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DCB Seminar Series Featuring Dr. Jill Wildonger, from the University of California San Diego

November 30, 2023 @ 11:00 AM 12:00 PM

Dr. Jill Wildonger, Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of California San Diego

“Building functional neurons with motors and microtubules”


We perceive the world around us through our sensory neurons. The sensory capacity of a neuron depends on the elaboration of its dendritic arbor and the localization of sensory ion channels to the dendritic membrane. However, it is not well understood when and how ion channels localize to growing sensory dendrites and whether their delivery is coordinated with growth of the dendritic arbor. We investigated the localization of an endogenous ion channel in the peripheral sensory neurons of developing fruit flies. Using CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering approaches, we tagged and visualized the endogenous ion channel live, including monitoring its membrane localization via a novel secreted split-GFP approach. We found that the molecular motor dynein and recycling endosome GTPase Rab11 are needed for the proper trafficking of the channel to dendrites as they grow. Based on our data, we propose that ion channel transport is coordinated with dendrite morphogenesis, which ensures proper ion channel density and distribution in sensory dendrites.


Email: Mayra Rubio mrubio3@uci.edu