The Cramer lab studies actin-based mechanisms of cell polarity and cell migration.
Cell migration is essential for life; required throughout embryo development, and for tissue repair and immunity in both the embryo and the adult. It also contributes to several important diseases, including inflammatory diseases, mental retardation and the spread of cancer. Determining molecular mechanisms controlling cell migration thus promises to provide effective therapeutic strategies for treating disease.
We are interested in how migrating cells reach new territory and how they polarize to activate motility. We focus on determining actin cytoskeleton-based mechanical forces that drive these processes analysed at high spatiotemporal resolution, mainly using primary fibroblasts and dictyostelium as model systems.
Cramer LP (2013). Mechanism of Cell Rear Retraction in Migrating Cells. Current Opinion Cell Biology 25(5) 591-599 doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2013.05.001
Nightingale TD, et al (2012). Actin Coats and Rings Promote Regulated Exocytosis. Trends Cell Biol. 22:329-337 doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2012.03.003
Kalaji R, et al (2012). ROCK1 and ROCK2 regulate epithelial polarisation and geometric cell shape. Biol. Cell 104: 435-451
Mseka T & Cramer LP (2011). Actin Depolymerization-Based Force Retracts the Cell Rear in Polarizing and Migrating Cells. Curr Biol 21(24):2085-91 doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.11.006.
Nightingale TD, et al (2011). Actomyosin II contractility expels von Willebrand factor from Weibel-Palade bodies during exocytosis. J Cell Biol 194(4), 613-629 doi:10.1083/jcb.201011119.
Cramer LP (2010). Forming the cell rear first; breaking cell symmetry to trigger directed cell migration. Nature Cell Biol. 12:628-632
Polarity and cell shape
Dan Cutler (LMCB, UK)
Rob Kay (LMB, Cambridge, UK)
Tom Nightingale (Barts, UK)
Clare Bryant (University Cambridge, UK)