- PhD Student
Chemical Physical Structural Biology
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX US
- BS from Baylor University
- 05/2019 - Waco, Texas United States
Professional StatementSkeletal muscles provide the human body with the means to move and function. Each muscle cell (myofiber) must contract and relax in coordination with neighboring myofibers to promote voluntary movement. Overall, muscle cells are highly organized multi-nucleated cells that can span anywhere between a few millimeters to a few centimeters in length. Microtubules found within myofibers are responsible for maintaining the structure and providing the scaffold for the organization of these specialized complex cells. As myofibers begin to form, an alternatively spliced variant of microtubule associated protein 4 (MAP4) becomes unregulated in muscle cells. While MAP4 is expressed ubiquitously throughout the body (uMAP4), the alternatively spliced isoform expressed only in muscle (mMAP4) is defined by the inclusion of a 3180bp exon. The specific role of mMAP4 is currently unknown.
Our lab has determined that transgenic mice that do not express mMAP4 in adult muscle tissue have a loss in muscle force generation. Other data from the lab suggests that mMAP4 may play a role in maintaining the presence of transverse microtubules in myofibers. The goal of my project is to determine the role of the MAP4 muscle-specific isoform by attempting to rescue these mMAP4 deficient phenotypes in mice by suppling them with mMAP4. In addition to this, I will determine a cell based model which will be utilized for localization and functional studies of mMAP4.
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