Caroline Goutte, PhD, Professor of Biology and BCBP, Amherst College, will speak on "Using genetic analysis in C. elegans to probe Gamma Secretase variations within the conserved Notch signaling pathway."
Communication between cells is critical to animal development and homeostasis. Despite the variety of cellular contexts and outcomes of communication, a surprisingly small number of core molecular mechanisms are used repeatedly to achieve cellular communication in a multicellular organism. The Goutte lab focuses on a well-conserved mechanism of contact-dependent cell communication known as Notch signaling. We seek to discover sources of molecular variation that could adapt the Notch signaling machinery to different cellular needs. To carry out this quest, we use the simple model system Caenorhabditis elegans, for which multiple distinct events of Notch signaling have been characterized, and we have in hand all the genetic components of the core Notch signaling machinery. Our most recent results have led us to interrogate the large integral membrane complex gamma secretase, which executes the final activation step in Notch signaling. Although well-accepted as a standard and non-variable step in Notch signal transduction, we are beginning to put together a more dynamic view of this protein complex and its role in Notch signaling across the life of an animal.
Members of the Amherst College community who wish to attend should please register by sending an email request to the Biology ADC, Karen Racz, who will send the Zoom link.