Major Research Areas
Researchers in the College of Graduate Studies focus their efforts where it truly matters—on the diseases and illnesses that affect many people. Much of our research activity is grouped into four areas of concentration: cancer; infectious diseases; disorders of the nervous system; and diabetes, metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases.
Christopher E Turner, PhD
- Distinguished Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Research Programs and Affiliations
- Biomedical Sciences Program
- Cancer Research Program
- Cell and Developmental Biology
Education & Fellowships
- PhD: University of Oxford, England, 1986
Regulation of cell migration by focal adhesion adapter proteins and their role in cancer cell metastasis.
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The dynamic adhesion of cells to their surrounding extracellular matrix provides many of the environmental cues necessary for controlling cell migration and cell shape, survival, proliferation and differentiation. These fundamental events regulate an organism’s normal development, maintenance and recovery from injury and infection. Defects in the signaling pathways associated with cell adhesion provide the basis for cell transformation and cancer cell metastasis, various developmental defects and cardiovascular disease.
My lab uses a multi-faceted approach combining biochemistry, cell and molecular biology and various high-end microscopy techniques along with mouse tumor models to determine the molecular organization of the proteins that are involved in cell adhesion and thereby understand how they each contribute to cell behavior in vivo. We are particularly interested in characterizing the function of the molecular scaffold/adapter proteins Paxillin and Hic-5 during tumor cell migration and invasion. We have found that these multi-domain proteins bind numerous structural and signaling proteins including kinases, phosphatases and Rho family GTPase regulators and effectors. We hypothesize that it is through these various interactions that the cell coordinates intracellular signaling and cytoskeletal reorganization to regulate cell adhesion, migration and tumor invasion.
Turner, C.E., (2000) Paxillin and focal adhesion signaling. Nature Cell Biol., 2 E231-6.
Brown, M.C. and Turner, C.E. (2004) Paxillin-Adapting to change. Physiol. Revs. 84, 1315-1339.
Deakin, N.O. and Turner. C.E. (2011) Paxillin and Hic-5 cooperate to regulate breast cancer cell plasticity, invasion and metastasis. Mol. Biol Cell 22 327-341.
Pignatelli, J., Tumbarello, D.A., Schmidt, R.P. and Turner, C.E. (2012) Hic-5 promotes invadopodia formation and invasion during TGF-β-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition. J. Cell Biol. 197 421-437.
Deakin, N.O. and Turner, C.E. (2014) Paxillin interacts with and inhibits HDAC6 in normal and malignant Cells to regulate microtubule acetylation, Golgi structural integrity and polarized migration J. Cell Biol. 206 395-413.
Dubois, F., Alpha, K. and Turner, C.E. (2017) Paxillin Regulates Cell Polarization and Anterograde Vesicle Trafficking during Cell Migration. Mol. Biol. Cell 28 3815-3831.
Goreczny, G.J., Forsythe, I. and Turner, C.E. (2018) Hic-5 Regulates Fibrillar Adhesion Formation to Control Tumor Stromal Matrix Remodeling through Interaction with Tensin 1. Oncogene 37 1699-1713.