'The role of CdGAP in the developing cortex' - ANAT 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Nathalie Lamarche-Vane

Supervisor's Email: nathalie.lamarche [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 1784

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Anatomy and Cell Biology

Course number: ANAT 396 (Anatomy and Cell Biology)

Term: Winter 2013-2014

Project start date: January 6, 2014

Project end date: April 1st, 2014

Project title: The role of CdGAP in the developing cortex

Project description (50-100 words suggested): The family of small Rho GTPases is a subfamily of the Ras superfamily of small GTPases, which act as molecular switches and cycle between an active GTP-bound state and an inactive GDP-bound state. Once activated, they regulate a diverse set of cellular processes linked to the remodeling of the cytoskeleton. Rho GTPases are therefore essential regulators of cell motility and dysregulation of their activities can result in different abnormal phenotypes, particularly, tumor progression and metastasis. Therefore, regulators of Rho GTPases are critical for normal cellular responses and are targets for subversion during oncogenic transformation. CdGAP (Cdc42 GTPase-activating protein) is a GTPase regulator belonging to a novel well-conserved subfamily of RhoGAP proteins, which regulates specifically Rac1 and Cdc42 and modulates numerous cellular processes such as cytoskeleton remodelling and cell migration. More recently, we have demonstrated the implication of CdGAP in the regulation of cell migration, adhesion, and proliferation. Moreover, CdGAP is associated with a rare developmental disease, the Adams-Oliver syndrome. We have generated CdGAP-deficient mice and this project is to characterize the function of CdGAP in the developing cortex. CdGAP is highly expressed in the developing cortex and hippocampus and in this project, dissociated cortical and hippocampal neurons from WT or CdGAP-deficient mice will be analysed by immunofluorescence and defects in axon and/or dendrite formation will be measured.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): Lab performance 50%; final report 50%.

Project status: This project is taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.

How students can apply / Next steps: After all parts of this application form are completed, and the hard copy is signed by the professor and the student, bring this application form and your unofficial transcript to Ms Vittoria Catania during office hours.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves biohazardous substances.