The molecular regulation of Hox gene RNA processing during Drosophila embryonic development

Edelweiss Villava Robles, Casandra (2015) The molecular regulation of Hox gene RNA processing during Drosophila embryonic development. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

The Hox genes encode a family of developmental regulators that are essential
for the normal patterning of the animal body axis. Their correct expression is controlled
by a number of mechanisms including RNA processing, a molecular system
that allows the formation of alternative mRNAs from a single gene. Previous work in
the Alonso Lab has demonstrated that RNA processing of the Drosophila Hox gene
Ultrabithorax (Ubx) by means of alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation
plays an important role during Drosophila development, but the mechanisms
underlying these regulatory processes are not well understood. In this project we
found that the Drosophila neural RNA binding protein ELAV has an important role
in the control of both Ubx alternative splicing and polyadenylation during embryonic
development. Furthermore, by conducting a series of in vitro experiments we
demonstrate that ELAV is able to interact with two specific RNA elements located
within Ubx intronic sequences and mutation of such elements abolishes the interaction.
We also establish that embryos carrying a loss of function mutation in the elav
gene produce lower levels of Ubx mRNA and protein suggesting a role of ELAV on
Hox gene expression. Finally we investigated the roles that other Drosophila factors
including RNA binding proteins, chromatin regulators and splicing regulatory
proteins may have on Ubx RNA processing and found several potential regulators.
All in all our work contributes to the understanding of the molecular basis of Hox
RNA processing control during Drosophila development.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology > QH0426 Genetics
Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0360 Invertebrates > QL0434 Arthropoda > QL0463 Insects > QL0531 Diptera (Flies) > QL0537.A-Z Systematic divisions. By family > QL0537.D76 Drosophilidae (Vinegarflies)
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2015 07:39
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2017 13:05
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/52959

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