Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Cuong Q. Diep, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Daniel Widzowski, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Robert Major, Ph.D.


Humans lack the ability to regenerate their kidneys, whereas zebrafish have the phenomenal ability to regenerate their kidneys after damage throughout their lives. To better understand this regenerative ability, we focused our research work on understanding the molecular function of the LIM homeobox 1a (lhx1a) gene. We showed genetically that lhx1a dimerizes and that deleting the LIM domain enhanced dimerization. In order to regenerate their kidneys, zebrafish use stem cells that reside in the kidney. In particular, lhx1a was shown to be upregulated during zebrafish kidney regeneration (Diep et al., 2011). Therefore, understanding the molecular function of lhx1a may provide us with insights on the regenerative mechanism. To study the molecular function of lhx1a, we set out to investigate how lhx1a becomes active.