UROP Proceedings 2020-21

School of Science Division of Life Science 29 Molecular Regulation of Axon Regeneration Supervisor: LIU Kai / LIFS Student: GAO Zhouyang / BCB Course: UROP3100, Spring After injury, most axons in the central nervous system (CNS) of adult mammalians fail to regenerate while axons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) can regenerate robustly. Studying the underlying mechanism of PNS axon regeneration can provide insights into treating PNS injury, and the knowledge may be transferred to CNS injury. Conditioning lesion is a well-established strategy to enhance the regeneration capacity of dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRGs). So far, whether the immune system is involved in this process is not well-described. We are interested in the interferon (IFN) family, a featuring group of proteins involved in the immune response. We found that IFN-γ is involved in this process and regulating IFN-γ downstream signaling factor can modulate DRG axon growth. Molecular Regulation of Axon Regeneration Supervisor: LIU Kai / LIFS Student: LIU Jingyi / BIBU Course: UROP1000, Summer The failure of axon regeneration in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) are attributed to two properties of the adult CNS, the inhibitory extrinsic environment, and a diminished intrinsic regenerative capacity of mature CNS neurons. The project is to identify and study the novel genes involved in axon regeneration, particularly through intrinsic regulation. The axon regeneration can be affected by a number of genes and the expression level of those genes can be promoted or inhibited by a number of compounds. I have tested two batched of compounds and selected effective ones and repeated once using PC12 cell lines, and next, in DRG cell lines. The Rules of Packaging Fat in Cells Supervisor: MAK Ho Yi / LIFS Student: MA Chengkun / BCB Course: UROP1100, Fall tmem-120 is a poorly characterized gene in C. elegans. Through RNA-sequencing, highly differentially expressed genes between wild type and tmem-120 loss-of-function mutant worms have been identified. This UROP project aims at producing transgenic worms for validating the RNA sequencing results in vivo. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) will be expressed under the control of regulatory sequences, including promoters and 3’ untranslated regions (3’-UTR) of five genes, whose expression was strongly responsive to the loss of tmem-120 function. The transgenic worms can further be used as reporters of TMEM-120 activity in genetic screens for modulators of TMEM-120 function. During this semester, plasmids for generating transgenic worms have been constructed. They will be micro-injected into worms in order to yield singlecopy transgenes in the future.