Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Pharmacology & Toxicology

First Advisor

Jill Bettinger


Alcohol abuse is a problem in our society. There are few treatments available, in part due to the unclear molecular mechanisms of ethanol’s effects. Human studies indicate that there is a genetic component influencing disease susceptibility, and that an individual’s initial response to alcohol can predict their development of addiction. We have taken a forward genetics approach to study one component of initial response, acute functional tolerance (AFT), in Caenorhabditis elegans. We identified bet11, a mutation that causes animals to be defective in the development of AFT. Genetic analysis suggested that the gene that bet11 disrupts participates in a synthetic genetic interaction with an unlinked natural allelic variant in another gene that alters ethanol response. We also examined the role of lipid membrane composition in the response to ethanol. Identification of modulators that are responsible for alcohol-induced responses will provide a greater understanding of the mechanisms that cause alcohol-related diseases.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2011