Cell and Developmental biology

manuel-mendoza
Coordination of Cytokinesis with Chromosome Segregation

Group Structure

GROUP LEADER:
Manuel Mendoza
PhD STUDENTS:
Iris Titos (until November 2013), Aina Masgrau, Nuno Amaral, Francesca Di Giovanni, Michael Maier, Andrea Battola (from October 2013)
POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS:
Petra Stockinger (dual affiliation with the group of Jerome Solon), Arun Kumar, Tsvetomira Ivanova (from October 2013)
LAB TECHNICIAN:
Trinidad Sanmartin

Summary

Living cells have a fascinating ability to generate complex and dynamic internal structures. Nowhere is this property more evident than during mitosis and cytokinesis: in a very short time (often of the order of a few minutes) cells alter their shape, duplicate and partition their internal components, and divide into two apparently identical halves. These dramatic morphological changes need to be carefully coordinated with each other in space and time. To learn more about the principles underlying this coordination, we focus on the events at the end of the cell cycle: chromosome segregation and cytokinesis, in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Regulatory systems identified in yeast are then validated in animal cells (such as Drosophila), to ensure that our key findings are relevant for the fidelity of mitosis and genetic stability in multicellular organisms.
Characterization of chromosome compaction and spindle length

Research Projects

  • We aim to characterize the molecular mechanism of a cytokinesis checkpoint, called NoCut, which inhibits membrane abscission in the presence of anaphase chromatin bridges and therefore ensures genetic stability.
  • We are also interested in elucidating the fundamental principles of chromosome structure, and how this is regulated both over the cell cycle and during development, using yeast and Drosophila as model systems.

Segregation of a dicentric chromosome in a budding yeast cell