The MacNicol lab is studying the mechanisms that
control nerve cell development and apoptosis. Using the PC12 cell model system,
we are studying the role of mRNA translation in nerve growth factor-stimulated
differentiation and apoptosis. We are interested in the signal transduction
mechanisms that regulate these processes. Regulated mRNA translation in neurons
is important for learning and memory and inhibition of mRNA translation may
contribute to the progression of neurodegenerative disorders.
CPEB, is activated during nerve growth factor
stimulated PC12 cell differentiation (a. above) and is necessary for this
process. Inhibition of CPEB blocks neuronal differentiation (dnCPEB + NGF).
MAP kinase (ERK ½) signal transduction (b.) mediates CPEB activation in
MacNicol, M.C., Muslin, A.J. and MacNicol, A.M. (2000) Mutation of serine 728
disrupts 14-3-3 interaction and uncouples B-Raf kinase activity from biological
action. J. Biol. Chem., 275, 3803-3809.