Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Micheal Tibbetts

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The Yap/Taz signaling pathway regulates tissue size in a wide range of organ systems and animal taxa. Both Yap and Taz act as transcriptional coactivators in concert with nuclear Tead transcription factors. While these pathways have been implicated as actors in some zebrafish organ systems, the role of Tead-dependent Yap/Taz signaling has yet to be fully explored in the zebrafish posterior lateral line (pLL) system, a common and useful model for the mammalian inner ear owing to the presence of regenerative sensory hair cell populations. Unlike in the inner ear, these cells can regenerate following damage or death. Previous studies have also found Tead1b to be up-regulated in neuromasts following hair cell death. Here, I investigated the function of Tead1b in larval zebrafish through the use of inhibitory morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) and characterized its roles during regeneration and development. I found that Tead-dependent gene transcription is required for proper pLL development, the effects of which are particularly visible at 72 hours post fertilization where the neuromasts of MO injected larvae contained significantly fewer hair cells (HCs) than both uninjected and sham-injected controls. Immunofluorescence against Tead1b following HC ablation, Tead1b expression is localized to the organ’s stem cell niche, suggesting a role during regeneration. These results suggest a possible mechanism in which the initial mitotic event is initiated by Tead-dependent processes.

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