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  Current Research Projects        
Myofilament Research
       
Mutation Detection:
- Gene Knockouts
- 2000 Genomes
Muscle Research:
- Myofilament Research
- Myoblast Migration
The goal of our muscle research lab is to investigate the assembly and organization of myofilaments within the body wall muscle of the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Specifically, we are attempting to identify new proteins critical for organizing the sarcomere adhesion complex and determine how and where these proteins participate in this process. We are taking advantage of a new expression database that we have established for C. elegans developing muscle founded on SAGE and Affymetrix Genechip expression data that identifies 5,000 genes expressed in muscle, including many genes with human homologs for which there is no function identified in either humans or nematodes. Recently we have completed an RNAi sweep of 3,500 genes from this muscle dataset and have identified over 100 genes that affect sarcomere organization and stability when their encoded proteins are reduced. We are concurrently producing functional protein::GFP fusions for each gene in our 5,000 gene dataset to identify the position of these proteins within a muscle cell. Lastly, we are using muscle proteins tagged with GFP in a series of immunoprecipitations followed by Mass Spectroscopy to identify novel proteins associated with components of the sarcomere. Data from all three approaches will be compiled and compared, and should eventually provide a precise description in molecular detail of myofilament assembly and organization within muscle.
Inactive Projects
- Expression Project