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The role of ciliary tip organization in hedgehog signaling

Project description

Ciliary tip organisation in hedgehog signalling

Eukaryotic cells are strewn with slender protuberances called cilia organelles, which have essential motile, sensory and signalling functions. The cilium structure is important for its function; the mechanisms underlying the relationship between structure and function, however, are not well understood. The EU-funded CiliaryTip project aims to address the role of the cilium structure in hedgehog signalling, one of the main cilia-based signalling pathways, essential for embryonic development and implicated in disease. This work will impact how hedgehog-related diseases are examined in the future, generating insights with broader implications regarding the signalling and sensory roles of cilia.

Objective

Cilia are microtubule-based organelles with essential motile, sensory and signaling functions. The cilium structure is important for its function however the mechanisms underlying the structure-function relationship are not well understood. The proposed study will address the role of the cilium structure in hedgehog signaling, one of the main cilia-based signaling pathways, essential for embryonic development and implicated in disease. In mammals, cilia are required for hedgehog signaling and the localization of signaling proteins at the distal end of cilia, the ciliary tip, is important for pathway activation. Structural defects at the ciliary tip affect the localization of signaling proteins and pathway activation and cause a subset of cases of Joubert Syndrome. We propose an unbiased and comprehensive approach to elucidate how the ciliary tip organization supports the localization and dynamics of hedgehog signaling proteins at this compartment. This work will impact how we address hedgehog related diseases in the future and will generate insights with broader implications with respect to the signaling and sensory roles of cilia. The fellow will conduct this work in the laboratory of Dr. Skourides at the University of Cyprus, a group with a consistent record of high quality publications, including important findings related to cilia. The Fellow’s experience in studying the ciliary tip in motile cilia and the expertise of the host in cellular and developmental biology ensure the successful implementation of the proposed work. The Fellow has demonstrated great potential in becoming an independent scientist by securing funding for her PhD work and receiving the Seal of Excellence on an MSCA-IF submitted in 2018. Through this fellowship the researcher will acquire both the training and experience that will allow her to transition to an independent career focused on the connection between cilium structure and function and its role in vertebrate development.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS
Net EU contribution
€ 145 941,12
Address
AVENUE PANEPISTIMIOU 2109 AGLANTZI
1678 Nicosia
Cyprus

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Region
Κύπρος Κύπρος Κύπρος
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 145 941,12