By the time a cancer metastasizes it has reached its most deadly stage. It therefore is essential that the underpinning mechanisms promoting metastasis are understood. Phosphatases of regenerating liver (PRL) have been repeatedly connected to cancer metastasis when overexpressed. However, little is yet known about the normal PRL function and biological pathways let alone the PRL pathway promoting metastasis. The current study explores the relationship between PRL-1 and two other genes, ROK and Rac,that have also been implicated in cell migration and metastasis. Increased PRL-1 function in conjunction with increased or decreased Rac function was forced to the dorsal half of the Drosophila melanogaster wing and compared to the increased PRL-1 function only phenotype in the wing. Increased PRL-1 function results in fewer cells on the dorsal versus ventral half of the wing. Increased PRL-1 function and decreased Rac function results in an inhibition of the PRL-1 directed phenotype such that there is no difference in cell number on the two sides of the wing. Neither increased nor decreased ROK function had an effect on the increased PRL-1 function phenotype. Therefore, this experiment concludes that in Drosophila melanogaster, Rac is a necessary component in the PRL-1 pathway while ROK and PRL-1 do not interact.
Date of Award
Dinkins, Rosemary, "ROK and Rac mediation of PRL-1 function in the wings of Drosophila melanogaster" (2012). Honors Program Theses. 1.