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Barbara Sanborn




Office: W191 ARBL, Foothills Campus
Phone: 970-491-8253
Fax: 970-491-3557

Barbara M. Sanborn, PhD

​Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory
Program in Cell and Molecular Biology
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523


PhD, Boston University
MA, Boston University
AB, Hope College

Research Interests -- Hormonal Signal Transduction

Hormones are molecular signals that alter cell function. Understanding how hormones convey their signals is critical for understanding basic cell biology and disease states, and for designing intervention strategies. Research in my laboratory focuses on defining the molecular signal transduction pathways of hormone action relating to the control of differentiation and intracellular calcium dynamics in the myometrium (uterine smooth muscle).

Signaling crosstalk: The control of uterine contraction/relaxation is critical to the maintenance of pregnancy and the efficient delivery of the neonate. Uterine contractants such as oxytocin increase intracellular calcium in uterine muscle cells by increasing influx and release from intracellular stores secondary to phospholipase C (PLC) activation. Relaxants oppose these actions by regulatory phosphorylation mechanisms. Some of these signaling pathways require scaffolding proteins that localize the components in the same region of the cell. We are determining the biochemical basis for the regulatory role of phosphorylation, the requirements for interaction with scaffolding proteins, and changes in key signaling pathways that occur during pregnancy. These changes involve alteration in the expression and intracellular localization of proteins. We use biochemical and cell and molecular biological approaches as well as studying muscle physiology.

Calcium dynamics: We are studying hormonal effects on intracellular calcium dynamics by single cell immunofluorescence and effects of hormones on ion channel activity and expression. We are using Q-RTPCR and siRNA suppression techniques to alter expression of specific channel proteins and determining the consequence on calcium dynamics.

Selected Publications

For a complete list of publications, please visit: BM Sanborn PubMed

Ku CY, Murtazina DA, Kim YS, Garfield RE, Sanborn BM. 2010. Changes in rat myometrial plasma membrane protein kinase A are confined to parturition. Reproduction. In Press.

Chung D, Kim YS, Phillips JN, Ulloa A, Ku CY, Galan HL, Sanborn BM. 2010. Attenuation of TRPC6 expression specifically reduces the diacylglycerol-mediated increase in intracellular calcium in human myometrial cells. Endocrinology 151:406-416.

Ulloa A, Gonzales AL, Zhong M, Kim YS, Cantlon J, Clay C, Ku CY, Earley S, Sanborn BM. 2009. Reduction in TRPC4 expression specifically attenuates G-protein coupled receptor-stimulated increases in intracellular calcium in human myometrial cells. Cell Calcium 46:73-84.

Zhong M, Murtazina DA, Phillips J, Ku CY, Sanborn BM. 2008. Multiple signals regulate PLC beta 3 in human myometrial cells. Biol Reprod 78:1007-1017.

Sanborn BM. 2007. Hormonal signaling and signal pathway crosstalk in the control of myometrial calcium dynamics. Sem Cell Dev Biol 18:305-318.

Sanborn BM. 2007. Cell and molecular biology of myometrial smooth muscle function. Sem Cell Dev Biol 18:287-288.

Zhong M, Parish B, Murtazina DA, Ku CY, Sanborn BM. 2007. Amino acids in the C-terminal region of the oxytocin receptor third intracellular domain are important for receptor function. Am J Physiol 292:E977-E984.

Sanborn BM, Zhong M, Parish BJ. 2006. Oxytocin receptor. AfCS-Nature Molecule Pages. (doi:10.1038/mp.a001705.01)

Ku CY, Babich L, Word RA, Zhong M, Ulloa A, Monga M, Sabnorn BM. 2006. Expression of transient receptor channel proteins in fundal myometrium in pregnancy. J Soc Gynecol Invest 13:217-225.

Zhong M, Ku CY, Sanborn BM. 2005. Pathways used by relaxin to regulate myometrial phospholipase C. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1041:300-304.

Sanborn BM, Ku CY, Shlykov S, Babich L. 2005. Molecular signaling through G-protein-coupled receptors and the control of intracellular calcium in myometrium. J Soc Gynecol Invest 12:479-487. (review)

Ku CY, Word RA, Sanborn BM. 2005. Differential expression of protein kinase A, AKAP79 and PP2B in pregnant human myometrial membranes prior to and during labor. J Soc Gynecol Invest 12:421-427.

Bathgate RA, Ivell R, Sanborn BM, Sherwood OD, Summers RJ. 2005. Receptors for relaxin family peptides. Ann NY Acad Sci 1041:61-76. (review)

Babich LG, Ku CY, Young HWJ, Huang H, Blackburn MR, Sanborn BM. 2004. Expression of capacitative calcium TrpC proteins in rat myometrium during pregnancy. Biol. Reprod. 79:919-924.

Zhong M, Navratil AM, Clay C, Sanborn BM. 2004. Residues in the hydrophilic face of putative helix 8 of oxytocin receptor are important for receptor function. Biochemistry 43:3490-3498.

Shlykov SG, Sanborn BM. 2004. Stimulation of intracellular Ca2+ by diacylglycerol in human myometrial cells. Cell Calcium 36:157-164.