Dr. Prosser and colleagues found that stretching a heart cell triggers the generation of reactive oxygen species that regulate intracellular calcium signals, a pathway termed X-ROS signaling. This mechanotransduction pathway couples intracellular signaling to the workload placed on the heart, allowing rapid feedback in the face of changing mechanical demands.
Image: While in healthy cells this allows the tuning of calcium signals in response to changing mechanical stress, in heart disease stretch can trigger calcium waves that are linked to the generation of arrhythmia.
Microtubules in Diseases of Striated Muscle
A major focus of the lab is in determining how alterations in the microtubule cytoskeleton contribute to pathology in cardiac and skeletal muscle disease. Our group has demonstrated the important role of the microtubule cytoskeleton (yellow) in transmitting mechanical stress to intracellular ROS and calcium signals. We also demonstrated how changes in the microtubule network can lead to detrimental mechanosignaling in muscle disease.
Image: Cover from Science Signaling 2013.