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January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Office of the Vice President for Research
Hormel Institute

PI: Rebecca J. Morris

Identification of Keratinocyte Stem Cells Regulatory Genes in Cutaneous Biology

The keratinocyte stem cells (KSCs) have an important role in maintaining normal structure and function of the epidermis and the hair follicles of skin. These keratinocyte stem cells are thought to be important key players in various skin diseases including cancer. Therefore, identification of genetic loci regulating the number and proliferating potential of KSCs is a critical component in cutaneous biology and pathophysiology. This project has three specific aims: narrowing down the position of relevant genetic loci via linkage; understanding the global gene expression pattern and regulatory pathways of KSCs in different strains of mouse; and finding out the candidate genes regulating the number of KSCs and the large and small colony phenotypes. The project includes the necessity to design primers for different genes and their regulatory regions, PCR amplification, sequencing, alignment of complete and good quality sequences with the reference sequences, global microarray gene expression using different strains of mice, and linkage analysis and mutation analysis of candidate genes. These experiments use sophisticated computer programs for the analysis of linkage, enormous amounts of raw microarray data, and large numbers of sequence data.

Group Member

Ashok Singh, Research Associate