The Role of c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) in Sea Urchin Cleavage Stage Development

Ashley Gehris, Kate Carango, and Margaret Peeler. Ph.D., Biology Department, Susquehanna University. 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove, PA 17870

Unfertilized sea urchin eggs are arrested in the cell cycle. After fertilization, rapid changes take place in the zygote leading to activation of the cell cycle, with the first mitosis beginning about 90 minutes post fertilization. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are known to play a role in cell proliferation but little is known about their role in activating the cell cycle following fertilization.  c-Jun-N-terminal Kinase (JNK) is a MAPK known to regulate the cytoskeleton.  We are interested in examining JNK’s involvement in activating cleavage after fertilization. We examined JNK’s role by a series of loss-of-function experiments using the small molecule inhibitor SP600125. When JNK was inhibited, embryos failed to progress through mitosis.  Cytokinesis appeared to be impacted at lower concentrations than nuclear division. We are further investigating if this phenotype is caused by JNK’s role in regulating the cytoskeleton following sea urchin fertilization.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Ashley Gehris

Institution: Susquehanna University

Type: Poster

Subject: Biology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 2
Date/Time: Mon 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 2654