Research in The Moore Lab
• Lab News
|Our lab’s main interest is the study of molecular mechanics and cellular motility. Our interests include: cell motility, regulation of cell shape and the mechanism and regulation of muscle contraction.
Our lab’s investigations of muscle contraction and regulation focus on cardiac muscle. Genetic diseases, like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), are caused by mutations in sarcomeric proteins. We study the effects of these mutations on force and motion generation of isolated myosin and reconstituted thin filaments. These studies have both clinical and scientific importance because information about the underlying disease process provides insight about the fundamental contractile mechanism as well as providing guidance for otherwise empiric treatments for the disease. We are currently studying mutations in the myosin regulatory light chain (In Collaboration with Dr. Szczesna-Cordary) and tropomyosin (In Collaboration with Dr. Lehman). Knowledge of how these mutations affect the interaction of actin and myosin allows the degree of alteration to higher functional units, such as the cardiac muscle fiber, or the heart itself to be correlated with a primary contractile defect.
Vascular smooth muscle cells must be able to bear and transmit forces while also sense and respond to both internally and externally applied forces. Failure to either properly sense or respond to external stresses is known to lead to several pathological cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension and smooth muscle hypertrophy. Here our overall goal is to understand the nature and regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics in vascular smooth muscle cells.