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Title: Genetic analysis of the inflated gene : encoding the αPS2 integrin subunit of Drosophila melanogaster
Author: Bloor, James W.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1997
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Integrins are cell surface adhesion proteins that act both as receptors for the extracellular matrix and as signalling molecules. They are heterodimers of α and β subunits, both of which contribute to ligand binding. The inflated (if) gene encodes the αPS2 subunit of the Drosophila PS2 integrin. It is required for midgut morphogenesis and somatic muscle attachment in the embryo and for adhesion between the two epidermal layers of the wing blade in the adult. It has been proposed that it functions simply to mediate adhesion between distinct cell layers. The aim of this thesis has been to investigate (1) whether PS2 integrin has additional roles during Drosophila development, (2) whether it mediates cell signalling and (3) elucidate which regions of the αPS2 protein are important for PS2 integrin function. In order to address these questions a comprehensive genetic analysis of the inflated gene was performed. Several novel classes of inflated mutation were characterised based upon both their interallelic complementation behaviour and phenotypes. This analysis identified distinct embryonic roles for PS2 integrin in the attachment of the somatic muscles, the formation of muscle ultrastructure, and in the morphogenesis of the midgut. New roles for PS2 were also identified in the adult, in the morphogenesis of the halteres and legs. Molecular analysis of the defects underlying some of the novel inflated mutations suggests a model for PS2 integrin function in which the integrin can exist in two mutually exclusive activation states that are required for different PS2 integrin functions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available