Dr Nasreen Akhtar
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
Lecturer in Developmental Cell Biology
+44 114 215 9059
Full contact details
Department of Oncology and Metabolism
JW4/60, Level 4
Tree Root Walk
I completed my PhD and my first post-doctoral position at the University of Birmingham, School of Cancer Sciences and School of Biosciences respectively, followed by a Senior Scientist position at the University of Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences.
In 2013, I joined the University of Sheffield, Medical School as a Thomas-Berry & Simpson Fellow to establish an independent research career and in September 2018 I became a Lecturer.
- Research interests
My lab focuses on how cell-matrix adhesions and Rho family GTPases regulate epithelial polarity and morphogenesis of normal breast tissue and how these signals are subverted in breast cancer.
We are studying the mechanisms by which integrin signals guide tissue morphogenesis at three levels: First, how integrins instruct epithelial cells to polarize and form lumen spaces within tissues; second, how integrin-mediated mechanical forces engineer the morphogenetic tissue shapes of a branched epithelium and third, how integrins direct the spatial ordering of different mammary cell lineages to form the correct tissue structure.
Mammary tissue forms a network of branched ducts connected to alveoli with hollow lumens, similar to many other secretory organs. We use Cre-LoxP genetic deletion both in vivo and in primary 3D organoid cultures of mammary epithelia, to unravel the relative contribution of integrins and GTPases to mammary tissue organization and function.
- β1 integrin is a sensor of blood flow direction. Journal of Cell Science. View this article in WRRO
- Hijacking a Morphogenesis Proteinase for Cancer Cell Invasion. Developmental Cell, 47(2), 135-137. View this article in WRRO
- Rac1 Controls Both the Secretory Function of the Mammary Gland and Its Remodeling for Successive Gestations.. Developmental Cell, 38(5), 522-535. View this article in WRRO
- An integrin-ILK-microtubule dependent network orients polarity and lumen formation in glandular epithelium. Nature Cell Biology.
- Specific β-containing integrins exert differential control on proliferation and two-dimensional collective cell migration in mammary epithelial cells.
- Co-localization of Rac1 and E-Cadherin in human epidermal keratinocytes. Cell Communication and Adhesion.
- Signal co-operation between integrins and other receptor systems. Biochemical Journal, 418, 491.
- Molecular dissection of integrin signalling proteins in the control of mammary epithelial development and differentiation. Development, 136(6), 1019-1027.
- Rac1 links integrin-mediated adhesion to the control of lactational differentiation in mammary epithelia. Journal of Cell Biology, 173(5), 781-793.
- A role for the cytoskeleton in prolactin-dependent mammary epithelial cell differentiation. Journal of Cell Science, 117(2), 271-280.
- The p85 subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase is associated with beta-catenin in the cadherin-based adhesion complex. Biochemical Journal.
- RAC1 Regulates Adherens Junctions through Endocytosis of E-Cadherin. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 12(4), 847-862.
- Cell Vacuolation Induced by the VacA Cytotoxin of Helicobacter pylori Is Regulated by the Rac1 GTPase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 275(19), 14009-14012.
- Visualizing muscle cell migration in situ. Current Biology, 10(10), 576-585.
- Epidermal growth factor-regulated signal tranduction in hormone dependent and independent breast cancer. Biochemical Society Transactions, 24(3), 373S-373S.
- Research group
- Mai Shafei (Research Associate)
- Matthew Fisher (Technician)
- Priya Narayanan (PhD student)
- Aida Aide Luna Perez (PhD student).
Medical Research Council
Thomas, Berry and Simpson Fellowship
- Teaching interests
I teach on the MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Medicine and I am Deputy Module Lead on the Research Skills module within this course.