Lilianna Solnica-Krezel, Ph.D.

Professor and Head
Developmental Biology

Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program

  • 314-362-8768

  • 362-9371

  • 314-362-7058

  • 8103

  • 3911 South Building

  • solnical@WUSTL.EDU


  • Gastrulation, Vertebrate embryogenesis, Patterning, Cell movement, Cell signaling, Morphogenesis, Stem Cells

  • Inductive and morphogenetic processes that establish and shape germ layers during vertebrate embryogenesis, using zebrafish and embryonic stem cell models

Research Abstract:

We are interested in the cellular and molecular genetic mechanisms underlying vertebrate gastrulation, a crucial period of embryogenesis during which the germ layers are formed and then shaped into the vertebrate body plan with organ rudiments. Gastrulation entails a combination of inductive events that specify cell identities with massive cell movements and rearrangements that fashion the body plan. The complex and dynamic nature of gastrulation makes it a challenging but intellectually fascinating object of study. In humans, 25-50% of pregnancies end in early miscarriages of largely unknown genetic origin. Moreover, the molecular regulation of tumor growth and metastasis show striking parallels to those underlying gastrulation movements, underscoring the practical significance of gastrulation research. We are addressing the mechanisms of gastrulation in the zebrafish (Danio rerio), a system that affords a powerful combination of forward and reverse genetic analyses with embryological, cellular and molecular methods. We are also employing embryonic stem cells and tumor cell lines to test whether the new genes and mechanisms we implicate in zebrafish gastrulation are also involved in human development and disease. Our current experiments are focused on the roles of the Wnt, Planar Cell Polarity, Stat3 and G-protein coupled receptor signaling pathways in regulation of embryonic polarity and gastrulation movements.

Selected Publications:

Wu, S., Shin, J., Sepich, D.S. and Solnica-Krezel, L. (2012) Chemokine signaling inhibits β-catenin during axis formation in zebrafish. PLoS Biology. (In press)

Solnica-Krezel, L. and Sepich, D.S. (2012) Gastrulation – Making and Shaping Germ Layers. An. Rev. Cell & Developmental Biology. (In press)

Carlin, D., Grover, V., Cooper, M., Solnica-Krezel, L. and Inbal, A. (2012) Six3 cooperates with Hedgehog signaling to specify ventral telencephalon by promoting early expression of Foxg1a and repressing Wnt signaling. Development. 139, 2614-24

Sepich, D.S., Pawlicki, S. Usmani, R. and Solnica-Krezel, L. (2011) Wnt/PCP signaling controls intracellular position of MTOC during gastrulation convergence and extension movements. Development. 138, 543-542.

Speirs CK, Jernigan KK, Kim SH, Cha YI, Lin F, Sepich DS, DuBois RN, Lee E and Solnica-Krezel L. Prostaglandin G signaling stimulates gastrulation movements by limiting cell adhesion through Snai1a stabilization. Development 2010 137: 1327-1337.

Lin F, Chen S, Sepich DS, Panizzi JR, Clendenon SG, Marrs JA, Hamm HE and Solnica-Krezel L. G12/13 regulate epiboly by inhibiting E-cadherin activity and modulating the actin cytoskeleton. J. Cell Biol. 2009 184:909-21.

Last Updated: 9/24/2012 12:18:41 PM

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