Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Beverly L. Davidson
Genetic dissection of loci important in the control of neurogenesis has improved our understanding of both the evolutionarily conserved and divergent processes in neurodevelopment. These loci include not only protein coding genes [1, 2], but also noncoding RNAs [3-5]. One important family of non-coding RNAs is miRNAs, which control gene expression fundamental in developmental regulation and mature cell maintenance [3, 5-9].
Here, we will first focus our efforts by surveying miRNA regulation in the developing brain. We hypothesize a strong regulatory role of miRNAs during proliferation, cell death, migration and differentiation in the developing mammalian forebrain that has yet to be adequately described in the literature. Second, we will assess miRNA's role in the evolutionary divergence of brain-related gene expression. We hypothesize that a human specific single nucleotide change(s) in the miRNA recognition element of transcription factors 3' untranslated regions contributes to species-specific differences in transcription factor expression and ultimately alters regulatory function.
evolution, microRNA, neurogenesis, transcription factor
Copyright 2013 Hayley Sarah McLoughlin