Purinergic Regulation of Epithelial Stress Responses

This is an image of an epithelial scratch wound.

This is an image of an epithelial scratch wound. The fluorescence intensity at the wound margins correlates with local ATP concentration.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) not only is a vital source of energy for cellular metabolism but also is an important agonist of membrane repair and a mediator of a cell's response to stress. Dr. Hubmayr and his team use a traction microscopy workstation as a means for correlating the topographical distributions of ATP release. This is measured with a cell-based bioluminescence assay with information on cell integrity and the topographical distribution of epithelial mechanical properties.

Experiments in this area allow researchers in the lab to screen the wound healing of various purine agonists, many of which are currently in use for other indications.