Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Elizabeth F. Ryder, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Jill Rulfs, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Reeta Prusty Rao, Committee Member




Neuronal migration is an essential aspect of nervous system development; improper or incomplete neuronal migration can lead to debilitating disorders. The model organism Caenorhabditis elegans has 302 neurons and is ideal for studying nervous system development. The cytoplasmic adaptor protein, MIG-10, is necessary for the long range anteroposterior migration during embryogenesis of the neurons CAN, ALM, and HSN. Mutations in the mig-10 gene result in incomplete migrations of all three neurons. MIG-10 is a homologue of the vertebrate proteins lamellipodin and RIAM-1, which are involved in directing actin polymerization during axon outgrowth and guidance. RIAM-1 is known to interact with proteins from the Ras GTPase family. The MIG-10 protein has a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, a Ras-associating (RA) domain, and a proline-rich region. We used a yeast two-hybrid system to investigate which Ras family proteins MIG-10 interacts with. Three isoforms of MIG-10, MIG-10A, MIG-10B, and MIG-10C, as well as the RAPH domain alone, were used as baits. No evidence of interaction was observed for any of the baits used. These results do not reject our hypothesis as the constitutively active Ras clones may need to be used or there may not be a direct interaction between MIG-10 and the Ras family members. We are currently screening a C. elegans cDNA library for interactions with all three isoforms of MIG-10. In the future we plan to investigate how MIG-10 may be involved in the WAVE/SCAR actin nucleation pathway.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Biology & Biotechnology

Project Type


Date Accepted





Neuroscience, migration, yeast two-hybrid, MIG-10, Nervous system, Growth, Axons, Cell migration, Caenorhabditis elegans