The Role Of RNA-Binding Protein Pumilio In Regulation Of Nociceptive Sensation

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebeccah Keaton Stewart (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Andrew Bellemer

Abstract: Nociception is the sensation of potentially tissue damaging stimuli, and is necessary for the survival of all animals. Without it, organisms would not be able to navigate their environment safely and efficiently, both avoiding potentially dangerous situations and not wasting energy responding to every stimulus like a possible threat. Many of the underlying nociceptive processes are conserved throughout metazoan systems, and the overlap between Drosophila melanogaster and humans is extensive. Characterizing the regulatory processes behind nociceptive sensation is important to provide avenues for treatment of chronic pain in the human population, and one potential point of regulation is the Pumilio (Pum)  protein. Flies with decreased and increased expression of pumilio were tested for nociceptive defects to mechanical and thermal stimuli, and the effects of changed Pumilio expression on dendrite morphology were also quantified. Reduction of pumilio expression using RNA interference (RNAi) led to hypersensitivity to mechanical and thermal stimuli, and a reduced dendrite phenotype. Increase of pumilio expression by overexpression of pumilio cDNA in nociceptor neurons led to an insensitive phenotype to mechanical stimuli. To study the possible downstream effectors of Pumilio, a fluorescent live-imaging tool will be created that will allow visualization of paralytic mRNA in the nociceptor neurons. These experiments begin to elucidate the role Pumilio plays in the regulation of nociception and the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates nociception.  

Additional Information

Honors Project
Stewart, Rebeccah. (2017). The Role Of RNA-Binding Protein Pumilio In Regulation Of Nociceptive Sensation. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University. Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
RNA-binding proteins, Nociception, Translational regulation, Paralytic, Pumilio

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