Master's Theses

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Shubha Govind

Second Advisor

Sally Hoskins

Third Advisor

Chiyedza Small

Keywords

cyclooxygenases, lipid droplets, immunity

Abstract

Cyclooxygenases (COX) are the enzymes that catalyze the conversion of arachidonic acid into prostaglandins. In mammals, isoform COX-1 is constitutively expressed, whereas the isoform COX-2 gene expression is induced, primarily at sites of inflammation. While eicosanoids play a major role in inflammation in insects, their existence in fruit flies has not been reported. Recent computational analyses by Qi and Singh (2014) have identified putative COX-like enzymes in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Here we compare the expression patterns of these enzymes and the effects of their knockdown in immune cells of D. melanogaster third instar larvae. Because of high genetic and biochemical conservation in metabolism and inflammation between flies and humans, comparative studies of this important class of enzymes is of fundamental importance and will also have therapeutic potential. Cyclooxygenases (COX) are the enzymes that catalyze the conversion of arachidonic acid into prostaglandins. In mammals, isoform COX-1 is constitutively expressed, whereas the isoform COX-2 gene expression is induced, primarily at sites of inflammation. While eicosanoids play a major role in inflammation in insects, their existence in fruit flies has not been reported. Recent computational analyses by Qi and Singh (2014) have identified putative COX-like enzymes in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Here we compare the expression patterns of these enzymes and the effects of their knockdown in immune cells of D. melanogaster third instar larvae. Because of high genetic and biochemical conservation in metabolism and inflammation between flies and humans, comparative studies of this important class of enzymes is of fundamental importance and will also have therapeutic potential.

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