Robin P Wharton, PhD
College of Arts & Sciences
Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics
We study post-transcriptional gene regulation during development in the germ line of the model system Drosophila melanogaster. Two proteins-- Nanos and Pumilio-- collaborate to repress translation of CyclinB mRNA in the primordial germ cells, thereby blocking proliferation. One current project involves investigation of the mechanism by which CycB repression is restricted to the germline. A second project investigates the role of Nanos that is shared by mice and flies-- maintenance of germ line stem cells (GSCs). The regulatory targets that mediate Nanos activity in the GSCs are unknown; and we are currently exploring novel methods to identify them. These studies will help elucidate the mechanism of Nanos action and shed light on the role of germline genes in tumor formation driven by lethal(3) malignant brain tumor.