Bird LabRegulation of Microtubule Networks

Neuritogenesis is a key process required during development of the mammalian brain whereby the differentiating neuron extends processes called neurites, which in turn extend into an axon and several dendrites. Neuritogenesis is driven by multiple changes in the cytoskeleton, including a dramatic reorganization of the microtubule network. Although it has been established that this reorganization, as well as changes in the dynamics and stability of neuronal microtubules, are essential, the players and regulatory mechanisms guiding these events remain poorly characterized.  We are focusing on identifying microtubule plus-end binding proteins (+TIPs) whose expression and localization changes as embryonic stem cells differentiate into neurons to uncover important regulatory pathways governing neuritogenesis.  

How do cells control the changes in microtubule dynamics that drive neuritogenesis?

embryonic stem cells expressing EB1-GFP differentiated into neuronal lineages