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Tuning centrosome activity to ensure genome stability

January 26, 2016

  • Date and time: Tuesday January 26 from 3:00pm-4:00pm
  • Location: VBI 145
  • Speaker: Dorothy A. Lerit, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Affiliation:  National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute National Institutes of Health

As the microtubule organizing centers of most eukaryotic cells, centrosomes build the bipolar mitotic spindle that segregates the duplicated genome into two daughter cells during cell division. Importantly, centrosomes orchestrate critical tasks throughout the cell cycle, such as cell polarization, ciliogenesis, cell migration, and intracellular trafficking. To perform such diverse functions, centrosome activity must be finely tuned by regulating pericentriolar material composition, levels, and organization. Centrosome dysfunction is the leading cause of microcephaly and is also associated with sterility, ciliopathy, and cancer. However, mechanisms that contribute to the spatial and temporal regulation of centrosome activity remain little understood. In this seminar, I will focus on our efforts to elucidate centrosome activity control in the physiologically relevant contexts of the asymmetrically dividing neural stem cells and rapidly dividing early embryos of Drosophila. Our results highlight mechanisms by which stem cells and embryos modulate centrosome activity to ensure genome stability and reveal critical distinctions in centrosome activity control in interphase versus mitosis. Ultimately, these studies of centrosome regulation aim to elucidate how centrosome function is modulated throughout the cell cycle to provide insight into how centrosome deregulation contributes to disease.

For more information, contact Anne Wailes at