Determining the Role of Aquaglyceroporin-3b in Convergent Extension During Xenopus Gastrulation

Zachary Mayne, Dr. Jennifer Forecki, and Dr. Christa Merzdorf; Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Montana State University; Culbertson Hall, 100, Bozeman, MT 59717

The apq3b gene codes for an aquaglyceroporin, a type of transmembrane channel that facilitates the cell's permeability to glycerol and other small, polar molecules in addition to water. This aquaglyceroporin plays key roles in gastrulation, when the embryo forms the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm layers, and in neurulation, when the neural tube forms. During early gastrulation, dorsal mesoderm cells on the embryo’s exterior move interiorly and undergo convergent extension, whereby they form into a long, thin band of tissue. Injecting morpholino oligonucleotides to prevent Aqp3b protein translation in the dorsal mesoderm cells prevents convergent extension in gastrulation. In my experiments, I am assessing whether it is the water or polar-solute permeability from Aqp3b expression that is necessary for convergent extension. Preliminary data from control experiments, where dorsal mesoderm cells of Xenopus embryos were injected with morpholino oligonucleotides targeting aqp3b, have reconfirmed that Aqp3b expression is required for convergent extension. Exogenous mRNAs will be co-injected with morpholinos targeting aqp3b to replace it with alternative aquaglyceroporins, which are permeable to water and polar solutes, or strict aquaporins, which are permeable only to water. My hypothesis is that other aquaglyceroporins will rescue Aqp3b function while strict aquaporins will not, which would indicate that permeability to polar solutes such as glycerol is required for convergent extension. If this hypothesis proves true, further investigation will determine which polar solutes are required and what role they play in the molecular mechanisms of convergent extension. My subsequent hypothesis is that glycerol permeability is required to mediate endocytosis events and cytoskeletal rearrangements that are necessary for convergent extension.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Zachary Mayne

Institution: Montana State University Bozeman

Type: Poster

Subject: Biology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 2
Date/Time: Mon 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 2577