Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Name Manninen, Aki
Organisation OY
Project title
Characterization of integrin networks regulating epithelial cell differentiation
Decision No. 263770
Decision date 23.05.2012
Funding period 01.01.2013 - 31.07.2015
Funding 268 038
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
The functionality of our organs depends on the epithelial cell polarization and formation of two distinct plasma membrane surface domains. Perturbations in epithelial cell polarization lead to various organ dysfunctions and diseases such as cancers. In this project we study how the immediate microenvironment, the extracellular matrix (ECM), regulates the properties of epithelial cells. 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 apply our methodological tools to develop a novel organ culture system to study epithelial differentiation during early kidney organogenesis. The aim is to develop epithelial in vitro models where the biological relevance of specific molecular components can be evaluated in conditions which very well mimic in vivo situation without having to go into more time-consuming and ethically challenging animal experiments.