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Cell-Cell communication during morphogenesis: Functional characterization of the Irre Cell recognition module (IRM) in Drosophila melanogaster

Grant number: 18/18437-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2019 - January 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Cytology and Cell Biology
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Guelerman Pinheiro Ramos
Grantee:Ricardo Guelerman Pinheiro Ramos
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The Irre Cell-Recognition Module (IRM) of Drosophila comprises the products of the genes roughest (rst), kin-of-irre (kirre), sticks-and-stones (sns) and hibris (hbs) and form a small subgroup of evolutionarily conserved transmembrane glycoproteins belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily. IRM molecules normally work cooperatively in a wide variety of developmental processes during animal morphogenesis, particularly those requiring close integration of cell-cell communication and cytoskeleton remodeling. In humans, mutations affecting IRM components result mostly in cognitive defects or kidney malformations. Notwithstanding the significant progress made in the last few years regarding the description and spatio-temporal characterization of the IRM in different tissues, the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for the implementation of its functions, as well as the signaling pathways involved remain poorly understood. The primary aim of the present proposal is to start a systematic investigation of the mechanistic bases of IRM functions in the development of the pupal retina, the nervous system and the ovary of D. melanogaster and involves three steps: a) Identification, through genetic analysis, of signaling pathways capable of modulating IRM function in the three abovementioned tissues and b) genetic and biochemical identification and characterization of putative direct intracellular interactions between IRM proteins and cytoskeleton components. (AU)