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Protein-Protein Interactions in Drosophila Germ Cell Development
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During germ cell formation in Drosophila embryos, cells migrate from their site of origin to the site of organ formation. In particular, germ cells need to migrate long distances from their site of origin to the site where ovaries and testicles develop. It was found that the this cell migration is guided by a chemical signaling pathway. Cells which digress from the migration route are destroyed by apoptosis. Dr. Coffman's group at Iowa State University has identified mutations that impair the destruction of cells that have strayed from their migration path. One of these mutations affects the function of a G-protein coupled receptor, Trel. In this study we look at physical interactions of the Trel protein with ten candidate proteins. We have identified interactions between the G-protein coupled receptor Trel and two, possibly three, candidate proteins. These candidates are members of a protein phosphatase family that have previously been implicated in germ cell migration, which makes our result particularly valuable. Adding to the picture is the fact that the phenotypes of mutations in the corresponding genes closely resemble trel mutant phenotypes. All of the above results indicate that these proteins function in the same pathway.
Advisor: Martin Schmidt of Des Moines University