Victoria Frank


Victoria Frank
BA, Biological Science
Connecticut College
New London, CT
MS Student in Pharmacology & Drug Development
Athar Chishti, PhD, Adviser





My research investigates the role of Gα13 SRI in the migratory mechanism(s) of prostate cancer cells. The widely distributed G protein, Gα13, is involved in activating oncogenic targets involved in metastasis. Switch region 1 (SRI), a 17aa motif located within the conformationally-sensitive domain of Gα13, is involved in G protein activation as well as binding and activating a variety of Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs). RhoGEFs in turn activate GTPases such as RhoA, which promotes cellular processes including cell migration and cytoskeletal rearrangements. I plan to elucidate the role of SRI by testing the effect of novel peptides that bind and occupy RhoGEF binding sites, preventing the activation of RhoA by endogenous Gα13SRI. These studies will help to better understand a key role of Gα13 in the regulation of metastatic cascade, and can aid in the development of anti-metastatic therapeutics for prostate cancer.

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