Speaker : 

Professor Helen Cooper
Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland

Title: "Understanding the molecular origins of cortical malformations"

Abstract:  The fidelity of neocortical development is dependent on the highly polarized morphology of the neuroepithelial progenitors (NEPs) - the neural stem cells that line the embryonic ventricles. During embryogenesis the neuroepithelium resists the mechanical stresses exerted by dynamic tissue movements through the assembly of cadherin-based cell-cell junctions which are stabilized by the underlying actin cytoskeleton. Failure to establish the cadherin-actin link results in loss of NEP structure and function, thereby giving rise to neural tube defects and cortical malformations. I will describe an unexpected function for the Neogenin axon guidance receptor in maintaining NEP junctional stability by anchoring the actin polymerization machinery (WAVE Regulatory Complex and Arp2/3) to the cadherin adhesion complex. We further show that disrupting Neogenin function in NEPs leads to cortical malformations and hydrocephalus. Our latest studies indicate that a similar mechanism may underpin spine formation and synaptic plasticity.



About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

The scheduled QBI Neuroscience Seminar series are held on Wednesdays from 11am-12pm in the Level 7 Auditorium of the Queensland Brain Institute, Building 79, St Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland. Additional seminars may be held at other times as listed below.


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018