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Role of cell adhesion molecule Neph1 in neural crest cell derivatives
Portugal (PorMSIC) - University of Porto, Porto
Dep. Biomedicina, piso 4 CIM – Centro de Investigação Médica
José M. Castro Lopes
Filipe A. Monteiro / Rafael M. Miranda
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Neph1 is an immunoglobulin superfamily adhesion molecule that mediates cell-cell contacts transducing them into signals which lead to actin remodeling in podocytes. Recent data from our research group identified Neph1 as a Prrxl1-direct transcriptional target in embryonic dorsal spinal cord. Prrxl1 is paired-like homeodomain transcription factor which plays a crucial role in the assembly of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG)-spinal cord circuit responsible for conveying painful stimuli. Albeit it is known that Neph1 is expressed in DRG (dorsal root ganglion) and dorsal spinal cord, the functional role played by Neph1 in the formation of this circuit has not yet been addressed. The main goal of this project is to further characterize Neph1 expression in sensory neuron subtypes of the DRG and dorsal spinal cord and to analyze the phenotype of the respective knockout mice.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of the project is to unravel the function of Neph1’s in DRG (dorsal root ganglion) neurons
What techniques and methods are used?
To unravel the function of Neph1’s in DRG (dorsal root ganglion) neurons several techniques will be used: immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and molecular biology techniques (nucleic acid extraction, PCR – Polymerase Chain Reaction, restriction analysis electrophoresis, bacterial transformation).
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
In the beginning, the student will only observe the progress of the project and he will be given some lectures regarding dorsal root ganglion, Neph1 and about the techniques used in the project. Depending on the level of understanding of the student regarding the techniques and the concepts around the project, he will have the chance to do some of the molecular biology techniques (nucleic acid extraction, PCR – Polymerase Chain Reaction, restriction analysis electrophoresis, bacterial transformation).
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
No theoretical teaching will be provided
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Basic molecular a cellular biology concepts
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months) - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Britta George and Lawrence B. Holzman; Signaling from the Podocyte Intercellular Junction to the Actin Cytoskeleton doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2012.06.002
- Gareth T Young; Alex Gutteridge; Heather DE Fox; Anna L Wilbrey; Lishuang Cao; Lily T Cho; Adam R Brown; Caroline L Benn; Laura R Kammonen; Julia H Friedman; Magda Bictash; Paul Whiting; James G Bilsland; and Edward B Stevens Characterizing Human Stem Cell–derived Sensory Neurons at the Single-cell Level Reveals Their Ion Channel Expression and Utility in Pain Research doi: 10.1038/mt.2014.86
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