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Department of Genetics

Developmental Biology


I did my PhD with Drs. Beatriz Estrada and Maria D. Martin-Bermudo at the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology (Seville, Spain). Using Drosophila, I studied the role of the conserved transmembrane proteoglycan Perd/Kon-tiki/NG2 in muscle differentiation.

In 2016 I started my postdoctoral studies in the group of Dr. Cahir O'Kane (University of Cambridge, UK), where I have been ever since. During this period I have been studying the contribution of the endoplasmic reticulum architecture for local cell function, specifically at synapses.


In neurons, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is not only found in the cell body, but also extends into dendrites and axonal presynaptic terminals. Axonal ER comprises a tubular network of mainly smooth ER, whose function is still poorly understood. In humans, mutations of several axonal ER-shaping proteins result in hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a motor axon degeneration disease.

Using Drosophila as model system, we try to understand the functional consequences of disrupting the axonal ER presence or continuity.


Key publications: 

Oliva MK, Pérez-Moreno JJ, O'Shaughnessy J, Wardill TJ, O'Kane CJ (2020), “Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumenal indicators in Drosophila reveal effects of HSP-related mutations on ER calcium dynamics” Frontiers in Neuroscience 14:816

Öztürk Z, O’Kane CJ and Pérez-Moreno JJ (2020), "Axonal Endoplasmic Reticulum Dynamics and Its Roles in Neurodegeneration" Frontiers in Neuroscience 14:48

Pérez-Moreno JJ, O'Kane CJ (2019), “GAL4 Drivers Specific for Type Ib and Type Is Motor Neurons in Drosophila” G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 9(2):453-462

Pérez-Moreno JJ, Espina-Zambrano AG, García-Calderón CB, Estrada B (2017), “Kon-tiki enhances PS2 integrin adhesion and localizes its ligand, Thrombospondin, in the myotendinous junction” Journal of Cell Science 130(5):950-962

Pérez-Moreno JJ, Bischoff M, Martín-Bermudo MD, Estrada B (2014), “The conserved transmembrane proteoglycan Perdido/Kon-tiki is essential for myofibrillogenesis and sarcomeric structure in Drosophila” Journal of Cell Science 127(14):3162-73

Visiting Researcher: O'Kane Group
Dr Juan Jose  Perez-Moreno

Contact Details

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