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Mechanisms of RNA export in Caenorhabditis elegans

  • Author(s): Mellman, Katharine Sara
  • Advisor(s): L'Etoile, Noelle D
  • et al.

Many mechanisms govern both how animals respond to stimuli and how these responses inform physical state and future behavior. In C. elegans, these mechanisms include the generation and spread of various species of small RNAs. Emerging as a potent regulator of gene expression in both a single animal and its progeny, small RNAs are reshaping the fields of behavior and transgenerational inheritance. The rising prominence of small RNA within the context of these fields highlights gaps in the knowledge of essential processes, such as the precise mechanisms of small RNA export. RNA import, thanks to earlier efforts characterizing systemic RNA interference (RNAi), are relatively well understood. However, much less is known about how RNAi and other small RNA exit cells. This manuscript details tools and approaches for identifying mobile small RNAs, members of RNA export pathways, and points of regulation in the export process.

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