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Carole LaBonne

Carole LaBonne

Arthur E. Andersen Research/Training Professor
Molecular Biosciences
PhD, Harvard University

Email: clabonne@northwestern.edu
Phone: (847) 491-4165
Fax: (847) 467-1380
Room: Pancoe 3411


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Research Interests

My laboratory studies the cellular and molecular events underlying the formation, migration and differentiation of neural crest cells. These multipotent stem-cell-like precursor cells migrate extensively and give rise to an amazingly diverse set of derivatives in vertebrate embryos. Neural crest cells are important precursors of the peripheral nervous system, and also form a number of important non-neuronal derivatives including melanocytes, craniofacial bone and cartilage and smooth muscle. Defects in neural crest development underlie a wide variety of birth defects and cancers.

We are interested in understanding the signals that underlie the induction and early development of the neural crest, and process by which these cells become migratory. We also seek to understand the mechanisms that control the cell fate decisions of neural crest cells. Most of our studies are carried out on Xenopus embryos using a combination of powerful techniques including protein mis-expression and depletion, explant culture, tissue grafting and biological imaging. We study the role a number of known signaling proteins play in these processes, including Wnt and BMP-family growth factors and the zinc-finger transcription factors Slug and Snail. We also use cDNA macroarray-based gene discovery methods in order to identify novel regulators of neural crest development. Using such methods we have recently discovered that the proto-oncogene c-myc is a key upstream regulator of neural crest development, and we are working to better understand its role in this process.

Selected Publications

Shared regulatory programs suggest retention of blastula-stage potential in neural crest cells. Buitrago-Delgado E, Nordin K, Rao A, Geary L, and LaBonne C. Science. 2015 June 19;348(6241):1332-1335.

Sox5 Is a DNA-Binding Cofactor for BMP R-Smads that Directs Target Specificity during Patterning of the Early Ectoderm. Nordin K and LaBonne C. Developmental Cell. 2014 November 10;31(3):374-382.

Setting appropriate boundaries: Fate, patterning and competence at the neural plate border. Groves AK and LaBonne C. Developmental Biology. 2014 May 1;389(1):2-12.

X-ray phase-contrast in vivo microtomography probes new aspects of Xenopus gastrulation. Moosmann J, Ershov A, Altapova V, Baumbach T, Prasad MS, LaBonne C, Xiao X, Kashef J, and Hofmann R. Nature. 2013 May 16;497(7499):374-377.

Interactions between Twist and other core epithelial–mesenchymal transition factors are controlled by GSK3-mediated phosphorylation. Lander R, Nasr T, Ochoa SD, Nordin K, Prasad MS, and LaBonne C. Nature Communications. 2013 February 26;4:1542.

SUMOylated SoxE factors recruit Grg4 and function as transcriptional repressors in the neural crest. Lee P-C, Taylor-Jaffe KM, Nordin KM, Prasad MS, Lander RM, and LaBonne C. Journal of Cell Biology. 2012 September 3;198(5):799-813.

Induction of the neural crest state: Control of stem cell attributes by gene regulatory, post-transcriptional and epigenetic interactions. Prasad MS, Sauka-Spengler T, and LaBonne C. Developmental Biology. 2012 June 1;366(1):10-21.

Targeted Inactivation of Snail Family EMT Regulatory Factors by a Co(III)-Ebox Conjugate. Harney AS, Meade TJ, and LaBonne C. PLoS ONE. 2012 February 29;7(2):e32318.

The LIM adaptor protein LMO4 is an essential regulator of neural crest development. Ochoa SD, Salvador S, and LaBonne C. Developmental Biology. 2012 January 15;361(2):313-325.

The F-box protein Ppa is a common regulator of core EMT factors Twist, Snail, Slug, and Sip1. Lander R, Nordin K, and LaBonne C. Journal of Cell Biology. 2011 July 11;194(1):17-25.

SoxE factors as multifunctional neural crest regulatory factors. Haldin CE and LaBonne C. Int Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. 2010 March;42(3):441-444.

Targeted inhibition of Snail family zinc finger transcription factors by oligonucleotide-Co(III) Schiff base conjugate. Harney AS, Lee J, Manus LM, Wang P, Ballweg DM, LaBonne C, and Meade TJ. PNAS. 2009 August 18;106(33):13667-13672.

View all publications by Carole LaBonne listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Current and former IBiS students in blue.