Role of Caveolin and Adaptation of C. elegans to Hyperoxia
Mentor:Hemal Patel, Associate Professor, University of California
Caveolin is a scaffolding protein found in small flask-shaped invaginations of the cell membrane called the caveolae. Three isoforms of this protein exist, caveolin-1, caveolin-2 and caveolin-3. The role of caveolin in the cell includes regulation of signaling pathways and endocytosis. Overexpression of caveolin in various systems results in stress adaptation. Past studies suggest that caveolin rich microdomains may serve as a control point for oxygen specific metabolism in the membrane. Whether caveolin provides organismal level stress adaptation via control of oxygen utilization and delivery to mitochondria is still unknown. For this project, C. elegans were utilized as a model system with normal, knockout, or overexpression of caveolin to explore whether or not caveolin adapts C. elegans to mitochondrial stress. The goal of this study was to assess longevity, morphology, and mitochondrial function in C. elegans exposed to environments with extreme oxygen concentration. Preliminary findings from this study will be presented.