Elizabeth E. Brown

Elizabeth E. BrownElizabeth E. Brown, Ph.D. (U Washington, 1981)

Senior Research Associate; Instructor

Research Interests

We are studying early events in the development of the embryonic body plan. Embryogenesis commences with a series of rapid cell divisions, resulting in regional distinctions in cell properties, even before the zygotic genome is activated. Inductive interactions between blastomeres of different regions are responsible for the determination of new cell layers, including the prospective mesoderm. With these interactions in mind, we have been interested in the role played by the tremendous addition of new membrane occurring between cells during early cleavages in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. Using confocal laser scanning microscopy we have discovered the importance of microtubules in the addition of new membrane to cleavage furrows. We suggest that a microtubule-dependent mechanism is used to deposit specific membrane-bound vesicles, containing receptors involved in embryonic induction, between embryonic blastomeres. Our current study of cytokinesis focuses not only on membrane dynamics, but also on the relationship between microtubule function and that of other cytoskeletal elements during early cleavage.

Representative Publications

Danilchik, M., Brown, E., Bedrick, S., and Ray, K. 2003. Microtubules and localized exocytosis in Xenopus cleavage. J. Cell Science 116: 273-283. http://jcs.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/116/2/273

Danilchik, M., Brown, E., Larkin, K., Ray, K. 1999. Applications of confocal microscopy to study the roles of the cytoskeleton during early embryogenesis in amphibians. Microscopy and Microanalysis 5, 1076-1077.

Danilchik, M.V., Funk, W.C., Brown, E.E., and Larkin, K. 1998. Requirement for microtubules in new membrane formation during cytokinesis of Xenopus embryos. Dev. Biol. 194, 47-60.

Brown, E.E., Margelot, K.M. and Danilchik, M.V. 1994. Provisional bilateral symmetry in Xenopus eggs is established during maturation. Zygote 2, 213-220.

Brown, E.E.
, Denegre, J.M. and Danilchik, M.V. 1993. Deep cytoplasmic rearrangements of early Xenopus development are reduced in ventralized embryos. Devel. Biol. 160, 148-156.