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Actin

Theses and Dissertations

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Full-Text Articles in Cell Biology

Novel Regulation And Function Of The Actin Bundling Protein Fascin, Christopher Michael Groen May 2015

Novel Regulation And Function Of The Actin Bundling Protein Fascin, Christopher Michael Groen

Theses and Dissertations

The parallel actin filament bundling protein Fascin is a critical protein in both disease and development. Overexpression of Fascin is linked to increased aggressiveness in a number of cancer types, including breast and colon carcinomas. Importantly, Fascin is not normally expressed in adult epithelial cells from which many of these cancers arise. Therefore, Fascin is increasingly cited as both a potential biomarker and therapeutic target in many types of cancer. Fascin is most commonly associated with the formation of filopodia and invadapodia (parallel actin filament bundle structures) to drive migration and invasion. However, Fascin activity and regulation remain poorly understood ...


Prostaglandin Signaling Temporally Regulates Actin Cytoskeletal Remodeling During Drosophila Oogenesis, Andrew James Spracklen Jul 2014

Prostaglandin Signaling Temporally Regulates Actin Cytoskeletal Remodeling During Drosophila Oogenesis, Andrew James Spracklen

Theses and Dissertations

Prostaglandins (PGs) are small, lipid signaling molecules produced downstream of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes. PG signaling regulates many processes including pain, inflammation, fertility, cardiovascular function and disease, and cancer. One mechanism by which PG signaling exerts its function is by regulating the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton; however, the exact mechanisms remain largely undefined.

Drosophila oogenesis provides an ideal system to determine how PG signaling regulates the actin cytoskeleton. Drosophila follicles, or eggs, pass through 14 well- characterized, morphologically defined stages of development. Each developing follicle is comprised of 16 interconnected germline-derived cells (15 nurse cells and 1 oocyte) that are ...


Biochemical Basis Of Human Disease-Causing Actin Mutations, Sarah Elizabeth Bergeron May 2011

Biochemical Basis Of Human Disease-Causing Actin Mutations, Sarah Elizabeth Bergeron

Theses and Dissertations

Actin isoform specific mutations have been identified as causes for various human diseases. These include twelve missense mutations in γ-nonmuscle actin leading to early onset autosomal dominate nonsyndromic hearing loss and twenty two missense mutations in α-smooth muscle actin leading to thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections (TAAD). The molecular mechanisms leading to these human pathologies are mainly unknown, principally due to the inability to isolate pure mutant γ-nonmuscle actin and α-smooth muscle actin in quantities required for biochemical analysis. To begin to address these problems, I have individually expressed the human nonmuscle actin isoforms, β– and γ– nonmuscle actin, in ...