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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Institute for Life Sciences Seminar: Dr Andreas Prokop, University of Manchester Event

Time:
12:00 - 13:00
Date:
12 December 2013
Venue:
Room 2207 Life Sciences Building 85 Highfield Campus NB Refreshments will be served in the foyer outside the seminar room

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Janette Thompson on 023 8059 7280 or email ifls@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

How to make or break an axon - understanding the essential roles of actin and microtubules in neurons

The hallmarks of neurons are their slender axons which represent the longest cellular processes of animals and act as the cables that electrically wire the brain and body. Prominent parallel bundles of microtubules (MTs) essentially drive axon growth, and they form the structural backbones and essential transport highways during axon maintenance. A pressing question in the context of axons (and beyond) is how actin- and MT-binding proteins, such as polymerisers, stabilisers, motors and cross-linkers, contribute and integrate their functions when organising cellular MT networks to mediate intended morphogenetic changes. To address this question and decipher the working of cytoskeletal machinery in cells, we have developed Drosophila neurons as a powerful system fully amenable to combinatorial genetics. Using reliable readouts for axon growth and cytoskeletal dynamics in culture and in vivo, we study the functional contributions of a wide range of actin and MT regulators, and our combinatorial approaches lead to new mechanistic models and fundamentally new understanding of MT regulation during axon growth and maintenance. It also opens up new avenues for re-visiting the cytoskeleton as a dangerously neglected player during the processes of ageing or neurodegeneration, and our experiments with different fly models of Alzheimer's disease are most encouraging to this end. Supported by the BBSRC.

 

*** Refreshments will be served from 13:00-14:00 ***

Speaker information

Dr Andreas Prokop,Faculty of Life Sciences,University of Manchester

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