Molecular regulation of hte epithelial morphogenesis in the developing kidney and mammary gland.
How tissue-specific transcription factors contribute to cell fate specification and differentiated function is not well understood. We analyze the role of transcription factor GATA-3 in specifying various tissues during organogenesis, and the role it plays in various differentiation processes. Our interests address both normal and pathophysiological developmental events, and focus specifically on peripheral and central nervous system development, urogenital patterning and differentiation of the breast epithelium. We use gain- and conditional loss-of-function mutations in mice to examine the consequences of GATA-3 forced expression or lack of expression in specific tissues and organs in order to define the epistatic relationships between GATA-3 and upstream, cooperative parallel and downstream effectors.