The Temporal Control of Cell Differentiation Laboratory



Building 8, Laboratory 1.14

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine.

University of Algarve

Phone: +351 289244481/90 (lab)

Team Members

Raquel P. Andrade  (Principal Investigator)

Gil Carraço (PhD Student)

Inês Rodrigues (PhD)

Ana Marreiros (PhD)

Patrícia Gomes (PhD Student)

Ana Cristina Fernandes (MsC Student)

Rita Bastos (MsC Student)

Isabel Duarte (Fellowship)

About the TCCD

TIME is considered the fourth dimension of all biological processes, operating during development, ageing and disease. The developing embryo is a paradigmatic model to study molecular mechanisms of temporal control, since body structures need to be formed at the right time and place for the generation of a functional new organism. The operation of an embryonic clock (EC) underlying timely progression of embryo development was first evidenced by cycles of avian Hes1 homologue gene expression in muscle and axial skeleton progenitor tissues. The EC involves fundamental signaling pathways such as FGF, Notch, Wnt and is dependent on cyclic negative feedback-driven pulses of transcription. Hes1 oscillations have been further described in limb chondrogenic precursor cells, embryonic neural progenitors and both mesenchymal and embryonic stem cells.

The Temporal Control of Cell Differentiation (TCCD) laboratory is working to understand the mechanisms underlying the pace of this time-keeping mechanism and its role in cell fate specification. Our long-term goal is to unveil EC functional relevance and in both health and disease, identifying mechanistic features which may be amenable to therapeutic intervention.

Selected Publications

Analuce Gouveia, Hugo M. Marcelino, Lisa Gonçalves, Isabel Palmeirim and Raquel P. Andrade. 2015. Patterning in Time and Space: HoxB Cluster Gene Expression in the Developing Chick Embryo. Cell Cycle (doi:10.4161/15384101.2014.972868).

Gil Carraco,  Ana N. Gonçalves, Carlos Serra and Raquel P. Andrade. 2014. MicroRNA processing machinery in the developing chick embryo. Gene Expr Patterns 16:114–121.

Filipe Pinto1, Nelma Pértega-Gomes, Márcia S Pereira, José R Vizcaíno, Pedro Monteiro, Rui M Henrique, Fátima Baltazar, Raquel P Andrade, Rui M Reis. 2014. T-box transcription factor Brachyury is associated with prostate cancer progression and aggressiveness. Clin Cancer Res 20: 1–13.

Caroline J. Sheeba, Raquel P. Andrade and Isabel Palmeirim. 2014. Limb patterning: from signalling gradients to molecular oscillations. J Mol Biol 426:780-4.*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Caroline J. Sheeba, Raquel P. Andrade* and Isabel Palmeirim*. 2012. Joint Interpretation of AER/FGF and ZPA/SHH Signaling Underlies Dynamic hairy2 Expression in the Chick Limb. Biology Open 1:1102-1110. *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Tatiana P. Resende, Mónica Ferreira, Ana Teresa Tavares, Marie-Aimée Teillet, Raquel P. Andrade* and Isabel Palmeirim*. 2010. Sonic hedgehog in temporal control of somite formation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107:12907-12. *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Caroline J. Sheeba, Isabel Palmeirim and Raquel P. Andrade. 2007. Chick Hairy1 protein interacts with Sap18, a component of the SIN3/HDAC transcriptional repressor complex. BMC Developmental Biology 7:83.

Andrade, R.P., Kotter, P., Entian, K.-D. and Casal, M. 2005. Multiple transcripts regulate Saccharomyces cerevisiae JEN1 mRNA glucose-triggered decay. Biochem Bioph Res Co. 332:254-62.

Representative Image




Project Grants

PTDC/BEX-BID/5410/2014 (FCT, Portugal) “TIMING CELL DIFFERENTIATON: Gene Regulatory Network in Temporal Control of Mesoderm Specification”. 2016-2019.

PTDC/SAU-BID/121459/2010 (FCT/COMPETE, Portugal) “Regulating the pace of the Embryonic Clock: a step forward towards temporal control of cell differentiation”. 2012-2015.

PTDC/SAU-OBD/105111/2008 (FCT/COMPETE, Portugal) “The role of molecular clock genes in temporal control of mesoderm patterning in vertebrate embryos”. 2010-2013.


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