Role of Galectin in the regulation of neural excitability by Drosophila Sialyltransferase
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Galectins belong to a family of endogenous lectins with affinity for β-galactosidase-containing oligosaccharides. They are differentially expressed by several types of cells of the immune system in vertebrate organisms. Through lectin-carbohydrate interactions, they can interact with cell-surface and extracellular matrix glycoconjugates like glycoproteins and glycolipids and can promote cell growth, affect cell survival, modulate cell adhesions and induce cell migration. Role of galectins has been mostly investigated in the immune system and homeostatis. It is believed that galectins may be involved in other crucial functions, such as regulation of neural functions via collaboration with the pathways of neural sialylation. However, the relationship between galectin and sialyltransferase functions in the nervous system has never been established. I hypothesize that galectins work together with sialyltransferase to regulate neural excitability. Using Drosophila as a model system, I focus on testing this hypothesis. In my project, I will generate galectin mutants and carry out the functional analysis of these mutants. I will investigate if galectin function contributes to neurological phenotypes of Drosophila Sialyltransferase (DSIAT) mutants. If the hypothesis is correct, I anticipate detecting genetic interactions between galectin and DSIAT mutant alleles. Depending on the mode of the interactions, I can expect that the mutant phenotype will be enhanced or ameliorated. These results will shed light on the molecular and genetic mechanisms of galectin function in the nervous system.
Kc, Niraj 1989- (2012). Role of Galectin in the regulation of neural excitability by Drosophila Sialyltransferase. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from