Phosphagen systems are known to contribute to the process of energy homeostasis within many organisms. Specifically, a phosphagen system uses a substrate specific kinase and an associated high-energy phosphate source to generate more ATP, or cellular energy, when demand is high. The two most extensively studied phosphagen systems are the creatine kinase (CK) system present in all vertebrates, and the arginine kinase (AK) system present in invertebrates and chordates. Vertebrate studies have implicated CK in several aspects of cellular functioning, such as energy production and availability. Less research has been completed on the AK system; however, some similar characteristics between AK and CK have emerged. These include comparable biochemical functions, evidence for the presence of isoenzymes, and probable localization of these isoenzymes to mitochondria. In order to further characterize the cellular function of AK, two Caenorhabditis elegans strains, each lacking an AK isoenzyme, were tested for variations in phenotypes. The results of this study showed phenotypic changes in C. elegans AK knockouts that were comparable to what was previously observed in mice CK knockouts. These findings suggest that the AK and CK systems perform similar physiological functions within organisms.


Fraga, Dean





Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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