microRNA Regulation of Zebrafish Retinal Development
Olena, Abigail Frances
microRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that bind the 3’ untranslated regions (UTRs) of mRNA targets and, acting with associated proteins, facilitate translation repression and degradation of target mRNAs. Since their discovery in C. elegans, miRNAs and their accessory proteins have been shown to be conserved throughout phylogeny. miRNAs exert their regulatory functions in myriad biological settings, from development and growth to disease. What follows is a general overview of miRNA discovery, organization, and function, and of the use of the powerful vertebrate developmental biology model organism, zebrafish (Danio rerio), zebrafish retinal development, and an overview of Notch-Delta signaling. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the role of a specific miRNA, miR-216a, in regulation of the Notch-Delta signaling pathway during zebrafish retinal development.