Worm gene name:  epi-1
Worm sequence name:  K08C7.2 B
Related human gene:  LAMA3
Associated human disease:  Epidermolysis bullosa
People involved in this project: 
  • Susan Groff, Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College, CA
Left primer sequence:  gatggatgcagaagctgtga
Right primer sequence:  tcatcagcacgaacaaaagc
Size of PCR product:  974
Brief description:  epi-1 encodes an extracellular laminin. We constructed a feeding vector using the noted gene-specific primers and transformed this vector into the feeding strain.
Report any problems that might have appeared and any solutions: 

In C. elegans Epi-1 codes for a glycoprotein of the extracellular matrix and is involved in very diverse functions such as gonad development, cell migration, axon extensions, morphology of motor neurons, and body muscle structure. I picked healthy worms to a plate with E. coli containing a feeding vector with Epi-1. After a few days the worms only moved very slowly, they did not produce any offspring and overall seemed to be in very bad shape. The orthologues of Ep1-1 in the human genom are genes LAMA 1 through Lama 5. These genes code for different versions of the protein laminin, which is part of the extracellular matrix. These genes are associated with some very severe human disorders. I found links to epidermolyis bullosa, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and muscular dystrophy. Also, certain skin cells use laminin 5 as a receptor for human papiloma viruses.
Posted by lutz holzinger on 2008-07-31 16:30:27

Follow-up RNAi by feeding showed egg-laying defects, slow movement, and (tentatively) L3 arrest. These results needs to be confirmed.
Posted by on 2007-09-06 11:38:11