Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


The purpose of this project was to determine whether first introns in C. elegans genes have an important role in gene expression. Gene expression is regulated by transcription factors (TFs) that bind to DNA sites within each gene. The first introns of 14 genes were assayed by a yeast one-hybrid (Y1H) system to see if any TFs bind. The promoters of most of the 14 genes were also tested for TF interactions. Eight of the introns had TF interactors, suggesting that introns are places where TFs bind and are involved in gene regulation. Interestingly, two introns shared TFs with their own promoters. To validate the identified interactions, more tests will need to be performed in vivo. Also, more first introns will be studied to make a general conclusion about their role in gene expression.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2009


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology

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