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Conducting a phenotypic screen by phage display, Jarsch, Gadsby and colleagues use antibodies to identify the actin regulator SNX9 as an essential component of filopodia-like structures in vitro and its localisation to filopodia in human cells

A direct role for SNX9 in the biogenesis of filopodia

Jarsch IK et al. (2020) J Cell Biol  219 (4): e201909178.

DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201909178


Summary from the paper

Filopodia are finger-like actin-rich protrusions that extend from the cell surface and are important for cell-cell communication and pathogen internalization. The small size and transient nature of filopodia combined with shared usage of actin regulators within cells confounds attempts to identify filopodial proteins. Here, we used phage display phenotypic screening to isolate antibodies that alter the actin morphology of filopodia-like structures in vitro.

Gallop Jarsch SNX9 

We found that all of the antibodies that cause shorter FLS interact with SNX9, an actin regulator that binds phosphoinositides during endocytosis and at invadopodia. In cells, we discover SNX9 at specialized filopodia in Xenopus development and that SNX9 is an endogenous component of filopodia that are hijacked by Chlamydia entry. We show the use of antibody technology to identify proteins used in filopodia-like structures, and a role for SNX9 in filopodia.


Read about collaborator Richard Hayward in the Department of Pathology.

Read more about research in the Gallop lab.

Watch Jenny Gallop describe her research in this short YouTube video.

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Studying development to understand disease

The Gurdon Institute is funded by Wellcome and Cancer Research UK to study the biology of development, and how normal growth and maintenance go wrong in cancer and other diseases.

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