Sensory Development and Regeneration Lab
Notch 2


The functions of notch signalling during inner ear development and regeneration

Notch 1

Notch signalling is one of the most important cell-to-cell communication pathways during inner ear development and regeneration. We are developing and using live-imaging and genetic tricks in chicken embryos to understand the functions of Notch in i) establishing the early/prosensory domains of the inner ear and ii) the regulation of hair cell versus supporting cell fate decisions.

Collaborators: J. Gale (Ear Institute), J. Stone (U. Seattle, USA), K. Steel (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute), B. Alsina (U. Pompeu Fabra, Spain)

Chrysostomou E, Gale J, Daudet N. Delta-like 1 and lateral inhibition during hair cell formation in the chicken inner ear: evidence against cis-inhibition. Development (2012) vol. 139 (20) pp. 3764-3774

Bird J, Daudet N, Warchol M, Gale J. Supporting cells eliminate dying sensory hair cells to maintain epithelial integrity in the avian inner ear. J Neurosci (2010) vol. 30 (37) pp. 12545-56

Daudet N, Gibson R, Shang J, Bernard A, Lewis J, Stone J. Notch regulation of progenitor cell behavior in quiescent and regenerating auditory epithelium of mature birds. Dev Biol (2009) vol. 326 (1) pp. 86-100

Daudet N, Ariza-McNaughton L, Lewis J. Notch signalling is needed to maintain, but not to initiate, the formation of prosensory patches in the chick inner ear. Development (2007) vol. 134 (12) pp. 2369-78

Transcriptional networks in the control of hair cell differentiation


We are using transcriptome analysis and functional approaches in vivo and in vitro to get new insights into the genetic networks regulated by Notch signalling during ear development. We are also interested in the specific roles of the SoxB family transcription factors in the control of hair cell formation and regeneration.

Freeman and Daudet. Artificial induction of Sox21 regulates sensory cell differentiation in the chick inner ear. Plos One (2012) in press

Stereocilia formation and maintenance

Stereocilia 1

Stereocilia are microvilli-like structures arranged into a neat bundle at the surface of each hair cell. When fluid movements occur in the liquid-filled compartments of the inner ear, stereocilia are displaced, triggering the release of neurotransmitters by hair cells. Mutations in genes encoding molecular components of stereocilia are frequently associated to hereditary forms of deafness. In this collaborative and multidisciplinary project, we are investigating the specific role of an actin-bundling protein named Plastin1 (also known as Fimbrin), in stereocilia formation and auditory function in mouse.

Collaborators: A. Bullen, A. Forge, R. Taylor (Ear Institute), Francisco Rivero (U. of Hull), Stuart Johnson, Walter Marcotti (U. of Sheffield)

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