In vivo Interactions between PTP-3 RPTP and Various Signaling Pathways in the Caenorhabditis elegans Nervous System
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The C. elegans nervous system offers a rewarding model in which many pathways can be studied with. There are many genes conserved in both invertebrates and vertebrates that are necessary for proper nervous system development. Of the pathways that affect axon guidance, I focus on the VAB-1/Eph RTK signaling pathway as well as the DAF-2/insulin receptor’s pathway. I show that PTP-3/LAR RPTP can negatively regulate VAB-1/Eph RTK through dephosphorylation in vitro and in vivo and may have VAB-1 independent roles. Additionally, I investigate ptp-3’s relationships with genes involved in both vab-1 and daf-2’s pathways including daf-18/PTEN, unc-34/Enabled, and sax-3/Robo as observed in the C. elegans mechanosensory axons. With loss-of-function and gain-of-function mutants, I demonstrate daf-2’s role for proper axon guidance and the possibility of daf-2 and vab-1 working together as co-receptors in this process. Finally, I replicate results in the AIY interneurons thus suggesting the AIY interneurons to be a potential model in which to study genetic interactions.