The Mankoo Group
The Mankoo group aims to gain a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which regulation of gene expression in the embryo and adult control the decisions which determine how cells are specified to develop into particular tissues, how differentiation of progenitor cells is regulated, and regulation of morphogenesis and growth control. A detailed understanding of these molecular mechanisms will provide insight into the causes of congenital and degenerative disease affecting musculoskeletal tissues.
Our research is focussed on understanding Gene Regulatory Networks (GRNs) that control the development of multipotential progenitor cells in somites into skeletal muscles and the axial skeleton (ribs and vertebrae). ‘Gene Regulatory Networks’ describes the mechanism that integrates genes, regulatory DNA elements, and transcription factor proteins that control the activity of cellular and biochemical pathways.
We are currently investigating GRNs in somite development . muscle patterning in the developing limb; and Meox homeobox transcription factor targets development.
We use a variety of molecular and cellular techniques, including: gene expression analysis, transgenesis, gene knockouts, microarrays, ChIP, gel shift assays, bioinformatics, explant cultures, and in vitro cell culture.
Our work is funded by the EU and BBSRC.