Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2007
Mentor: Adrian Rothenfluh, Ph.D.
Department: Psychiatry, PYN
Room number: NE 5.310
Mail Code: 9127
Phone number: 81169
Project title: Ethanol resistance caused by actin dysregulation and neuronal morphology defects.
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): NA
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): NA
Project Type basic
Brief Description of Project:
When exposed to ethanol, Drosophila, like vertebrates, display locomotor hyperactivity, followed by sedation. We have isolated a gene that is involved in this process: mutants in RhoGAP18B show resistance to alcohol's sedative effects (Rothenfluh et al., 2006, Cell 127: 199-211). The RhoGAP18B protein negatively regulates Rho-type GTPases, which are known to regulate the actin cytoskeleton and cell morphology changes.
The project aims to investigate the effect of the RhoGAP18B mutant on cell and neuronal morphology. The effects of knock-down and overexpression of the RhoGAP18B protein will be studied in cell culture. In parallel, a detailed in vivo analysis of single neurons in RhoGAP18B mutant animals will explore the effects on dendritic and axonal arborization. Together these approaches will yield insight into the mechanism by which RhoGAP18B controls actin dynamics, cell shape, and with it the behavioral responses to alcohol. specific task and duties of the project:fly husbandry and crosses dissect and stain the adult CNS basic microscopy insect cell culture, staining and transfection some molecular biology