Patricia Elena Kunda

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BACKGROUND During mitosis, animal cells undergo a complex sequence of morphological changes, from retraction of the cell margin and cell rounding at the onset of mitosis to axial elongation and cytokinesis at mitotic exit. The molecular mechanisms driving the early changes in mitotic cell form and their functional significance, however, remain unknown. Here(More)
BACKGROUND In animal cells, GTPase signaling pathways are thought to generate cellular protrusions by modulating the activity of downstream actin-regulatory proteins. Although the molecular events linking activation of a GTPase to the formation of an actin-based process with a characteristic morphology are incompletely understood, Rac-GTP is thought to(More)
In this study we have examined the cellular functions of ERM proteins in developing neurons. The results obtained indicate that there is a high degree of spatial and temporal correlation between the expression and subcellular localization of radixin and moesin with the morphological development of neuritic growth cones. More importantly, we show that double(More)
The protrusion of two distinct actin-containing organelles, lamellipodia and filopodia, is thought to be regulated by two parallel pathways: from Rac1 through Scar/WAVEs to lamellipodia, and from Cdc42 through N-WASP to filopodia. We tested this hypothesis in Drosophila, which contains a single gene for each WASP subfamilies, SCAR and WASp. We performed(More)
As they enter mitosis, animal cells undergo profound actin-dependent changes in shape to become round. Here we identify the Cdk1 substrate, Ect2, as a central regulator of mitotic rounding, thus uncovering a link between the cell-cycle machinery that drives mitotic entry and its accompanying actin remodeling. Ect2 is a RhoGEF that plays a well-established(More)
The most dramatic changes in eukaryotic cytoskeletal organization and dynamics occur during passage through mitosis. Although both spindle self-organization and actin-dependent cytokinesis have long been the subject of intense investigation, it has only recently become apparent that the actin cortex also has a key role during early mitosis. This is most(More)
Microtubule dynamics are dominated by events at microtubule plus ends as they switch between discrete phases of growth and shrinkage. Through their ability to generate force and direct polar cell transport, microtubules help to organise global cell shape and polarity. Conversely, because plus-end binding proteins render the dynamic instability of individual(More)
The rate limiting step for actin filament polymerisation is nucleation, and two types of nucleator have been described: the Arp2/3 complex and the formins. A recent study has now identified in Spire a third class of actin nucleator. The four short WH2 repeats within Spire bind four consecutive actin monomers to form a novel single strand nucleus for 'barbed(More)
Animal cells undergo dramatic actin-dependent changes in shape as they progress through mitosis; they round up upon mitotic entry and elongate during chromosome segregation before dividing into two [1-3]. Moesin, the sole Drosophila ERM-family protein [4], plays a critical role in this process, through the construction of a stiff, rounded metaphase cortex(More)
Preservation of cell architecture under physically stressful conditions is a basic requirement for many biological processes and is critical for mechanosensory systems built to translate subtle changes in cell shape into changes in organism behaviour. A new study reveals how an extracellular protein--Spam--helps mechanosensory organs in the fruit fly to(More)