Major

Biology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2020

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Glial cells are vital components in the nervous system and are involved in the processes of axon ensheathment, axon targeting, and organ shape. These processes are crucial to a properly functioning nervous system. In previous research, the protein, Raw, was shown to reduce glial proliferation and migration in the developing eye disc of Drosophila. While Raw has been demonstrated to negatively regulate JNK signaling, its mechanism of action remains unclear. Studies in the context of dendrite adhesion and patterning in sensory neurons, have demonstrated that Raw interacts with Tricornered (Trc), an NDR family kinase. Trc is a component of the Hippo signaling pathway that regulates progression through the cell cycle. Even though Trc is placed in this pathway, its function is not well understood. We hypothesize that Trc functions cooperatively with Raw to regulate glial development. In order to explore the role of Trc in glia, knockdown experiments were performed. Trc knockdown in glia of the eye imaginal disc results in reduced numbers of glia. This reduction in glia could be due to glial cell death, reduced proliferation, or defects in glial migration. Preliminary data reveals low levels of cell death upon trc knockdown, suggesting the reduction in glial number is due to defects in proliferation or migration. Experiments are underway to test these possibilities. Future experiments will focus on the relationship of Raw, Trc, and Hippo signaling in the context of glial development.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Jennifer Mierisch, Department of Biology, Loyola University Chicago

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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The Role of trc in the Development of Glia in the Nervous System

Glial cells are vital components in the nervous system and are involved in the processes of axon ensheathment, axon targeting, and organ shape. These processes are crucial to a properly functioning nervous system. In previous research, the protein, Raw, was shown to reduce glial proliferation and migration in the developing eye disc of Drosophila. While Raw has been demonstrated to negatively regulate JNK signaling, its mechanism of action remains unclear. Studies in the context of dendrite adhesion and patterning in sensory neurons, have demonstrated that Raw interacts with Tricornered (Trc), an NDR family kinase. Trc is a component of the Hippo signaling pathway that regulates progression through the cell cycle. Even though Trc is placed in this pathway, its function is not well understood. We hypothesize that Trc functions cooperatively with Raw to regulate glial development. In order to explore the role of Trc in glia, knockdown experiments were performed. Trc knockdown in glia of the eye imaginal disc results in reduced numbers of glia. This reduction in glia could be due to glial cell death, reduced proliferation, or defects in glial migration. Preliminary data reveals low levels of cell death upon trc knockdown, suggesting the reduction in glial number is due to defects in proliferation or migration. Experiments are underway to test these possibilities. Future experiments will focus on the relationship of Raw, Trc, and Hippo signaling in the context of glial development.