Christopher Turner profile picture
315 464-8598

Christopher Turner, PhD

1297 Weiskotten Hall
766 Irving Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210
Christopher Turner's email address generated as an image


Distinguished Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology





Biomedical Sciences Program
Cancer Research Program
Cell and Developmental Biology


Regulation of cell migration by focal adhesion adapter proteins and their role in cancer cell metastasis.


PhD: University of Oxford, England, 1986




The dynamic adhesion of cells to their surrounding extracellular matrix provides many of the environmental cues necessary for controlling cell migration and cell shape, survival, proliferation and differentiation. These fundamental events regulate an organism’s normal development, maintenance and recovery from injury and infection. Defects in the signaling pathways associated with cell adhesion provide the basis for cell transformation and cancer cell metastasis, various developmental defects and cardiovascular disease.

My lab uses a multi-faceted approach combining biochemistry, cell and molecular biology and various high-end microscopy techniques along with mouse knockout and tumor models to determine the molecular organization of the proteins that are involved in cell adhesion and thereby understand how they each contribute to cell behavior in vivo. We are particularly interested in characterizing the function of the molecular scaffold/adapter proteins Paxillin and it's close relative Hic-5 during tumor cell migration and invasion. We have found that these multi-domain proteins bind numerous structural and signaling proteins including kinases, phosphatases and Rho family GTPase regulators and effectors. We hypothesize that it is through these various interactions that the cell coordinates intracellular signaling and cytoskeletal reorganization to regulate cell adhesion, migration and tumor invasion.

Selected References

Turner, C.E., (2000) Paxillin and focal adhesion signaling. Nature Cell Biol., 2 E231-6.

Brown, M.C. and Turner, C.E. (2004) Paxillin-Adapting to change. Physiol. Revs. 84, 1315-1339.

Deakin, N.O. and Turner. C.E. (2011) Paxillin and Hic-5 cooperate to regulate breast cancer cell plasticity, invasion and metastasis. Mol. Biol Cell 22 327-341.

Deakin, N.O. and Turner, C.E. (2014) Paxillin interacts with and inhibits HDAC6 in normal and malignant Cells to regulate microtubule acetylation, Golgi structural integrity and polarized migration J. Cell Biol. 206 395-413.

Dubois, F., Alpha, K. and Turner, C.E. (2017) Paxillin Regulates Cell Polarization and Anterograde Vesicle Trafficking during Cell Migration. Mol. Biol. Cell 28 3815-3831.

Goreczny, G.J., Forsythe, I. and Turner, C.E. (2018) Hic-5 Regulates Fibrillar Adhesion Formation to Control Tumor Stromal Matrix Remodeling through Interaction with Tensin 1. Oncogene 37 1699-1713.

Gulvady, A., Dubois, F., Deakin, N.O., Goreczny, G.J. and Turner, C.E. (2018) Hic-5 Expression is a Major Indicator of Cancer Cell Morphology, Migration and Plasticity in Three-Dimensional Matrices. Mol. Biol. Cell. 29 1704-1717

Gulvady, A., Forsythe, I. and Turner, C.E. (2019) Hic-5 Regulates Src-induced Invadopodia Rosette Formation and Organization. Mol. Biol. Cell. 30 1298-1313.

Xu, W., Gulvady, A.C., Goreczny, G.J., Olson, E.C. and Turner, C.E. (2019) Paxillin-dependent Microtubule Acetylation Regulates Apical-Basal Polarity in Mammary Gland Morphogenesis. Development. 146 dev174367

Vohnoutka, R.B., Gulvady, A.C., Goreczny, G.J, Alpha, K., Handelman, S.K., Sexton, J.Z. and Turner, C.E. (2019) The Focal Adhesion Scaffold Protein Hic-5 Regulates Vimentin Organization in Fibroblasts. Mol. Biol. Cell 30 3037-3056.

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography:




Link to PubMed (Opens new window. Close the PubMed window to return to this page.)