B.S. (Bachelor of Science)
Department of Biological Sciences
Epithelial tissues are the most common type of tissue in the human body, forming the outer layer of the skin and most organs. They are composed of epithelial cells and rely heavily on their cellular architecture, which is organized by an apical-basal polarity, for their function. One critical component for the establishment and maintenance of the epithelial cell architecture is the proper placement of the basement membrane. The basement membrane is a specialized sheet within the extracellular matrix that lines the basal side of epithelial cells, and there is a biological pathway that is responsible for the proper placement of the basement membrane at the basal side. This pathway controls the production of basement membrane proteins within epithelial cells and basally secretes them from these cells to the basement membrane. Despite the basement membrane’s important role in epithelial cell organization and polarity, the biological pathway dedicated to the polarized secretion of basement membrane proteins is poorly understood. To study basement membrane deposition, we use the follicular epithelium of the Drosophila ovary as a model system. In a genetic screen looking for genes involved in the proper placement of basement membrane proteins, we identified a new gene, Rcp (Receptor component protein), which has been shown to be involved in G-protein signaling. It has been shown that the loss of Rcp leads to the mislocalization of basement membrane proteins to the apical side of epithelial cells. We identified one Rcp mutant line, RcpR55.2 , that frequently displayed mislocalization of basement membrane proteins to the apical side of epithelial cells. Additionally, using immunostaining and super-resolution microscopy, we determined that Rcp localizes in the cytoplasm and nucleus of epithelial cells, suggesting that Rcp has a role in gene expression. Altogether, our results identified one Rcp mutant line that affected the normal polarized deposition of basement membrane proteins and identified the intracellular localization of Rcp within epithelial cells.
Brnot, Rebecca M., "The G-Signaling Protein Rcp Controls the Polarized Basement Membrane Deposition in Epithelial Cells" (2023). Honors Capstones. 1466.