Project 1: Analysis of embryonic abnormal vision system function in neuronal development AND Project 2: Function of Drosophila neurotrophin in dendritic development

Ponnadai Nallasivan, Mohanakarthik (2015). Project 1: Analysis of embryonic abnormal vision system function in neuronal development AND Project 2: Function of Drosophila neurotrophin in dendritic development. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

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Project 1:- Cells generate numerous mRNAs from a single gene via alternative splicing, which increase the proteome and level of post-transcriptional expression. Post-transcriptional gene expression by RNA binding proteins (RBPs) is important for generating organismal complexity in eukaryotes. Brain is an organ where alternative mRNA processing is abundant, with RBPs being key regulators of alternative splicing and polyadenylation. Elav (embryonic lethal abnormal vision system) is a RBP that is expressed only in differentiated neurons in the brain, where it is involved in alternative splicing, polyadenylation, mRNA stability and translation. In here, we wanted to see what effect does the expression of Elav during early stages of neurogenesis have on the differentiating neuronal precursor cells i.e. eye primordium and neuroblasts. Therefore, we tested ectopic Elav expression in the developing eyes using various drivers in an \(in-vivo\) \(Drosophila\) tumour eye model \(via\) the GAL4/UAS expression system. In addition, we also ectopically expressed Elav in various neuroblast, neuron and glial drivers and via immunostaining observed variations in the optic lobes and the ventral nerve cord of the larval brain.

Project 2:- Neurotrophin and Toll receptors play key roles in birth, survival and death of neurons in the brain. In neurons, dendrite morphology and structure of the dendritic tree is important for proper function and connectivity between neuronal circuits. Many proteins have been involved in shaping up the synaptic connections and shapes of the dendrites, but our understanding on dendrite remodelling, arborisation and circuitry is still limited. In here, we look into how ectopic expression of \(Drosophila\) neurotrophins and Toll receptors affect the structure and dendrite morphology of lobula plate tangential cell neurons and ellipsoid body (EB) associated R-neurons in the adult \(Drosophila\) brain using immunostaining and confocal microscopy. In addition, we also look into identifying suitable GAL4 lines for central and peripheral nervous system that could characterise circuitry and sensory neuron dendrite arborisation. To visualize the dendrite arborisation of CNS interneurons and PNS DAIV neurons, we used mCD8GFP and DenMark to observe the dendrite branching pattern. Analysis through ImageJ showed DNTs and Toll receptors to have a potential effect on the structural organisation of dendrites in adult \(Drosophila\) brain, while in the case of circuitry and sensory neurons the orientation of dendrite arborisation was found to be distinct for different neurons.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Biosciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry


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