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Title: The function of the notch protein in wingless signalling
Author: Brennan, K.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1998
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The Notch gene of Drosophila melanogaster encodes a large, single span transmembrane protein. Work over the past years has shown that this functions as a receptor protein for the closely related signalling proteins, Delta and Serrate, and that this function has been conserved during evolution. However examination of the structure of Notch protein and its homologues has indicated that much more of the protein is conserved between species than the regions required for the Notch to function in the Delta and Serrate signalling pathways. Also physical mapping of mutations shows that altering the structure of the Notch protein outside the regions required for it to function in Delta and Serrate signalling can profoundly affect the function of the protein. One possible explanation for the conservation of the protein in these regions is that the Notch protein interacts with a number of other extracellular signalling proteins and is involved in other signalling pathways. This would also explain differences in the mutant phenotype of Drosophila embryos that lack the Notch protein and embryos in which Delta and Serrate signalling is disrupted. Genetic experiments have suggested that one of these other signalling molecules may be the Wingless protein, a member of WNT superfamily, because of a strong interaction between the Notch and wingless genes. It is this possibility that I have examined in this thesis. As a consequence of my experiments, I am presenting evidence in this thesis: that the Notch protein has a function that is distinct from its role in Delta and Serrate signalling; that this previously undiscovered function of the Notch protein is dependent upon the Shaggy protein; that the Wingless and Notch proteins interact both in vitro and in vivo; and finally that disruption Notch function can interfere with the ability of the Wingless protein to signal.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available