Igor B. Dawid PhD


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The molecular basis of vertebrate embryogenesis is being studied in zebrafish and Xenopus. Our current focus is on the developmental impact of the regulation of protein stability, and on the function of the BTB domain-containing proteins Kctd15a and Kctd15b in development. We have shown that the Lnx2 family of E3 ubiquitin ligases has a role in regulating axis specification in the early zebrafish embryo. Somewhat later in development, Lnx2 proteins regulate differentiation in the embryonic pancreas. Both of these effects are mediated by regulation of the stability of proteins involved in the developmental processes. A second area of interest is the role of the BTB domain-containing proteins Kctd15a and Kctd15b in development. We have shown that Kctd15 can inhibit the formation of the neural crest by interfering with the function of AP-2 transcription factors. The mechanism of this inhibition and additional functions of Kctd15 are currently under study.

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