THE GENETIC ANALYSIS OF DETONATOR IN D. MELANOGASTER DEVELOPMENT

Open Access
Author:
Chon, Grace Eunbin
Area of Honors:
Biology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Aimin Liu, Thesis Supervisor
  • Gong Chen, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • detonator
  • drosophila melanogaster
  • UAS/Gal4
  • developmental biology
  • RNAi knockdown
  • deficiency
  • caudal regression
  • sirenomelia
  • genetic mutation
  • birth defect
  • TMEM132a
  • TMEM gene family
Abstract:
The transmembrane protein 132 (Tmem132) family of integral membrane proteins have been associated with pulmonary, vascular and neurological disorders in humans; yet their molecular functions have not yet been revealed. Research in our lab has indicated that loss of function of Tmem132a in mouse resulted in a condition known as sirenomelia or “Mermaid Syndrome,” a rare congenital defect in humans. While characterization of Tmem132a mutant mice has provided important insights into its role in mammalian development, the understanding of the molecular function of this protein may be hindered by the presence of four other Tmem132 family members in the mouse genome that likely share redundant functions with Tmem132a. To offset these setbacks, we studied the single Tmem132 family member in Drosophila melanogaster, detonator (dtn), an X-linked gene. Two fly strains with overlapping deficiencies around the dtn locus were hemizygous lethal, suggesting an essential function of dtn in Drosophila development. To investigate more specifically the requirement for dtn in fly development, we knocked down dtn in various tissues using the Gal4/UAS-RNAi approach. Using a tubulin-Gal4 driver, we found that decreased dtn in the whole animal lead to partial lethality in both sexes prior to the pupal stage. Using an MS1096-Gal4 driver to knockdown dtn in the wing imaginal disc, we found a mild, but significant reduction in wing size. In summary, detonator plays a crucial role in fly development, and further study of its function should lead to important insights into the molecular role of the Tmem132 family of proteins.