Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Isaac Skromne


In this project, we aim to functionally test the contribution that individual Cdx binding sites have in hox gene regulation. We will achieve this by individually blocking Cdx binding sites using CRISPR/dCas9 in the zebrafish and then analyzing changes in the time, distribution, and levels of hox gene transcription.

We will focus our analysis in only one of the seven zebrafish hox clusters, the hoxca cluster. We are focusing on the hoxca gene cluster because it has lost the least number of genes relative to other clusters and is involved in specifying the axial identity of cells in the central nervous system. We hypothesize that deletion of these Cdx binding sites will cause local, regional, and global changes in hox gene regulation that would translate to changes in time, place, and levels of hox transcription. This information can then be utilized as a roadmap to understand the regulation of other hox clusters, both in zebrafish and in other animal species. A more complete understanding of the hox gene regulatory elements will deepen our understanding of the specification of cellular identities along the main body axis, which could ultimately contribute to curing hox-associated cancers and malformations.

Included in

Biology Commons