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Title: Dissecting the molecular mechanisms of Drosophila border cell migration using time-lapse live cell imaging
Author: Dodgson, Lauren
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2013
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Dissection of the cellular dynamics and molecular pathways that drive collective cell migration is necessary to better understand cellular rearrangements that underpin normal development, as well as disease states such as cancer metastasis. Border cell migration in the Drosophila ovary has proven to be a good model of invasive cell migration, because of its genetic tractability, and also because recent advances in culturing egg chambers ex vivo have facilitated live cell imaging in this system. The aim of this thesis was to further develop and implement live cell imaging approaches, and to apply these to characterise the role of Pico, the Drosophila Mig10/RIAM/Lpd (MRL) protein in border cell migration. MRL proteins are known to regulate actin dynamics, but their role in epithelial cell migration had not been established. Through careful optimisation, suitable approaches were developed for: medium preparation; dissection and mounting of egg chambers; acquisition of images by confocal microscopy. A fluorescently-labelled reporter strain with improved optical properties was generated to monitor actin dynamics, and a number of other reporters were characterised, either alone or in combination, to determine their behaviour and effect on migration. After trialling several analytical tools and quantitative methods, a streamlined approach to analysing the image data was developed allowing: tracking of border cell migration in four dimensions (XYZ and time) to obtain information about behaviour of the migratory cells; measurement of cellular protrusion dynamics to obtain mechanistic insight into why cellular dynamics might change in different genetic backgrounds. Finally, these approaches were applied to the characterisation of Pico and its interacting partner SCAR, demonstrating that pico affects border cell migration through the modulation of actin protrusion dynamics in a SCAR-dependent manner.
Supervisor: Bennett, Daimark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH301 Biology