Introduction

Our aim is studying mechanisms regulating embryonic cell differentiation in Xenopus and mouse as models for development and regenerative processes in man. To this end, the laboratory identifies developmental control genes, investigates what their biological role and biochemical mode of action is and how the genes are regulated. The two major topics of our group are Wnt/beta-catenin signalling and more recently epigenetics of embryonic reprogramming. Our general strategy is to conduct molecular screens for novel developmental regulators and to elucidate their mechanism of action biochemically. In parallel, we study their biological role in Xenopus, a robust developmental system amenable to rapid gain- and loss of function analysis. For relevant molecules we then extend the analysis to mouse, by studying knock-outs. We specifically address the following main topic: I) Molecular mechanisms of Wnt/beta-catenin signalling during early vertebrate development.

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