The International Research Fellowship Program enables U.S. scientists and engineers to conduct three to twenty-four months of research abroad. The program's awards provide opportunities for joint research, and the use of unique or complementary facilities, expertise and experimental conditions abroad.

This award will support a twenty-two-month research fellowship by Dr. Maria Sheryll G. Corado to work with Dr. Francois Schweisguth at Ecole Normale Superieure CNRS in Paris, France.

Asymmetric division requires that cell-fate determinants segregate to one pole and that the mitotic spindle lines up with this pole, leading to unequal division of cell-fate determinants upon cytokinesis. In Drosophila, the sensory organ precursor (SOP) cell (also known as the pI cell) is an excellent system to study the regulatory links between cell polarity, localiztion of cell-fate determinants and mitotic spindle orientation. The pI cell divides within the epithelial plane and along the anterior-posterior axis to generate two distinct cells. Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) genes orient this planar division. Moreover, PCP proteins distribute at opposite cortical domains in the pI cell: Frizzled (FZ) at the posterior cortex and the Strabismus (STBM)-Prickle (PK) complex at the anterior. Upon mitosis, PCP proteins regulate the relocalization along the cell cortex of two evolutionarily conserved protein complexes. The Bazooka (BAZ)-Par6-atypical Protein Kinase (aPKC) complex accumulates at the posterior cortex whereas the Partner of Inscuteable (PINS)-G alpha i (Gai) complex is recruited at the anterior cortex. The molecular mechanisms whereby PCP proteins regulate the localization of these two protein complexes are not known. This project will investigate how the PINS- Gai complex become initially recruited to the anterior cortex of the pI cell. The PINS-Gai has been shown to regulate the position of mitotic spindle and the attachment of microtubules to the cell cortex. Thus, this study should also shed new light on potential mechanisms of how PCP regulates the orientation of cell division.

This fellowship will give Dr. Corado the opportunity to work with a leader in genetic and cell biological analyses while working on a project that will give insight into cell polarity, asymmetric cell division, and mitotic spindle orientation.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Office of International and Integrative Activities (IIA)
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John Tsapogas
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Corado Mariasheryll G
Jersey City
United States
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