Basic research to define strategies for nerve repair

Deborah Otteson, PhD
University of Houston (Houston, TX)
Year Awarded:
2006
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2006 to June 30, 2008
Disease:
Glaucoma
Award Amount:
$85,000
Grant Reference ID:
G2006037
Award Type:
Standard
Award Region:
US Southern
Recipient of the Thomas R. Lee award for National GLaucoma Research

Regulation of EphA Expression in Retinal Ganglion Cells

Summary

These studies seek to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate expression in RGCs by identifying the promoters of the EyhA genes, determining the binding sites for retinal proteins and testing a group of specific transcription factors for their ability to activate the EphA promoters in cultured retinal cells.

Details

In the visual system, signaling between Eph/ephrin proteins plays key role in axon path-finding in the optic nerve, determining which retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons will cross at the optic chaism and regulating the initial positioning of RGC synapses in the brain. Gene expression is largely regulated by factors that bind to regulatory regions called promoters located in the DNA and this project's hypothesis that the spatial and cellular expression patterns of Eph receptor genes in RGCs are regulated by specific transcriptional regulatory factors. These studies seek to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate expression in RGCs by identifying the promoters of the EyhA genes, determining the binding sites for retinal proteins and testing a group of specific transcription factors for their ability to activate the EphA promoters in cultured retinal cells. The long term goals are to identify the network of regulatory mechanisms controlling gene expression in RGCs. This will contribute to our basic knowledge of RGC biology and may identify novel targets for developing new therapeutic agents and will enhance the future development of gene- and cell-based strategies for repair and regeneration of injured RGC axons to restore lost vision in patients with glaucoma.

Publications

Petkova TD, Seigel GM, Otteson DC. A role for DNA methylation in regulation of EphA5 receptor expression in the mouse retina. Vision Res. 2010 Sep 25. PubMed Icon Google Scholar Icon

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