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Title: Analysing dopamine receptor interacting proteins using the biomedical model Dictyostelium discoideum
Author: Pakes, Nicholl
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 102X
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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The dopamine signalling pathway has been implicated in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric conditions including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. A detailed analysis of this pathway is essential for understanding these conditions. Previous work (Zhan et al., 2008) has identified eleven novel human dopamine receptor interacting proteins (DRIPs), but their role in cell signalling remains unclear. In this project we have employed a biomedical model, Dictyostelium discoideum, to help elucidate the cellular signalling of two DRIPs, the Zizimin GEF (DRIP2) and MARK (DRIP9) proteins. Bioinformatics analysis of these proteins shows conservation of the domain structure in the human and Dictyostelium gene products. To investigate the function of these proteins during development, two Dictyostelium homologues within each family (ZizA and ZizB; MrkA and MrkC) were ablated and changes in developmental for resulting null mutants were analysed. Development was unaltered following ablation of zizA, mrkA and mrkC, however, ablation of zizB gave rise to a clear change in developmental morphology. To further understand the developmental defect of zizB, directional cell movement (chemotaxis) was analysed in the zizA and zizB null mutants. Ablation of zizA caused no gross phenotypic change in chemotaxis, whereas zizB ablation gave rise to a reduction in cell speed, directionality and aspect (roundness). Furthermore, expression studies showed zizA and zizB were constantly expressed throughout development. Overexpression of each gene (labelled with the fluorescent tag, GFP) demonstrated a cytosolic localisation the gene products, with the ZizB-GFP fusion protein additionally exhibiting enrichment of the cortex, causing a large increase in filopodia formation and a partial inhibition of cytokinesis. Analysis of protein binding partners for ZizB indicates specific interaction with Rac1 A and a range of actin-interacting proteins. In conclusion this project provides the first insight into the molecular and cellular functions of Zizimin proteins, potential dopamine receptor interacting protein.
Supervisor: Williams, Robin ; Nasir, Jamal Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Dictyostelium ; DOPAMINE D-2-LIKE ; Zizimins ; Dock Proteins ; Chemotaxis ; small GTPases