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Muscle Molecular Biology

Gene Expression and Regulation



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Laboratory of Molecular Cardiology (LMC)

Robert S Adelstein, MD, Principal Investigator

The Laboratory of Molecular Cardiology investigates the regulation, expression and function of contractile proteins with an emphasis on myosin. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms responsible for regulating the contractile proteins in nonmuscle and smooth muscle cells as well as the factors that govern the transcription and expression of the genes encoding the contractile proteins. We focus on vertebrate nonmuscle myosin II, the conventional form of myosin present in all eukaryotic cells as well as other classes of myosin such as myosin I, III, V, X and XV from a variety of sources. By studying the genes, mRNA, and proteins active in the contractile process during embryonic development and maturity, we hope to understand the mechanisms by which cells differentiate, alter their phenotype, migrate, change shape, move membrane receptors, secrete cellular products, and proliferate. We are using this information to understand both normal and disease processes.

The laboratory is presently staffed by two tenured investigators who are all section heads. Bob Adelstein (the Lab Chief) is Head of the Section on Muscle Molecular Biology. Sachiyo Kawamoto, a Staff Scientist, is studying nonmuscle myosin gene regulation including the regulation of cell-specific alternative splicing of nonmuscle myosin II-B.

There are on average 20 to 30 people working in the lab. We are particularly proud of our summer program, in which we train students (high school, college, medical, veterinary, pharmacy and graduate school) for 2-3 months during the year. Many of these students go on to earn advanced degrees.

We hold a lab meeting once a week at which time one of the lab members presents their recent work. We have a journal club at which time one lab member presents and discusses recent journal article(s) distributed to all earlier in the week. We meet once a month with the Laboratory of Cell Biology (NHLBI) and many lab members participate in one or more of the NIH interest groups.



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