Elucidation Of Mechanistic Action Of UNC-53 In Cell Migration And Axon Outgrowth In C. Elegans | 38947
Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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The final structure and connectivity of the nervous system depends upon the accurate guidance of axons and their cell
bodies through complex environments during the process of development. Failure to achieve correct connectivity
results in a dysfunctional nervous system which may be associated with disorders such as Autism and Down’s syndrome. An
understanding of how neural connectivity is established helps to improve treatment of nervous system disorders. The leading
edge of a cell or axon is a highly dynamic structure called the growth cone (GC). The process of GC guidance is intricately
orchestrated and regulated by a plethora of extracellular and intracellular molecules along the dorsal-ventral (DV) axis and
anterior-ior (AP) axis. UNC-6 was the first guidance clue discovered in C. elegans guiding GCs along the DV axis of the worm.
Later the mammalian homolog Netrin was identified to perform similar function in vertebrates. UNC-6/Netrin serves as a
bi-functional cue attracting the GCs along DV (Dorsal/Ventral) axis through UNC-40/DCC and repelling GCs through UNC-
5/UNC5 receptors. Another highly conserved guidance system working along the DV axis includes SLT-1/Slt acting though
SAX-3/Robo receptors. The molecules acting in the AP guidance are few including Wnts are set of secreted glycoproteins,
which steer GCs along the AP through frizzled receptor. The ligand receptor complex at the membrane transduces the signal
to bring about reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton which steers the GCs either towards or away from the cues. My research
work is focused on a cytoplasmic actin-binding scaffolding protein, UNC-53 required for GC migrations along the AP axis. Its
mammalian homologs, the Neuron Navigators (NAVs) are also known to function in nervous system development. The unc-53
(uncoordinated) is required for GC migrations along the AP axis in C. elegans. This study will primarily focus on first finding
novel molecular collaborators of UNC-53 and mechanism of its action.
Amita Pandey has been awarded with Doctor of Philosophy in the year 2000. She has extended her knowledge and skills in scientific field during her Postdoctoral Research in the field of Microbiology working in Neurospora crassa with Professor Louise Glass and later in the field of Molecular Neuroscience working in C. elegans with Professor Gian Garriga at University of California, Berkeley. Her research work has been published in various internationally reputed journals and she has contributed books and book chapters.