Previn Ganesan Rose Hills
IQGAP's Mechanism and Role in Vascular Function
In asthma, contraction of the airway smooth muscle leads to increased work of breathing and respiratory failure. Smooth muscle contraction is regulated by the GTPase RhoA, whose active form inactivates myosin light chain phosphatase. The inactivation of MLC phosphatase then sensitizes smooth muscle to Ca++ within the cytosol and leads to smooth muscle contraction. In preliminary data, we have found that IQGAP1 affects RhoA activity by acting as a scaffold for the recruitment of a known inhibitor of RhoA activityp190A-RhoGAP. This summer, I propose experiments that will further test the hypothesis that IQGAP1 inhibits RhoA activity through p190A-RhoGAP. These experiments will provide new information on the molecular determinants of airway smooth muscle contraction, which could ultimately provide therapeutic targets for the treatment of airway smooth muscle contraction in asthma.