My broad research goal is to investigate the cellular mechanisms that drive cell shape changes, and to understand how genetic control of cell fate translates into changes in cell behavior. During the initial stages of gastrulation in the amphibian Xenopus laevis, bottle cells initiate the blastopore lip, creating a crevice for the gastrulating cells to internalize. The shape change in bottle cells is driven by apical constriction, a mechanism that often precedes ingression and invagination. Despite its role in diverse morphogenetic processes, very little is known about the mechanisms responsible for apical constriction. My goal is to establish X. laevis bottle cell formation as a model for investigating apical constriction by examining the cytoskeletal and molecular basis for polarized cell shape changes. In addition, I will identify proteins that are required for apical constriction. In the long term, I will expand my research into X. tropicalis to enable the use of genetic tools to study vertebrate morphogenesis. ? ? ?
|Lee, Jen-Yi (2012) Uncorking gastrulation: the morphogenetic movement of bottle cells. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol 1:286-93|
|Lee, Jen-Yi; Harland, Richard M (2010) Endocytosis is required for efficient apical constriction during Xenopus gastrulation. Curr Biol 20:253-8|
|Lee, Jen-Yi; Harland, Richard M (2007) Actomyosin contractility and microtubules drive apical constriction in Xenopus bottle cells. Dev Biol 311:40-52|