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Morphological and transcriptional changes in early neural embryogenesis

Grant number: 17/07405-7
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2017 - April 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology
Principal Investigator:Chao Yun Irene Yan
Grantee:Chao Yun Irene Yan
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In the embryo, gene expression and morphogenesis are intrinsically connected. Given the complexity of their interplay, our approach has been to explore these two aspects of embryogenesis separately. Our long term goal is to understand gene expression control in neural tube embryogenesis and cell signaling during lens placode morphogenesis. Specifically, in this project our aims are (1) to identify the regulatory elements that control the expression levels of SCRATCH2, the post-mitotic neural-specific transcription factor; and (2) to dissect the signaling pathways involved in modulation of lens placode apico-basal growth by placodal extracellular matrix. In brief, for the first aim, we will perform functional tests of putative regulatory sequences and their interactors in the SCRATCH2 genomic and 3´UTR regions previously identified through in silico analysis. In the second aim, we will vary the extracellular matrix composition and cell receptor signaling of placodal cultures. Our results will contribute to map both the gene network triggered during early neural development and the cell signaling network triggered by the extracellular matrix during embryonic development.We propose to carry out some of those experiments in collaboration with laboratories in the University of Oxford, under the aegis of a memorandum of collaboration established between our respective departments. (AU)