Intracellular transport is the process by which cells move internal components for developmental purposes. Proteins, mRNAs, organelles and other components are made in specialized structures like the nucleus or the cell body and must be transported to where they function. This movement is accomplished by molecular motor proteins that use ATP hydrolysis as an energy source to generate force to walk along microtubule and actin cytoskeletal filaments. Kinesin-1 is a motor protein found in diverse organisms that is responsible for certain transport processes in many cell types. While the mechanical properties of how kinesin-1 moves have been well characterized, how this protein binds to cargo and how it is regulated is not clear.
To address those questions, I have taken a genetic and cell biological approach using Drosophila melanogaster to study how the kinesin-1 tail influences two dynamic processes: axonal transport in the larval nervous system and cytoplasmic streaming in the oocyte. The tail domain has been shown to modulate motor activity in vitro; thus it is a likely candidate for regulation of kinesin-1 in Drosophila. My results show that mutations in the tail lead to accumulations of neuronal components in axons, reduce transport of mitochondria, and result in death in late larval stages. However, the tail mutations do not disrupt kinesin-1 driven cytoplasmic streaming in the oocyte. These studies demonstrate that the kinesin-1 tail has different functions in the axon and in the oocyte, and the requirement for kinesin-1 regulation is different in different transport processes.
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|Advisor:||Saxton, William M., Walczak, Claire E.|
|Commitee:||Cook, Kevin R., Powers, James A., Raff, Elizabeth C.|
|Department:||Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Genetics, Cellular biology|
|Keywords:||Axonal transport, Cytoplasmic streaming, Drosophila, Kinesin, Oogenesis|
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