Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences

Date of Award

Spring 2023


Actin dynamics influence many cellular processes including neural connectivity and function. One way to better understand and study the regulation of these dynamics is to manipulate actin dynamics and observe the effects in motor function as a proxy to changes on the neuromuscular junctions in developing neural tissue. On that line, this investigation hypothesized that changing the actin dynamics during development via drug manipulation results in observable effects in locomotion. One of the common actin regulatory drugs used throughout the literature includes Latrunculin A, which was used in this study. Methods included applying this actin destabilizing drug on developing wildtype Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) and observing locomotion of larvae in established paradigms. This type of investigation can lead to a better understanding of how actin dynamics affect neural development and what components of these dynamics play the most crucial part in remodeling neural connectivity. Also, it further opens questions regarding if such drugs can be used to manipulate neural connectivity in the case of pathophysiology, especially in motor disorders.


Hunkar Gizem Yesilyurt


Drosophila, Latrunculin A, Neuromuscular Junction, Actin Dynamics

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