Dysferlin-Deficient Sea Urchin Embryos

Steven Vogel, PhD

NIAAA, National Institutes of Health (Rockville, MD)

Dr. Vogel is the Chief of the Section of Cellular Biophotonics, Laboratory of Molecular Physiology, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health (Rockville, MD).

Past Projects

Objective: 
Use dysferlin morpholinos to "knock-out" the sea urchin homologue to dysferlin and thus influence either the repair of plasma-membrane disruptions and/or membrane fusion events.

Sea urchin embryos are a convenient animal model to study cellular processes. Sea urchins have a ferlin gene very similar to dysferlin, which this project has "knocked out" by morpholinos. Using laser wounding to study ferlin-deficient embryos (at the four cell stage), we find that the wounded cell is able to repair its cell membrane, but signaling between adjacent cells is altered. This suggests that dysferlin may have a signaling role in muscle.