Peleg Hasson, PhD
Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
PhD, 2005 - Hebrew University, Israel
Understanding the crosstalk between cells and their environment during organ formation and regeneration
Embryogenesis is a highly dynamic and complex process, involving multiple steps and multiple cell types. The developing cells and tissues interact constantly with their environment, in particular with connective tissue cells and extracellular matrix (ECM). The environment is a source for signals that regulate multiple processes including proliferation, differentiation and pattern formation. The focus of research in my lab is the formation and regeneration of the musculoskeletal and vascular systems, which we study using mouse genetics and cell culture assays. We aim to delineate the interactions between cells and the underlying connective tissues and the ECM that they secrete. We focus on the activities of Lox (lysyl oxidase) family members, extracellular enzymes that regulate extracellular matrix organization and deposition. Our findings demonstrate novel mechanisms whereby Lox family members affect the development and patterning of the musculoskeletal system (see Figure). A better understanding of the interplay between organ components will not only reveal novel insights into embryonic development but also may enable development of treatments for diseases such as muscular dystrophy, in which the balance between the connective tissues and underlying muscles is disturbed.
Kutchuk L, Laitala A, Soueid-Bomgarten S, Shentzer P, Rosendahl AH, Eilot S, Grossman G, Sagi I, Sormunen R, Myllyharju J, Mäki JM and Hasson P. 2015.
Muscle composition is regulated by a Lysyl oxidase-Transforming growth factor beta feedback loop. Development 142, 983-93.
Hasson P. 2011. 'Soft' tissue patterning - muscles and tendons of the limb take their form. Review. Developmental Dynamics 240, 1100-7.
Hasson P, DeLaurier A, Bennett M, Grigorieva E, Naiche LA, Papaioannou VE, Mohun TJ, Logan M. 2010. Limb muscle and tendon patterning requires timed activity of Tbx4 and Tbx5. Developmental Cell 18, 148-56.
Formation of fibronectin matrix depends on LoxL3.
Muscle fibers normally anchor at the myotendinous junctions, regions rich in fibronectin matrix (A). In LoxL3 mutant mice, myofibers overshoot the myotendinous junction (arrow) and anchor ectopically, in part due to abnormal fibronectin matrix formation (B).