Keck School of Medicine Events

Skeletal Cell Plasticity in Development and Regeneration of the Vertebrate Face

KSOM Research Seminar Series
June 2014
Monday, June 2, 2014
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Aresty Auditorium, NRT LG

Gage Crump, PhD
Associate Professor, Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine
University of Southern California
Patterning of the vertebrate craniofacial skeleton involves the precise temporal and spatial control of the differentation of mesenchymal cells into bone or cartilage. We have used TALEN-mediated mutagenesis and high-resolution imaging in the zebrafish face to understand the regulation of mesenchymal cell fate in development and regeneration. First, I will describe how a suite of genes control the proportions of cartilage and bone in the develoing head, thus imparting distinct skeletal morphologies to the upper and lower jaw support skeleton. Second, I will present a new role for Iroquois family transcription factors in patterning cartilaginous joints in the face by entrapping chondrocytes in a very early state of differentiation. Third, I will discuss a new model of bone regeneration in the adult zebrafish jaw in which cells with an identity intermediate between bone and cartilage appear to very rapidly restore bone. Together, our studies are revealing unexpected plasticity between mesenchymal cell types that is important for both building and rebuilding craniofacial structures.

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