Our research is aimed at understanding mechanisms that control axon outgrowth and guidance. Our goal is to understand how guidance signals function to control axon motility and behavior in the complex in vivo environment, where axons must integrate multiple cues. We use zebrafish embryos as a model system, which allows us to combine molecular/genetic manipulations with live imaging of cell behavior and molecular activity in living intact embryos. In the past several years we have identified multiple molecular signals that guide axons in vivo and have shown how these signals function to control axon motile behavior, growth and direction in several regions of the CNS.
Another main research area in the lab is aimed at understanding mechanisms of neural crest cellmigration, and in particular the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) that neural crest cells undergo to delaminate from the neuroepithelium and begin migration. EMT is a dramatic process involving major changes in cell morphology and motility that allow cell migration and formation of new tissues. EMTs are important for many developmental processes, and are also co-opted in several pathological processes, including cancer metastasis. The mechanisms controlling cell changes during EMT remain poorly understood. We are again taking advantage of the zebrafish model to combine in vivo imaging of cell behavior during EMT with manipulation of potential signaling molecules.
Andersen, E.A. and Halloran, M.C. (2012) Centrosome movements in vivo correlate with specific neurite formation downstream of LIM homeodomain transcription factor activity. Development 139:3590-3599.
Andersen, E.A., Asuri, N.S. and Halloran, M.C. (2011) In vivo imaging of cell behaviors and F-actin reveals LIM-HD transcription factor regulation of peripheral versus central sensory axon development. Neural Development 6:27.
Clay, M.R. and Halloran, M.C. (2011) Regulation of cell adhesions and motility during initiation of neural crest migration. Curr Opinion Neurobiol 21(1):17-22
Clay, M.R. and Halloran, M.C. (2010) Control of neural crest cell behavior and migration: insights from live imaging. Cell Adh Migr 4(4):582-590.
Andersen, E., Asuri, N., Clay, M., Halloran, M. (2010). Live Imaging of Cell Motility and Actin Cytoskeleton of Individual Neurons and Neural Crest Cells in Zebrafish Embryos. JoVE 36. http://www.jove.com/index/details.stp?id=1726, doi: 10.3791/1726.
Sittaramane V., Sawant A., Wolman M.A., Maves L., Halloran M.C., Chandrasekhar A. (2009) The cell adhesion molecule Tag1, transmembrane protein Stbm/Vangl2, and Laminin-alpha1 exhibit genetic interactions during migration of facial branchiomotor neurons in zebrafish. Dev Biol 325:363-373.
Berndt, J.D., Clay, M.R., Langenberg, T., and Halloran, M.C. (2008). Rho-kinase and myosin II affect dynamic neural crest cell behaviors during epithelial to mesenchymal transition in vivo. Dev Biol 324:236-244.
Langenberg, T., Kahana, A., Wszalek, J.A., and Halloran, M.C. (2008). The eye organizes neural crest cell migration. Dev Dyn 237:1645-1652.
Wolman, M.A., Sittaramane, V.K., Essner, J.J., Yost, H.J., Chandrasekhar, A. and Halloran, M.C. (2008) Transient axonal glycoprotein-1 (TAG-1) and laminin-1 regulate dynamic growth cone behaviors and initial axon direction in vivo. Neural Development 3:6.
Wolman, M.A., Regnery, A.M., Becker, T., Becker, C.G., and Halloran, M.C. (2007) Semaphorin3D regulates axon-axon interactions by modulating levels of L1CAM. J Neurosci 27:9653-9663.
Berndt, J.D. and Halloran, M.C. (2006)
Semaphorin3D promotes cell proliferation and neural crest cell
development downstream of TCF in the zebrafish hindbrain. Development 133:3983-3992.
Halloran, M.C. and Wolman, M.A. (2006) Repulsion
or adhesion: receptors make the call. Current Opinion
Cell Biology 18:533-540.
Sakai, J.A. and Halloran, M.C. (2006) Semaphorin3D
guides laterality of retinal ganglion cell projections in zebrafish. Development 133:1035-1044.
Paulus, J.D. and Halloran, M.C. (2006) Zebrafish bashful/Laminin-a1 mutants
exhibit multiple axon guidance defects. Dev Dyn 235:213-224.
Liu, Y. and Halloran, M.C. (2005) Central
and peripheral branches from one neuron are guided differentially
by Sema3D and TAG-1. J Neurosci 25:10556-10563.
Stevens, C.B. and Halloran, M.C. (2005) Developmental
expression of Sema3G, a novel zebrafish semaphorin. Gene
Expr Patterns 5:647-653. Erratum-name change to
Wolman, M.A., Liu, Y., Tawarayama, H., Shoji, W., and Halloran,
M.C. (2004) Repulsion and attraction of axons
by Sema3D are mediated by different neuropilins in vivo. J
Liu, Y., Berndt, J.D., Su, F., Tawarayama, H., Shoji, W., Kuwada,
J.Y., and Halloran, M.C. (2004). Semaphorin3D
guides retinal axons along the dorsoventral axis of the tectum. J