Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr. Steven Wilt

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Kiser

Third Advisor

Dr. Caroline Doyle


This study investigates the expression of Palladin, a phosphoprotein product of the PALLD gene, in the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE). Palladin is an actin cross-linking protein and plays a role in cell adhesion and motility. Published reports have demonstrated that a down regulation of Palladin in colon cancer cells results in a reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, causing the cells to lose their typical shape, become proliferative and migratory. This process is otherwise known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). A similar EMT phenomenon is observed when the RPE is exposed to the vitreous humor in patients with proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). In this study, the expression of Palladin is investigated in primary cultures of pig retinal pigmented epithelium in both normal and vitreous exposed cells. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blotting were performed to demonstrate mRNA and protein expression, respectively. Palladin was seen expressed in the RPE cells; however, there was no notable difference in the expression of Palladin mRNA in vitreous exposed cells versus the control cells. The immunoblotting analysis was inconclusive. More research will be necessary to see if Palladin plays a role in the RPE.