For almost fifty years, cell biologists have observed sites in cells where actin and microtubule (MT) localizations appear to coincide ultimately leading to diverse cellular functions, physiological processes, and cellular morphologies. Historically, these cytoskeletons have been studied as separate entities, despite strong genetic and pharmacological evidence to the contrary. Previous studies suggest growing MT ends influence actin based cellular functions as they penetrate the actin-rich cellular cortex, however, the underlying activities, factors, and mechanisms regulating these interactions have remained largely unknown. Our research focuses on the mechanisms that coordinate the dynamic rearrangements of the actin and MT cytoskeletons in fundamental cell processes, using an integrated approach that combines cell biology, genetics, live-cell imaging, and in vitro reconstitution assays. We study filopodial dynamics, focal adhesions, and phagocytosis to probe these interactions.
1) To identify cellular regulators of actin-microtubule interactions.
2) To dissect cytoskeletal signals by live-cell imaging of filopodia, focal adhesions, & phagocytosis assays.
Actin & Microtubule interactions
EB1 (MT plus-ends)