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Name: Cody A. Brannan
Position: Student
Research Description:
The Wnt pathway, a key regulator of tumor formation and cell movements during embryo development in vertebrate organisms, divides into two branches, the canonical (beta-catenin) and non-canonical (planar cell polarity, or PCP) pathway. The Wnt/PCP pathway regulates cell movements (convergent extension, or CE), such as those involved in the elongation of the body axis. Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), which consists of regulatory-B, structural-A, and catalytic-C subunits, plays roles in Wnt signaling through the regulatory subunits, specifically B56. B56 isoforms, specifically B56α and B56γ, negatively regulate the Wnt beta-catenin pathway by reducing beta-catenin abundance. Whole embryo data suggests that B56α and B56γ regulate non-canonical Wnt signaling, as reducing B56α or B56γ expression results in embryos with short body axes and bent-back phenotype. Examining when these B56 isoforms play a role in convergent extension via epistasis experiments will aid in understanding their roles in Wnt non-canonical signaling. We expect that B56α and B56γ will act downstream of the mutants that they rescue, but upstream of the mutants they do not rescue. In this way, the point of action of B56α and B56γ in the Wnt pathway can be determined. Knowledge of the point of action of B56α and B56γ in Wnt/PCP signaling will aid in future design of potential cancer therapeutics.

Lab Memberships

Seeling Lab (Undergraduate Student)

Contact Information

Department of Biological Sciences
Sam Houston State University
134 Lee Drain Bldg
1900 Avenue I,
Huntsville, Tx
77340, USA

Personal Phone:  9038120859