|Awarded On||May 16, 2018|
|Title||Recruitment of Established Investigators|
|Award Mechanism||Recruitment of Established Investigators|
|Institution/Organization||The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston|
|Principal Investigator/Program Director||Michael Sheetz|
|Cancer Sites||Breast, Lung and Bronchus, Ovary|
|Summary of Goals and Objectives||
We seek to establish the mechanobiological basis of malignant transformation. Findings from my laboratory indicate that a critical feature of cancer cells, and in fact what determines their ability to grow in abnormal conditions (e.g., soft agar), is their inability to measure the rigidity of the matrix around them. We have discovered a rigidity sensing module that is similar to a sarcomere and contains many cytoskeletal components as well as receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). When individual components of this module are depleted in cells, it cannot form and the cells will grow on soft surfaces. Specifically, depletion of the cytoskeletal tumor suppressors, tropomyosin 2.1 (Tpm2.1), myosin I...