My lab focuses on elucidating mechanisms whereby genes regulate three dimensional form of organs. Our experimental model is the embryonic vertebrate limb. By modifying gene activity in subsets of cells in the limb and then observing the behavior of these modified cells over time, we are able to learn how genes ultimately regulate the overall form in the limb.
We are also studying the role of Wnt signaling in the vertebrate ectoderm. We have found that Wnt signals from the ectoderm are required to induce epidermal appendages (hair, nipples etc) as well as underlying muscle. This finding could be of clinical significance as individuals afflicted with Poland Syndrome exhibit epidermal as well as underlying muscle defects.
Bridgewater LC, Mayo JL, Evanson BG, Whitt ME, Dean SA, Yates JD, Holden DN, Schmidt AD, Fox CL, Dhunghel S, et al. 2013. A novel bone morphogenetic protein 2 mutant mouse, nBmp2NLStm, displays impaired intracellular Ca2+ handling in skeletal muscle. BioMed Research International. 2013. <website>
Lai CJ, Kolesnikov AV, Frederick JM, Blake DR, Jiang L, Stewart JS, Chen C, Barrow JR, Baehr W, Kefalov vJ, et al. 2013. Phosducin-Like Protein 1 is Essential for G-Protein Assembly and Signaling in Retinal Rod Photoreceptors. The Journal of Neuroscience. 33(18):7941-7951. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5001-12.2013
Barrott JJ, Cash GM, Smith AP, Barrow JR, Murtaugh LC. 2011. Deletion of mouse Porcn blocks Wnt ligand secretion and reveals an ectodermal etiology of human focal dermal hypoplasia/Goltz syndrome. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. 108:12752-12757. <website>
Mayo JL, Holden DN, Barrow JR, Bridgewater LC. 2009. The transcription factor Lc-Maf participates in Col27a1 regulation during chondrocyte maturation. Experimental Cell Research. 315:2293-2300. <website>