Professor Amanda Fisher, Director, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College - Linking epigenetics and signalling in the early mammalian embryo


Our laboratory is interested in how cells acquire specialised functions, and how this identity is transmitted when cells divide. We have a longstanding interest in the role of repressors in development, and using reprogramming strategies to test both the resilience of cellular memory mechanisms and the requirements for stable lineage conversion.

I will present some new studies showing that Jarid2, a component of the Polycomb Repressor Complex 2, regulates cell-to-cell signalling in the developing blastocyst. Our studies show that Jarid2 is required for Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathways in mouse embryonic stem cells. Depletion of Jarid2 or its downstream PCP signalling components in vivo generates blastocysts in which more a single inner cell mass (ICM) is initiated and where twinning‚‚ is common. The mechanistic basis and implications of these results will be discussed.

David Landeira, Hakan Bagci, Andy Malinowski, Jorge Soza-Ried, Karen Brown, Amelie Feytout, Irene Cantone, Matthias Merkenschlager & Amanda Fisher Lymphocyte Development Group, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Du Cane Road, London, W12 0NN DPAG