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7 May 2007 On the way to subcellular imaging of mechanotransduction in the developing vasculature
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Endothelial cells that comprise vessels and line the heart are known to respond to mechanical forces imparted by fluid flow. It is also known that blood flow is required for vascular remodeling and that abnormal heart contractions lead to the failure of the vasculature to remodel properly. Although there is considerable evidence to indicate that flow is necessary, little is known about how mechanical signals are transduced in endothelial cells in the embryo. This project is focused on understanding the role mechanical forces play in the development of the cardiovascular system using recently generated FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) reporter that can detect real-time Src-kinase activity in cells using fluorescence microscopy. Src kinase regulates integrin-cytoskeleton interactions that are essential for mechanotransduction, and its activity is upregulated in cultured endothelial cells exposed to flow. Experiments reported here were focused on testing potential feasibility of the proposed technique to sense Src changes in vivo. Successful implementation of this project will reveal previously unknown signaling events involved in the mechanism of vascular remodeling and their relation to the blood flow, thus providing a unique tool for in vivo sub-cellular imaging of mechanotransduction in the vasculature and other organs.
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Irina V. Larina, Yingxiao Wang, Shu Chien, Mary E. Lane, and Mary E. Dickinson "On the way to subcellular imaging of mechanotransduction in the developing vasculature", Proc. SPIE 6535, Saratov Fall Meeting 2006: Optical Technologies in Biophysics and Medicine VIII, 653504 (7 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.740602;

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