2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Role of the Numb Protein in Synaptic Development, Synaptic Growth, and Locomotion


Josie L. Emery*, Lauren N. Galbraith, Samuel J. Leone, and Haley L. Stuckmeyer
Dr. Brett A. Berke, Faculty Mentor


Numb is a peripheral membrane protein well-characterized for its functions in asymmetric stem cell division. However, it is also localized in presynaptic terminals within the adult nervous system. We utilized Drosophila melanogaster and are determining Numb’s functions  at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Staining shows Numb expression in presynaptic glutamatergic motoneurons of Drosophila larvae. RNAi-induced knockdown of Numb was tested for its effects on larval locomotion. The loss of presynaptic Numb caused irregular locomotor patterns with excess searching, abnormally sharp turns, and a longer distance traveled during two minute trials. Presynaptic knock-down also disrupted synaptic development at the larval NMJ. We are currently verifying the larval locomotor phenotype using a second method for knocking down Numb within the CNS. We are also co-localizing Numb with presynaptic proteins and knocking Numb down in muscle to assess a role in postsynaptic cells. Our studies will expand knowledge of how Numb affects neuronal synapses.

Keywords: Neurobiology, Numb, Drosophila, Animal Behavior, Synapse

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 105-3
Location: MG 2001
Time: 8:30

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