In Part 1 of his talk, Dr. Goldman introduces us to cytoskeletal intermediate filaments beginning with an overview of IF formation and properties. Goldman focuses on vimentin to demonstrate that the assembly and disassembly of IFs are critical to cell shape change, lamellipodia formation and cell motility. Further experiments show that IF assembly and disassembly are regulated by kinases and phosphatases acting in response to growth factors and other signals.
In the second part of his talk, Goldman focuses on the nuclear lamins-a family of IFs found in the nucleus. Lamins have many critical roles including being a major determinant of nuclear size and structure. They are also necessary for DNA synthesis and repair and transcription by RNA polymerase II. Mutations in the lamin A gene are responsible for an astounding number of human diseases including the devastating early aging syndrome Hutchison Gilford Progeria. Studies of the nuclei from progeria cells are leading to a better understanding of the role of lamins in this disease and hope for treatment in the future.
Bob Goldman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He also has been a summer investigator at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, since 1977. Goldman received his Ph.D. in biology from Princeton University. He was a postdoctoral fellow… Continue Reading