Investigating Gp93 Biology Via Cloning Drosophila Toll and Integrin Genes
Del Valle, Crystal M.
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In Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies), the protein glycoprotein 93 (gp93) appears to be homologous to the mammalian protein glycoprotein 96 (gp96). As a chaperone, gp96 is required for Toll-like receptor (TLR) and integrin (Itg) expression, two protein families with roles in innate immunity and which also have Drosophila homologues. Due to this link with innate immunity, gp96 contributes to cancer, colitis, autoimmunity, and other diseases. Although a better understanding of gp96 biology is needed, this system is unfortunately complex and hard to study. Thus, we aim to characterize the simpler gp93 system to better understand the more complex gp96 system, and thus further development of immunotherapies directed at gp96 for the aforementioned diseases. This project aims to clone Drosophila Toll and integrin genes with tags. Once cloned, these genes will then be inserted into a Drosophila cell line where they can be easily identified by their tags and investigated. This is required as currently no antibodies exist to identify these proteins directly. Thus, we are ultimately creating tools in order to study the gp93 pathway and to ascertain whether gp93 is a chaperone for Drosophila Tolls and integrins. Future experimentation with these tools will allow for better understanding of the gp93 and, by extension, the gp96 system which will aid development of gp96 targeted therapies.
Department of Biology
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