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What's New

  • The ATLAS OF INTESTINAL TRANSPORT is LIVE!
  • The Atlas contains microscopic images of intestinal tissues stained by H&E and by immunofluorescence for specific transcellular and paracellular transport proteins. These can be viewed using a powerful virtual microscope. Both human biopsies and mouse tissues are represented in health and selected disease states. A search tool allows images to be filtered based on species, stain, location, patient/mouse ID, and other parameters. - More Info

Our Research

Rho kinase is required for wound closure

Live cell imaging of actin dynamics during purse-string wound closure in EGFP-ß-actin-expressing Caco-2 cells treated with the ROCK inhibitor Y27632. Within minutes of wounding, foci of actin polymerization developed in regions along the wound edge, similar to that seen in wounded monolayers that were not treated with Y27632. However, these site were unstable, a complete actomyosin ring did not form, and cells surrounding the wound did not exhibit any meaningful contraction. Wound edges did not round, and no significant wound closure occurred. Focal filopodial extensions formed, but were transient and did not contribute to wound closure. (Gastroenterology 2005;128:987-1001.)

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Our Goals 

Our interests are focused on how epithelia establish, maintain, and regulate barriers. This fundamental property is essential for survival of multicellular organisms and allows controlled interactions with the external environment and compartmentalization of distinct tissues. The structure that maintains these barriers and regulates flux between cells is the tight junction. The primary goal of our laboratory is to understand the biology of the tight junction.

We take a multidisciplinary approach that integrates cell and developmental biology, transport physiology, electrophysiology, structural biology, molecular biology, and mucosal immunology to define fundamentals of structure and function; understand mechanisms of regulation in vitro and in vivo models; determine the contributions of barrier dysfunction to gastrointestinal disease; understand the role of the epithelial barrier in regulating other mucosal processes, e.g. immune responses; and develop novel means to correct barrier function and restore health.

— Jerrold R. Turner MD, PhD

Jerrold R. Turner, MD, PhD
Departments of Pathology
and Medicine (Gastroenterology)

Brigham and
Women's
Hospital

Harvard
Medical
School

NRB 730
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115