The principal goal of this study is to elucidate the function of FIBP and biological significance of the interactions between FIBP and acidic fibroblast growth factor that we demonstrated in vivo and in vitro. We plan to apply tissue-specific gene inactiv ation approach, which may provide valuable information as to the biological function of FIBP and its role in FGF-signalling. During the first stage of the project we shell focus on FIBP on skeletal development in mouse as a model system.
To allow study of the role of FIBP in skeletal development, we plan to inactivate FIBP gene in early mesenchymal condensations giving rise to chondrocytic and osteoblastic cell lineages using collagen-2a-cre deleter strain. Other skeletal tissue-specific deleter strains, including Dermo1- (axial and appendicular skeleton), Prx1- (appendicular skeleton) and Wnt1-cre (neural crest derived craniofacial structures), have been successfully used in Bjorn Olsen laboratory and will be applied to our FIBP conditional inactivation studies. As we know more about the expression pattern of FIBP gene in mouse, the gene inactivation approach can be further expanded to other tissues.