Research Content

Project Assistant Professor Kei Semba

Sd and Skt research group

We are studying Danforth's short tail (Sd) mutation and the Skt mutation to elucidate the molecular mechanisms for formation of the spinal column, intervertebral disc, anus and kidney. Our approach combines research both in animal models and in vitro studies. Recent developmental biology studies provide us with a basic understanding and frame work of gene function during pattern formation and organogenesis. Producing genetically engineered mice with various genetic alterations allow us to study the molecular pathology of the Sd and Skt mutant embryos. Our goal is to provide novel insight into the development of spinal column, intervertebral disc, anus and kidney.

Current project

1. Molecular nature of Sd mutation

2. Investigation of molecular mechanisms involved in the characteristic phenotypes in Sd mutant (Fig.1) (2).

3. Development and its derangement of the nucleus pulposus of intervertebral disc in Sd and SKt mutants (Fig.2) (5).

Skt mutation and degeneration of the intervertebral disc are shown in Fig.2 (5). Expression pattern of Skt gene in notochord and the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disc in shown in Fig.3(2, 5). Expression pattern of Pax1 gene in the annulus fibrosus in the intervertebral disc is shown in Fig.4.