Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



Arsenic is a heavy metal that is frequently found in drinking water, especially well-water in the Northeastern United States. Arsenic is thought to be involved with numerous negative health conditions. This project examined the impact of this environmental toxicant, on the zebrafish innate immune system. Specifically, this project characterized the gene encoding for the protein p21. The particular gene is cdkn1a (will be referred to here by its product "p21" both for the protein and gene itself which will be italicized) and had increased expression as a result of arsenic exposure from a previously complete microarray analysis. In attempt to determine possible results from p21 induction, this project examined how it interacts with apoptotic and immune genes. This study increases our understanding of crucial apoptotic and cell cycle regulation pathways that may be altered as a result of exposure to 'safe' arsenic concentrations.