The Expression of IMP2 within the Mouse Nervous System

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Mei Xu, MD, PhD

Second Advisor

Marina D'Angelo, PhD

Third Advisor

Brian Balin, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Marcus Bell, PhD


Insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) mRNA-binding protein-2 (IMP2) is one of the three homologues (IMP1-3) that play important roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in several tissues. IMP1/ZBP1 (zipcode binding protein) has been shown to play important roles in axon guidance and regeneration by regulating the localization and translation of specific mRNAs. However, the function of IMP2 is least understood, largely because an isoform-specific antibody is not available, which makes the conventional techniques to locate protein expression not feasible. Using Western blot and immunocytochemistry, a custom made IMP2-specific antibody, was tested and its specificity was confirmed on cultured cells following over-expression of IMP 1-3 isoforms, respectively. Using this IMP2-specific antibody, I examined IMP2 expression in the mouse nervous system as well as the developmental patterns by Western blot and immunostaining. I found that IMP2 is expressed in all tissues of the nervous system and is developmentally expressed in all stages of life, unlike that of IMP1 and IMP3. Ongoing experiments are aimed at further understanding of IMP2 expression patterns during injury and assessment of its role to facilitate mRNA localization during axon regeneration in the adult nervous system.

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