Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

M. S.

Organizational Unit

College of Natual Science and Mathematics, Biological Sciences

First Advisor

J. Todd Blankenship

Second Advisor

Dinah Loerke

Third Advisor

Cedric Asensio


The formation of a plasma membrane furrow is an essential process during development. Furrow formation is necessary for successful cell division and cytokinesis in addition to the ability to create multicellular tissues. Here, I will explore the role of the Golgi-associated Rab protein Rab39 in furrow formation during early Drosophila embryogenesis. Rab39 is one of eight Rab proteins that has been shown to localize to discrete puncta by live imaging in early Drosophila embryos, but its function and pathway have not been well characterized. In this thesis will I show that Rab39 forms dynamic, tubular structures that colocalize with trans-Golgi markers and the knockdown of Rab39 using RNA interference causes defects in furrow length and nuclear division during syncytial cycles 10-13. Klp98A, a kinesin 3 family motor protein, produces similar abnormalities when disrupted and colocalizes with Rab39. In the absence of Rab39, Klp98A strongly relocalizes to large nuclear fragments outside of the nuclear envelope that have arisen from the defects in furrow formation. Additionally, Rab39 and Klp98A dynamics are dependent on microtubule networks. Together, these proteins could represent a novel pathway that mediate membrane trafficking from the Golgi to the plasma membrane to aid in furrow formation.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Megan R. Millage


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

51 p.


Molecular biology