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MHI Seminar Series: Joan Taylor, PhD, “GRAFs mind the GAP between muscle fate and function”

March 20, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Speaker: Joan Taylor, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair for Research in Pathology and Lab Medicine, UNC School of Medicine
Topic: “GRAFs mind the GAP between muscle fate and function”

Seminar Synopsis: The overall goal of our research is to characterize the intracellular signaling pathways that govern normal and aberrant growth responses in the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system.  For this seminar, I will focus on the role of GRAF family member RhoGAPs in muscle fate and function.  We originally identified GRAF1 (GTPase-regulator for RhoA associated with FAK) in an un-biased screen for Focal Adhesion Kinase binding partners and over the past several years we have shown that GRAF1 (Arhgap26) and it’s family members GRAF2 (Arhgap10) and -3 (Arhgap42) are critical for limiting RhoA activity in muscle (cardiac, skeletal and smooth) wherein they play unique roles in co-regulating actin and membrane dynamics. In this seminar, I will highlight our latest studies on GRAF3 which indicate a critical role for this protein in the development and pathogenesis of human hypertension. Moreover, I will present new evidence to suggest that GRAF1 and GRAF2 may be equally as important for maintaining cardiac and skeletal muscle homeostasis respectively by novel mechanisms that involve mitochondrial quality control. Collectively, our findings support the possibility that targeting GRAFs might provide promising therapeutic strategies to limit hypertension and striated muscle degeneration.


March 20, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


1131 Bioinformatics Building
130 Mason Farm Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
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