Moriah R. Beck



  • Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2007

Principal Research Interests

My research seeks to understand transformations of the actin cytoskeleton that occur in both normal and invasive motility. Of particular interest are the strategies employed by actin binding proteins to promote invasive cell motility associated with metastatic cancer progression. The majority of my laboratory’s efforts are directed at defining the molecular mechanisms involving regulation of F-actin structures by palladin. We use a multi-disciplinary approach that combines biochemistry, mutagenesis, structural biology, and single molecule microscopy to study these problems from the molecular to cellular level. Our work includes defining the structure and function of individual purified proteins and reconstituting more complex multi-component activities and interactions. The Beck Lab also thrives to understand protein function in the context of living cells through multiple collaborations with cell biologists.

Representative Publications

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  1. Dhanda, A.S., Vogl, A.W., Albraiki, S.E., Otey, C.A., Beck, M.R., Guttman, J.A. (2018) Palladin compensates for the Arp2/3 complex and supports actin structures during Listeria infections. MBio. 9(2): e02259-17 PMID: 29636431
  2. Ayella, A. Beck, M.R. (2018) A course-based undergraduate research experience investigating the consequences of non-conserved mutations in lactate dehydrogenase.  Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. doi: 10.1002/bmb.21115 PMID: 29512279
  3. Yadav, R., Vattepu, R., Beck, M.R. (2016) Phosphoinositide binding inhibits actin crosslinking and polymerization by palladin. Journal of Molecular Biology. 428(20): 4031-4047 PMID: 27487483
  4. Gurung, R., Yadav, R., Brungardt, J.G., Orlova, A., Egelman, E.H., Beck, M.R. (2016) Actin polymerization is stimulated by actin crosslinking protein palladin. Biochem J. 473(4): n383-96. PMID: 26607837
  5. Elsarraj, H.S., Hong, Y., Valdez, K.E., Michaels, W., Hook, M., Smith, W.P., Chien, J., Herschkowitz, J.I., Troester, M.A., Beck, M.R., Inciardi, M., Gatewood, J., May, L., Cusick, T., McGinness, M., Ricci, L., Fan, F., Tawfik, O., Marks, J.R., Knapp, J.R., Yeh, H.W., Thomas, P., Carrasco, D.R., Fields, T.A., Godwin, A.K., Behbod, F. (2015) Expression profiling of in vivo ductal carcinoma in situ progression models identified B cell lymphoma-9 as a molecular driver of breast cancer invasion. Breast Cancer Res. 17: 128-. PMID: 26384318
  6. Thompson, P.M., Beck, M.R., Campbell, S.L. (2015) Protein-Protein Interaction Analysis by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Methods in Molecular Biology 1278: 267-279. PMID: 25859955
  7. Vattepu, R., Yadav, R., Beck, M.R. (2015) Actin-induced dimerization of palladin promotes actin-bundling. Protein Sci. 24: 70-80. PMID: 25307943
  8. Beck, M.R., Dixon, R.D., Goicoechea, S.M., Murphy, G.S., Brungardt, J.G., Beam, M.T., Srinath, P., Mohiuddin,J., Otey, C.A. and Campbell, S.L. (2013) Structure and function of palladin’s actin binding domain. J Mol Biol. 425: 3325-3337. PMID: 23806659
  9. Beck, MR, Otey, CA, Campbell, SL (2011) Structural characterization of the interactions between palladin and alpha-actinin. J Mol Biol. 413(3): 712-725. PMID: 21925511