Dr. Janine M. LeBlanc-Straceski
PositionProfessor, Chair, Department of Biology
Left/Right Asymmetry Determinationin Xenopus Although vertebrate animals appear bilaterally symmetrical on the outside, inside they have a carefully coordinated pattern of asymmetry – the heart, stomach and spleen are on the left, the liver on the right. Establishing this plan is critical for proper embryonic development, and when it goes awry humans have a condition known as situs inversus. Myosins, molecular motors that shuttle vesicles around the cell, play a role in this process. We investigated the role that one specific myosin, myo1d, has in early embryogenesis of the frog Xenopus laevis using a molecular genetic approach. Student researchers in my laboratory published a technique devised while cloning this myosin from frogs (LeBlanc et al., 2006). Students also cloned and sequenced the frog myosin whose expression was detected in the developing brain, spinal cord and muscle. The developmental pattern of expression, and its role in establishing the body plan of vertebrate animals is also being investigated (LeBlanc et al., 2009). We recently published our results as part on an international collaboration on the role that myosin 1d plays in body plan pattering and left/right asymmetry determination (Tingler, M., et al. 2018).
Lab MembershipsLeBlanc-Straceski lab (Principal Investigator/Director)
Department of Biology
315 Turnpike Street
North Andover, MA