Miller Lab

Our studies focus on how Wnt signaling modulates cell shape and organization to facilitate the formation of tubules. We utilize frog (Xenopus) embryonic kidneys and mammalian cultured cells as models. Cells perceive their orientation within a tissue through a specific Wnt signaling pathway called planar cell polarity (PCP). Our studies focus on how PCP components with cytoskeletal roles regulate tubulogenesis. Cystic kidneys are the most common feature of a group of genetic diseases known as ciliopathies. They result from defects in the primary cilia projecting into nephron lumens. Primary cilia act as cellular antennae, orchestrating cellular signaling and orienting cells through PCP. We are interested in the role of PCP and primary cilia in shaping nephric tubules.