A Role for COL11A1 in the Orientation of the Cell Division Axis in Growth Plate Cartilage

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Student Presentation

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Julie Oxford


The extracellular matrix is a complex of biomolecules that control cell growth, differentiation and morphogenesis. Collagen type XI alpha 1 (COL11A1) is an extracellular matrix protein that has an essential role in skeletal development. Although essential, the functional role of COL11A1 in the establishment and maintenance of the tissue architecture is poorly understood. However, in the absence of functional COL11A1, abnormal organization of cells in the growth plate is observed and is associated with a broad range of skeletal defects. We hypothesize that COL11A1 modulates the orientation of the cell division axis by interacting with biomolecules that influence actin dynamics. Based on the above hypothesis, we predict COL11A1 will localize at the plane of cell division during cytokinesis and define the axis of cell division. Understanding the influence of extracellular matrix proteins such as COL11A1 in regulating cell behavior and organization will improve our understanding of the processes required to establish the tissue architecture during development and disease. This knowledge will improve the ability of researchers and clinicians to establish early diagnosis of skeletal development anomalies and further the research directed at the development of therapies for chondrodystrophies.

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