The Effects of the egl-13 Transcription Factor is Linked to the pat-3 B integrin
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The ability to properly reproduce is essential to any organism, including the hermaphroditic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. In C. elegans development, the transcription factor egl-13, a homolog of human polycomb related transcription factor, is essential for early uterine cells to maintain their function. The egl-13 transcription factor allows the uterine cells to attach to the inner muscle layer of the body wall and bind to the vulval epidermis. In this study, we utilized RNAi to knock down the expression of egl- 13. The RNAi worms displayed the Egl phenotype which includes a buildup of eggs within the uterus since the worm is unable to lay eggs and hatched progeny inside the worm abdominal cavity. The next step of the study involved coupling the egl-13 RNAi with a line of worm containing a pat-3 β integrin defect. Integrins are a family of transmembrane receptors that are involved in many cellular processes, including signal transduction. After performing egl-13 RNAi in a pat-3 β integrin mutant background, we noted an enhanced phenotype which was quantified through thrashing assays and counting the number of eggs trapped inside the worm. Furthermore, the egl-13 RNAi coupled with the integrin defect led to fewer viable progeny, suggesting that a synergistic event between egl-13 RNAi and pat-3 mutant defects caused lethality of animals. Therefore, I conclude that egl-13 transcription factor can be placed in or parallel to integrin signaling for uterus formation.