Rho Rho Rho Your Boat
This week I studied yet another protein thought to play a role in cell division: Cyk 4. In order to explain what we think Cyk 4 does, I first have to explain a little more about cell division. One of the things that the cell has to successfully do in order to divide is create a cleavage furrow in the proper place to pinch the cell into two equal half with a copy of DNA in each new half. In order to do this protein called Rho “paints” the cell in a band where it should divide. This band of Rho then recruits contractile proteins to form the cleavage furrow and start cytokinesis. Another protein called Ect 2 tells Rho the correct place to “paint” the cell. In order to do its job Ect 2 has to be transported. Cyk 4 may have a role in transporting Ect 2 allowing everything described above to happen.
To test this we again used a morphlino to “turn off” the gene that codes for the production of Ect 2 to see how this would effect cell division. We compared normal eggs that could make Ect 2 with the eggs we “turned off” the Ect 2 gene in. We injected both types of eggs with a probe which allowed us to see the amount of Rho in the cleavage furrow. We viewed the normal control eggs with the confocal microscope first after allowing. Below is one of videos we took of a control after it had undergone a few rounds of division.
In this video you can see the bands of Rho activity in the cleavage furrow as the cells divide. Then we looked at the cells without Ect 2 after a few rounds of division.
See You Next Week!
Thanks so much for reading. For all of you who made it to the end here’s a photo I took of Cape Perpetua this weekend and also a photo of a llama I met.
My name is Nicolle Koontz and I am from Grass Valley, California where I attend Sierra College. I am lucky enough to be working in George von Dassow's lab doing research on the cellular biology of starfish oocytes during mitosis. I am an information addict. I have to know how things work, how we know how those things work, and why they work the way they do. These sorts of questions have led me to major in Biology. As an REU intern I look forward to working in a state of the art lab with mentors and grad students who share in my joy of discovery while also building my skill set. I am so excited to dive into a project that can contribute to our collective scientific understanding of the world.