Ivan Mbogo, The Molecular and Functional Evolution of the Beta-Catenin Transcriptional Machinery

Date

Friday, March 15, 2019 - 16:00 to 16:30

Location

Lab 1 B503

Description

Speaker: Ivan Mbogo, Evolutionary Neurobiology (Watanabe) Unit

Title: The Molecular and Functional Evolution of the Beta-Catenin Transcriptional Machinery

Abstract: Achievement of cell-cell adhesion with cadherin and catenin proteins is tightly coupled with the origin of animal multicellularity and consequent evolutionary thrive of metazoans. beta-catenin has multiple and pivotal roles in embryonic development, cell proliferation and differentiation in animals, by regulating gene transcription. It has also been shown to be involved in various types of cancer. However, evolutionary processes of the beta-catenin regulation of gene transcription remain largely unknown.
In the current work, by using xenopus (frog) model, I will introduce the functional analysis of beta-catenin proteins from cnidaria, ctenophore and porifera (our “close and distant cousins”). 
As the role of beta-catenin is context dependent and varies from tissue to tissue, I will introduce the analysis and identification of co-activators of beta-catenin that could explain how this protein controls various genes at the same time. From this first comprehensive study of β-catenin signaling proteins combined with their functional analyses, I will reconstruct evolutionary history of beta-catenin-mediated gene transcription.

After the seminar (17:00-17:30), join us for discussion with free pizza and soft drinks! 

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