We are currently focusing two questions in zebrafish animal model system;
(1) What are the essential regulator for differentiation of dopaminergic neurons from progenitors and precursor cells? To search for the essential elements we are conducting dynamic studies by employing transcriptomic analysis, bioinformatics, functional genomic & molecular genetic tools.
(2) How ubiquitin ligases exert their control over the brain patterning and neuronal differentiation? we have identified CNS-specific ubiquitin ligases and their target proteins.
Transcriptomic Analysis of dopaminergic neuronal differentiation
Molecular networks governing specification of neuronal stem cells as well as terminally differentiation neuronal cells remain to be more elucidated. Thus, we have been conducting new generation sequencing for constructing transcriptomic files, bioinformatics analysis of the trascriptomes for selection of critical genes associated with the differentiation, and functional genomics with engineered nucleases and caspase/ssRNA system.
Ubiquitin (Ub) ligases for the brain patterning and left-right asymmetry
We have identified brain-specific Ub ligases, their targets and regulators. The work has generated networks which are profoundly associated with brain development as well as neuronal differentiation particularly in the central nervous system. We are recently extending the list of the brain-specific E3 ligases and their upstream and downstream partners, which will give rise to more of comprehensive networks for the vertebrate brain development and differentiation.