Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Mauceri0110 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:
Mauceri0110

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Mauceri, Daniela
Application deadline:
5. Feb 2020
Start of PhD project:
1. Mar 2020

Project description:

Title:
Role of phosphatidylserine intramembranous dynamics in the integrity, viability and survival of mature neurons.
Summary:
The plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells is characterized by an asymmetrical distribution of lipids. In particular, phosphatidylserine (PS) is typically confined into the inner leaflet. PS exposure on the cell surface has been reported for different cells and linked to apoptosis as it can serve as an “eat me” signal for the removal of dying cells. In neurons, although PS externalization has been observed, its role in neuronal functions and viability is unclear. IN this project, we aim to characterize the enzymes responsible for the spatiotemporal dynamics of PS exposure on the surface of cultured neurons. We will investigate then assess the role of PS in the regulation of dendritic and synaptic morphology in neurons of the hippocampus and retina. Finally, using different models to elicit toxicity in vitro and in vivo to neurons, we will explore the impact of modulating PS dynamics in neuronal survival.
References:
Schlüter A, Aksan B, Fioravanti R, Valente S, Mai A, Mauceri D. Histone Deacetylases Contribute to Excitotoxicity-Triggered Degeneration of Retinal Ganglion Cells In Vivo. Mol Neurobiol. 2019 Dec;56(12):8018-8034.

Litke C, Bading H, Mauceri D. Histone deacetylase 4 shapes neuronal morphology via a mechanism involving regulation of expression of vascular endothelial growth factor D. J Biol Chem. 2018 May 25;293(21):8196-8207.

Mauceri D, Freitag HE, Oliveira AM, Bengtson CP, Bading H. Nuclear calcium-VEGFD signaling controls maintenance of dendrite arborization necessary for memory formation. Neuron. 2011 Jul 14;71(1):117-30.
Methods that will be used:
The project relies on a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches and multidisciplinary techniques, including, among others, biochemical assays, viral vectors to modulate expression of target genes, time lapse fluorescence microscopy, morphometrics and toxicity models.
Cooperation partners:
Personal qualifications:
The candidate should be highly motivated, with a strong attitude towards independent work and must hold good interpersonal and communication skills. Candidates with prior experience on time lapse fluorescence microscopy, animal handling (i.e. FELASA certificate), neurobiology, and/or molecular biology will have priority. Fluency in English and the ability to work in an international environment is mandatory.
Keywords:
phosphatidylserine, neuron, hippocampus, retina, neurodegeneration, structural plasticity, mouse.