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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Tabinda Islam


PhD Student



Project Title: Functional characterization of kisspeptin-type signalling in an echinoderm

Summary: Kisspeptins are evolutionarily ancient neuropeptides that regulate the onset of puberty and reproductive function in humans and other vertebrates. However, little is known about the physiological roles of kisspeptin-type signalling in invertebrates. Analysis of the genome sequence of the starfish Asterias rubens has revealed the existence of several genes encoding precursors of kisspeptin-like peptides and kisspeptin-type receptors.The aim of this project will be to use starfish as an experimental system to  obtain insights into the physiological roles of kisspeptin-type neuropeptides in invertebrates. This will involve use of i). in vitro assays to characterise receptor(s) for starfish kisspeptin-type neuropeptides. ii) immunohistochemical techniques to examine the expression patterns of kisspeptin-type neuropeptides and their receptors in starfish. iii). in vitro and in vivo pharmacological assays to investigate the actions of kisspeptin-type neuropeptides in starfish.



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