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
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
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
David Taylor and Vignesh Kasinath have repectivley received the Damon Runyon and Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowships.
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.