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The Gurdon Institute


2018 GallopJenny Gallop PhD, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow, Member of the Department of Biochemistry

Gallop Group websiteEurope PMC | Pubmed





Signalling to the actin cytoskeleton

How do cells control their movement? Cells move during embryonic development and throughout the life of an organism. When they move, cells reorganize a system of filaments - the actin cytoskeleton - that gives them their shape and exerts force on the surrounding tissues. When regulation of the actin cytoskeleton is disrupted it can lead to cancer metastasis, intellectual disability, kidney dysfunction and other problems. 

We study how the actin cytoskeleton is assembled in different ways. The cell membrane is an important site of control of actin rearrangements because it is the boundary between the outside and inside of the cell and is responsible for initiating communication between and within cells, which is called signalling.

We have developed cell-free systems using phospholipid bilayers and frog egg extracts that allow us to find out how signalling lipids in the cell membrane precisely control the molecular events of actin assembly. We use combine these cell-free systems with the use of fruit flies, frog embryos and cultured human cells to test and generate hypotheses about the molecular events underlying actin regulation during development and disease.


Selected publications:

• Jarsch IK, Gadsby JR, Nuccitelli A, Mason J, Shimo H, Pilloux L, Marzook B, Mulvey CM, Dobramysl U, Bradshaw CR, Lilley KS, Hayward RD, Vaughan TJ, Dobson CL, Gallop JL. (2020) A direct role for SNX9 in the biogenesis of filopodia. J Cell Biol. 219 (4): e201909178. 

• Dobramysl U*, Jarsch IK*, Shimo H*, Inoue Y*, Richier B, Gadsby JR, Mason J, Walrant A, Butler R, Hannezo E, Simons BD & Gallop J. Constrained actin dynamics emerges from variable compositions of actin regulatory protein complexes. bioRxiv 525725; doi:

• Richier B*, Inoue Y*, Dobramysl U, Friedlander J, Brown NH, Gallop JL. (2018) Integrin signaling downregulates filopodia during muscle-tendon attachment. J Cell Sci. Aug 16;131(16).

• Daste F*, Walrant A*, Holst MR*, Gadsby JR*, Mason J, Lee JE, Brook D, Mettlen M, Larsson E, Lee SF, Lundmark R, Gallop JL. (2017) Control of actin polymerization via the coincidence of phosphoinositides and high membrane curvature. J Cell Biol. 216: 3745-3765.

• Urbančič V, Butler R, Richier B, Peter M, Mason J, Livesey FJ, Holt CE, Gallop JL. (2017) Filopodyan: An open-source pipeline for the analysis of filopodia. J Cell Biol. 216: 3405-3422.

• Gallop JL, Walrant A, Cantley LC, Kirschner MW. (2013) Phosphoinositides and membrane curvature switch the mode of actin polymerization via selective recruitment of toca-1 and Snx9. Proc Natl Acad Sci 110: 7193-7198

• Lee K*, Gallop JL*, Rambani K, Kirschner MW. (2010) Self-assembly of filopodia-like structures on supported lipid bilayers. Science, 329:1341-1345.

• McMahon HT, Gallop JL. (2005) Membrane curvature and mechanisms of dynamic cell membrane remodelling. Nature. 438: 590-596.

*joint first authors

Gallop group (Nov18 to Feb19)


Thomas Blake • Jonathan Gadsby • Pantelis Savvas Ioannou • Julia Mason • Pankti Vaishnav

Video: Meet Jenny Gallop

Jenny explains the key focus of her research in this video, including an animation and shots of the lab.

Watch on YouTube >