Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Genetics

First Advisor

Andrei Ivanov


Adherens junctions (AJs) and tight junctions (TJs) are characteristic features of differentiated epithelial cells and are critical for regulation of epithelial barriers and cell polarity. Integrity and remodeling of epithelial junctions depend on their interactions with underlying actomyosin cytoskeleton. Anillin is a multifunctional scaffold able to interact with different cytoskeletal proteins including F-actin and Myosin II. This project aimed to investigate roles of anillin in regulating epithelial AJs and TJs. Using A549 human lung epithelial and DU145 human prostate epithelial cells, we demonstrated the anillin depletion-induced loss of AJs and TJs. This was accompanied by disorganization of perijunctional actomyosin belt and disruption of the adducin-based membrane skeleton that links actin filaments to the plasma membrane and epithelial junctions. Depletion of anillin decreased protein levels of γ-adducin and downregulation of γ-adducin mimicked effects anillin knockdown on AJ and TJ integrity. These findings suggest a novel role for anillin in the assembly of epithelial junctions.


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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014