Student Summer Scholars




Barx2 is a homeobox transcription factor linked to cell adhesion, motility, and tumorigenic potential. In the developing chick embryo, the overexpression of Barx2 is used to determine genes responsible for its function. Cadherin-6 (Cad6) is a cell adhesion molecule with similar expression patterns as Barx2 in the renal epithelium, which led us to the idea that a similar association would be found in the central nervous system. Collagen Type II Alpha 1 (Col2A1) encodes for the collagen found in cartilage and Col2A1and Barx2 were indicated to be expressed in the developing neural tube, important for the segmentation of the spinal cord. It was hypothesized that the overexpression of Barx2 would lead to an upregulation of Cad6 and Col2A1 in the developing nervous system, as literature has indicated that in certain non-neural cell types, overexpression of Barx2 induces an upregulated expression of Cad6 and Col2A1. Using immunofluorescence, we determined that overexpression of Barx2 via electroporation in the developing embryonic neural tube promoted expression of Cad-6, but not Col2A1.