Investigating the role of thrombospondin in synaptogenesis and locomotion in Drosophila

What is the role thrombospondin in synaptogenesis at the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila larvae, and what consequences does decreasing thrombospondin at the neuromuscular junction have on locomotion?

Project Abstract

Recently, it has been recognized that proteins of the extracellular matrix are important for nervous system and muscle development. Thrombospondins are glycoproteins that can interact with molecules in the extracellular matrix and also with proteins on the surface of cells. In mammals, thrombospondins have been shown to play in role in synapse formation in the central nervous system. In the lab we are testing if thrombospondin has a role in synapse formation at the neuromuscular junction, in muscle development, and on behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. This research will expand our knowledge about extracellular matrix proteins on development.

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