Focus Areas

The McNiven laboratory is investigating cellular membrane and cytoskeletal interactions as they relate to cancer metastasis. Specifically, this program is focused on the cellular mechanisms supporting fatty liver and the invasive processes exhibited by pancreatic and hepatic cancers.

Cell migration and invasion

Many types of cancers spread to distant organs in the body by migration through blood vessel walls. The lab is investigating how specific proteins interact to regulate cytoskeletal and membrane dynamics during tumor cell migration.

Endocytosis and secretion

All cells of the liver and pancreas secrete nascent proteins into the extracellular space to maintain normal organ function, while internalizing scores of different trophic growth factors, receptors and pathogens. The lab's focus is to understand the mechanistic basis of these important processes in healthy and diseased cells.

  • Dyn2-cortactin-arp2/3 complex in waves

  • Dyn2 binds γ-tubulin and participates in centrosome cohesion

  • Hepatocytes internalize receptors at large endocytic "Hot Spots"

  • CIN85 phosphorylation is essential for EGFR ubiquitination and sorting into MVBs

  • Dyn2 mediates fluid-phase micropinocytosis