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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Biological Sciences
Medical School
Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

PI: Ryoko Kuriyama

Assembly and Function of the Mammalian Centrosome

The mitotic spindle is a large, dynamic microtubule-containing structure responsible for equal segregation of the genetic material from one cell to its progenies during mitosis. Failure in proper functions of the spindle causes serious human diseases such as birth defects and cancers. The key to the spindle function is the centrosome located at each spindle pole: it directs chromosome segregation by serving as a microtubule-organizing center in animal cells. Deregulation of centrosome replication has been documented in the pathogenesis of a wide range of human cancers. The purpose of this research project is to understand how centrosomes are assembled and how their number is strictly regulated during the cell cycle. Towards this goal, the researchers have identified and characterized molecular components of the centrosome using multidisciplinary approaches of molecular cell biology and protein biochemistry. Particular efforts have been made to identify a 135 kDa centrosome protein (Cep135) and assess its function in mammalian centriogenesis. The researchers are continuing their studies on Cep135 by examining molecules interacting with Cep135 in the centrosomal structure and applying small molecular inhibitors causing multiple centriole/centrosome formation in mammalian cells.

Group Member

Nathan Steere, Research Associate