Fall 2012 Biomedical Seminar Series
October 26 , 2012
From microarrays to brain development and disease
Dr. Elva Diaz
University of California, Davis
Abstract: A fundamental aspect of nervous system development is the generation of diverse cell and tissue types that assemble into a synaptic network. Successive developmental programs control the specification and proliferation of individual neuronal lineages, cell migration, axon extension, and ultimately the formation of functional synaptic connections. We employed a functional genomic approach using DNA microarrays as a tool to identify genes that are developmentally regulated during postnatal cerebellum development (Diaz et al., Neuron, 2002). We areinvestigating the role of two genes (Mxd3 and SynDIG1) using molecular and cellular techniques. Mxd3 is a transcription factor that controls neural proliferation (Yun et al., Mol Cell Biol, 2007) and its dysregulation is implicated in brain cancer. SynDIG1 is a novel transmembrane protein that regulates targeting of the AMPA-type glutamate receptors to developing synapses (Kalashnikova et al., Neuron, 2010) and its dysregulation leads to neurologic and cognitive impairments.
Department website http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/pharmacology/