Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Genetics

First Advisor

Rita Shiang

Second Advisor

James Lister

Third Advisor

Jill Bettinger


PNPase is a gene implicated as a potential target for cancer therapy; human mutations also present with deafness, myopathies, and neuropathies. In this study, C. elegans was used to investigate the effect of knocking out PNPase in a whole animal. C. elegans knockdown studies have reported an extended lifespan via an increase in ROS production. Further noted are larger mitochondria and an increase in fzo-1 expression. Knockout animals previously constructed using CRISPR/Cas9 were used for this study. We aimed to confirm these findings validating previous studies. It was discovered that PNPase knockout animals demonstrated a similar lifespan extension that was resolved with the addition of antioxidants in the media. All subsequent findings contradicted those of the knockdown studies. Resequencing of knockout animals demonstrated no existing mutation and studies were discontinued. New mutants will advance future analyses and validate prior investigations.


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