Pierre D. McCrea, Ph.D.
Areas of Research
- Developmental Biology
- Gene Expression
- Molecular Biology
- Stem Cell Biology
- Tumor Suppression
Using primary neurons, developing frog embryos and cell lines, we seek to understand the biology of essential catenin proteins. Catenins transduce developmental (e.g. canonical-Wnt pathway) and pathologic signals into the nucleus. Being multi-functional, they further bind and modulate cadherins in regulating cell-cell adhesion at junctions, and influence small-GTPases that determine the behavior of cytoskeletal structures, cell shape and cell movements. Many key interactions and functions of the catenins are yet to be discovered.
Catenin Biology / Neural Development / Vertebrate Development / Intracellular & Nuclear Signaling
We are asking how the catenins within cells help to advance vertebrate development, for example:
1) How are the shapes of neuronal dendrites modulated by delta-catenin and its protein partners?
2) Beyond beta-catenin, do multiple catenins act in parallel to promote canonical-Wnt signaling?
3) What are the distinct versus shared functions of catenins in the nucleus?
Meet the Team
Left to Right: Hong Ji, Ryan Baumert, Jessica Zapata, Pierre McCrea