Degree Name



Physiology and Developmental Biology


Life Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Jonathon Hill

First Faculty Reader

Jeffrey Barrow

Honors Coordinator

Jeff Edwards


congenital heart disease, zebrafish, 5'RACE, camta1


Congenital heart diseases (CHDs) are a significant cause of infant death and are frequently caused by mutations in transcription factors. Camta1 (calmodulin binding transcription activator 1) is a transcription factor that has been proposed as a modulator in embryonic heart development and a possible cause of CHDs. The only other known member of its family in vertebrates is involved in activating a hypertrophy gene program in adult heart failure. Unlike camta2, camta1 is expressed in the embryonic heart during heart looping. However, few studies have been done on camta1. In zebrafish, there are two camta1 ohnologs (homologs created through a duplication event), camta1a and camta1b. These have not yet been annotated fully so the 5’end is unknown, preventing further analysis and study. Here, we use 5’RLM-RACE (RNA Ligase Mediated Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends) to determine the 5’end of camta1a and begin the process of understanding camta1 regulation through nucleotide BLAST. Future studies can build on this and elucidate the regulation of the camta1 genes in zebrafish by locating the 5’end of camta1b, determining the promoter regions of both genes, and beginning studies on its downstream targets, which may reveal an important role for camta1 in cardiac development.