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Title: Signals and factors required for mRNA localization during Drosophila oogenesis
Author: McDermott, Suzanne
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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The trans-acting factors that can interact with the gurken localization signal were investigated. RNA affinity chromatography identified a number of proteins that have a role in the localization and localized translation of a variety of mRNAs in Drosophila and other organisms, in addition to factors previously shown to be important for dorso-anterior gurken localization and translation. These included Hephaestus and CG17838, which were chosen for further study due to the roles of their vertebrate homologues, PTB and SYNCRIP respectively, in neuronal mRNA localization. Both Hephaestus and CG17838 accumulate at the posterior of the oocytes, in a similar manner to localized oskar mRNA, and can associate with gurken and oskar. Furthermore, CG17838 can interact with the known gurken trans-acting factors, Squid and Hrb27C. Analysis of hephaestus mutants suggests that Hephaestus has multiple roles within the Drosophila oocytes including the maintenance of Gurken protein at the dorso-anterior in later stages of oogenesis. I hypothesize that Hephaestus acts to couple grk mRNA localization with localized Gurken processing and secretion. CG17838 is essential for adult viability, and preliminary studies of CG17838 germline clones suggest that CG17838 has a role in gurken localization or localized translation. Furthermore, CG17838 mutant adult flies have a behavioural phenotype indicative of a defect in synaptic transmission. The work is consistent with the concept that core, conserved proteins are involved in the regulation of a number of localized mRNAs. The conservation of a number of the trans-acting factors required for mRNA localization also means that the study of these factors during Drosophila oogenesis can lead to a greater understanding of how the process can go awry in human disease. This may be particularly important for understanding certain disorders of the nervous system, such as Fragile X syndrome and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available