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Zell Zell Interaktionen in der Morphogenese

English title Cell-Cell Signaling in Morphogenese
Applicant Affolter Markus
Number 102112
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Abteilung Zellbiologie Biozentrum Universität Basel
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Genetics
Start/End 01.10.2003 - 30.11.2008
Approved amount 944'170.00
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Keywords (6)

signaling; transcription; branching morphogenesis; TGFbeta/BMP; cell migration; tubulogenesis

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary

For many years, my lab has been interested in the question of how organs and tissues acquire their particular three-dimensional shapes, shapes that in most cases are rather specific and are intimately linked to particular functions an organ or a tissue has to fulfil. Important contributions to organ development come from signalling pathways, and thus one of the main focuses of the laboratory has been deciphering different signalling pathways and asking how these pathways affect organ formation in development.
We have focussed on two signalling pathway, the Fgf and the TGF/Bmp pathway. Although many of the components of these two pathways have been isolated in the past 10 years, there are still important open questions, mostly regarding the targets regulated by cell signalling, and their immediate effects on organ structure and function.We have used the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system, studying in particular the patterning of the wing imaginal disc and the formation of the trachea, a branched epithelia similar to the vertebrate lung or other ramified structures such as the vasculature.
We now propose to include work on the zebrafish, Danio rerio, a relatively novel vertebrate model system that suits our line of research best, since it allows to imaging morphogenesis in vivo and linking defects in morphogenesis to genetic alterations. In the work on zebrafish, we particularly focus on the development of the vasculature, and we try to use the extensive knowledge gained from our (and others) studies in the fruit fly, both from an experimental as well as from an intellectual point of view. Understanding how vasuculogenesis and angiogenesis are controlled at the molecular and cellular level is of crucial importance, since a large number of diseases are due to vascular defects or malfunctioning. In addition, the control of blood vessel formation has become centre stage in tumour angiogenesis. We hope to be able to contribute to a better understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of the angiogenesis process, and thus contribute to a framework that can be used to better target vessel formation in disease.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
113130 High resolution confocal live imaging in development and disease 01.02.2007 R'EQUIP
122436 Cell-Cell Signaling in Morphogenese 01.12.2008 Project funding (Div. I-III)
53829 Genetic analysis of intercellular signaling in induction and cellmigration in Drosophila melanogaster 01.10.1998 Project funding (Div. I-III)