Honors & Awards
Graduate Research Fellowship, NSF (2014-2017)
The ampA gene has a role in cell migration in Dictyostelium discoideum. Cells overexpressing AmpA show an increase in cell migration, forming large plaques on bacterial lawns. A second-site suppressor of this ampA-overexpressing phenotype identified a previously uncharacterized gene, ndm, which is described here. The Ndm protein is predicted to contain a coiled-coil BAR-like domain-a domain involved in endocytosis and membrane bending. ndm-knockout and Ndm-monomeric red fluorescent protein-expressing cell lines were used to establish a role for ndm in suppressing endocytosis. An increase in the rate of endocytosis and in the number of endosomes was detected in ndm(-) cells. During migration ndm(-) cells formed numerous endocytic cups instead of the broad lamellipodia structure characteristic of moving cells. A second lamellipodia-based function-cell spreading-was also defective in the ndm(-) cells. The increase in endocytosis and the defect in lamellipodia formation were associated with reduced chemotaxis in ndm(-) cells. Immunofluorescence results and glutathione S-transferase pull-down assays revealed an association of Ndm with coronin and F-actin. The results establish ndm as a gene important in regulating the balance between formation of endocytic cups and lamellipodia structures.
View details for DOI 10.1091/mbc.E12-05-0392
View details for Web of Science ID 000312221100016
View details for PubMedID 22809629
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3431939
The ampA gene plays a role in Dictyostelium discoideum cell migration. Loss of ampA function results in reduced ability of growing cells to migrate to folic acid and causes small plaques on bacterial lawns, while overexpression of AmpA results in a rapid-migration phenotype and correspondingly larger plaques than seen with wild-type cells. To help understand how the ampA gene functions, second-site suppressors were created by restriction enzyme-mediated integration (REMI) mutagenesis. These mutants were selected for their ability to reduce the large plaque size of the AmpA overexpresser strain. The lmbd2B gene was identified as a suppressor of an AmpA-overexpressing strain. The lmbd2B gene product belongs to the evolutionarily conserved LMBR1 protein family, some of whose known members are endocytic receptors associated with human diseases, such as anemia. In order to understand lmbd2B function, mRFP fusion proteins were created and lmbd2B knockout cell lines were established. Our findings indicate that the LMBD2B protein is found associated with endocytic cups. It colocalizes with proteins that play key roles in endocytic events and is localized to ruffles on the dorsal surfaces of growing cells. Vegetative lmbd2B-null cells display defects in cell migration. These cells have difficulty sensing the chemoattractant folic acid, as indicated by a decrease in their chemotactic index. lmbd2B-null cells also appear to have difficulty establishing a front/back orientation to facilitate migration. A role for lmbd2B in development is also suggested. Our research gives insight into the function of a previously uncharacterized branch of the LMBR1 family of proteins. We provide evidence of an LMBR1 family plasma membrane protein that associates with endocytic cups and plays a role in chemotaxis.
View details for DOI 10.1128/EC.05186-11
View details for Web of Science ID 000302219300003
View details for PubMedID 22307974
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3318307