Celine DerMardirossian, PhD, The Scripps Research Institute

Celine DerMardirossian, PhD
Celine DerMardirossian, PhD
Gary Bokoch, PhD

The DerMardirossian laboratory studies the family of proteins known as the Rho GTPases. Much of this work was pioneered in the lab of Gary Bokoch. They discovered the mechanism whereby Rac (an essiential member of the GTPase family important in normal cellular function) is activated by the enzyme p21-activated kinase (Pak). Interestingly, one of the targets of active Rac is the enzyme Pak itself. This suggests that Pak and Rac can participate in a positive feedback loop whereby active Rac stimulates Pak, and the active Pak then induces more Rac activation. Such regulation may be important for maintaining continuous cell movement.

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  1. Delorme-Walker VD, Peterson JR, Chernoff J, Waterman CM, Danuser G, DerMardirossian C, Bokoch GM. Pak1 regulates focal adhesion strength, myosin IIA distribution, and actin dynamics to optimize cell migration. J Cell Biol. 193(7):1289-303, (2011).
  2. Knaus UG, Morris S, Dong HJ, Chernoff J, Bokoch GM. Regulation of human leukocyte p21-activated kinases through G protein--coupled receptors. Science.269(5221): 221-223, (1995).