Identifying the Expression Patterns of xCT in Zebrafish to Determine its Role in Neuroregeneration
Dr. Brent P. Krueger, Department of Chemistry, Dr. Leah Chase, Departments of Biology & Chemistry; Dr. Aaron Putzke
System xc− is a heterodimeric amino acid transporter comprised of a transmembrane light chain unit, xCT, and an extracellular heavy chain unit, 4F2HC. System xc− has been shown to exchange intracellular glutamate for extracellular cystine, which is then reduced within the cell to cysteine, the limiting reagent for glutathione production. Glutathione is a reducing agent that is important in reducing oxidative stress, which untreated can trigger cell death due to the oxidation of DNA, RNA, and proteins. It has been shown that the protein xCT is strongly expressed in the central nervous system, particularly in neuroprotective cells such as astrocytes and microglia. It is believed that reduction of oxidative stress in the environment of neurons and neuroprotective cells is critical to allow new neurons to be produced in processes such as neuroregeneration. The current focus of the study is to qualitatively determine the expression patterns of the xCT gene in zebrafish embryos using in situ hybridization. This will allow us to later identify the role that xCT plays in neuroregeneration in vivo.
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