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Welcome to the Mouse Molecular Genetics group web page.
Stem cells play a central role in growth and development, including the maintenance of tissues and organs in the bodies of animals and humans. When damaged, skeletal muscle cells are unable to divide but replenish from a population of progenitor stem cells, which have the unique ability to divide, to produce copies of themselves as well as provide muscle cells. Muscle differentiation is a coordinated process of tissue-specific gene expression and irreversible cell cycle exit. Failure or deregulation of these processes leads to apoptosis or cancer.
Our team is specifically interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating muscle progenitor stem cell development, specification, maintenance, evolution, growth arrest, differentiation and cancer, including the function of the Pax3 and Pax7 transcription factors. Understanding the signals and molecular regulation ensuring the maintenance of muscle progenitor/stem cells, and how these cells are instructed when to commit and progress into the myogenic lineage or to self-renew will be of major importance to work with muscle progenitor stem cells in regenerative or reparative medicine. Our team is part of the UMR-S 787, a new INSERM Unité/Department chaired by David Sassoon within the UPMC medical school at the Pitié-Salpétrière and affiliated with the Myology Institute.
Research is currently in progress in the following areas :
• Molecular and cellular mechanisms of myogenic specification : from the embryo to adult.
• Pax3 and Pax7 functions during development. Conserved and divergent functions of Pax3 and Pax7 during evolution.
• Interaction between muscle progenitor cells and their environment during development and in the adult.
• Mouse models of Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma : Pax3/7 function in myogenic specification, differentiation and cell cycle exit.
• Cell cycle arrest mechanism in muscle progenitor and stem cells : from quiescence to terminal differentiation.