Scarlata, Suzanne Frances
Muscle cells contain protein structures on the plasma membranes called caveoale which act like springs that flatten and recoil when the cell is stretched.In my project, I tested the idea that stretching cells reduces Ca2+ signals in muscle cells. Specifically, when smooth muscle cells (A10) undergo mechanical bi-directional stretch, there is a structural change of caveolae that leads to reduction in Ca2+ signaling when Gaq is activated.The Ca2+ response in A10 cells was also recorded in the form of cell density.When the cells had a large amount of cell-cell contacts, the number of caveolae was much greater and the effect on Ca2+ was more pronounced.Taken together, these results indicate that the deformation of caveolae with mechanical stress may allow cells to regulate normal Ca2+ signals.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
All authors have granted to WPI a nonexclusive royalty-free license to distribute copies of the work, subject to other agreements. Copyright is held by the author or authors, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.
Chemistry and Biochemistry