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author:("wane, Susan")
1.  Optimising parameters for the differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells to study cell adhesion and cell migration 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:366.
Cell migration is a fundamental biological process and has an important role in the developing brain by regulating a highly specific pattern of connections between nerve cells. Cell migration is required for axonal guidance and neurite outgrowth and involves a series of highly co-ordinated and overlapping signalling pathways. The non-receptor tyrosine kinase, Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) has an essential role in development and is the most highly expressed kinase in the developing CNS. FAK activity is essential for neuronal cell adhesion and migration.
The objective of this study was to optimise a protocol for the differentiation of the neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y. We determined the optimal extracellular matrix proteins and growth factor combinations required for the optimal differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells into neuronal-like cells and determined those conditions that induce the expression of FAK. It was confirmed that the cells were morphologically and biochemically differentiated when compared to undifferentiated cells. This is in direct contrast to commonly used differentiation methods that induce morphological differentiation but not biochemical differentiation.
We conclude that we have optimised a protocol for the differentiation of SH-SY5Y cells that results in a cell population that is both morphologically and biochemically distinct from undifferentiated SH-SY5Y cells and has a distinct adhesion and spreading pattern and display extensive neurite outgrowth. This protocol will provide a neuronal model system for studying FAK activity during cell adhesion and migration events.
PMCID: PMC3847106  PMID: 24025096
Cell migration; Cell adhesion; Neurite outgrowth; Focal adhesion kinase; SH-SY5Y cells
2.  Tools used to study how protein complexes are assembled in signaling cascades 
Bioengineered Bugs  2011;2(5):247-259.
Most proteins do not function on their own but as part of large signaling complexes that are arranged in every living cell in response to specific environmental cues. Proteins interact with each other either constitutively or transiently and do so with different affinity. When identifying the role played by a protein inside a cell, it is essential to define its particular cohort of binding partners so that the researcher can predict what signaling pathways the protein is engaged in. Once identified and confirmed, the information might allow the interaction to be manipulated by pharmacological inhibitors to help fight disease.
PMCID: PMC3225741  PMID: 22002082
cell signaling; protein complexes; protein-protein interactions; affinity tagging; co-immunoprecipitation; peptide array technology

Results 1-2 (2)