Cell & Molecular Biology Program Event
Mr. Andrew McKenzie
University of Vermont
“Mechano-Regulation of leading edge PKA activity during ovarian cancer cell migration
Tuesday January 15th, 2013
Cells sense, respond, and contribute to mechanical tension generated by contact with their extracellular matrix (ECM). This tension exerts considerable influence over many cellular functions and is important for many normal and pathogenic processes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the coupling of mechanical changes in the cellular micro – environment to altered cellular behavior are poorly understood. The current work uses the fabrication of deformable ECM substrates along with high-resolution microscopy of single cells to implicate a role for spatial regulation of the ubiquitous and promiscuous Protein Kinase A (PKA) during the sensing of extracellular matrix tension, and establishes a possible role for the kinase in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer. Taken together, these results suggest that PKA is a mechano – sensitive protein involved in the migration, invasion, and possible metastasis of ovarian cancer. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms controling ovarian cancer cell motility has the possibility to have a significant impact on the course of the disease.