Dr. Richard Nuccitelli
Section of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Office: 3163 Life Sciences Addition
Phone: (916) 752-3152
Fax: (916) 752-7522
Fields of Interest:
There are two main research projects underway in the
laboratory: 1) Investigations into Xenopus laevis egg activation
mechanisms; and 2) Studying the role of endogenous electric currents in
Dr. Nuccitelli uses fluorescence ratio-imaging, confocal
microscopy and electrophysiological techniques, such as patch clamp, to
study the mechanism of egg activation and directed cell motility.
Sperm-induced egg activation stimulates changes in intracellular Ca2+ and
pH in frog eggs which can be monitored in living cells with ion-sensitive
dyes combined with fluorescence ratio-imaging and confocal imaging. The
lab has demonstrated that inositol lipid hydrolysis is required for
sperm-induced Ca2+ release and has identified a sperm surface protein that
is required for sperm-egg binding. This protein binds to the animal
hemisphere plasma membrane and is now being used to purify the egg's sperm
receptor. An eight amino acid disintegrin domain from that protein will
activate eggs when applied locally to the animal hemisphere, suggesting
that there is an integrin involved in sperm-egg binding that might
stimulate a [Ca2+]i increase.
A second major goal is to describe the signal transduction mechanism used
by neural crest cells and keratinocytes as they actively crawl towards the
negative pole of physiological electric fields. These cells can detect
fields as low as 7 mV/mm and respond quickly by directed translocation.
Such responses are important for both embryonic development and wound
healing. Thus far it is clear that Ca2+ influx is an important component
of the response and that protein kinases are involved. Since the lateral
electric field generated by skin wounds is the earliest signal that
wounding has occurred, it is likely that this galvanotactic response of
keratinocytes is the first step in wound healing. Measurement of fields
near wounds in humans is underway to test this hypothesis and to aid in
design of the appropriate electrical stimulus to enhance wound healing.
Nuccitelli, R., (Editor). (1994) A Practical Guide to the
Living Cells. Methods in Cell Biology, vol. 40, Academic Press, San Diego.
Nishimura, K.Y., Isseroff, R.R. and Nuccitelli, R. (1996)
keratinocytes migrate to the negative pole in direct current electric
fields comparable to those measured in mammalian wounds, J. Cell Sci.,
Sheridan, D.M., Isseroff, R.R. and Nuccitelli, R. (1996)
physiological DC electric field alters the migratory response of human
keratinocytes on extracellular matrix molecules. J. Inv. Dermatol.,
Snow, P., Yim, D.L., Leibow, J., Saini, S. and Nuccitelli,
Fertilization stimulates an increase in inositol trisphosphate and
lipid levels in Xenopus eggs. Develop. Biol., 180:108-118.
Meizel, S., Turner, K.O. and Nuccitelli, R. (1997)
wave of increased free calcium during the human sperm acrosome reaction.
Develop. Biol., 182:67-75.
Shilling, F.M., Krätzschmar, J., Cai, H., Weskamp, G.,
J., Myles, D.G., Nuccitelli, R. and Blobel, C.P. (1997) Identification of
metalloprotease/disintegrins in Xenopus laevis testis with a potential
in fertilization. Develop. Biol., 186:155-164
Regulation of Cell Function.
Biology of Fertilization (3) I. Nuccitelli, Meizel, Clark,
Hedrick Lecture--2 hours; term paper. Prerequisite: Biological Sciences
104 or the equivalent, and consent of instructor.
Offered in alternate years. Not open to students who have received credit
for Zoology 225.
Current Techniques in Cell Biology (2) I. Nuccitelli
Lecture--2 hours. Prerequisite: graduate standing; Biological Sciences 104
or the equivalent courses. (Same course as Cell and Developmental
Biology 200.) Not open to students
who have received credit for Zoology 200. (Former course Zoology 200.)
Advanced Developmental Biology (4) II. Erickson, Natzle,
Lecture--2 hours; laboratory--6 hours; written report. Prerequisite:
Biological Sciences 103.
Excites was a
program that united many sources into a three-year leadership program for
K-6 science teachers. Over 75 teachers received training in life, earth
and physical sciences. Sixteen school districts had leadership teams
as participants. The area served by the grant roughly covers a
50-mile circle centered at the California State Capitol.
the project from the Yolo school district's point of view!
Page created April 29, 1997 by Net.Spider
Last updated August 15th, 1997.