Poster Title (Current Submission)

Examining the Effects of VAP on Vinculin

Major(s)

Biochemistry

Minor(s)

Spanish

Mentor Department

Biochemistry

Presentation Date

3-25-2010

Abstract

In the state of Iowa, cancer is the second leading cause of death. The State Health Registry of Iowa estimated that 6,300 Iowans died from cancer in 2009 alone, 14 times the number caused by auto fatalities. On the molecular level, the cell conducts countless highly organized processes to grow, with defects or mutations sufficient to advance cancer formation. For example, a decrease in cell adhesion, the cells’ ability to stick to one another, causes tumors to metastasize and travel to other parts of the body where they can generate new cancerous growths.

The subject of this study is vinculin, which is an important regulator of cell adhesion and therefore a prime candidate for cancer studies. We have identified a short vinculin activating peptide (VAP) comprised of three vinculin binding sites (VBS) that increase integrin-mediated adhesion to extracellular matrix elements that are crucial for cell adhesion. By studying the effects of VAP on vinculin, we hope to determine ways to increase adhesion selectively for use in future cancer treatments.

Rights

Copyright © 2010 Melissa Palma

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Mar 25th, 12:00 AM

Examining the Effects of VAP on Vinculin

In the state of Iowa, cancer is the second leading cause of death. The State Health Registry of Iowa estimated that 6,300 Iowans died from cancer in 2009 alone, 14 times the number caused by auto fatalities. On the molecular level, the cell conducts countless highly organized processes to grow, with defects or mutations sufficient to advance cancer formation. For example, a decrease in cell adhesion, the cells’ ability to stick to one another, causes tumors to metastasize and travel to other parts of the body where they can generate new cancerous growths.

The subject of this study is vinculin, which is an important regulator of cell adhesion and therefore a prime candidate for cancer studies. We have identified a short vinculin activating peptide (VAP) comprised of three vinculin binding sites (VBS) that increase integrin-mediated adhesion to extracellular matrix elements that are crucial for cell adhesion. By studying the effects of VAP on vinculin, we hope to determine ways to increase adhesion selectively for use in future cancer treatments.