Richard O. McCann, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Director, Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program & Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development (Macon Campus)

Richard McCann
Office:  478-301-4066

Education Background

B.S. Biochemistry
Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, 1995

Previous Positions

  • American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Instructor, Johns Hopkins University College of Arts and Sciences
  • Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Current Research

The Core Adhesome in the Origins of Animal Multicellularity.Despite its importance as one of the major transitions in evolution, little is known about the molecular and cellular origins of multicellularity. We are using several newly established model organisms that are sister groups of animals to address the roles of cell adhesion in the origins of animal multicellularity. These organisms (choanoflagellates, Fungi, Apusozoa, and Filasterea) have an ancient core adhesome consisting of talin, vinculin, integrin, and paxillin. We are using proteomics, biochemistry, and cell biology to determine how and where these proteins interact with one another, with the goal of reconstructing the "simple" adhesome interaction network in these model organisms and showing how this core led to the "complex" adhesome of metazoans. The goal of this research is to increase our understanding of the evolutionary cell biology at the base of the metazoan radiation.

Cell adhesion in Assembly and Remodeling of the Vertebrate Heart. Cell adhesion mediated by integrin-linked adhesomes is essential for the assembly of the vertebrate heart during embryonic development and for the remodeling of the heart after damage due to heart disease. We are studying the roles of talin and vinculin in heart assembly/remodeling in the zebrafish with the goal of describing the cellular mechanisms responsible for adhesion between cardiomyocytes in normal and damaged heart muscle.

Laboratory Alumni

Melissa Senetar, PhD. University of Kentucky, 2005. Assistant Professor, Berea College.

Richard Singiser, PhD. University of Kentucky, 2008. Associate Professor, Clayton State University.

Steven Smith, PhD. University of Kentucky, 2008. Staff Scientist, National Cancer Institute.

Mark Wurth, MD-PhD. University of Kentucky, 2008.

Kristina Talbert-Slagle, BS. University of Kentucky, 2001. PhD, Yale, 2011.

Josh Johnson, BS. University of Kentucky, 2004. MD, University of Kentucky, 2008.

Bryan P. Hendren, BS. University of Kentucky, 2005. MD, West Virginia University, 2009.

Jorjeta Ilieva, BS. Mercer University, 2011. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology. First Prize, Southeastern Regional Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society Meeting, April 2011.

Alexandria Oliver, BS. Mercer University, 2013. University of Louisville. First Prize, Basic Research Presentation, Student National Medical Association Annual Meeting, March 2013.

Representative Publications

Haining Zhu, J. Zhao, B. Zhu, J. Collazo, J. Gal, P. Shi, Liu L, A.L. Ström, X. Lu, Richard O. McCann, M. Toborek, and N. Kyprianou (2012). EMMPRIN regulates cytoskeleton reorganization and cell adhesion in prostate cancer. Prostate 72: 72-81.

Mark A. Wurth, Rachel M. Schowalter, Everett C. Smith, Carole L. Moncman, Rebecca E. Dutch and Richard O. McCann (2010). The actin cytoskeleton inhibits pore expansion during PIV5 fusion protein-promoted cell-cell fusion. Virology 15: 117-126.

Shinichi Sakamoto, Richard O. McCann, Rajiv Dhir, and Natasha Kyprianou (2010). Talin1 Promotes Tumor Invasion and Metastasis via Focal Adhesion Signaling and Anoikis Resistance. Cancer Research, 70: 1885-1895.

Steven J. Smith and Richard O. McCann (2007). A C-terminal dimerization motif is required for focal adhesion targeting of Talin1 and the interaction of the Talin1 I/LWEQ module with F-actin. Biochemistry, 46: 10886-10898.

Melissa A. Senetar, Carole L. Moncman, and Richard O. McCann (2007). Talin2 is induced during striated muscle differentiation and is targeted to stable adhesion complexes in mature muscle. Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton 64: 157-173.

Richard H. Singiser and Richard O. McCann (2006).Evidence that talin alternative splice variants from Ciona intestinalis have different roles in cell adhesion. BMC Cell Biology 7: 40 ( Cover article: Image of the Month, January 2007.

Santos J. Franco*, Melissa A. Senetar*, William T.N. Simonson, Anna Huttenlocher, and Richard O. McCann (2006).The conserved I/LWEQ module targets Talin1 to focal adhesions. Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton 63: 563-581. * First two authors made equal contributions to this work.

Rachel M. Schowalter, Mark A. Wurth, H.C. Aguilar, B. Lee, Carole L. Moncman, Richard O. McCann and Rebecca Ellis Dutch (2006). Rho GTPase activity modulates paramxyovirus fusion protein-mediated cell fusion. Virology 350: 323-334.Cover article.

Melissa A. Senetar and Richard O. McCann (2005). Gene duplication and functional divergence during evolution of the cytoskeletal linker protein talin. Gene 362: 141-152.

Kelly A. Meulendyke, Mark A. Wurth, Richard O. McCann, and Rebecca Ellis Dutch (2005). Endocytosis plays a critical role in proteolytic processing of the Hendra virus fusion protein.J. Virology 79:12643-12649.

Melissa A. Senetar, Stanley J. Foster, and Richard O. McCann (2004).Intrasteric inhibition mediates the interaction of the I/LWEQ module proteins Talin1, Talin2, Hip1, and Hip12 with actin.Biochemistry, 43: 15418-15428.

Richard O. McCann and S.W. Craig (1999). Functional genomic analysis reveals the utility of the I/LWEQ module as a predictor of protein:actin interaction. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 266, 135-140.

Richard O. McCann and S.W. Craig (1997). The I/LWEQ module: a conserved sequence that signifies F-actin binding in functionally diverse proteins from yeast to mammals. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94, 5679-5684.

Allison Poole, Tim Poore, Sricharan Bandhakavi, Richard O. McCann, David E. Hanna, and Claiborne V.C. Glover (2005). A global view of CK2 function and regulation.Mol. Cell. Biochem. 274: 163-170.

Sricharan Bhandikavi*, Richard O. McCann*, David E. Hanna, and Claiborne V.C. Glover (2003).A positive feedback loop between protein kinase CKII and Cdc37 promotes the activity of multiple protein kinases.J. Biol. Chem. 278: 2829-2836. (*) First two authors made equal contributions to this work.

Sricharan Bhandikavi*, Richard O. McCann*, David E. Hanna, and Claiborne V.C. Glover (2003).Genetic interactions among ZDS1,2, CDC37, and Protein Kinase CK2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.FEBS Letters 554: 295-300. (*) First two authors made equal contributions to this work.

I. Dotan, E. Ziv, N. Dafni, J.S. Beckman, Richard O. McCann, C.S. Rubin, C.V.C. Glover, and D. Canaani (2001). Functional conservation between the human, nematode, and yeast CK2 cell cycle genes.Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 288, 603-609.

Ashok P. Bidwai, Amit Saxena, Wenfan Zhao, Richard O. McCann, and Claiborne V.C. Glover (2000). Multiple, Closely Spaced Alternative 5' Exons in the DmCKIIbeta Gene of Drosophila melanogaster. Mol. Cell. Biol. Res. Commun. 3, 283-291.