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Presentation Title: A Drosophila Model of Glaucoma Discipline: Genetics School: North Carolina State University Presentation Type: Oral Presentation Abstract: A Drosophila Model of Glaucoma James C Oxendine, North Carolina State University

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions responsible for the damage of the optic nerve and is the second leading cause of blindness due to death of retinal ganglion cells (RGC). Mutations in the protein myocilin (MYOC) have been associated with congenital glaucoma and primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). Mutations in myocilin can result in misfolded protein leading to its accumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and consequently RGC death. To alleviate ER-stress, the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway is activated which reduces accumulations of misfolded MYOC protein. In this project, Drosophila melanogaster is used as a model for the development of glaucoma, by over-expressing human wild-type or mutant MYOC (D380N, K423E, Q368X and R342K) in the Drosophila eye. With the treatments of sodium 4-phenylbutyrate (4PBA) and myo-inositol, two chemical chaperones, we aim to alleviate MYOC aggregation, reduce ER-stress and improve phototaxis behavior. We will use two analytical techniques, the western blot and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, to quantify protein and transcriptional changes in the UPR pathway. If there are changes in the UPR pathways, the study will lay a basis for further experiments and treatment possibilities for glaucoma in humans.

Presenter: James C Oxendine Tribe: Lumbee Primary Email: Biography James C Oxendine is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Originally from Pembroke, NC, he now lives in Raleigh where he attends North Carolina State University. He is a senior, planning to graduate May 2012 with a BA in Psychology. He is currently applying for graduate school to study to become a clinical heath psychologist.


2011 National Conference Student Research Abstracts  
2011 National Conference Student Research Abstracts  

A comprehensive list of the student research topics that will be presented at the AISES 2011 National Conference