SEP 28, 2017 9:00 AM PDT

Fine tuning of myosin activity shapes actomyosin network organization and tissue contractility of the C. elegans spermatheca

Presented at: Cell Biology 2017
Speaker
  • Graduate Student, Northeastern University
    Biography
      Alison Wirshing received her BS in Biology from the University of New Hampshire in 2012 where she worked in the labs of Dr.s Farag, Jahnke, and Minocha on an interdisciplinary project marrying plant genetics and molecular biology with chemical engineering towards the goal of improving biofuel production from microalgae. While staying true to her passion for basic cellular biology, Alison chose a different research topic for her doctoral work and transitioned to working with C. elegans in the Cram Lab at Northeastern University. Currently, her work is focused on using the C. elegans spermatheca as a model contractile tube for identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying cell response to mechanical perturbation. Specifically, she is interested in how the actin cytoskeleton reorganizes in response to cell stretch and how this influences tissue contractility. molecular mechanisms underlying cell response to mechanical perturbation. Specifically, she is interested in how the actin cytoskeleton reorganizes in response to cell stretch and how this influences tissue contractility.

    Abstract

    Contractile non-muscle cells, including smooth muscle and myoepithelial cells, provide the mechanical forces required for tissue homeostasis in numerous organ systems. For example, smooth muscle cells surrounding the vasculature contract in response to increased intraluminal pressure to maintain lumen diameter and blood pressure and myoepithelial cells in the mammary gland provide the contractile force required for milk ejection and to shape the mammary gland mechanical microenvironment. Dysregulation of mechano-perception and force production in these contractile cells contributes to the pathophysiology of numerous diseases ranging from hypertension to breast cancer progression. This highlights the importance of understanding how contractility is regulated and maintained in these mechanically stressed cells throughout animal lifetime. To study this question, we use a component of the C. elegans reproductive system, the spermatheca, as a novel model contractile tube. The spermatheca is composed of 24 myoepithelial cells that encompass the sperm. During ovulation, spermathecal cells are dramatically stretched by the incoming oocyte. The oocyte is immediately fertilized and resides in the spermatheca for a regulated period until coordinated spermathecal cell contractions push the embryo into the uterus. This process occurs 150 times throughout the lifetime of the animal requiring robust regulation of tissue contraction to expel the embryo at the correct time and in the correct direction. In this work, we use live animal imaging to monitor Ca2+ signaling and actomyosin dynamics in spermathecal cells during ovulation. We show that Ca2+ transients are produced only after cell stretch and that Ca2+ signaling is required to initiate actomyosin contraction. We further characterize the role of myosin activity in actomyosin network organization and show that both increased and decreased myosin activity alter network properties including connectivity, orientation, and anisotropy. We conclude that tight spatiotemporal regulation of myosin activity throughout successive rounds of ovulation shapes actomyosin network development and maintenance required for tissue function and animal fertility. 


    Show Resources
    You May Also Like
    OCT 08, 2020 7:00 AM PDT
    C.E. CREDITS
    OCT 08, 2020 7:00 AM PDT
    DATE: October 8, 2020 TIME: 7:00am PDT, 10:00am EDT, 4:00pm CEST How often do you pipette in your cell culture lab every day? Usually, we do it so often that we tend stop thinking about ho...
    SEP 10, 2020 9:00 AM PDT
    C.E. CREDITS
    SEP 10, 2020 9:00 AM PDT
    Date: September 10, 2020 Time: 9:00am (PDT), 12:00pm (EDT) Osmolality testing is relevant throughout the entire bioprocessing workflow. As customers look to refine mAb and gene therapy workf...
    AUG 25, 2020 8:00 AM PDT
    C.E. CREDITS
    AUG 25, 2020 8:00 AM PDT
    DATE: August 25, 2020 TIME: 8:00am PDT, 10:00am CDT, 11:00am EDT Recombinant lentivirus (LV) and adeno-associated virus (AAV) are critical components of cell and gene therapies, which show g...
    NOV 16, 2020 8:00 AM PST
    Add to Calendar Select one of the following: iCal Google Calendar Outlook Calendar Yahoo Calendar
    C.E. CREDITS
    NOV 16, 2020 8:00 AM PST
    Add to Calendar Select one of the following: iCal Google Calendar Outlook Calendar Yahoo Calendar
    Date: November 16, 2020 Time: 8:00am (PST), 11:00am (EST) CRISPR screening has become the prime discovery tool in modern biomedical research and drug discovery. At the same time, most screen...
    MAY 08, 2020 10:00 AM PDT
    C.E. CREDITS
    MAY 08, 2020 10:00 AM PDT
    DATE: May 8, 2020 TIME: 10:00am PT, 11:00am MT, 1:00pm ET The application of next generation sequencing to interrogate immune repertoires and methods in which these highly complex dataset...
    OCT 29, 2020 6:00 AM PDT
    C.E. CREDITS
    OCT 29, 2020 6:00 AM PDT
    Date: October 29, 2020 Time: 6:00am (PDT), 9:00am (EDT), Chronic inflammation can occur as a result of a combination of genetic predispositions and environmental factors. Epigenetic modifica...
    Loading Comments...
    Show Resources
    Attendees
    • See more