Date of Award






Degree Type

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Brian Schwartz

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Burgess

Third Advisor

Dr. Cindy S. Ticknor


The insulin-signaling pathway plays a crucial role in regulating metabolic homeostasis in both humans and insects. Dysregulation or mutation within this pathway can lead to various diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance. The insulin-like peptide 4 (ILP4) in Drosophila is an interesting subject for study due to its similarity to mammalian insulin and its role in regulating sugar metabolism. In this study, we investigate a novel splicing variation within the Drosophila takahashii Insulin-Like Peptide 4 (ILP4) gene. Our investigation identified a splicing variation found in four Drosophila species that introduces an additional codon in one isoform, resulting in an extra glutamic acid residue in the final protein structure. Initial analysis suggests that this variation may not significantly impact ILP4 functionality, but additional studies, such as protein structure modeling and function analysis, are necessary. Further identified is significant variation in sex specific ILP4 expression patterns across the Drosophila genus. Future research is called for to explore tissue-specific expression and the observed functional consequences of sequence variations. By investigating this splicing variation and sex-specific expression, this research provides a foundation for future understanding of how ILP4 functions and how the observed splicing variation might influence gene expression.

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Biology Commons