08
February
2012

Neuroscience Lecture by Alain Prochiantz (Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche en Biologie, College de France)

Title: "Homeoproteins - Transcription factors in translation"

Alain Prochiantz

Time and venue: 11.00 a.m. at the Lecture Hall (room 0.10 of the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max-von-Laue-Str. 3, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Campus Riedberg)

Abstract
Most homeoprotein transcription factors contain, within their homeodomain, two highly conserved regions driving intercellular transfer. In the past 6 years, several functions for this unexpected signaling pathway have been identified. They include eye anlagen development, retinal ganglion cell axon guidance, oligodendrocyte progenitor cell guidance, Drososophila wing disk patterning, and the regulation of critical period opening and closure in the binocular visual cortex. In this presentation the following main issues will be discussed. First, it will be shown that internalized homeoproteins, in addition to regulate transcription, can also regulate protein translation. Secondly, it will be proposed that homeoprotein signaling pathways interact with classical bona fide signaling pathways. Thirdly, data will be presented suggesting that the specific recognition of target cells by homeoproteins, before their internalization, involves complex sugars (glycosaminoglycans), a finding that opens to the idea of a ”sugar code” for homeoprotein recognition and signaling. Finally, it will be demonstrated that homeoproteins, thanks to their natural cell internalization domain, can be used as therapeutic proteins in animal models human diseases.

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