Tony del Rio
PhD in Molecular Biology, Princeton University
BA in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers College
Humans and rodents express a set of three highly conserved leucine-rich and immunoglobulin repeat (Lrig) genes, which are single-pass, type I, transmembrane (TM) proteins. All Lrig family members contain a conserved extracellular domain (composed of 15 LRRs and 3 Ig-domains), a short conserved intracellular domain (CD), and a non-conserved C-terminal domain. The Lrig transmembrane proteins have recently been described as novel regulators of RTK activity. Lrig1 can negatively regulate ErbB, Met and Ret RTKs in vitro, while in Xenopus, Lrig3 can attenuate FGF RTK signaling early in development.
We have previously shown that expression of Lrig3 during development is critical for the formation of the mouse lateral canal in the inner ear (Abraira et. al., 2008, Development, 135(24). However, it is currently unknown which RTKs or signaling pathway(s) Lrig3 regulates. A major focus of my research is to identify the signaling pathways that the Lrigs modulate in vivo during development.