Francis J. Alenghat

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Several proteins implicated in the pathogenesis of polycystic kidney disease (PKD) localize to cilia. Furthermore, cilia are malformed in mice with PKD with mutations in TgN737Rpw (encoding polaris). It is not known, however, whether ciliary dysfunction occurs or is relevant to cyst formation in PKD. Here, we show that polycystin-1 (PC1) and polycystin-2(More)
This study was carried out to discriminate between two alternative hypotheses as to how cells sense mechanical forces and transduce them into changes in gene transcription. Do cells sense mechanical signals through generalized membrane distortion or through specific transmembrane receptors, such as integrins? Here we show that mechanical stresses applied to(More)
A "two-hit" hypothesis predicts a second somatic hit, in addition to the germline mutation, as a prerequisite to cystogenesis and has been proposed to explain the focal nature for renal cyst formation in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). It was reported previously that Pkd1(null/null) mouse kidney epithelial cells are unresponsive to(More)
Mechanical stresses modulate cell function by either activating or tuning signal transduction pathways. Mechanotransduction, the process by which cells convert mechanical stimuli into a chemical response, occurs both in cells specialized for sensing mechanical cues and in parenchymal cells whose primary function is not mechanosensory. However, common among(More)
A magnetic tweezer was constructed to apply controlled tensional forces (10 pN to greater than 1 nN) to transmembrane receptors via bound ligand-coated microbeadswhile optically measuring lateral bead displacements within individual cells. Use of this system with wild-type F9 embryonic carcinoma cells and cells from a vinculin knockout mouse F9 Vin (-/-)(More)
Mechanical stresses that are preferentially transmitted across the cell surface via transmembrane integrin receptors activate gene transcription by triggering production of intracellular chemical second messengers, such as cAMP. Here we show that the sensitivity of the cAMP signaling pathway to mechanical stresses transferred across beta1 integrins is(More)
A permanent magnetic microneedle was developed to apply tensional forces to integrin receptors via ligand-coated magnetic microbeads while optically analyzing the mechanical properties of individual focal adhesions. Force application (130 pN for 3 s) through activated beta1 integrins produced less bead displacement than when unligated integrins were(More)
Macrophages migrate to sites of insult during normal inflammatory responses. Integrins guide such migration, but the transmission of signals from integrins into the requisite cytoskeletal changes is poorly understood. We have discovered that the hematopoietic adaptor protein Skap2 is necessary for macrophage migration, chemotaxis, global actin(More)
Studies of mechanotransduction mediated by stress-sensitive ion channels generally focus on the site of force application to the cell. Here we show that global, cell-wide changes in cytoskeletal structure and mechanics can regulate mechanotransduction previously shown to be triggered by activation of the mechanosensitive calcium channel, polycystin-2, in(More)
Francis J. Alenghat, Quentin J. Baca, Nooreen T. Rubin, Lily I. Pao*, Takashi Matozaki, Clifford A. Lowell, David E. Golan, Benjamin G. Neel and Kenneth D. Swanson Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA Division(More)