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Research projects

Microtubule regulation and organization is controlled by a plethora of proteins. We use combinations of biochemistry, biophysics and cryo-electron microscopy to elucidate the mechanisms by which these proteins interact with and regulate microtubules.

Kinesin motors

The microtubule-based spindle orchestrates accurate chromosome segregation during cell division. Kinesins are a superfamily of microtubule-based nanomotors that use their ATPase activity to produce force. A number of different kinesins perform essential functions during cell division, including organisation of spindle microtubules and regulation of their dynamics. We are studying the molecular properties of individual kinesins to understand how they have evolved and adapted to their particular functions during cell division.

Microtubule associated proteins

Microtubules are built from tubulin dimers and their intrinsic GTPase drives polymer dynamics. In vivo, an array of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) maintains tight control of microtubule stability and plasticity. However, the extent to which MAPs read and respond to the tubulin GTPase cycle and/or override it remains unclear.
Our recent work has been aimed at elucidation of regulatory mechanisms of microtubule dynamics, using cryo-electron microscopy and near-atomic resolution structure determination.

Useful research links (external sites)