My research focuses on the role of Hox genes in nervous system development. The functions of Hox genes as drivers of regional diversification along the head-to-tail body axis are well-studied. In contrast, the later functions of these broadly expressed genes, especially in the maturing nervous system are poorly understood. In the lab, we are currently addressing two major questions:
1. What functions do Hox genes exert in differentiating neurons, and
2. How do Hox proteins achieve functional specificity in individual cells of the nervous system? To this end we are using the embryonic and larval nervous system of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, as well as cell culture, as model systems.
Key techniques: Immunohistochemistry, protein biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, cell culture
Research system/organism: Drosophila melanogaster
- Rogulja-Ortmann, A.*, Picao-Osorio, J.*, Villava, C.*, Patraquim, P., Lafuente, E., Aspden, J., Thomsen, S., Technau, G.M. and Alonso, C.R. (2014). The RNA binding protein ELAV/Hu regulates Hox RNA processing, expression and function within the Drosophila nervous system. Development 141, 2046-56
* equal contribution
- Technau G.M., Rogulja-Ortmann A., Berger C., Birkholz O. and Rickert C. (2014). Composition of a neuromere and its segmental diversification under the control of Hox genes in the embryonic CNS of Drosophila. J. Neurogenetics, Jun 10:1-23.
- Birkholz, O., Vef, O., Rogulja-Ortmann, A., Berger, C.,& Technau, G.M. (2013). Abdominal-B and caudal inhibit the formation of specific neuroblasts in the Drosophila tail region. Development, 140, 3552-3564
- Rogulja-Ortmann, A., Renner, S. and Technau, G. M. (2008). Antagonistic roles for Ultrabithorax and Antennapedia in regulating segment-specific apoptosis of differentiated motoneurons in the Drosophila embryonic central nervous system. Development 135, 3435-45.
- Rogulja-Ortmann, A., Lüer, K., Seibert, J., Rickert, C. and Technau, G. M. (2007). Programmed cell death in the embryonic central nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster. Development 134, 105-16.