James Mulrooney, Ph.D
My research interests concern the role of cell to cell adhesions during the migration of parietal endoderm, the first migratory cells in a developing embryo. Specifically my laboratory investigates members of the nectin and cadherin families, two proteins involved in the formation of adherens junctions. The current model suggests that nectin establishes an adhesion and then recruits cadherins to the same site to create the adherens junction. Data from our laboratory suggest that these adhesions serve to orient the cell and provide directional cues during migration. We use the F9 teratocarcinoma cell line as a model system, which allows us to examine the cellular interactions during the earliest stages of development.