Presentation Title

Elucidating the Genetic Factors of Parkinson's Disease in Drosophila Melanogaster

Faculty Mentor

Katerina Venderova

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 11:30 AM

Location

50

Session

poster 4

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by loss of dopaminergic neurons, which control locomotor activity. This leads to motor symptoms of PD, such as bradykinesia and muscle rigidity. Autophagy is a natural process that occurs in the cell to clear damaged or dysfunctional organelles, and dysregulation in this process leads to cell toxicity and cell death. Previous research by Dr. Venderova’s lab has shown that PD pathogenesis could be due to a dysregulation in autophagy caused by specific mutations in PD genes. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a model organism that has been used to identify conserved disease genes and circuits that play important roles in neurodegeneration. The goal of our experiments was to elucidate the relationship between two PD genes, Vps35 and PINK1. To do this, we activated autophagy by overexpressing Atg1 under an eye-specific promoter. This caused a strong eye phenotype characterized by black lesions, pigmentation loss, and roughness. Utilizing this phenotype, our results suggest that PINK1 acts upstream of Vps35 to regulate autophagy.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM Nov 23rd, 11:30 AM

Elucidating the Genetic Factors of Parkinson's Disease in Drosophila Melanogaster

50

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by loss of dopaminergic neurons, which control locomotor activity. This leads to motor symptoms of PD, such as bradykinesia and muscle rigidity. Autophagy is a natural process that occurs in the cell to clear damaged or dysfunctional organelles, and dysregulation in this process leads to cell toxicity and cell death. Previous research by Dr. Venderova’s lab has shown that PD pathogenesis could be due to a dysregulation in autophagy caused by specific mutations in PD genes. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a model organism that has been used to identify conserved disease genes and circuits that play important roles in neurodegeneration. The goal of our experiments was to elucidate the relationship between two PD genes, Vps35 and PINK1. To do this, we activated autophagy by overexpressing Atg1 under an eye-specific promoter. This caused a strong eye phenotype characterized by black lesions, pigmentation loss, and roughness. Utilizing this phenotype, our results suggest that PINK1 acts upstream of Vps35 to regulate autophagy.