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Paul Taghert, Ph.D. Paul Taghert
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(DBBS Faculty Member)

Anatomy and Neurobiology
More Publications 

Circadian Neurobiology ///  Neuronal Development
1.  Neuronal Development:
We ask how Neuroendocrine Neurons acquire their highly specialized cellular properties.  These are secretory cells that produce process transport store diverse bioactive peptides.  They release them in large amounts upon receiving proper signals (regulated secretion).  Using Drosophila genetics we have discovered the DIMM transcription factor as a critical component in the mechanism underlying such cellular specialization.  DIMM is an example of a regulatory molecular serving as a Scaling Factor to enhance differentiation by quantitative biasing of cellular properties.  Our current efforts focus on the  We are defining all DIMM molecular targets, to learn how DIMM is controlled by cell-cell signaling and to explore DIMM roles in evolution (current studies focus on honey bees) .  

2.  Circadian Neurobiology:  We study the physiology of neuronal circuits that underlie circadfian clock control of locomotor rhythms. In the fly brain ~150 neurons are dedicated circadian pacemakers and have demonstrable roles in promoting daily rhythmic behavior.  The neuropeptide PDF is an important signal released by ~10% of these neurons and is related to mammalian VIP in this  functional capacity.  Currently we pursue questions related to: (i) the signaling pathways controlled PDF to modulate the clock activity of pacemaker neurons; (ii) measuring the physiological activity of the entire network (using calcium and cAMP reporters) in realtime over 1 to many days.  Relating clock properties to the neuronal properties of pacemaker cells is a challenging and important goal for this work.  

Research Publications

Taghert PH, Nitabach, MN (2012) Peptide neuromodulation in invertebrate model systems.    
Neuron 76, 82-97.  

Duvall, LB, Taghert, PH (2012)  The circadian neuropeptide PDF signals preferentially through a specific adenylate cyclase isoform AC3 in M pacemakers of Drosophila.  PLoS Biology 10(6): e1001337. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001337 Full Article >

Mills, J, Taghert, PH (2012)  Scaling Factors: Transcription factors regulating subcellular domains.  Bioessays Jan;34(1):10-6.  Full Article >

Park, D, Hadzic, T, Ying, P, Rusch, J, Abruzzi, K, Panda, S, Skeath, J, Rosbash, M, Sweedler, J, Taghert, PH (2011) Molecular Organization of Drosophila Neuroendocrine Cells by DIMMED.  Current Biology  21(18):1515-24.  Full Article >

Im SH, Taghert PH. (2010) PDF receptor expression reveals direct interactions between circadian oscillators in Drosophila. J Comp Neurol.518, 1925-45. Full Article >

Hamanaka Y, Park D, Ping Y, Edwards T, Sweedler JW, Meinertzhagen IA, Taghert PH (2010) Transcriptional Orchestration of the Regulated Secretory Pathway in Neurons by the bHLH protein DIMM. Current Biology 20:9-18. Full Article >

Contact Info
Paul Taghert, Ph.D.
Office Location: 469 McDonnell Science Bldg.
Office Phone: 314-362-3641
Lab Phone: 362-3645
Campus Box: 8108
Fax: 362-3446