Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2017

Thesis Advisor(s)

Dr. Michael J. O'Neill

Honors Major

Molecular and Cell Biology


Molecular Genetics


The X chromosome is rather distinct from autosomes due to the unique regulatory and functional characteristics it exhibits. Xlr3 is just one gene in a superfamily of highly related, and homologous genes found on the X chromosome in mice. Xlr3 is part of a complex, imprinted locus, of which the function is not well understood, although its protein product can be found in testis and oocyte. However, it is theorized that the region may be implicated in the progression of meiosis, due to localization of XLR3. This study sought to characterize the function of Xlr3 through the use of a short hairpin knockdown model, findings for which can hopefully be used to better understand broader implications of X chromosomal imprinting, regulatory patterns, and gene duplication in fertility, development, and even cognition. In our findings, no phenotype was observed in heterozygote knockdown testis tissue when examined using Hematoxylin & Eosin staining. Additionally, there was no difference in the average weight or gross morphology between the heterozygote and wild-type samples. However, a reduction in the expression of Xlr3 was achieved in the heterozygotes and the use of a short hairpin did not generate any observable immune response within our samples. Further work with homozygote knockdown samples will be examined in the future to further elucidate the function of Xlr3.