Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Stiffness is a signaling cue in the brain, and neuronal response to stiffness impacts development, injury and disease. Mechanotransduction is the process of cells interpreting and converting mechanical cues to biochemical signals. Tubulin acetylation increases microtubule stability and could be mechanosensitive. The impact of stiffness on tubulin acetylation and role of septins is the focus of this project.It was hypothesized that stiffer surfaces would increase tubulin acetylation. SH-SY5Y cells were plated on varying stiffness and the ratio of acetylated to alpha tubulin was measured using immunocytochemistry. This study found SH-SY5Y cells had the highest acetylation on hard surfaces. SH-SY5Y cells differentiated with retinoic acid had the highest acetylation on soft surfaces. Knockdown of septin9 reduced changes in acetylation due to stiffness. Tubulin acetylation was found to be mechanosensitive in SH-SY5Y cells and septin9 appears involved in this response.

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Creative Commons License
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