- Molecular mechanisms to generate embryonic stem cells in zebrafish
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells that can differentiate to germ cells, nervous system, muscle, blood and all cell types in the body. Such cells are developed in mice, rats, pig, monkey and some other model animals. However, it has not yet been developed in fish species.In this project, I am going to learn the gene functions that can regulate cell differentiation using zebrafish embryos as a model system. To generate stem cells, I will apply induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology developed in mammals by Yamanaka factors. Yamanaka and Takahashi developed the first iPS cells from mouse fibroblasts in 2006 by inducing four key reprogramming factors (Oct3/4/Pou5f1, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc), and were awarded a Nobel prize in 2012.
I will microinject mixtures of four mRNAs (Pou2, Sox2, Klf4, and MyA) into zebrafish embryos to identify whether iPS cells are produced in zebrafish. If iPS cells are generated from zebrafish, it is very useful for learning the process of cell differentiation for different cell types. I am also especially interested in the mechanisms by which the embryonic stem cells differentiate to neuronal cells or germ cells.
Supervision: Dr. Tetsu Kudoh
Msc Biotechnology and Enterprise University of Exeter 2013
Lab 201, Biosciences College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Geoffrey Pope, University of Exeter Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD