Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
Steroids are widely used in medicine and are notorious for their side effects. We aim to study novel functions of steroids in the body and their regulation, with an emphasis of steroid biosynthesis. Two different aspects of steroid regulation have been the focus of our investigation.
I. Actions of neurosteroid pregnenolone
We have been examined the actions of neurosteroids in the brain to find a better neurosteroid for the treatments of brain diseases. We previously showed that neurosteroid pregnenolone promotes cell migration by binding to and activating microtubule-binding protein CLIP-170 to stabilize microtubules. Current research focuses on the mechanism of dynamic neurosteroid actions.
II. Regulation of zebrafish gonad development
Zebrafish has been a popular model organism for genetic analysis, but the control of its gonad development is unclear. We would like to understand the factors that control gonad differentiation and sex determination. Candidate gene approach and transcriptome analyses have been used to understand the germ cell differentiation.
Key Words: steroid synthesis, CYP11A1, P450scc, embryo, zebrafish