Document Type

Honors Thesis


Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects a person’s thoughts and actions. Compartmentalized Cell Elimination (CCE) is a novel cell death program, where three parts of the cell die differently. CCE can be used as a tool to address questions about psychiatric illnesses. Through a forward genetic screen looking for CCE defects, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network stability gene atln-1/atlastin and microtubule (MT) severing ATPase spas-1/spastin, were found to be linked to Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a neurodegenerative disease. A schizophrenic behavioral assay was performed on the CCE mutants atln-1, spas-1, hop-1, sel-12, and ptl-1 to explore the question of links between developmental cell death and psychiatric illnesses. The gene ced-3, which is essential for CCE, did not show schizophrenic behavior. The atln-1/atlastin and ptl-1/tau mutants did show schizophrenic tendencies. This suggests novel links between schizophrenia, the ER, tau, and schizophrenia.

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