Poster Title

Effect of Microgravity on the Contraction and Cytoskeletal Remodeling of A7r5 Smooth Muscle Cells

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Sophomore

Institution

Morehead State University

KY House District #

70

KY Senate District #

27

Department

Dept. of Biology and Chemistry

Abstract

Smooth muscle presents several unique contractile properties when compared to striated muscle. Data suggests that differential remodeling of the alpha-actin and beta-actin and the regulation of such remodeling may play an essential role in smooth muscle contraction. At rest both alpha- and beta-actin both exhibit a cable-like appearance. During contraction, alpha-actin appears to undergo significant remodeling with dissolution on the majority of the cables and the formation of podosomes where it demonstrates co-localization with myosin while beta-actin retains a cable-like appearance. While the remodeling of the two actin domains has been characterized under normal gravity little is known regarding cytoskeletal dynamics in A7r5 smooth muscle cells. A7r5 cells will be subjected to the microgravity environment of the International Space Station. We speculate that the absence of gravity as an organizing force on biological structures may produce different effects than what is observed on Earth. In collaboration with SpaceTango Inc., a cell culturing module has been engineered that will allow the cells to ascend into space and maintain homeostasis while on orbit. The module will also administer phorbol ester, a contractile stimulant, followed by acetone to “fix” the cells in their contracted state so observations can be made about the aforementioned processes when they return from orbit.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Effect of Microgravity on the Contraction and Cytoskeletal Remodeling of A7r5 Smooth Muscle Cells

Smooth muscle presents several unique contractile properties when compared to striated muscle. Data suggests that differential remodeling of the alpha-actin and beta-actin and the regulation of such remodeling may play an essential role in smooth muscle contraction. At rest both alpha- and beta-actin both exhibit a cable-like appearance. During contraction, alpha-actin appears to undergo significant remodeling with dissolution on the majority of the cables and the formation of podosomes where it demonstrates co-localization with myosin while beta-actin retains a cable-like appearance. While the remodeling of the two actin domains has been characterized under normal gravity little is known regarding cytoskeletal dynamics in A7r5 smooth muscle cells. A7r5 cells will be subjected to the microgravity environment of the International Space Station. We speculate that the absence of gravity as an organizing force on biological structures may produce different effects than what is observed on Earth. In collaboration with SpaceTango Inc., a cell culturing module has been engineered that will allow the cells to ascend into space and maintain homeostasis while on orbit. The module will also administer phorbol ester, a contractile stimulant, followed by acetone to “fix” the cells in their contracted state so observations can be made about the aforementioned processes when they return from orbit.