Faculty Advisor

Duffy, Joseph B.


The Kekkon family in Drosophila belongs to a class of transmembrane LIG proteins that contains both leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) and an immunoglobulin (Ig) domain in the extracellular domain. Two family members, Kek 1 and Kek 5, have been shown to inhibit the Drosophila EGFR receptor (DER) and Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling, respectively. Prior work on a related family member, Kek3, also suggested a role in BMP signaling. To further investigate this, structural/functional analyses of Kek3, was undertaken. Phylogenetic analysis was used to identify highly conserved regions of Kek3, and in addition to the LRRs and Ig domain, revealed a set of conserved intracellular motifs of unknown function. A variant of Kek3 lacking the intracellular domain was created for functional studies.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2015


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology

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