Training in Chromosome Segregation and Cell Division

PMI members are investigating how the cytoskeletal and cell cycle are coordinated to ensure the equal partitioning of genetic information.


Major events in the cell cycle must be coordinated with each other to ensure the equal partitioning of genetic information from the parental cell to the two progeny cells. Among these events are chromosome segregation and cytokinesis, two fundamental processes that must be regulated both temporally and spatially. Microtubules and their associated motor proteins function together to exert the force that moves the chromosomes, but how they do this is not completely understood. In addition, the molecular mechanisms by which the spindle integrity is checked before cell division are far from clear. Cytokinesis is also carried out by a dynamic structure, the actomyosin contraction system. How the myosins and F-actin interact with each other to generate the contractile force, and how these assemblies are connected to the microtubule and intermediate filament cytoskeleton, is not known. Furthermore, the signal specifying the cell division site as well as the cell cycle signal triggering actin ring formation and contraction still remain to be identified and characterized. All these questions are being addressed in a variety of systems by several members of the PMI.

Investigating Members: