Developmental Programmed Cell Death In The Midline Glia Cells Of Drosophila Embryo

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2004-05-14

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Apoptosis is conserved in worms, flies and mammals. My goal was to identify new Drosophila midline glia cell death genes. Caspase substrate Nuclear Lamin and the midline glia specific reporter slit-lacZ were in Drosophila embryonic development cell death studies. Midline glia cell death is prevented in H99 mutants that delete hid, reaper and grim, and in p35 flies that over-express the pan-caspase inhibtor. Homozygous deficiency Df(3R)E79 flies possess a defect in midline glia cell death. Df(3R)E79 midline glia appear to be phagocytosed but do not undergo Lamin degradation suggesting that a caspase regulator resides in this deleted region of the genome. Df(3R)E79 removes 112 genes, including several interesting candidates including mus309, a protein with similarity to a RING finger protease reported to regulate apoptosis in humans. Future studies will determine the nature of the cell death regulator in Df(3R)E79 and how this gene functions in apoptosis.

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