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Regulation of RNA splicing in the heart by rbFox1l


Alternative splicing of primary RNA transcripts greatly diversifies the amount of proteins encoded by an animal's genome. Through alternative splicing, a single gene sequence can produce several structurally and functionally different proteins. Because changes in splicing can result in proteins with different functions, improper splicing can have drastic effects on a cell. Therefore, splicing must be closely regulated by both cis- and trans-acting factors. To understand how splicing factors may impact cardiac development and function, we used an antisense morpholino oligonucleotide to knock down the expression of the muscle-specific splicing regulator, rbFox1l, which is normally expressed in the developing heart and skeletal muscle of zebrafish embryos. rbFox1l morphant embryos develop dysmorphic hearts with decreased cardiac function. In this thesis, we begin to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of how rbFox1l impacts alternate splicing in order to regulate cardiac development and function

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