2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

Drosohila Cyclophilin 1, a Mitochondrial Protein, Regulates Larval Locomotion

David O'Leary*, Dasia Caraballo, Mario Fong, Chang Li, and Karissa Hill
Dr. Brett A. Berke, Faculty Mentor

The crawling of fruit fly larvae is stereotyped. One component of larval crawling is searching behavior, when the larva pauses its forward movement, swings its head, and crawls in a new direction. Genes that alter searching behavior might change the activity and wiring of the nervous system. We found that mutations affecting Cyclophilin 1 increase searching behavior. Cyp1 is a homolog of human Cyclophilin D (CypD), a mitochondrial protein that opens a pore to stimulate cell death and affect cell signaling. To examine the cell-specific role of Cyp1, it was knocked down in distinct tissues using RNA interference. Cyp1 is being manipulated in muscle, glia, and neurons to identify where it acts to limit searching behavior, with promising initial results. Additionally, we are improving the quantification of crawling behavior using dedicated software. CypD is a therapeutic target for neurological treatments. Our experiments highlight potential side effects of its long-term manipulation. 


Keywords: Drosophila, Mitochondria, Animal Behavior, Cyclophilin


Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

* Indicates the Student Presenter
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