Cell and Its Parts

What are the quantitative protein expression patterns in distinct compartments in the wing disc over time?


Because proteins carry out or regulate most biological processes the analysis of proteomes - all proteins that are expressed by a cell or tissue - is particularly relevant to developmental processes. This WingX subgroup is applying mass spectrometric technologies for the identification and measurement of proteins expressed during wing development.



A detailed and quantitative description of the proteome and its changes during wing development is important for a successful modeling approach and eventually for a comprehensive understanding of the biological processes that drive patterning, growth, and morphogenesis of the wing imaginal disc. State-of-the-art mass spectrometric (MS) technologies will be applied to wing progenitor cells and wing imaginal discs. This subgroup profits also from the available mass isolation procedures of imaginal discs and the large toolbox of single cell marking and sorting techniques available in Drosophila.

Insulin signaling is known to play an important role in growth regulation and it is assumed that growth and patterning signals are being integrated during wing disc development. By applying a novel mass-spectrometry detection technology named CyTOF, expression and activity profiles of these pathways will be investigated at the single cell level, in dissociated wing disc cells. The CyTOF approach will firstly be established in Drosophila cell culture. In addition, a library of antibodies against Drosophila growth and patterning molecules will be created. Using these antibodies, dissociated wing disc cells can be assigned a posteriori to wing disc compartments that have a specific protein expression profile. By building such a molecular coordinate system within the wing disc, the understanding of wings shape and growth will be advanced.


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