Alex Kolodkin is a neuroscientist whose laboratory works to understand how neuronal connectivity is established, maintained, and modulated.
His team investigates the function of extrinsic guidance cues and their receptors on axonal guidance, dendritic morphology, and synapse formation and function.
For several years, they've investigated how neural circuits are formed and maintained through the action of guidance cues that include semaphorin proteins, their classical plexin and neuropilin receptors, and also novel receptors. They employ a cross-phylogenetic approach, using both invertebrate and vertebrate model systems, to understand how guidance cues regulate neuronal pathfinding, morphology and synaptogenesis. They also explore how these signals are transduced to cytosolic effectors. Though broad in scope, their interrogation of the roles played by semaphorin guidance cues provides insight into the regulation of neural circuit assembly and function. Their current work includes a relatively new interest in understanding the origins of laminar organization in the CNS. They have identified guidance cues that regulate both specific and general aspects of neurite stratification in the mouse retina, in addition to the targeting of retinal ganglion cell axons to retinorecipient midbrain targets. These observations have prompted them to look for cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate laminar organization in the mouse neocortex.
The Kolodkin Lab is currently investigating how families of invertebrate and vertebrate guidance cues orchestrate neuronal wiring during embryogenesis and later in neural development, using Drosophila and the mouse as model systems. Alex’s team is currently investigating how laminar organization is established in the mammalian visual system, the underlying biochemical basis for guidance cue receptor responses to various guidance cues, and how classical guidance cues influence synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity.
Riccomagno MM, Sun LO, Brady CM, Alexandropoulos K, Seo S, Kurokawa M, Kolodkin AL. "Cas adaptor proteins organize the retinal ganglion cell layer downstream of integrin signaling." Neuron. 2014 Feb 19;81(4):779-86. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.01.036.
Sun LO, Jiang Z, Rivlin-Etzion M, Hand R, Brady CM, Matsuoka RL, Yau KW, Feller MB, Kolodkin AL. "On and off retinal circuit assembly by divergent molecular mechanisms." Science. 2013 Nov 1;342(6158):1241974. doi: 10.1126/science.1241974.
Jeong S, Juhaszova K, Kolodkin AL. "The Control of semaphorin-1a-mediated reverse signaling by opposing pebble and RhoGAPp190 functions in drosophila." Neuron. 2012 Nov 21;76(4):721-34. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.09.018.
Riccomagno MM, Hurtado A, Wang H, Macopson JG, Griner EM, Betz A, Brose N, Kazanietz MG, Kolodkin AL. "The RacGAP β2-Chimaerin selectively mediates axonal pruning in the hippocampus." Cell. 2012 Jun 22;149(7):1594-606. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.05.018.
Lloyd TE, Machamer J, O'Hara K, Kim JH, Collins SE, Wong MY, Sahin B, Imlach W, Yang Y, Levitan ES, McCabe BD, Kolodkin AL. "The p150(Glued) CAP-Gly domain regulates initiation of retrograde transport at synaptic termini." Neuron. 2012 Apr 26;74(2):344-60. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.02.026.