Breaking symmetry — polarity signaling in axon guidance and synapse formation

Summary

Date: 
March 21, 2018 - 1:00pm
Location: 
Northwest Building Room 243
About the Speaker
Name: 
Yimin Zou
Speaker Title: 
Professor
Speaker Affiliation: 
UCSD

Axon guidance and synapse formation are two important steps of nervous system development. Work from Dr. Yimin Zou’s lab lead to the discovery that the Wnt family morphogens are conserved axon guidance cues which provide directional instruction and positional information for axon pathfinding and topographic organization. His lab went on to show that a non-canonical Wnt signaling pathway, planar cell polarity pathway, is responsible for recognizing and responding to Wnt gradients by axonal growth cones. More recent work showed that planar cell polarity signaling components are essential regulators of glutamatergic synapse formation. Mutations of these signaling components, are associated with a number of brain disorders, including autism and epilepsy.