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An Importin protein that mediates growth factor signalling and pathway crosstalk: Its roles in spermatogenesis

Signalling through many distinct pathways drive normal testis development and are essential for normal fertility in males. We are investigating an importin protein, IPO5 (also named importin 5) ,a nucleocytoplasmic transport factor which selectively binds and carries cytoplasmic cargo proteins into the nucleus. It can control signaling by Transforming Growth Factor-beta superfamily proteins (for example, Bone Morphogenetic Proteins {BMPs} and activins) as well as Wnts. Our published work has demonstrated that IPO5 synthesis is highly regulated during spermatogenesis, both in fetal life and in adulthood, and we have an ongoing research effort to identify what its cargo and functions are during spermatogenesis. Our research primarily uses human and nmouse cell lines and mouse tissues. Approaches include biochemical characterisation of binding partners at different stages of spermatogenesis, and cell culture to reveal how IPO5 regulates signaling crosstalk during spermatogenesis. Knockdown of specific pathway components (siRNA) or signalling pathways (application of selective inhibitors) is followed by measurements of pathway activity using direct reporters of transcriptional activation (eg. luciferase activity), analysis of downstream target gene activity, and evaluation of cellular functions (migration, adhesion, proliferation, survival, differentiation).
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Cell signalling, spermatogenesis, nucleocytoplasmic transport, cell differentiation
School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health / Hudson Institute of Medical Research » Molecular and Translational Sciences
Available options 
Masters by research
Time commitment 
Physical location 
Monash Health Translation Precinct (Monash Medical Centre)
Assoc Prof 
Robin Hobbs

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