Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Cuong Q. Diep

Second Advisor

Robert Major

Third Advisor

Robert D. Hinrichsen


lhx1a is a transcriptional activator that plays many roles in zebrafish development. It is expressed in the kidney and various tissues in the nervous system. Previously, we isolate a small peptide that bound to lhx1a and hypothesize that this interaction affects zebrafish development. Here, we tested this hypothesis by injection mRNA encoding R1 fused to EGFP. This resulted in edema by 24 hours post fertilization, suggesting that R1 interfered with development. This is likely due to a heart phenotype and not a kidney phenotype, since a functional heart is formed by 24 hours post fertilization and a functional kidney is not formed until 48 hours post fertilization. In support of this, expression of kidney genes were not altered in injected embryos, indicating that the kidney development was not affected. We also showed that R1 binds specifically to the LIM domain of lhx1a. Although lhx1a is not expressed in the heart, other genes that contain a LIM domain are expressed in the heart (such as the PINCH genes). Therefore, we propose a model in which R1 binds to the LIM domain of PINCH and affected heart development/function that resulted in edema in injected embryos.