The Krauss lab is interested in how cell-cell adhesion and signal transduction pathways interact to regulate cell fate during embryonic developmental and adult tissue regeneration. We use a wide combination of approaches to gain insight into how genes and the environment interact in causation of common birth defects, and how adult stem cells are called into action to repair injury to tissues.
The skeletal muscle stem cell niche
Satellite cells (SCs) are adult skeletal muscle stem cells located between the myofiber and its surrounding basal lamina. They are the source of skeletal muscle’s remarkable regenerative properties. SCs exist in a quiescent state in adult mice. However, upon muscle injury they are activated to proliferate and produce the myoblasts that will ultimately differentiate to form new myofibers; they also self-renew to replenish the muscle stem cell compartment. Quiescence is promoted by the SC niche, including the myofiber itself. Using a combination of conditional mouse mutants and cell biological analyses, we have shown that classical cadherins are components of the niche, required cell-autonomously by both the fiber and SC. Our current studies focus on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of how SCs and myofibers interact, how quiescence is maintained, and how niche perturbation promotes the quiescence-to-activation transition in SCs.
Modeling holoprosencephaly in the mouse
Holoprosencephaly (HPE) is a common developmental defect caused by failure to define the midline of the forebrain and/or midface. HPE is associated with heterozygous mutations in Nodal, Hedgehog (HH), and other pathways, but clinical presentation is highly variable, and many mutation carriers are unaffected. It is therefore thought that such mutations interact with more common modifiers, genetic and/or environmental, to produce severe patterning defects. Modifiers are difficult to identify, as their effects are context-dependent and occur within the complex genetic and environmental landscapes that characterize human populations. We have developed mouse models for HPE that shed light on its complex etiology. Our studies with mouse lines carrying HH pathway mutations on appropriate genetic backgrounds have led to identification of both genetic and environmental modifiers that synergize with the mutations to produce a spectrum of HPE phenotypes. These models favor a scenario in which multiple modifying influences—both genetic and environmental, sensitizing and protective—interact with bona fide HPE mutations to grade phenotypic outcomes. Despite the complex interplay of HPE risk factors, our findings have helped establish concepts in HPE etiology.
Featured Recent Publications
Lo, H.-F., M. Hong, and R.S. Krauss. (2021). Concepts in multifactorial etiology of developmental disorders: gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in holoprosencephaly. Front Cell Dev Biol., 10.3389/fcell.2021.795194 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcell.2021.795194/full
Krauss, R.S. (2021) Dispatches from the front lines. The First Wave (Film review). Science, 374:1567. https://www.science.org/stoken/author-tokens/ST-246/full
Lo, H-F., Hong, M., Szutorisz, H., Hurd, Y.L., and R.S. Krauss. (2021). Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits Hedgehog-dependent patterning during development. Development, 148(19). https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.199585
- For discussion of this paper, see also:
- Press release: Cannabis causes birth defects in susceptible mice https://thenode.biologists.com/cannabis-causes-birth-defects-in-susceptible-mice/news/
- Research highlights: Environmental interactions with Hedgehog https://journals.biologists.com/dev/article/148/19/e148_e1902/272409/Environmental-interactions-with-Hedgehog
Kann, A.P., Hung, M., and R.S. Krauss. (2021). Cell-cell contact and signaling in the muscle stem cell niche. Current Opinion in Cell Biology, 73:78-83. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955067421000703
Hong, M., A. Christ, A. Christa, T.E. Willnow and R.S. Krauss. (2020). Cdon mutation and fetal alcohol converge on Nodal signaling in a mouse model of holoprosencephaly. eLife, 9:e60351
Kann, A.P. and R.S. Krauss. (2019). Multiplexed RNAscope and immunofluorescence on whole-mount skeletal myofibers and their associated stem cells. Development, 146:1-9, dev179259. https://dev.biologists.org/content/146/20/dev179259.abstract
Hong, M., K. Srivastava, S. Kim, B.L. Allen, D.J. Leahy, P. Hu, E. Roessler, R.S. Krauss* and M. Muenke*. (2017). BOC is a modifier gene in holoprosencephaly. Hum Mutat., 38:1464-1470.
