Grant ID RR180025
Awarded On May 16, 2018
Title Recruitment of Established Investigators
Program CPRIT Scholar
Award Mechanism Recruitment of Established Investigators
Institution/Organization The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Principal Investigator/Program Director Michael Sheetz
Cancer Sites Breast, Lung and Bronchus, Ovary
Contracted Amount $6,000,000
Summary of Goals and Objectives

We seek to establish the mechanobiological basis of malignant transformation. Findings from my laboratory indicate that a critical feature of cancer cells, and in fact what determines their ability to grow in abnormal conditions (e.g., soft agar), is their inability to measure the rigidity of the matrix around them. We have discovered a rigidity sensing module that is similar to a sarcomere and contains many cytoskeletal components as well as receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). When individual components of this module are depleted in cells, it cannot form and the cells will grow on soft surfaces. Specifically, depletion of the cytoskeletal tumor suppressors, tropomyosin 2.1 (Tpm2.1), myosin I...

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