Effects of RNAi knockdown of the gene for iPLA2β in muscles and neurons of Drosophila Melanogaster and rescue of climbing phenotype
Wiener, Leib Y.
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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder in which neurons deteriorate and die in the brain (Elkouzi, 2020). PD affects many areas of life including memory, work, sleep, and exercise. There is currently no cure for a disease that affects more than ten million people worldwide (Marras, 2018). Numerous genes have been implicated in PD, including PARK2, PINK1, and LRRK2, among others (Klein, 2012). PLA2G6 is a gene that creates the protein iPLA2β. This gene has been implicated in PD and is a homologue to the gene CG6718 in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster (D. melanogaster) (UniProt, 2020). Studying this gene in D. melanogaster allows researchers to understand more about PD in humans. I performed two experiments to investigate some of the biological pathways that CG6718 affects in flies. The first experiment attempted to determine whether RNAi knockdown of CG6718 in muscles caused a PD-like phenotype in flies. The results were inconclusive due to unforeseen effects in some of the fly lines. The second experiment prevented the onset of the PD-like symptoms in flies through the use of a complementary DNA (cDNA) transgene to rescue flies carrying a deletion in CG6718. This experiment was successful, demonstrating that a tagged transgene can rescue CG6718 mutants.
Senior honors thesis / Open Access
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