Mathematical Biology Seminar

Masaki Yoshigi
Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah
Wednesday March 2, 2005
3:05pm in LCB 121
" Mechanical Stress and The Actin Cytoskeleton - How computational analyses help cell biologists"

Our long-term interests include effects of mechanical stress, such as strain or shear, on the architecture of the actin cytoskeleton. We have developed cell stimulation systems in which cultured cells experience mechanical stress. We demonstrated that the actin cytoskeleton rapidly remodel in response to the mechanical stress. Recently, two molecules, zyxin and VASP, have been identified as crucial regulators for this remodeling process. We applied computational methods and developed image processing systems that quantitate the response of the actin cytoskeleton to the mechanical stress. I will talk about how quantitative analysis systems helped us to differentiate molecular behaviors of the actin cytoskeleton in mutant cells. I will also talk about some previous experiences in lumped parameter modeling for the embryonic vascular hemodynamics, which led us to the current hypotheses in cell biology.