Publication Date

Spring 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Ajay Srivastava (Director), Rodney King, Claire Rinehart

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


CP1 is a well-conserved cathepsin L-like protease essential for proper growth and development in Drosophila melanogaster. Previous research has demonstrated that CP1 has the ability to break down the extracellular matrix. Using the UAS-GAL4 system, immunohistochemistry, and antibody-staining, this research attempts to characterize the role of CP1 and its effects on basement membrane degradation and signaling. These effects include actions at the cellular level and on a known signaling pathway. The genes involved in this pathway are known to be required for proper development of the wing disc into the adult wing. We have demonstrated the collagenase activity of CP1 as well as a possible mechanism via TIMP. We have shown that cp1 is part of the wingless signaling pathway and potentially acts as an upstream regulator on wingless and nubbin. Finally, we have successfully inserted the cDNA of a potential inhibitor of CP1, titled crammer, into the vector pUAST to create transgenic flies.

Understanding how CP1 affects Drosophila development through cellular and gene activity is important because cathepsins are highly conserved between flies, humans, and have been implicated in several diseases, including cancer. Discovering the mechanisms by which CP1 functions allows for discoveries to be made in connection with disease processes.


Biology | Cell and Developmental Biology | Genetics and Genomics | Molecular Genetics