March 08, 2005

WAVE2 Presentation...
I had a presentation/test/interview today for my Developmental Biology course. Basically, I picked a research paper, and the prof asked me questions about it for 45 minutes. I think that I did OK, but I could've done better. I thought that the paper was relatively easy when I picked it (a knock-out mouse that affected cardiac development), but it didn't turn out as such when I got into it.
The paper was about WAVE2's affect on cell motility and cardiovascular development. WAVE2 is part of a family of proteins that affects cell motility (along with WASP). They knocked out the gene (using Neomycin to select for cells), and ran the proper gels for verification. The embryos developed normally until about day 9, when they were significantly smaller than the wild types. They found that WAVE2 had a significant impact on actin rearrangement on the lamellipodia (the leading edge), while almost no impact on the trailing edge (unlike WAVE1 which impacts both sides). WAVE2 had no affect on vasculogenesis, but a major affect on angiogenesis. It's expressed in endothelial cells, but not in the neural tube. There's a lot more, but I'm sure it'll just bore you (if you even made it this far...).

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