Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Anton Bryantsev

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Kennesaw State University

The muscleblind (mbl) family of RNA-binding proteins regulates alternative splicing, determining mRNA transcript composition for various types of tissue, and has been implicated in myotonic dystrophy. The mbl gene is subject to alternative splicing in Drosophila, leading to multiple isoforms, and has several paralogs in humans. Mbl proteins vary significantly in length, although the significance of such diversity and the role of specific isoforms have not been fully explored.

Using immunofluorescence microscopy and polyclonal serum, we analyzed Mbl protein expression across adult Drosophila tissues. Mbl was detected in various locations, including the brain, gonads, muscle, and gut epithelium. Skeletal muscles demonstrated the greatest diversity in Mbl expression, with other tissues showing more homogenous expression. Mbl was present at low levels in flight and jump muscles, while other thoracic muscles and abdominal muscles showed high Mbl levels. Intracellular localization of Mbl was typically nuclear, however in the nervous system the protein was strongly expressed in the cytoplasm. During early adult development in the pupa, in various tissues Mbl was initially detected in discrete nuclear bodies, before it assumed more general nuclear staining.

Our study reveals natural locations that have drastically different levels of Mbl as well as its intracellular localization. Our further aim is to supplement these findings with molecular analysis of Mbl isoforms to create the basis for functional interrogation of the Mbl diversity and its relation to tissue-specific regulation of alternative RNA splicing.

Disciplines

Cell Biology | Life Sciences | Molecular Genetics

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Tissue-specific diversity of the Muscleblind expression in adult flies.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Kennesaw State University

The muscleblind (mbl) family of RNA-binding proteins regulates alternative splicing, determining mRNA transcript composition for various types of tissue, and has been implicated in myotonic dystrophy. The mbl gene is subject to alternative splicing in Drosophila, leading to multiple isoforms, and has several paralogs in humans. Mbl proteins vary significantly in length, although the significance of such diversity and the role of specific isoforms have not been fully explored.

Using immunofluorescence microscopy and polyclonal serum, we analyzed Mbl protein expression across adult Drosophila tissues. Mbl was detected in various locations, including the brain, gonads, muscle, and gut epithelium. Skeletal muscles demonstrated the greatest diversity in Mbl expression, with other tissues showing more homogenous expression. Mbl was present at low levels in flight and jump muscles, while other thoracic muscles and abdominal muscles showed high Mbl levels. Intracellular localization of Mbl was typically nuclear, however in the nervous system the protein was strongly expressed in the cytoplasm. During early adult development in the pupa, in various tissues Mbl was initially detected in discrete nuclear bodies, before it assumed more general nuclear staining.

Our study reveals natural locations that have drastically different levels of Mbl as well as its intracellular localization. Our further aim is to supplement these findings with molecular analysis of Mbl isoforms to create the basis for functional interrogation of the Mbl diversity and its relation to tissue-specific regulation of alternative RNA splicing.

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