Amy N. Abell

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The GTPases Rac1, RhoA and Cdc42 act together to control cytoskeleton dynamics. Recent biosensor studies have shown that all three GTPases are activated at the front of migrating cells, and biochemical evidence suggests that they may regulate one another: Cdc42 can activate Rac1 (ref. 8), and Rac1 and RhoA are mutually inhibitory. However, their(More)
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are sporadically acquired or inherited vascular lesions of the central nervous system consisting of clusters of dilated thin-walled blood vessels that predispose individuals to seizures and stroke. Familial CCM is caused by mutations in KRIT1 (CCM1) or in malcavernin (CCM2), the murine ortholog of which was(More)
Sensing the osmolarity of the environment is a critical response for all organisms. Whereas bacteria will migrate away from high osmotic conditions, most eukaryotic cells are not motile and use adaptive metabolic responses for survival. The p38 MAPK pathway is a crucial mediator of survival during cellular stress. We have discovered a novel scaffold protein(More)
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are members of a dynamic protein kinase network through which diverse stimuli regulate the spatio-temporal activities of complex biological systems. MAPKs regulate critical cellular functions required for homeostasis such as the expression of cytokines and proteases, cell cycle progression, cell adherence, motility(More)
TRAF4 has previously been shown to activate JNK through an unknown mechanism. Here, we show that endogenous TRAF4 and MEKK4 associate in both human K562 cells and mouse E10.5 embryos. TRAF4 interacts with the kinase domain of MEKK4. However, this association does not require MEKK4 kinase activity. The interaction of MEKK4 and TRAF4 are further demonstrated(More)
Skeletal disorders and neural tube closure defects represent clinically significant human malformations. The signaling networks regulating normal skeletal patterning and neurulation are largely unknown. Targeted mutation of the active site lysine of MEK kinase 4 (MEKK4) produces a kinase-inactive MEKK4 protein (MEKK4(K1361R)). Embryos homozygous for this(More)
We previously identified a gene signature predicted to regulate the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in both epithelial tissue stem cells and breast cancer cells. A phenotypic RNA interference (RNAi) screen identified the genes within this 140-gene signature that promoted the conversion of mesenchymal epithelial cell adhesion molecule-negative(More)
A 5-week-old male infant presented with severe bacterial infections and poor wound healing, suggesting a neutrophil defect. Neutrophils from this patient exhibited decreased chemotaxis, polarization, azurophilic granule secretion, and superoxide anion (O(2)(-)) production but had normal expression and up-regulation of CD11b. Rac2, which constitutes >96% of(More)
Kinase inhibitors have limited success in cancer treatment because tumors circumvent their action. Using a quantitative proteomics approach, we assessed kinome activity in response to MEK inhibition in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells and genetically engineered mice (GEMMs). MEK inhibition caused acute ERK activity loss, resulting in rapid c-Myc(More)
Trophoblast differentiation during placentation involves an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) with loss of E-cadherin and gain of trophoblast invasiveness. Mice harboring a point mutation that renders inactive the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase MEKK4 exhibit dysregulated placental development with increased trophoblast invasion.(More)