Purpose of the STSM: The cell–matrix interactions are crucial for normal biological processes and their disruption can
lead to pathological processes. In particular, the biological importance of these interactions in skeletal muscle is accentuated by the number of muscle diseases, such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), caused by defects in proteins involved in these interactions and considered mechanotransduction disorders.
The applicant’s lab (Biomedical Research Networking Centre in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine, CIBER-BBN), has discovered that the use of ultra-low doses of boron is a promising strategy for the treatment of muscular dystrophies, in particular DMD, promoting muscle differentiation in vitro and muscle repair in vivo. Tehir results are based on the assumption that boron transporter, NaBC1, may be a novel mechanotransducer. They have described that NaBC1 has additional roles besides controlling boron homeostasis, participating in promoting the intracellular signalling after its activation in combination with fibronectin-binding integrins and cooperating with other membrane receptors such as growth factor receptors (GFR).

With this STSM, they aimed to explore the combined activation of the NaBC1, integrins and GFR, using synthetic cell
microenvironments that simultaneously present boron and cell adhesion domains from the solid-phase. We used the ultra-resolution confocal microscopy at the university of Glasgow to decipher NaBC1-integrin-GFR co-localisation and further follow boron intracellular tracking.

Grantee name: Patricia Rico Tortosa

STSM start and end date: 16/10/2022 to 26/10/2022

Title:Deciphering the functional coupling of boron transporter/integrins/GFR in mucle cells

Host lab: Prof. Manuel Salmerón Sánchez, Centre for the Cellular Microenvironment (Glasgow, GB)