Skip Internal Navigation
, who heads the Section on Vertebrate Development
, and colleagues study TFAP2–regulated genes in the cranial neural crest (CNC). In previous years, the group investigated MyosinX
, which encodes a non-muscle motor protein, and Inka
, a novel protein that promotes actin stress-fiber formation and inhibits microtubule acetylation, probably through interactions with pak4 (p21-activated kinase 4), a Rho-GTPase effector molecule. More recently, the focus has shifted to the functions of pak4 itself in zebrafish development, where it behaves as a maternal effect gene and is required for somite morphogenesis, molecular signaling of early blood cell development, and other functions. The group is also developing imaging strategies for monitoring cell-cell signaling in living zebrafish and is using a mutant version of the homeobox gene dlx3
, corresponding to a human genetic disorder, to probe neural crest development, again in zebrafish.