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Integrin signaling


Research objectives and content Integrins are a family of cell surface receptors, which mediate adhesion of cells to the extracellular matrix. The binding of integrins to extracellular matrix also triggers interacellular signalling pathways that are important for cellular differentiation. The goal of the proposed research is to initiate a characterisation of an integrin signalling pathway in Drosophila, by analysing the function of components at the top and bottom of the pathway: 1) Integrin-linked-kinase, is a kinase that directly associates with integrin cytoplasmic domains, and a Drosophila homologue has emerged from the genome sequencing project. The function of this protein during development will be analysed using molecular and genetic approaches. 2) A gene has recently been identified in Drosophila that is subject to regulation by an integrin signalling pathway. The cis-regulatory regions of this target gene will be characterised to clarify how integrin signalling modulates its expression. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact) This project will provide excellent training in molecular biological techniques and basic genetics. In the future I plan to apply these techniques to insects with medical and economic importance. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22) This research is not currently linked to an industrial partner. However, the integrins are of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry, so links in the future are feasible.


University of Cambridge
Tennis Court Road
CB2 1QR Cambridge
United Kingdom