HHMI UCB LBL

Cytoskeletal Self-Assembly in Cell Division

In our microtubule cytoskeleton studies we are interested in defining the conformational landscape of tubulin as defined by its nucleotide and assembly states, in order to obtain detail mechanistic understanding of the process of microtubule dynamic instability. Furthermore, to gain insight into how MT dynamics are regulated and utilized in the cellular context, we are studying the interactions of microtubule ends with cellular factors involved in chromosome capture, alignment and segregation. Our studies aim to provide fine details of the highly regulated interactions between microtubules and kinetochore complexes and other microtubule-interacting proteins essential for mitosis progression.

We have expanded our cytoskeletal studies to include the molecular understanding of septin assembly and function in cytokinesis. We have characterized the molecular architecture of septin assembly units, their polymerization into different assembly forms, and the relevance of their interaction with phospho-inositides. More recently we have moved into the realm of in vivo studies of the cytokinetic process in yeast. We are deepening our understanding of all of these aspects of septin structure and function and extending our studies to the characterization of septin interaction with cellular partners.

Structural Basis of Microtubule Dynamic Instability

Dynamic instability, an essential property of microtubules, is an intrinsic attribute of tubulin linked to the binding and hydrolysis of GTP. We are particularly interested in the relationship between the conformational landscape tubulin and its nucleotide and assembly states ... read more

microtubules

Microtubule-Kinetochore Interface

A large number of cellular factors regulate and/or utilize the dynamic behavior of microtubules in the cell. We are particularly interested in kinetochore components, such as the Dam1 and Ndc80 complexes, that interact directly with microtubules and how this interactions are regulated during mitosis ... read more

Dam1

Septins Structure And Assembly

Septins are conserved GTases defining a new type of cytoskeletal filaments essential in cytokinesis and other membrane-remodeling processes. We are studying the yeast septins to define the organization of different septin assembly units, their polymerization and their regulation ... read more

Filament

News

Recent publications

Raymond Staals, Yifan Zhu, David Taylor et al. <a href=http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1097276514007898> RNA Targeting by the Type III-A CRISPR-Cas Csm Complex of Thermus thermophilus.</a> <i>Mol Cell</i> <b>56</b>, 518-539 Greg Alushin et al. <a href=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24855948> High-Resolution Microtubule Structures Reveal the Structural Transitions in αβ-Tubulin upon GTP Hydrolysis</a><i>Cell</i>, 157(5)1117-29. Megan Hochstrasser, David Taylor et al. <a href=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24748111> CasA mediates Cas3-catalyzed target degradation during CRISPR RNA-guided interference.</a><i>Proc Natl Acad Sci</i>, Epub ahead of print Martin Jinek et al. <a href=http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2014/02/05/science.1247997> Structures of Cas9 Endonucleases Reveal RNA-Mediated Conformational Activation</a><i>Science</i>, Epub ahead of print Bleichert et al. <a href=http://elife.elifesciences.org/content/2/e00882> A Meier-Gorlin syndrome mutation in a conserved C-terminal helix of Orc6 impedes origin recognition complex formation</a><i>eLife</i>, 2:e00882, Oct 8 2013 Epub

Thesis award

David Taylor received the Mary Ellen Jones Dissertation Prize, which is awarded annually to recognize the most distinguished dissertation in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University.

Forbes: 30 Under 30 Issue

Alumni Greg Alushin (class of 2012, Biophysics Graduate Program) is one of the 30 under 30 selected by the magazine Forbes in the category of Science and Healthcare.