Determining the Enzymatic Pathway of the Stress Reaction in Caenorhabditis elegans

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Riley, Mason
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
Stress pathways are ubiquitous among organisms due to their immense importance in responding to environmental changes. Stress response pathway failure has been implicated in issues ranging from spontaneous fetal abortion to myriad cancers. This experiment attempts to determine the components comprising the ubiquitin stress response of Caenorhabditis elegans due to its homologous nature to the human pathway. Gene knockdowns were done for each enzymatic step of the pathway as well as a lifespan study to determine other related functions of these enzymes. The E2 was determined to be the ubc-18 enzyme, the E3 is still unknown, and the lack of ubc-18 did not have a significant effect on the lifespans of the worms. This experiment yielded one more component of the stress pathway and, while the lack of the enzyme does not influence life after hatching, the loss of the enzyme may cause problems during development that could become evident later.
ubiquitin, proteasome, nuclear spheres, ubc-18