Date of Award
Master of Science
Genetics, Development and Cell Biology
Clark R. Coffman
Jo Anne Powell-coffman
The cellular responses that allow a cell to survive and adapt to hypoxic stress (low oxygen) are largely conserved. The Hypoxia-Inducible Factor transcription factors (HIFs) are the primary transcription factors mediating responses to hypoxic stress. HIFs are composed of alpha and beta subunits. HIF-α is only stable in hypoxic conditions. The pathway for oxygen-dependent degradation of HIF-α includes a prolyl-hydroxylase (PHD) and the VHL E3 ligase. The Drosophila homlogs of HIF-α, HIF-β, PHD, and VHL are encoded by the similar, tango, fatiga/Hph, and Vhl genes, respectively. Previous studies have demonstrated that similar has roles in Drosophila tracheal development as well as border cell migration. Here I have used the development of germ cells in Drosophila as a tool to study the effects of low oxygen stress, and to explore the potential roles of hypoxic response genes in germ cell development. Utilizing low oxygen culture conditions and loss-of-function mutants I have observed that Drosophila embryogenesis is sensitive to oxygen tension and the zygotic loss of Drosophila HIF-1α is not sufficient to induce primordial germ cell defects. Further examination of the complete loss-of-function of other Drosophila HIF components, such as fatiga, could reveal whether it is the HIF hypoxic response pathway or a HIF independent hypoxia induced pathway that mediates Drosophila primordial germ cell development in wild-type embryos exposed to hypoxic conditions.
Elizabeth M. Asque
Asque, Elizabeth M., "Investigations of potential roles of hypoxic response genes in Drosophila primordial germ cell development" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 10181.