Henry N. Higgs, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry
Lafayette College, BA 1987U. Washington, PHD 1996
Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Programs
Dartmouth Medical School
Hanover NH 03755
Microvilli cover the surface of circulating blood lymphocytes. Lymphocytes use these finger-like projections to segregate adhesion receptors, as certain receptors localize to microvilli while others are excluded from them. Adhesion receptor segregation is crucial because cells use these receptors sequentially when moving from the bloodsteam to specific tissues. Little is known about the architecture of microvilli, nor about their relationship to similar structures from other cells. My lab will identify protein components crucial to microvillar structure, test how mutation of these proteins affect microvillar structure and function, and characterize how these proteins function biochemically and biophysically.
Actin filaments target the oligomeric maturation of the dynamic GTPase Drp1 to mitochondrial fission sites.
Cell type-dependent mechanisms for formin-mediated assembly of filopodia.
Assembly and turnover of short actin filaments by the formin INF2 and profilin.
The formin FMNL3 assembles plasma membrane protrusions that participate in cell-cell adhesion.
Novel roles for actin in mitochondrial fission.
Monitoring ATP hydrolysis and ATPase inhibitor screening using (1)H NMR.
Connecting the cytoskeleton to the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi.
A role for myosin II in mammalian mitochondrial fission.
Coactosin-like 1 antagonizes cofilin to promote lamellipodial protrusion at the immune synapse.
INF2-mediated severing through actin filament encirclement and disruption.