Staff Events
Sheila Harroch

Assembly and signalling of cell surface complexes as targets for regeneration

The research conducted in the lab centers on the role of signaling proteins in myelinrelated diseases and psychiatric disorders. For this, we use a multi-disciplinary approach, combining cell biology, signaling studies and mouse models of disease. We also engage in several collaborations that cover the structural biology, mouse behavior, and human genetics aspects of our work.

Two main and new discoveries are the basis of our research:

We have discovered new signaling complexes assembled around receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases (RPTP), and comprised of GPI-anchored molecules (Contactins, CNTNs), Tenascin family extracellular matrix proteins, and tyrosine kinases (such as Fyn); and we have uncovered their implication in oligodendrocyte maturation and synaptic plasticity.

We have discovered a link between Ptprg mutations (associated with human schizophrenia) and region-specific alterations in catecholamine and serotonin levels and aberrant social behaviors in mice. Variants of PTPs and CNTNs are clearly associated with schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders and myelin diseases; the role of oligodendrocytes in these pathologies is being increasingly recognized. Research on the biological function of these two families of interacting molecules, and the associated phosphorylation based pathways, in demyelinating diseases and mental disorders has clear therapeutic potential.