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K-State Today

October 8, 2019

Tina Tootle featured in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar Oct. 9

Submitted by Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Tina Tootle, professor of anatomy and cell biology in the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa, is the featured speaker for Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 9. She will present "Prostaglandins: master regulators of actin in the cytoplasm and the nucleus" at 4 p.m. in 120 Ackert Hall.

Presentation: Prostaglandins (PGs), lipid signals produced downstream of cyclooxygenase enzymes, have numerous physiological and pathological functions, including pain and inflammation, reproduction, heart health and disease, and cancer development and progression. One means by which PGs act is through regulating the actin cytoskeleton. However, the means by which PGs control actin remain largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, we utilize the robust genetic system of Drosophila and the well-characterized process of oogenesis. Loss of the Drosophila COX-like enzyme, Pxt, results in severe defects in actin remodeling necessary for follicle morphogenesis and ultimately results in sterility. Through pharmaco-genetic studies, we uncovered Fascin, an actin-bundling protein, as a new downstream effector of PGs. Not only do PGs regulate Fascin’s canonical activity, but also its new roles within the LINC Complex and in the nucleus. Additionally, PGs and Fascin also regulate nuclear actin to control nucleolar morphology. Thus, Drosophila oogenesis has revealed new targets and functions of PGs that are conserved across organisms. Indeed, PGs, Fascin, nuclear actin, and the nucleolus are all implicated in promoting cancer development and progression.