Characterisation of SMZ-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

The Srayko lab studies molecular pathways required for cell division in the early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. Loss of memi gene function results in skipping female meiosis II, whereas the hypermorphic memi-1(sb41) mutation prevents the proper transition from female meiosis II to mitosis. The Srayko lab conducted EMS suppressor screens and isolated suppressors of memi-1(sb41). One candidate is the gene smz-1, which is reported to be involved in chromatin segregation in male meiosis. In addition to that, an RNAi suppressor screen allowed them to identify a conserved sperm-specific PP1 phosphatase, gsp-3 and gsp-4.
In order to better characterize smz-1, I will be using genetic assays, live confocal microscopy, and scoring techniques to analyze these worms. In addition to that, I will be utilizing a Yeast 2 Hybrid system and immunoprecipitation technique to determine whether or not SMZ-1 protein and GSP-4 protein physically interact together to potentially suppress the effect of memi-1(sb41). This project will allow me to determine whether or not smz-1 is a suppressor of memi-1(sb41) and whether there is a physical interaction between GSP-4 and SMZ-1 proteins in the cell as they both play a role in ensuring proper cell division and germ cell maturation in C.elegans.