Margaret M. Pruitt

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Mammalian TOR (mTOR) regulates cell growth, proliferation, and migration. Because mTOR knock-outs are embryonic lethal, we generated a viable hypomorphic mouse by neo-insertion that partially disrupts mTOR transcription and creates a potential physiologic model of mTORC1/TORC2 inhibition. Homozygous knock-in mice exhibited reductions in body, organ, and(More)
BACKGROUND G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) play central roles in mediating cellular responses to environmental signals leading to changes in cell physiology and behaviors, including cell migration. Numerous clinical pathologies including metastasis, an invasive form of cell migration, have been linked to abnormal GPCR signaling. While the structures of(More)
Nicotine has been definitively shown to be critically involved in the neural bases of tobacco addiction. However, nicotine releases a wide variety of neurotransmitters. Nicotine-induced dopamine release has been shown to play a key role in facilitating nicotine self-administration. Other transmitter systems may also play important roles in the(More)
The highly conserved wnt gene family has roles in developmental processes ranging from axis formation to cell fate determination. The polychaete Platynereis dumerilii has retained 12 of the 13 ancient wnt subfamilies and is a good model system to study the roles of the wnt ligands in spiralian development. While it has been shown that Platynereis uses a(More)
Generation of high-affinity Abs in response to Ags/infectious agents is essential for developing long-lasting immune responses. B cell maturation and Ab responses to Ag stimulation require Ig somatic hypermutation (SHM) and class-switch recombination (CSR) for high-affinity responses. Upon immunization with either the model Ag 4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenylacetyl(More)
Wnt signaling pathways are highly conserved signal transduction pathways important for axis formation, cell fate specification, and organogenesis throughout metazoan development. Within the various Wnt pathways, the frizzled transmembrane receptors (Fzs) and secreted frizzled-related proteins (sFRPs) play central roles in receiving and antagonizing Wnt(More)
The arginine of the D/E/NRY motif in Rhodopsin family G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is conserved in 96% of these proteins. In some GPCRs, this arginine in transmembrane 3 can form a salt bridge with an aspartic acid or glutamic acid in transmembrane 6. The Drosophila melanogaster GPCR Trapped in endoderm-1 (Tre1) is required for normal primordial germ(More)
Heterogeneous cell populations, from either healthy or malignant tissues, may contain a population of cells characterized by a differential ability to efflux the DNA-binding dye Hoechst 33342. This "side population" of cells can be identified using flow cytometric methods after the Hoechst 33342 dye is excited by an ultraviolet (UV) laser. The side(More)
The spiral cleavage mode of early development is utilized in over one-third of all animal phyla and generates embryonic cells of different size, position, and fate through a conserved set of stereotypic and invariant asymmetric cell divisions. Despite the widespread use of spiral cleavage, regulatory and molecular features for any spiral-cleaving embryo are(More)
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