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The Pichaud Lab

The Pichaud lab is using the developing Drosophila eye to study: (i) the molecular mechanisms leading to the specification and maintenance of epithelial cell polarity and (ii) the mechanisms regulating cell shape changes during organogenesis. The lab has shown that the organization of the actin cytoskeleton in the developing photoreceptor cell is controlled by the polarized distribution of the lipid PIP3 to the apical surface. This is mediated by the recruitment of PTEN (a PIP3-degrading enzyme) to a sub-apical membrane region. This mechanism of promoting polarized actin filament assembly is reminiscent of that found during directed cell migration of neutrophils or Dictyostelium .

Contact: f.pichaud@ucl.ac.uk

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