George M. Langford

Professor of Biology, University of Massachusetts
Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Massachusetts

G Langford's Biology Web Site

Ph.D.: Illinois Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral Training: University of Pennsylvania

Actin-Dependent Organelle Motors and the Cytoskeleton

My laboratory is interested in the neuronal cytoskeleton and the role actin plays in learning and memory. Our recent studies have shown that the motor for movement of vesicles in neurons is myosin-V. These findings grew out of a series of studies that began with the initial observation that vesicles in the giant axon of the squid move on both microtubules and actin filaments. These initial studies documented the ability of individual vesicles to move from microtubules to actin filaments and led to the development of the dual filaments model of vesicle transport. The model proposes that long-range movement of vesicles occurs on microtubules and short-range movement on actin filaments. Calcium released from the ER vesicles in neurons couples electrical excitation to signal transduction cascades. The signaling cascades are postulated to initiate the cellular mechanisms that lead to learning and memory.

Representative publications:

Wollert, T., DePina, A.S., DeSelm, C.J., Langford, G.M. 2003. Rho-kinase is required for myosin-II-mediated vesicle transport during M-phase in extracts of clam oocytes. Biol. Bull. , 205(2): 195-7.

DeSelm, C.J., Brown, J.R., Lu, R., Langford, G.M. 2003. Rab-GDI inhibits myosin V-dependent vesicle transport in squid giant axon. Biol. Bull. , 205(2): 190-1.

Delacruz, J., Brown, J.R., Langford, G.M. 2003. Interactions between recombinant conventional squid kinesin and native myosin-V. Biol. Bull. , 205(2): 188-90.

Brown, J.R., Stafford, P., Langford, G.M. 2004. Short-range axonal/dendritic transport by myosin-V: A model for vesicle delivery to the synapse. J. Neurobiol. , 58: 175-88.

Deselm, C.J., Lu, R., Cheney, C.M., Langford, G.M. 2004. Identification of novel Myosin-v binding partners by immunoprecipitation and column chromatography. Biol. Bull. , 207(2): 164.

You, S.M., Cheney, C., Swiatecka-Urban, A., Langford, G.M. 2004. Role of rab GTPases in recruitment of Myosin- v to vesicles of squid giant axon. Biol. Bull. , 207(2): 163.

Flores, J.P., Lee, Y.L., Langford, G.M. 2004. Isolation of the Myosin-v/kinesin heteromotor complex by sucrose gradient fractionation. Biol. Bull. , 207(2): 163.

Swiatecka-Urban, A., Boyd, C., Coutermarsh, B., Karlson, K.H., Barnaby, R., Aschenbrenner, L., Langford, G.M. , Hasson, T., Stanton, B.A. 2004. Myosin VI regulates endocytosis of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. J. Biol. Chem. 279 .