Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Academic Program

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program


Program in Molecular Medicine

First Thesis Advisor

William Theurkauf, PhD


Caenorhabditis elegans, DNA Transposable Elements, Gene Silencing, Genome, Cell Cycle Proteins


Theses, UMMS; Caenorhabditis elegans; DNA Transposable Elements; Gene Silencing; Genome; Cell Cycle Proteins


Mobile genetic elements represent a large portion of the genome in many species. Posing a danger to the integrity of genetic information, silencing and structural machinery has evolved to suppress the mobility of foreign and transposable elements within the genome. Condensin proteins – which regulate chromosome structure to promote chromosome segregation – have been demonstrated to function in repetitive gene regulation and transposon silencing in several species. In model system Caenorhabditis elegans, microarray analysis studies have implicated Condensin II subunit HCP-6 in the silencing of multiple loci, including DNA transposon MIRAGE. To address the hypothesis that HCP-6 has a direct function in transcriptional gene silencing of the MIRAGE transposon, we queried MIRAGE expression and chromatin profiles in wild-type and hcp-6 mutant animals. Our evidence confirms that HCP-6 does indeed function during silencing of MIRAGE. However, we found no significant indication that HCP-6 binds to MIRAGE, nor that HCP-6 mediates MIRAGE enrichment of H3K9me3, the repressive heterochromatin mark observed at regions undergoing transcriptional silencing. We suggest that the silencing of MIRAGE, a newly evolved transposon and the only tested mobile element considerably derepressed upon loss of HCP-6, is managed by HCP-6 indirectly.



Rights and Permissions

Copyright is held by the author, with all rights reserved.