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The role of integrin-proximal complexes in cancer cell behavior and normal liver function

Gkretsi, Vasiliki (2006) The role of integrin-proximal complexes in cancer cell behavior and normal liver function. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion proteins are of great significance for many fundamental cellular processes such as survival, differentiation, spreading, adhesion, migration as well as oncogenic transformation. In the present dissertation study, the role of different integrin-proximal protein complexes was investigated in vitro in cancer cells and in primary rat hepatocytes and in vivo in whole animals. First it was shown that migfilin, a newly identified cell-matrix adhesion protein, is also an important component of cell-cell junctions critical for the organization and strengthening of the adherens junctions. Next, Ras-Suppressor-1 (RSU-1), which interacts with the focal adhesion protein PINCH, was shown to regulate cell spreading and adhesion, although the exact mechanism is yet unclear. Furthermore, the role of Integrin-Linked Kinase (ILK) was investigated in vitro in the model system of matrix-induced hepatocyte differentiation. It was shown that ILK along with its binding partners PINCH and Ą-parvin are dramatically down-regulated during the matrix-induced re-differentiation of hepatocytes. Thus, ILK and its binding partners likely play an important role in matrix-induced-hepatocyte differentiation.Finally, the role of ILK was examined in vivo by removing the protein from the whole animal or specifically from the liver. First ILK was removed from ILK-floxed mice following Cre-recombinase-adenoviral injections giving rise to animals with fulminant hepatitis characterized by massive apoptosis, abnormal mitoses, fatty change and necrosis in the liver. Then, ILK-floxed animals were crossbred with alpha-fetoprotein(AFP)-albumin, albumin, or Foxa3-Cre transgenic mice and thus ILK was genetically removed specifically from the liver. In all cases, the livers of the animals had disorganized liver architecture, absence of hepatocyte plates, increased fibrosis, absence of microvilli in the canaliculi, different degrees of malformations in the biliary system, apoptosis and compensatory proliferation. The present findings therefore, clearly show that ILK is critical for hepatocyte differentiation and survival and more importantly, this holds true in vivo where ILK is crucial for the maintainance of normal liver architecture and function.Thus, the present dissertation work highlights the importance of cell-matrix adhesion proteins in vitro and in vivo and enhances the scientific knowledge in the field of molecular, cellular, hepatocyte and liver biology.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gkretsi,, gkretsi@hotmail.comVAG2
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMichalopoulos, George Kmichalopoulosgk@upmc.eduMICHAL
Committee MemberWells, Alanwellsa@upmc.eduAHW6
Committee MemberWu, Chuanyuecarywu@pitt.eduCARYWU
Committee MemberBeer-Stolz, Donnadstolz@pitt.eduDSTOLZ
Committee MemberMonga, Satdarshan P. Singhsmonga@pitt.eduSMONGA
Date: 3 November 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 2 October 2006
Approval Date: 3 November 2006
Submission Date: 30 October 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Cellular and Molecular Pathology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: cell adhesion; Cre recombinase; ILK; liver; migfilin; parvin; PINCH; Ras Suppressor-1
Other ID:, etd-10302006-120358
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:03
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:37


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