We are interested in understanding the
basic molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic growth, function and
plasticity, and how these mechanisms are affected in disease states. For
this, we combine genetic and molecular tools with imaging and
electrophysiological techniques at the Drosophila neuromuscular
junction. The projects in the lab focus on three areas of research:
1) Signal transduction cascades that
control synaptic growth and function via orthograde and retrograde
2) The role of Rho family of GTPases
in the regulation of synaptic structure and function.
3) How pre- and post-synaptic
regulation of protein translation coordinates synaptic growth and
influences neurotransmitter release.
B.Sc., University of
British Columbia; Ph.D., McGill University
Tsurudome K., Tsang K., Liao E. H., Yang J-S.,
Elazzouzi F., He T., Chishti A., Lnenicka G., Lai E. C. and Haghighi A. P.
The Drosophila miR-310 cluster negatively regulates synaptic strength
at the neuromuscular junction. (2010) Neuron, 68: 879-893.
Ball R. W., Warren-Paquin M., Tsurudome K., Liao E.,
Elazzouzi F., Cavanagh C., An B-S., Wang T-T., White J. H., and Haghighi A.
P.. (2010) Retrograde BMP signaling controls synaptic growth at the NMJ by
regulating Trio expression in motor neurons. Neuron, 66:536-49.
Merino-Hernandez C., Penney J., Aguire-Gonzalez M.,
Mujahedine M., Verheyen E., O’Connor M. and Haghighi A. P. (2009) Nemo
kinase interacts with Mad to coordinate synaptic growth at the Drosophila
NMJ. J Cell Biology, 185:713-725.
McCabe B. D., Hom S.,
Aberle H., Fetter R. D., Marques G., Haerry T. E., Wan H., O’Connor M. B.,
Goodman C. S. and Haghighi A. P. (2004). Highwire regulates
presynaptic BMP signaling essential for synaptic growth. Neuron,
Haghighi A. P., McCabe B. D., Fetter R. D., Palmer E.J., Hom S. and Goodman C.
S. (2003). Retrograde control of synaptic transmission by postsynaptic
CaMKII at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Neuron,
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