Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2009

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Molecular and Cellular Biology

First Advisor

Pamela K. Geyer

First Committee Member

Toshi Kitamoto

Second Committee Member

Wendy Maury

Third Committee Member

Dawn Quelle

Fourth Committee Member

Richard Roller

Fifth Committee Member

Todd Washington


The nuclear lamina is a filamentous network that underlies the nuclear envelope. Lamina components include the family of LEM domain (LEM-D) proteins, named for LAP2, emerin and MAN1. Mutations in genes encoding LEM-D proteins cause tissue-restricted human disease, even though these genes are globally expressed. To understand the contributions of the LEM-D proteins to nuclear lamina function, investigations of the Drosophila LEM-D proteins was undertaken. The Drosophila genome encodes four LEM-D proteins and this thesis describes work done on the Drosophila homologues of MAN1 and emerin, Drosophila MAN1 (dMAN1) and Otefin (Ote). Chapter 2 describes the generation and phenotypic analyses of dMAN1 mutants. These mutants display a range of tissue-specific defects associated with an increase in BMP/Dpp signaling. This suggests that dMAN1 downregulates BMP/Dpp signaling at the nuclear periphery. Chapter 3 describes the identification and phenotypic analyses of ote mutants. Loss of Ote is associated with a tissue-specific defect of the female germline where ote mutant females display defects in germline stem cell (GSC) maintenance. Loss of Ote causes defects in the germline cells, the cap cells of GSC niche and an increased sensitivity to Dpp signaling in both germline and somatic cells. These findings support models suggesting that laminopathies arise from dysfunction of the homeostasis in stem cell populations. Taken together, these studies suggest that the nuclear lamina may play tissue-specific roles through regulation of signal transduction pathways. Our data also support the use of Drosophila as a system to elucidate the mechanistic basis of diseases associated with defects in the nuclear lamina.


Drosophila development, Gene regulation, Nuclear lamina, Nuclear organization


xii, 123 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 108-123).


Copyright 2009 Belinda Sophia Pinto

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Cell Biology Commons