Christine Cremo, Ph.D.
Department: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Academic Unit: College of Medicine
Mail Stop: 330
Phone: (775) 784-7033
Fax: (775) 784-1419
My laboratory is interested in the mechanisms that regulate contraction of smooth muscles. We use biophysical, structural, and kinetic techniques to study the structure and function of myosin and actin, the major contractile proteins. These studies are addressing the structural mechanisms that control the activity of myosin. Smooth muscle myosin is regulated by phosphorylation, resulting in large conformational changes. The inactive unphosphorylated state is self-inhibited by interaction of the myosin tail domain with the catalytic and regulatory domains. We are studying the structure of this inhibited state by photocross-linking, fluorescence quenching and polarization, electron paramagnetic resonance, phosphorescence anisotropy, mass spectrometry and crystallography. Self-inhibited myosin is in equilibrium with myosin filaments, which is the force-generating conformation. We are interested in understanding the regulation of this equilibrium in the cell. Major approaches are measurements of contractile force in intact tissues, immunofluorescence microscopy of transiently-transfected cells, dynamic imaging of GFP- and other fluorescent constructs in live cells, mutagenesis, and fluorescence photo-bleaching recovery.
Current Graduate Students
Wahlstrom J, Randall A, Lawson D, Lyons D, Seims W, Crouch G J, Barr R, Facemyer KC, and Cremo CR. Structural Model of the Regulatory Domain of Smooth Muscle Heavy Meromyosin, J. Biol. Chem. 278, 5123-5131 (2003).
Ellison PA, DePew ZS and Cremo CR. Both Heads of Tissue-Derived Smooth Muscle Heavy Meromyosin Bind to Actin in the Presence of ADP, J. Biol. Chem. 278 4410-4415 (2003).
Perkins W J, Lorenz RR., Bogoger M., Warner DO, Cremo CR, and Jones KA. A Novel Mechanism by which Hydrogen Peroxide Decreases Calcium Sensitivity in Airway Smooth Muscle, American Journal of Physiology, Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 284 L324-32 (2003).
Mazhari SM, Selser CT and Cremo CR. Novel sensors of the regulatory switch on the regulatory light chain of smooth muscle myosin, J. Biol. Chem. 279 39905-14 (2004).
Faculty by research area
- Mastick, C
- Mastick C.
- Mastick G.
- Van der Linden
- von Bartheld
- von Bartheld