Graduate Student Amber Griffith on the cellular response to carbon nanocups

University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences Presents:

Friday Noon Seminar Series 2017-2018

Graduate Student: Amber Griffith

Saunders Lab

Characterization of the Cellular Response to Carbon Nanocups

Cytokinesis is the physical separation of the two daughter cells after successful chromosome segregation.  Occasionally cells are challenged with trapped chromatin during the process of cytokinesis.  Studies have suggested that a pathway, termed abscission delay, exists to prevent cells from damaging their DNA when chromatin is caught in the cleavage plane.  A key protein that is responsible for executing this pathway is the mitotic kinase Aurora B.  It is understood that its activation leads to the pausing of membrane cleavage until the obstruction is cleared.  The process that links the presence of trapped chromatin to the activation of Aurora B is yet to be discovered. Our lab would like to tackle this question by using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to recapitulate the abscission delay pathway through targeting CNTs to the cleavage plane with candidate proteins in the absence of trapped chromatin.    We initiated this process by first characterizing the interactions of CNTs with cells.  We determined that these materials do not interfere with cellular metabolism and cell division.  In addition, we found that CNTs are able to enter cells, and that a subset of CNTs occupy vesicles.  We characterized these vesicles to potentially be part of the autophagy pathway.  Further characterization of how CNTs interface with cells will allow us to choose the appropriate functionalization steps to target CNTs to the cleavage plane and manipulate the abscission delay pathway.

Friday, March 2, 2018

A219B Langley Hall

12:00 PM Seminar


02 Mar 2018

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A219B Langley Hall