Publication Date

Summer 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Ajay Srivastava (Director), Cheryl Davis, Rodney King

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


The Srivastava Lab is focused on the identification and characterization of genes that play a role in basement membrane remodeling. Previously, we identified putative basement membrane degraders through a genetic screen. One such gene has been suggested to play a role in the maintenance of the stem cell niche in Drosophila melanogaster, but no other information about the role this gene plays in development or disease has been published. Here, data are presented from experiments utilizing Drosophila genetics and immunohistochemistry that provide important insights on the biological role of this gene.

Collagenase activity was up-regulated upon overexpression of this gene, confirming it as a basement membrane degrader. Additionally, RNA in-situ hybridization experiment results showed expression in the developing imaginal discs of the 3rd instar larva tissues. Overexpression and knockdown studies further demonstrated morphological defects in a number of tissues, including the wing and the eye, and are suggestive of apoptosis. Acridine orange staining confirmed that cell death occurred when the gene was overexpressed and a cleaved caspase antibody staining indicated that process to be caspase-mediated apoptosis.


Genetics and Genomics | Molecular Biology | Molecular Genetics