The Exploration of the Wnt Signaling Transcriptome

In animal development, signaling molecules are key players in cell fate determination, cell migration and cell polarity. Some of the most important signaling proteins belong to the Wnt family. Wnt proteins coordinate an ancient and evolutionarily highly conserved pathway, the Wnt signaling pathway, a complex signaling cascade that results in the transcriptional activation of Wnt target genes. This is orchestrated by β-catenin (Armadillo in Drosophila) interacting with the transcription factor TCF/LEF1 (T-cell factor; Lymphocyte enhancer factor-1; Pangolin in Drosophila). 

Although the Wnt pathway has been studied for many years, so far only little is known about the Wnt-triggered transcriptional output. My research aims are (1) to characterize in detail the transcription machinery using somatic genetics and (2) to identify Wnt target genes on a genome-wide scale using deep sequencing technologies. With this IPhD Project we will provide new insight into the mechanics of Wnt signaling during development and determine its biological significance for disease.

Keywords: Drosophila melanogaster, Wnt signaling pathway, RNA-sequencing



 Alexandra Franz

Alexandra Franz
University of Zurich
Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH - 8057 Zurich

Phone: +41 44 635 31 16