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Carsten Janke: Molecular mechanisms and biological functions of microtubule diversity

12 September 2012, 10:00 am @ MPI-CBG

12 September 2012, 10:00 am
Carsten Janke (Institut Curie, Orsay, France)
MPI-CBG, small auditorium
Stefan Diez (B CUBE)

Microtubules are key components of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton, and as such are responsible for a wide variety of functions. Microtubules adapt to their different roles by interacting with a variety of associated proteins, including molecular motors, microtubule stabilizers and destabilizers, and other non?motile microtubule?associated proteins (MAPs).

The fact that microtubules perform a great variety of different functions, often side by side in a single cell, stands in contrast to their common depiction as uniform polymers assembled from conserved ?/??tubulin dimers. To challenge the concept of homogeneous microtubules, my team investigates how microtubule functions are spatially and temporally controlled by mechanisms that generate microtubule identities. One emerging mechanism are the posttranslational modificationsof tubulin (reviewed in Janke & Bulinski, 2011), which could be closely linked to a second adaptation mechanism, the expression of different tubulin genes (isotypes; reviewed in Luduena, 1998). By investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that generate microtubule diversity, we also want to approach the fundamental question of how the complex signals that are generated by these two mechanisms can be controlled and translated into meaningful biological information and functions.

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