[log in to unmask]" type="cite">Reminder:
To: the George Mason Community
Master of Science in Biology
Molecular Biology concentration
Date: Monday July 26, 2010
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 P.M.
Place: Occoquan Bldg., Room 312-G
Prince William campus
Thesis Chair: Dr. Daniel N. Cox, MMB Dept.
DROSOPHILA SPECTRAPLAKIN SHORT STOP
DIFFERENTIALLY REGULATES CLASS SPECIFIC DENDRITE MORPHOGENESIS"
of the nervous system can often be attributed to developmental
occurring during neurogenesis, which affect the morphology, and
functionality of neurons. In order to understand how the nervous system
successfully matures, it is essential to uncover the molecular
governing neural development. The
peripheral nervous system (PNS) of Drosophila
melanogaster, provides an excellent model system in which to
molecular mechanisms governing dendrite morphogenesis. Spectraplakins
are an evolutionarily
conserved family of cytoskeletal cross-linking proteins that provide a
between the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. Given
that cytoskeletal structure and
organization are key mediators of neuronal shape, and by extension
function, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the
cytoskeletal dynamics in neurons is important to achieving insight into
process of class-specific neuronal dendrite morphogenesis.
To address the role of Spectraplakins in
dendrite morphogenesis, this thesis focuses on investigating the sole
Spectraplakin gene in Drosophila
referred to as short stop (shot).
This research demonstrates that shot
exerts differential effects on class specific dendrite morphogenesis of
Drosophila dendritic arborization (da)
neurons of the PNS. Comparative
morphological analyses reveal shot is
required to restrict dendritic complexity among the simpler class I and
neurons, whereas shot is required to promote
dendritic complexity among the more complex class III and IV da neurons. Taken together, these results suggest
dendrite morphogenesis is subject to context-dependent regulation
mediated via shot.
Immunohistochemistry analyses further reveal that Shot protein
expressed in all da neurons. Collectively,
these studies provide novel insight into the role of Spectraplakins in
development and suggest the importance of cross talk between the actin
microtubule cytoskeletons in mediating neuron-specific patterns of
All students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend