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Cellular Signaling Kinetics Precisely Measured by Shvartsman Team

A research team led by Stanislav Y. Shvartsman, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, has tracked in detail the early developmental dynamics of the nerve cord in fruit fly embryos, using a high-throughput microfluidics-based display technique.  The precise time resolution of this novel method allowed the group to track several different molecular factors, known to be important to development, throughout the process.  Using this data, the team discovered that the protein kinase ERK has a faster-than-anticipated effect on Capicua (Cic), a transcription factor involved in both animal development and human diseases.  This discovery in turn indicates a previously unanticipated mechanism for the action of ERK upon Cic.  For more information, see the research article, “Kinetics of gene derepression by ERK signaling”, published in the June 18 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or the “Editor’s Choice” commentary on the work published in the July 19 issue of Science.