By Daniel Mounir, Biological Sciences
Advisor: Lauren Falkenburg
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to find how the RGL2 gene is expressed and how mutations in these expressions can affect the heart. The RGL2 gene was found to be the gene most prevalent in the development of heart and when mutated has effect such as severely dilated atria and ventricles, respiratory difficulty, and heart murmurs. This research was carried out by using CRISPR to create RGL2 mutated zebrafish, understanding the expression of the RGL2 gene by viewing the phenotypes caused by mutating the RGL2 gene so we can compare these to healthy fish containing the gene to view the effect it has on heart development, and observing RGL2 in human genes using an HL-60 cell line to observe gene function. It is hoped that then we will be able to use CRISPR to isolate and manipulate RGL2 and observe the RGL2 expression within humans. While experimentation is still proceeding we anticipate to find that RGL2 will be found to be involved in mutated development of the heart. There have already been observations of thinner heart lining in zebrafish embryo with RGL2 mutated genes within them. In using this information we hope to find a way to stop the cause of mutation within this gene and methods on how to solve these issues.