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Patrick Belvitch, MD LAB

Cytoskeletal Regulation and Function in Endothelial Biology Heading link

Cytoskeletal Regulation and Function in Endothelial Biology

Grants: K08 National Institutes of Health / NHLBI – Protein Regulation and Cytoskeletal Dynamics of Pulmonary Endothelial Barrier Function.

Presentations: CARMIL1 Regulates Pulmonary Endothelial Barrier Function. P Belvitch, R Demeritte, JGN Garcia, SM Dudek. Accepted for presentation at ATS 2020 in Philadelphia.


My lab investigates the biology of pulmonary vascular leak and its role in causing the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a devastating clinical condition characterized by flooding of the normally air filled alveolar space with protein rich edema fluid. The pathologic mechanisms causing edema formation are poorly understood and there remains no specific treatment. We study the problem with a focus on pulmonary endothelial barrier function which is lost during ARDS. Endothelial cytoskeletal structure and dynamics are critical to the formation, maintenance and repair of barrier integrity. Many different interacting signaling molecules, kinases and structural proteins are responsible for changes in cell membrane shape and interactions with neighboring cells to ultimately determine endothelial permeability. The lab employs numerous in vitro and in vivo models and techniques to better understand the endothelial processes underlying vascular leak with the goal of identifying potential therapeutic targets to lessen the burden of ARDS.


Selected Key Publications

1. Belvitch P, Brown, ME, Brinley B Letsiou E, Rizzo AN, Garcia, JGN and Dudek S.M. The ARP 2/3 complex mediates endothelial barrier function and recovery. Pulm Circ. 2017 Feb 1;7(1):200-210.

2. Belvitch P, Adyshev D, Elangovan VR1, Brown ME, Naureckas C, Rizzo AN, Siegler JH, Garcia JG, Dudek SM. Proline-rich region of non-muscle myosin light chain kinase modulates kinase activity and endothelial cytoskeletal dynamics. Microvascular Research. 2014 Jul 27;95C:94-102.

3. Belvitch P, Htwe YM, Brown ME, Dudek S.M. Cortical Actin Dynamics in Endothelial Permeability. Curr Top Membr. 2018;82:141-195.

4. Belvitch P and Dudek, S.M. Role of FAK in S1P-Regulated Endothelial Permeability. Microvascular Research. 2012 Jan;83(1):22-30.