blood vessels. The purpose of this research is to understand how actin drives this process. To observe the function of actin, certain transgenic gene lines will be characterized. These transgenic gene lines are LifeAct, Moesin, Moesin-Actin-Binding Domain, and Alpha-Catenin. These genes will allow us to see how actin contributes to vascular formation. This formation will be visualized using fluorescent proteins RFP and GFP. These proteins will act as markers on each transgenic gene line to monitor the process of endothelial tubulogenesis in zebrafish using confocal microscopy. The zebrafish will express fluorescents in these gene lines using the GAL4-UAS system. This system is expressed in the vascular system, and binds to the UAS sequence to activate fluorescents for the gene of interest. Based on our research, actin acts as structural units to form vasculature. Actin is a functional protein that forms microfilaments that can be used in this process. This is based on where actin was expressed in zebrafish during endothelial tubulogenesis. Actin was expressed from major vessels, and expressed more in areas with continual vasculature formation. This shows that actin is an important factor in endothelial tubulogenesis.