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cell fate determination, chromatin regulation, neurogenesis/neuronal commitment.
Using Xenopus and neural stem cells as main model systems, taking advantages of modern technology in the molecular biology, genetics, functional genomics, and mass-spectrometry, we seek better understanding of how the pluripotency of embryonic cells is established and progressively lost during early embryogenesis and neurogenesis. In recent years, we focus on the subjects as follow:
1. How do the maternal transcription factors (TFs) shape and reprogram the genome during the maternal-to-zygotic transition? We use the state-of-art mass-spectrometry to systematically identify maternally supplied TFs and take combinatorial approaches of ChIP-Seq and ChIP-MS to study the function of TFs in large scale.
2. How do the proneural factors Ascl1 and Neurog2 regulate the neurogenic potential and neuronal differentiation? We focus on how Ascl1 and Neurog2 differentially interact with the chromatin modifiers during neurogenesis in vivo and in vitro.
3. The regulation of Iron-Sulfur (Fe-S) cluster metabolism and its role in early embryonic development.