Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Leung Kim

Abstract

Protein Phosphatase 2A, PP2A, is a heterotrimeric threonine/serine phosphatase system that is involved in a variety of cellular processes. This phosphatase is composed ofthree subunits: a catalytic subunit (C subunit), a scaffolding subunit (A subunit), and a regulatory subunit (B subunit). The regulatory subunit B is divided into four subclasses, B, B' (B56), B'' and B'' '. Studies showed that PP2A/B56 complexes regulate development of Dictyostelium and other metazoan cells. In addition to development, our experimental data suggest that PP2A/B56 complex also plays an important role in Dictyostelium cell motility. Cells lacking B56 was generated previously in our laboratory (Lee et al., 2008). Further studies showed that b56- cells are compromised in random cell motility compared to the wild type (AX3) cells. In contrast, b56 cells with re-introduced B56 displayed wild-type like motilities. Furthermore, one of the colleagues in our laboratory found that one of the Dictyostelium Ras species, RasG, associates with PP2A/B56 complex and RasG activation is compromised in b56- cells. Considering that Ras proteins are central in cellular motility regulation, PP2A/B56 complex may modulate cell motility through regulating Ras. We propose to determine if an introduction of constitutive active RasG proteins improves compromised b56- cell motility.

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