Latino Studies at New York University

Nessy Tania

Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Smith College

March 1, 2016

Mathematical Modeling of Actin Regulation during Cancer Cell Motility

Expressions of actin regulators are altered in metastatic carcinomas. In this talk, I will discuss an ongoing research project done in collaboration with John Condeelis (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) in modeling actin growth in two distinct cell motility structures observed in metastatic mammary carcinoma, namely lamellipodia and invadopodial protrusions. Specifically, I will focus on the role and regulation of cofilin, an actin regulatory protein that is upregulated in invasive carcinoma. We have previously characterized the effects of cofilin in lamellipodial protrusion. Past results from a temporal ODE model of cofilin regulation and a spatiotemporal model of actin growth within the lamellipodia will be summarized. I will also present our current efforts in modeling and characterizing actin dynamics within the invadopodia, an actin rich based protrusion that has a matrix degradation activity. We found that in lamellipodia, cofilin severs existing F-actin network generating new barbed ends upon stimulation. However, cofilin may play different roles in invadopodia and its effects may not be crucial until later time points.