Goel, A.J., M.K. Rieder, H.H. Arnold, G.L. Radice, and R.S. Krauss. (2017). Niche cadherins control the quiescence-to-activation transition in muscle stem cells. Cell Reports, 21:2236-2250.
Meet the Team
Rob is interested in how cell adhesion and signal transduction interact to make stuff happen in developing embryos and regenerating tissues. His students and postdocs have been making him look good for a long time.
Allison is a sixth-year PhD student studying the muscle stem cell quiescence-to-activation transition. When she isn’t in lab, she spends her time enjoying the best parts of NYC – the food, the parks, and the Broadway shows.
Research Assistant Professor
Mingi is a Research Assistant Professor interested in gene-environment interactions during development and how they contribute to the etiology of birth defects. Living things thrive around her, including the plants in the lab and her wonderful cat.
Vivian is a postdoc interested in regulation of Shh signaling during early central nervous system development. Outside the lab, her favorite pastime is watching live sporting events in NYC, especially the US Open.
Maggie is a fifth-year PhD student studying how various catenin proteins regulate satellite cells in quiescence and in response to muscle injury. When not in lab, she enjoys sampling the great culinary treats in New York City, drinking too much coffee, and admiring all the dogs playing in central park.
Gyu-un Bae Professor • Sookmyung Womens University • Seoul, Republic of Korea
Francesca Cole Associate Professor • Molecular Carcinogenesis • MD Anderson Cancer Center • Smithville, TX
Iris Cheng City Research Scientist • New York City Department of Health
Daisuke Chihara Postdoctoral Researcher • Institut Curie • Paris, France
Jessica Feinleib Assistant Professor • Anesthesiology • Yale School of Medicine • New Haven, CT
Aviva Goel Principle Scientist • Emerging Research Lead • Sema4 • New York
Guoying Jiang Executive/Senior Director • Head of Analytical Development & Quality Control • Genentech • South San Francisco, CA
Giselle Joseph Principle Scientist • Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research • Cambridge, MA
Jong-Sun Kang Professor • Samsung Biomedical Research Institute • Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine • Suwon, Republic of Korea
Sarah Knox Associate Professor • Cell and Tissue Biology • UC San Francisco
Youl-Nam Lee BioGemex Ltd. • Sung Nam, Republic of Korea
Min Lu Head of Translational Sciences • Flame Biosciences • Boston, MA
Philip Mulieri Danbury Orthopedics • Danbury, CT
Marysia-Kolbe Rieder MS in Genetic Counseling student • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai • New York, NY
Anthony Romer Senior Scientist • ElevateBio • Cambridge, MA
Karen Schachter Scientist • Stem Cell Development • Novo Nordisk • Denmark
Dario Sirabella Associate Research Scientist • Stem Cell Core Columbia University Medical Center • New York, NY
Giichi Takaesu Associate Professor • University of the Ryukyus • Okinawa, Japan
Jaw-Ji Yang Professor • Chung Shan Medical University • Taichung, Taiwan
Wei Zhang Principle Scientist • UCB Pharmaceuticals • Winchester, MA
- Vivian’s paper, “Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits Hedgehog-dependent patterning during development.” is published in Development and featured on The Node.
- The lab attends the annual CDRB/BFSCI retreat, where Allison presents some of her thesis work.
Pandemic lab meetings look a little bit different…
Krauss lab at the 2018 departmental retreat
Giselle’s defense party!
Rob is installed as Mount Sinai Professor in Cell Biology!
The secret is out
Rob attends the Sundance Film Festival and reviews films for Science
Allison and Maggie take some time out from the 2018 Muscle Stem Cell Conference
Krauss lab at the March for Science
Aviva’s defense party!
The chick lab with an egg
RK and ST – separated at birth?
Professor, Cell, Developmental, and Regenerative Biology