Shirley S Young-Robbins

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

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Publications (4)16.37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Modulation of integrin activation is important in many cellular functions including adhesion, migration, and assembly of the extracellular matrix. RSK2 functions downstream of Ras/Raf and promotes tumor cell motility and metastasis. We therefore investigated whether RSK2 affects integrin function. We report that RSK2 mediates Ras/Raf inactivation of integrins. As a result we find that RSK2 impairs cell adhesion and integrin-mediated matrix assembly and promotes cell motility. Active RSK2 appears to affect integrins by reducing actin stress fibers and disrupting focal adhesions. Moreover, RSK2 co-localizes with the integrin activator, talin, and is present at integrin cytoplasmic tails. It is thereby in a position to modulate integrin activation and integrin-mediated migration. Activation of RSK2 promotes filamin phosphorylation and binding to integrins. We also find that RSK2 is activated in response to integrin ligation to fibronectin. Thus, RSK2 could participate in a feedback loop controlling integrin function. These results reveal RSK2 as a key regulator of integrin activity and provide a novel mechanism by which it may promote cell migration and cancer metastasis.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of properly regulated cell death and cell survival pathways can contribute to the development of cancer and cancer metastasis. Cell survival signals are modulated by many different receptors, including integrins. Bit-1 is an effector of anoikis (cell death due to loss of attachment) in suspended cells. The anoikis function of Bit-1 can be counteracted by integrin-mediated cell attachment. Here, we explored integrin regulation of Bit-1 in adherent cells. We show that knockdown of endogenous Bit-1 in adherent cells decreased cell survival and re-expression of Bit-1 abrogated this effect. Furthermore, reduction of Bit-1 promoted both staurosporine and serum-deprivation induced apoptosis. Indeed knockdown of Bit-1 in these cells led to increased apoptosis as determined by caspase-3 activation and positive TUNEL staining. Bit-1 expression protected cells from apoptosis by increasing phospho-IκB levels and subsequently bcl-2 gene transcription. Protection from apoptosis under serum-free conditions correlated with bcl-2 transcription and Bcl-2 protein expression. Finally, Bit-1-mediated regulation of bcl-2 was dependent on focal adhesion kinase, PI3K, and AKT. Thus, we have elucidated an integrin-controlled pathway in which Bit-1 is, in part, responsible for the survival effects of cell-ECM interactions.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: The filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 forms a periodic pattern of nitrogen-fixing heterocysts when grown in the absence of combined nitrogen. PatA is necessary for proper patterning of heterocysts along filaments. In this study, apparent transcriptional start points (tsps) were identified at nucleotides −305, −614, and −645 relative to the translational start site (−305, −614, and −645 tsps). Transcriptional reporter fusions were used to show that transcription from the −305 tsp was induced in all cells of filaments in response to nitrogen deprivation, required hetR for induction, and increased in a patA mutant. Transcription from −614/−645 tsp reporter fusions was spatially regulated and occurred primarily in cells that would become heterocysts. Complementation of a patA mutant strain by alleles encoding substitutions in, or deletion of, the putative phosphoacceptor C-terminal domain indicates that the PATAN domain can function independently of the C-terminal domain of PatA. Localization of a ring of PatA-GFP at sites of cell division, as well as the formation of enlarged cells with altered cell morphology when patA was overexpressed, suggests that PatA may participate in cell division.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Journal of bacteriology
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    ABSTRACT: Summary In the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 patS and hetN suppress the differentiation of vegetative cells into nitrogen-fixing heterocysts to establish and maintain a pattern of single heterocysts separated by approximately 10 undifferentiated vegetative cells. Here we show that the patS- and hetN-dependent suppression pathways are the only major factors that prevent vegetative cells from differentiating into heterocysts when a source of ammonia is not present. The patS and hetN pathways are independent of each other, and inactivation of both patS and hetN leads to differentiation of almost all cells of a filament in the absence of a source of fixed nitrogen, compared with approximately 9% in the wild type. Complete differentiation of filaments also occurs when nitrate is supplied as a source of fixed nitrogen, conditions that do not induce differentiation of wild-type filaments. However, ammonia is still capable of suppressing differentiation. The percentage of cells that differentiate into heterocysts appears to be a function of time when a source of fixed nitrogen is absent or a function of growth phase when nitrate is supplied. Although differentiation proceeds unchecked in the absence of patS and hetN expression, differentiation is asynchronous and non-random.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2005 · Molecular Microbiology

Publication Stats

89 Citations
16.37 Total Impact Points


  • 2011-2012
    • University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
      Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
  • 2010
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2005
    • Honolulu University
      Honolulu, Hawaii, United States