We study the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating specification, differentiation, and regeneration of skeletal muscle cells. We pursue these studies by combining genomic and proteomic-based approaches complemented by bioinformatics and animal models.
Specific areas of interest include:
- Transcriptional Regulation of Skeletal Muscle Differentiation. Biochemical and molecular characterization of individual transcription factors, chromatin regulators, and epigenetic marks during skeletal muscle specification and development. Genetic manipulation of the individual components is obtained by whole-body and conditional gene ablation in developing embryos and adult mice.
- Regulatory Circuitry in Skeletal Muscle Cells. Integration of signaling pathways and logics of transcription factors and chromatin regulators. General operating principles and gene network modeling are developed based on genome-wide experimental data.
- Regeneration of Adult Skeletal Muscle. Following injury, skeletal muscle vigorously regenerates. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying regeneration are investigated in animals in which individual genetic components have been ablated by homologous recombination.
- Metabolic Regulation of Epigenetics. Exit from quiescence of satellite cells during muscle regeneration is accompanied by changes in their metabolic state. We investigate the molecular connection between metabolism and epigenetic modification of chromatin that accompanies the transition from quiescence to proliferation and differentiation of muscle precursors.
The ultimate goal of our studies is to provide a conceptual and practical framework contributing to the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases affecting skeletal muscles.
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