Clara Williams

 

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Background & Contact Information

Position Postbac student (2016 – Present)
Education: B.S., Biology UNC-CH May 2016
Fellowships & Awards:
Email: claraw@live.unc.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Research Information

The Wnt signaling pathway is essential in establishing correct body patterning, as well as guiding cell fate choice and proliferation in development. Some adult tissues also express Wnt, for example the colon crypt, which directs stem cell proliferation in order to replace surface epithelium cells. However, aberrant transcription of Wnt target genes, sparked by transcription co-activator β-catenin, can lead to disease. In healthy Wnt-off cells, β-catenin is degraded by a destruction complex composed of APC and Axin, as well as the CK1 and GSK3 kinases. Mutations in destruction complex proteins can have serious effects. For example, APC mutations have been implicated in 80% of all sporadic colon cancers. But, while we know Axin and APC are both vital for the destruction complex to degrade β-catenin, how they interact is less clear. I am working to determine how Axin and APC work together to create a functional complex which can help eliminate β-catenin, and how they react to Wnt signaling using Drosophila genetics.

 

 

Publications
Schaefer, K.N., Bonello, T.T.,  Zhang, S., Williams, C.E., Roberts, D.M., McKay, D.J, and Peifer, M.  (2018).  Supramolecular assembly of the beta-catenin destruction complex and the effect of Wnt signaling on its localization, molecular size, and activity in vivo.  PLoS Genetic doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007339.
Panna Tandon, Caralynn M. Wilczewski, Clara E. Williams, Frank L. Conlon.  (2016).  The Lhx9-Integrin pathway is essential for positioning of the proepicardial organ.  Development 143, 831-40 : doi: 10.1242/dev.129551

 

 

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