Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


The centrosome functions in spindle formation, transport of cytoplasmic vesicles, and regulation of cell structure. Pericentrin, a centrosomal protein, was chosen to study for its role in microtubule nucleation and organization, cell cycle progression and ciliogenesis. This project's purpose was to determine if the amount of endogenous pericentrin would affect insulin storage or secretion in pancreatic beta cells. Immunofluorescent staining and electron microscopy revealed that pericentrin co-localizes to the granules of beta cells. After Pericentrin depletion with RNAi, a lower number of mature insulin granules was found, and a high amount of insulin was secreted into the media. This dys-regulation of insulin secretion was also verified by in vivo experiments.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2008


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology

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