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An interdisciplnary approach on the role of gap junctions and miRNAs in the development and degeneration of the nervous system

Grant number: 17/26439-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2018 - April 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology
Principal Investigator:Alexandre Hiroaki Kihara
Grantee:Alexandre Hiroaki Kihara
Home Institution: Centro de Matemática, Computação e Cognição (CMCC). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Silvia Honda Takada


The complexity of the nervous system is related not only to the activity of individual neurons but to the communication patterns established between them. In addition to well-known chemical synapses, signaling in the nervous system occurs by direct coupling between cells via gap junctions (GJs) channels. These channels allow the passage of molecules up to 1 KDa and are formed by protein subunits called connexins (Cx). An unexplored possibility of cellular communication is the exchange of genetic material between cells. Recent reports in the literature have described that some classes of ncRNAs could mediate this communication, such as circular RNA (cRNA) and miRNAs, molecules that could be transferred by exosomes, or even via plasma, cerebrospinal fluid or colostrum. Another mechanism of communication in the nervous system would be the passage of miRNAs by JCs. In this context, we are interested in determining aspects related to the role of miRNAs in the development and degeneration of the nervous system, including i) changes caused by specific miRNAs target molecules; ii) control of the synthesis and stability / degradation of ncRNAs. In this project, we will use molecular and cellular biology techniques, as well as electrophysiological recordings. This project represents the continuity and evolution of the studies started with the support of FAPESP through Young Researcher and Regular Research Grants. It is important to highlight that the proposed methodologies are employed by our group, especially those related to our internships in research or technological development institutions such as University of Florida (2011), Plexon Neurotechnology (2011) and Cold Spring Harbor (2012). This project is supported by Dr. Jean X. Jiang (Harvard University / University of Texas Health Science Center), Dr. Thomas De Marse and Dr. Brandi Ormerod (University of Florida at Gainesville), Sten Rüdiger (Humboldt University) and of groups based at the University of São Paulo, UFMG and INPE, as well as postdocs, undergraduate and graduate students engaged with this proposal. Finally, it is important to note that the support given to this project will serve several research groups of our institution, since UFABC's research laboratories are multi-user facilities. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
AYRES FERRAZ, MARIANA SACRINI; KIHARA, ALEXANDRE HIROAKI. Hurst entropy: A method to determine predictability in a binary series based on a fractal-related process. Physical Review E, v. 99, n. 6 JUN 14 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
KAEHNE, MALTE; RUEDIGER, STEN; KIHARA, ALEXANDRE HIROAKI; LINDNER, BENJAMIN. Gap junctions set the speed and nucleation rate of stage I retinal waves. PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, v. 15, n. 4 APR 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
RAEISOSSADATI, REZA; MOVIO, MARILIA INES; WALTER, LAIS TAKATA; TAKADA, SILVIA HONDA; DEL DEBBIO, CAROLINA BELTRAME; KIHARA, ALEXANDRE HIROAKI. Small Molecule GSK-J1 Affects Differentiation of Specific Neuronal Subtypes in Developing Rat Retina. Molecular Neurobiology, v. 56, n. 3, p. 1972-1983, MAR 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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