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Title: Regulation of Wingless signaling and mitosis in Drosophila
Author: Hanson, K. K.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2006
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In order to identify new regulators of the Wg signaling pathway, others in the Bienz laboratory carried out an EMS screen to find modifiers of the phenotype caused by expression of a stable Armadillo transgene in the Drosophila eye. I proceeded with the characterization of a number of mutants that resulted from this screen, and identified one enhancing complementation group as alleles of sine oculis (so). So is a homeodomain­ containing protein, chiefly characterized as a member of the retinal gene determination network, a group of transcription factors that direct eye development. I identified genetic interactions between so and the Wg pathway in several tissues, and identified a Wg target gene, senseless, which can be co-regulated by so. Furthermore, I discovered that So is capable of inducing morphogenesis in the wing disc, a finding which may have relevance to the role of so in physiological induction of the morphogenetic furrow in the eye disc. I also characterized another lethal hit present, in addition to the mutant so allele, on one of the modifying chromosomes isolated in the screen. I mapped and cloned this gene, and identified the Drosophila orthologue of borealin (borr), a recently discovered 4th member of the Chromosomal Passenger Complex (CPC). The CPC regulates a number of events during mitosis by controlling the localization and activity of Aurora B kinase, a CPC member. I found that borr is an essential gene, and that loss of borr results in multiple mitotic defects indicative of a loss of CPC activity. I determined that Borealin colocalizes with other CPC proteins at mitotic spindles, and furthermore that borr is required for their localization.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available