Gail L. Waring

Professor Emeritus

B.A. 1968, San Francisco State College, San Francisco, CA
M.A. 1969, San Francisco State College, San Francisco, CA
Ph.D. 1974, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University

Regulation of Gene Expression and Extracellular Assembly Processes in Drosophila

The formation of functional three-dimensional structures is a fundamental process that occurs in all cells and developing organisms. Understanding the molecular strategies and mechanisms that are used to ensure that structures form in the right place, at the right time, and with the right shape requires in vivo approaches since spatial and temporal controls as well as the intricate multi-component environment found in vivo cannot be reproduced in vitro.  The Drosophila eggshell is a highly organized multi-layered structure that forms between the oocyte and overlaying follicle cells during the later stages of oogenesis.   The temporal resolution provided by Drosophila oogenesis, the spatial resolution provided by its large, well- defined structure, the diverse array of genetic tools available in Drosophila, and the large pool of genetically engineered eggshell mutants, make the Drosophila eggshell an excellent system for studying an extracellular assembly process.

The Drosophila eggshell consists of three major proteinaceous layers: an oocyte proximal vitelline membrane, a crystalline innermost chorion layer, and an outer endochorion. We are interested in uncovering the molecular interactions that drive eggshell assembly and how these interactions are regulated. In previous studies we showed that several eggshell proteins are synthesized as proproteins that are cleaved after they are deposited into the extracellular environment. Thus timed cleavages are likely to play a role in controlling eggshell assembly. Our previous immunolocalization studies revealed dynamic changes in the distribution of some eggshell proteins during eggshell assembly suggesting that spatial regulation provides another means to control eggshell protein interactions.  Recent studies suggest temporally regulated changes in the aggregation state of an eggshell protein may also control its availability for assembly. Current studies focus on how proteins are organized within the developing eggshell and how molecular network(s) within its layers are disrupted by mutations in specific eggshell proteins, including sV23, fc20, and dec-1 proteins. This project provides students with an opportunity to use biochemical, molecular, genetic, and imaging techniques to explore assembly of a complex extracellular structure within a developmental context in a eukaryotic organism.

Selected Publications

Wu, T., Manogaran, A.L., Beauchamp, J.M., and Waring, G.L.  2010.  Drosophila vitelline membrane assembly: A critical role for an evolutionarily conserved cysteine in the “VM domain” of sV23. Developmental Biology 347: 360-368.

Spangenberg, D.K., and Waring, G.L.  2007.  A mutant dec-1 transgene induces dominant female sterility in Drosophila. Genetics 177: 1595-1608.

Manogaran, A. and Waring, G.L.  2004. The N-terminal prodomain of sV23 is essential for the assembly of a functional vitelline membrane network in Drosophila. Developmental Biology 270: 261-271.

Mauzy-Melitz, D. and Waring, G.L.  2003.  fc177, a minor dec-1 proprotein, is necessary to prevent ectopic aggregation of the endochorion during eggshell assembly in Drosophila. Developmental Biology 255: 193-205.

Badciong, J.C., Otto, J.M., and Waring, G.L.  2001.  The functions of the multiproduct and rapidly evolving dec-1 eggshell gene are conserved between evolutionarily distant species of Drosophila. Genetics 159: 1089-1102.

Nogueron, M.I., Mauzy-Melitz, D., and Waring, G.L.  2000.  Drosophila dec-1 eggshell proteins are differentially distributed via a multi-step extracellular processing and localization pathway. Developmental Biology 225: 459-470.



Marquette University Women Faculty Achievement Award (2005)

Rev. John P. Raynor Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence (1995)

Sigma Xi Award for Scientific Achievement (1991-92)

Former Graduate Students

Tianyi Wu, 2009, Ph.D.

Anita Manogaran, 2003, Ph.D.

Debra Mauzy-Melitz, 2001, Ph.D.

Frank J. Fokta, 2000, Ph.D.

James C. Badciong, 1999, Ph.D.

Terri E. Pascucci, 1996, Ph.D.

M. Isabel Noguerón, 1996, Ph.D.

Jeffrey M. Otto, 1995, Ph.D.

Ellen Popodi, 1989, Ph.D.

Smita Savant, 1989, Ph.D.

Robert Hawley, 1988, Ph.D.

Beverly Bauer, 1986, Ph.D.

Thomas Burke, 1986, Ph.D.

Joseph Fargnoli, 1983, Ph.D.


Biological Sciences Department

Marquette University, Wehr Life Sciences
(Directions/campus map)
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7355