Regulation of mRNAs in axon growth cones (PhD)

I am trying to discover what molecular mechanisms are at work in neuronal growth cones. The tip of neuronal axons, which grow and connect to other neurons, are called growth cones. Growth cones react to signalling cues expressed in the brain to guide the axon to its destination. One particular class of molecules I am studying are microRNAs, which control the translation of particular mRNAs into proteins and may hold the key to the rapid reaction of growth cones to signalling cues. I am using molecular biology techniques to identify particular mRNAs and microRNAs in growth cones and bioinformatic techniques to identify potential microRNA:mRNA target pairings, which I will then try to experimentally validate. I hope this work will aid understanding of how different groups of axons grow to different locations and therefore suggest how different areas of the brain are specified.

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