Cell Biology and Biochemistry
Jeffrey H. Thomas, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1997
Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
3601 4th Street, Mail Stop 6540
Lubbock, TX 79430
Phone: (806) 743-4219
Fax: (806) 743-2990
Morphogenesis, embryonic development, tissue folding, cell shape change, gastrulation,
actomyosin dynamics, cytoskeleton, signal transduction.
Morphogenesis of the cephalic furrow
In this project, we study the cell shape changes and tissue movements involved in
cephalic furrow formation during Drosophila gastrulation. During cephalic furrow formation, the cellular blastoderm invaginates into the embryo
as a simple fold, retaining its epithelial character. We are investigating the morphogenetic processes and forces involved in remodeling
the embryonic blastoderm during cephalic furrow formation. We are also taking a genetic approach to identify the genes that control this process.
We have identified several genes and are currently analyzing their cellular functions.
Regulation of microfilament dynamics during development
In this project, we study the role of actomyosin dynamics during cellularization,
the process of forming cells in the multinucleate Drosophila embryo. During this stage of development, a lattice-like network of interconnected microfilament
rings encompasses the entire embryo. We have found that src64 is involved in regulating the contraction of these microfilament rings. We are currently taking a genetic approach to investigate how nonmuscle myosin II
is regulated during cellularization.
Src64 signaling during Drosophila development
In this project, we study signal transduction by Src64, a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase
homologous to vertebrate src. We are investigating the functions of Src64 signaling in the development of the Drosophila
embryo. We are also investigating fundamental aspects of tyrosine kinase signaling by analyzing
mutations that alter Src64 signaling activity and by identifying other proteins that
participate in Src64-mediated signaling pathways.
- Taylor C. Strong, Gurvinder Kaur and Jeffrey H. Thomas. (2011). Mutations in the catalytic loop HRD motif alter the activity and function
of Drosophila Src64. PLoS ONE 6: e28100. PubMed
- Taylor C. Strong and Jeffrey H. Thomas. (2011). Maternal and zygotic requirements for src64 during Drosophila cellularization. Genesis 49: 912-918. PubMed
- Jeffrey H. Thomas and Eric Wieschaus. (2004). src64 and tec29 are required for microfilament contraction during Drosophila cellularization. Development 131: 863-871. PubMed
- Jeffrey H. Thomas, Craig J. Ceol, Hillel T. Schwartz and H. Robert Horvitz. (2003). New genes that interact with lin-35 Rb to negatively regulate the let-60 ras pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics 164: 135-151. PubMed
- Jeffrey H. Thomas and H. Robert Horvitz. (1999). The C. elegans gene lin-36 acts cell autonomously in the lin-35 Rb pathway. Development 126: 3449-3459. PubMed