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6th World Congress on Biotechnology

New Delhi, India

Amita Pandey

University of Delhi, India

Title: Elucidation of mechanistic action of UNC-53 in cell migration and axon outgrowth in C. elegans


Biography: Amita Pandey


The final structure and connectivity of the nervous system depends upon the accurate guidance of axons and their cell bodies through complex environments during the process of development. Failure to achieve correct connectivity results in a dysfunctional nervous system which may be associated with disorders such as Autism and Down’s syndrome. An understanding of how neural connectivity is established helps to improve treatment of nervous system disorders. The leading edge of a cell or axon is a highly dynamic structure called the growth cone (GC). The process of GC guidance is intricately orchestrated and regulated by a plethora of extracellular and intracellular molecules along the dorsal-ventral (DV) axis and anterior-posterior (AP) axis. UNC-6 was the first guidance clue discovered in C. elegans guiding GCs along the DV axis of the worm. Later the mammalian homolog Netrin was identified to perform similar function in vertebrates. UNC-6/Netrin serves as a bi-functional cue attracting the GCs along DV (Dorsal/Ventral) axis through UNC-40/DCC and repelling GCs through UNC-5/UNC5 receptors. Another highly conserved guidance system working along the DV axis includes SLT-1/Slt acting though SAX-3/Robo receptors. The molecules acting in the AP guidance are few including Wnts are set of secreted glycoproteins, which steer GCs along the AP through frizzled receptor. The ligand receptor complex at the membrane transduces the signal to bring about reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton which steers the GCs either towards or away from the cues. My research work is focused on a cytoplasmic actin-binding scaffolding protein, UNC-53 required for GC migrations along the AP axis. Its mammalian homologs, the Neuron Navigators (NAVs) are also known to function in nervous system development. The unc-53 (uncoordinated) is required for GC migrations along the AP axis in C elegans. This study will primarily focus on first finding novel molecular collaborators of UNC-53 and mechanism of its action.