Understanding the Relationship Between Ecdysone Signaling and the Lipin Protein in Drosophila melanogaster

dc.contributorColodner, Kenneth
dc.contributorBacon, Sarah
dc.contributor.advisorWoodard, Craig
dc.contributor.authorGloege, Helen
dc.description.abstractDrosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, undergoes four major stages of development: embryonic stage, larval stage, pupal stage, and adult stage. During the larval stage, individuals increase in size and consume nutrients, which are then stored in the cells of the fat body. When the larva reaches critical weight, the formation of the pupal case or pupariation occurs over four days and undergoes a transformation from its larval form to its adult form. During these four days, the pupa will not consume any external nutrients and is reliant on the nutrients stored in the cells of the fat body as a result. The pupal stage is an energetically expensive process. In Drosophila, there is a single lipin gene orthologue known as dLipin. Lipin is a protein that is encoded by the lipin gene. Lipin is considered essential for normal adipose tissue development and triacylglycerol (TAG) storage. dLipin is linked to energy metabolism and is considered to be crucial under nutrient deprivation conditions. dLipin also plays a role in insulin sensitivity in the larval fat body (Lehmann, 2018). Ecdysone is a steroid hormone that acts through a receptor to regulate the transcription of specific target genes. This steroid hormone is the central regulator of developmental transitions in Drosophila and leads to pupariation at the beginning of metamorphosis. I hypothesize that ecdysone signaling activates the transcription of the dLipin gene during metamorphosis. To test this hypothesis, I am using the wild-type genotype as a control, and Cg-Gal4; UAS-EcR-DN flies as an ecdysone-signaling-deficient experimental genotype. Results of the Real-Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) indicate the opposite of the hypothesis and that ecdysone signaling instead inhibits the transcription of the dLipin gene. Ecdysone deficient Drosophila resulted in up-regulation of dLipin compared to the wild-type Drosophila. Studying lipin in the Drosophila model will help lead to an understanding of the basic function of lipin in metazoans and lipin’s role in fat cell function and energy metabolism (Schmitt, 2015).en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipBiological Sciencesen_US
dc.subjectDrosophila melanogasteren_US
dc.subjectEcdysone Signalingen_US
dc.titleUnderstanding the Relationship Between Ecdysone Signaling and the Lipin Protein in Drosophila melanogasteren_US
mhc.institutionMount Holyoke College


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