Department of Biology and Biochemistry
Research Division: Cell and Molecular Biology (Primary)
Office: Science & Research 2, 421E
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org - (713) 743-2705
Actin dynamics and remodeling determine both cell shape and function. The research goal of Dr. Seema Khurana’s laboratory is to understand how signals from the extracellular ligands/receptors are transmitted to the cytoplasmic actin, leading to remodeling of the microfilament structure and regulation of cell function. While research in the laboratory addresses several broad issues related to the regulation of epithelial cell biology by the actin cytoskeleton, the main focus is on the molecular and functional characterization of an epithelial cell specific actin-nucleating, -capping, -severing and crosslinking protein, villin.
1. Understanding the interaction between cytoskeletal proteins and second messengers.
2. Structure-function studies examining the role of post-translational modification of actin regulatory proteins and microfilament organization.
3. Regulation of epithelial cell structure and function by microfilaments.
4. Regulation of cell motility including epithelial-mesenchymal transition by actin-binding proteins and microfilament organization.
5. Regulation of cell death (apoptosis and autophagy) by actin-binding proteins.