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Glycosphingolipids: Structure, metabolism, and disease
Japan (IFMSA-Japan) - Kawasaki Medical University, Okayama(Kansai area)
Department of Pathophysiology and Metabolism Kawasaki Medical School 577 Matsushima, Kurashiki, Okayama, 701-0192 Japan
Junko Matsuda, MD, PhD.
Junko Matsuda, MD, PhD.
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) are amphipathic components of plasma membrane consisting of sugar chains and ceramide moieties. They are suggested to play important roles in membrane structures, host-pathogen interactions, cell-cell recognition, and modulation of membrane protein function. Thousands of unique GSL structures have been found that vary in glycan structures or ceramide variations. Although this structural heterogeneity is thought to be closely related to their biological functions, their molecular mechanisms are still poorly understood.
What is the aim of the project?
To clarify the biological significance of structural diversity of GSLs in mammals.
What techniques and methods are used?
Handling genetically engineered mouse models Culturing cells (cell lines, mouse embryonic fibroblasts). Extracting DNA, RNA, protein, lipid from mouse tissues and cell lines. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Quantitative reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, Western blotting, Immunoprecipitation, Thin-layer chromatography (TLC), High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), Immunohistochemistry, and Immunocytochemistry. Observation using bright-field microscope, fluorescent microscope, and confocal microscope.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Literature study to understand the background and aim of the research project. Studying methodologies to analyze. Interpretation of the collected data. At the end of the project, student have to present the research process.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation - The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Reading and understanding scientific reports. Using personal computers and basic softwares (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop etc.) Handling basic laboratory devices such as pipettes, micropipettes, test tubes, and dishes.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students
- Matsuda J; Yoneshige A; Suzuki K. (2007) The function of sphingolipids in the nervous system: Lessons learnt from mouse models of specific sphingolipid activator protein deficiencies. J. Neurochem. 103: Supplement 1; 32-38.
- Matsuda J; Kido M; Tadano-Aritomi K; Ishizuka I; Tominaga K; Toida K; Takeda E; Suzuki K; Kuroda Y. (2004) Mutation in saposin D domain of sphingolipid activator protein gene causes urinary system defects and cerebellar Purkinje cell degeneration with accumulation of hydroxy fatty acid-containing ceramide in the mouse. Hum. Mol. Genet.; 13: 2709-2723.
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