Genetic Suppressors of mrp-5 Lethality in C. elegans
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Heme is an essential cofactor in numerous proteins, but is also cytotoxic. Thus, directed pathways must exist for regulating heme homeostasis. C. elegans is a powerful genetic animal model for elucidating these pathways because it is a heme auxotroph. Worms acquire dietary heme though HRG-1-related importers, and intestinal export was demonstrated to be mediated by the ABC transporter MRP-5. Loss of mrp-5 results in embryonic lethality. Although heme transporters have been identified, there are significant gaps in our understanding for the heme trafficking beyond HRG-1 and MRP-5. To identify additional components, we conducted a forward genetic screen utilizing the null allele mrp-5(ok2067). Screening of 160,000 haploid genomes yielded thirty-two mrp-5(ok2067) suppressor mutants. Deep-sequencing variant analysis revealed three of the suppressors subunits of adapter protein complex 3 (AP-3). We now seek to identify mechanisms for how adaptor protein deficiencies bypass a defect in MRP-5-mediated heme export.