Research objectives and content
The objective of this project is the study of the mechanism that control cell-fate determination in early neurogenesis, using the chicken retina as a model system. Neurons of the vertebrate central nervous system are generated from dividing neuroepithelial progenitors cells. Lateral inhibition mediated by the neurogenic genes Delta and Notch is required to maintain these proliferating progenitors so that neurogenesis can continue. Our project approach the study of the role in vivo of
mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) pathway and extrinsic signals (growth factors such as EGF, NT-3 and IGF-I) in cell-fate determination and the correlation of this pathway with the mechanism of lateral inhibition modulated by the Delta/Notch signalling. For this purpose we are planning to use retrovirus-mediated gene misexpression to interfere with the MAPK pathway and the extrinsic signals mentioned above.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact) The project will provide training in different theoretical aspects of neurogenesis, signal transduction and gene regulation and a practical approach in a variety of molecular and cellular techniques, such as the alteration of gene expression using retrovirus. In addition I will benefit intellectually and practically from interactions with other ICRF laboratories that work on signal transduction and developmental neurobiology.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)