Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Name Manninen, Aki
Organisation OY
Project title
Characterization of integrin networks regulating epithelial cell differentiation
Decision No. 140974
Decision date 14.06.2010
Funding period 01.08.2010 - 31.12.2012
Funding 231 000
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
Perturbations in epithelial cell polarization lead to various organic dysfunctions and diseases. For example, it has been estimated that up to 80-90 % of all cancers are due to deregulated epithelium. The cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate epithelial functions are incompletely understood. In this project we study how the immediate microenvironment, the ECM, regulates the properties of epithelial cells. The ECM is a central regulator of epithelial functions. We will focus on integrins, cellular transmembrane receptors for ECM molecules, and study their role in simplified epithelial cell models using specific gene-silencing method. We will also develop a novel organ culture system to study epithelial differentiation during early kidney organogenesis. This model allows studies on the roles of specific molecular components in conditions which mimic in vivo situation without having to go into more time-consuming and ethically challenging animal experiments.