Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Young M Laboratory
The neuronal protein GAP-43 has been implicated in a number of key processes in neural development and synaptic behavior. There have been no reports identifying an invertebrate molecule with homology to GAP-43. In this study we have begun to explore the biochemistry and genetics of the Drosophila gene nerd, which was isolated by vitrue of its DNA homology to mammalian GAP-43. Two proteins arise from the nerd locus and share a conserved motif, the GAP43 module. This twenty amino acid domain unites a small family of brainspecific mammalian proteins that are believed to function similarly. Based on protein sequence, biochemical activities and nervous system-specific tissue distribution we argue that nerd represents a functional homolog of vertebrate GAP-43. The possibility of a mutational analysis of nerd makes the study of this gene in Drosophila a valuable extention of previous studies in vertebrate systems. An initial characterization of mutants that map within or close to the nerd region on the second chromosome is detailed.
Neel, Victor, "Nerd: A Neuron-Specific Gene in Drosophila Melanogaster Related to Vertebrate GAP-43" (1994). Student Theses and Dissertations. 350.