Date of Award


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First Advisor

Dr. Gary Radice


The present research examines the expression of myosin heavy chain genes in muscle fibers in Xenopus laevis. Characteristically different muscle fibers are expressed before and after metamorphosis. The embryonic myosin proteins that are synthesized during the tadpole stages are replaced with adult myosin heavy chains at metamorphosis. At least one of the adult myosin genes, called A-7, is expressed only in the adult animals, not in tadpoles. The controlling factor or trigger for the expression of this adult gene still remains unknown. There are a number of possible explanations for the A-7 regulation at metamorphosis, including changes in particular hormone levels, innervation, or the age of development. The present study focuses on whether A-7 expression is regulated by an increase in thyroid hormone.

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