Cabecera 2019 CBMSO CSIC UAM

Monday, 19th August 2019

2015.3.6.dstjohnston

 

Prof. Daniel St Johnston

The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge

Cambridge, UK

 

 

 

 

2015 03 06 Daniel St Johnston MinDaniel St Johnston inició su carrera científica analizando las primeras asimetrías que polarizan los ejes cuerpo en Drosophila durante el desarrollo. Esto le llevó a investigar cómo las células se polarizan, cómo esta polaridad controla la organización subcelular del citoesqueleto, y cómo el citoesqueleto una vez polarizado se utiliza para dirigir los diferentes componentes celulares hasta su correcto lugar en la célula. Gran parte de su trabajo actual se centra en el desarrollo de la polaridad apical-basal en las células epiteliales y cómo los factores de polaridad cortical controlan la orientación del huso mitótico, la secreción polarizada y el posicionamiento de las uniones intercelulares en los diferentes tipos de epitelios, tanto de absorción como de secreción.

Su charla se centrará en el papel de la orientación del eje mitótico en el mantenimiento de las monocapas epiteliales. Los epitelios simples están formados de una sola capa de células que se adhieren entre sí para formar barreras entre diferentes compartimentos, o entre el interior y el exterior del organismo. Las células epiteliales se dividen con sus husos mitóticos orientados en el plano del epitelio, de modo que las células resultantes de la división permanecen dentro de la lámina epitelial, lo que es importante para el mantenimiento de la integridad epitelial. Además, se ha propuesto que defectos en la orientación del huso mitótico podrían contribuir a la formación de tumores mediante la producción de células fuera de la monocapa epitelial, lo que conduce a la hipertrofia y/o metástasis. El laboratorio del Dr. St Johnston ha utilizado diversos epitelios de Drosophila para investigar cómo se alinea el huso mitótico. Estos resultados han servido para identificar una nueva vía de orientación del huso mitótico e investigar las consecuencias de las divisiones desorientadas sobre la organización epitelial.

El Dr. St Johnston se licenció en Ciencias Naturales (Genética) en la universidad de Cambridge y obtuvo el doctorado en Biología Celular y del Desarrollo en la Universidad de Harvard bajo la supervisión del Dr. Guillermo Gelbart, donde se clonó el gen de patrón dorso-ventral decapentaplegic, una molécula de señalización conservadas de la familia TGF-beta/BMP. A continuación, pasó tres años como postdoctoral en el laboratorio de Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (Premio Nobel de Medicina en 1995), donde identificó que la proteína de unión al ARN Staufen es un factor necesario para definir el eje antero-posterior en Drosophila a través de la localización del ARNm de bicoides y oskar. Desde 1997 es investigador principal del Instituto Wellcome Trust/Gurdon de Investigación del Cáncer del Reino Unido y desde 2003 es profesor de Genética del Desarrollo de la Universidad de Cambridge. Desde 2009 hasta la actualidad, ha sido Director del Instituto Gurdon en la Universidad de Cambridge. Daniel fue elegido miembro de EMBO en 1997 y ganó la Medalla de Oro de la EMBO en 2000. También es miembro de la Royal Society (desde 2005) y la Academia de Ciencias Médicas (desde 2004).

 


 

Daniel St Johnston spent his early career analysing the first asymmetries in development that polarize the body axes in Drosophila. This has led him to investigate how cells become polarised, how polarity controls the organisation of the cytoskeleton and how the polarised cytoskeleton is used to target components to the correct place in the cell. Much of his current work focuses on the development of apical-basal polarity in epithelial cells and how cortical polarity factors control spindle orientation, polarized secretion and the positioning of intercellular junctions in absorptive and secretory epithelia.

His talk will focus on the role of spindle orientation in maintaining epithelial monolayers. Simple epithelia are formed of a single layer of cells that adhere to each other to form barriers between compartments or the inside and outside of the organism. Epithelial cells divide with their mitotic spindles oriented in the plane of the epithelium, so that both daughters remain within the epithelial sheet, which is important for the maintenance of epithelial integrity. Furthermore, defects in spindle orientation have been proposed to contribute to tumorogenesis by producing daughter cells outside the epithelial sheet, leading to hypertrophy or metastasis. We have used various Drosophila epithelia to investigate how the spindle is aligned perpendicular to the apical-basal axis of the cell. Our results reveal that spindle orientation does not require apical, junctional or basal cues, as previously proposed, and depends instead on a novel spindle orientation pathway. We have also disrupted spindle orientation to investigate the consequences of misoriented divisions on epithelial organisation.

Daniel received his B.A. in Natural Sciences (Part II Genetics) from Christ's College, Cambridge and his Ph. D. in Cellular and Developmental Biology, Harvard University under William Gelbart, where he cloned the dorsal-ventral patterning gene decapentaplegic and found that it is a conserved signaling molecule of the TGFbeta/BMP family. He then spent three years as a postdoc with Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, where he identified the RNA-binding protein Staufen as a key factor required for the localisation of bicoid and oskar mRNAs to define the anterior-posterior axis in Drosophila. From 1997 he has been a Wellcome Trust Principal Fellow at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute and from 2003 he has been Professor of Developmental Genetics at the University of Cambridge. From 2009 to the present, he has been Director of the Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge.

Daniel was elected a member of EMBO in 1997 and won the EMBO Gold Medal in 2000. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society (2005) and the Academy of Medical Sciences (2004).

 

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