Cell division and cell migration have been extensively studied in cell lines in vitro; however, how these processes are regulated in vivo in physiological and pathological contexts remain poorly defined. In particular, the upstream signalling pathways dictating cell migration and cell fates are not well characterized. Our aim is to use the developing and regenerating mouse skin to dissect the molecular pathways of keratinocyte and fibroblast division and migration. We have recently performed scRNAseq analyses of developing skin. We are utilizing this rich atlas of gene expression changes in the different cell populations of the skin, including the specialized hair follicle forming cells in the epithelium and mesenchyme, to guide our candidate gene and pathway analyses. We have also generated new mouse lines using cutting-edge CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Our work will have profound implications for understanding how cell division and migration are regulated in the mouse in vivo, which will aid in developing better therapies for skin pathologies that depend on these processes such as wound healing and cancer metastasis.
How cell division and migration are regulated during skin morphogenesis and regeneration, as well as in pathological conditions such as wound healing are poorly understood.
Using genetic approaches in the mouse skin and candidate genes from our scRNAseq data, we are dissecting the molecular pathways governing these processes in the mouse in vivo.
Our study will help develop clinical therapies for skin pathologies that recapitulate developmental programs.