Programme(s) to which this project applies:
|☑ MPhil/PhD||☒ MRes[Med]||☒ URIS|
Motor neurons, skeletal muscles, and perisynaptic Schwann cells interact with extracellular matrix (ECM) to form the tetrapartite synapse in the peripheral nervous system. Dynamic remodelling of ECM composition is essential to diversify its functions for distinct cellular processes during neuromuscular junction (NMJ) development. The proteolytic regulation of ECM proteins is mediated by secreted and membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), in axonal growth and NMJ development. In our lab, we primarily use Xenopus primary culture system and a variety of techniques, including live-cell time-lapse fluorescence microscopy, super-resolution microscopy, molecular biology, immunocytochemistry, electrophysiology, and Western blotting to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanism of synaptic development. Our goal is to not only gain a mechanistic understanding of the regulatory functions of MMP-mediated ECM remodelling in axonal growth and NMJ development, but also provide insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms of MMP-mediated proteolytic degradation in neuromuscular disorders.
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