Megan King PhD
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology
microtubules; nucleus; nuclear envelope; DNA repair; cellular mechanics; telomere biology
- Identification and characterization of proteins that contribute to the interface between the nucleus and cytoskeleton
- Investigating the connection between DNA damage and association of damaged chromatin with the nuclear periphery and nuclear envelope bridging complexes
- Establishing in vitro assays to assess the temporal and physical aspects of formation of nuclear-cytoskeletal interfaces using advanced microscopy and force spectroscopy techniques
Macromolecular complexes embedded in the nuclear envelope physically
couple the cytoskeleton to the nucleus. These molecular bridges allow
the cytoskeleton to regulate nuclear position within the cell. In
addition, they provide a mechanism for signals to be mechanically
transduced between the cytoplasm and nucleus.
My laboratory is interested in investigating the role(s) of these nuclear envelope bridges in both processes. We are focused on three primary questions. First, we are defining the macromolecular components that link microtubules (and thereby microtubule-dependent force) to the nucleus.
Second, we are interested in the dynamics and mechanism by which microtubule-nuclear interfaces form and dissolve. Finally, we are investigating the means by which cytoplasmic microtubules can affect chromatin organization and dynamics, as well as the biological implications of these effects. We primarily use fission yeast as our model system, taking advantage of the outstanding imaging, biochemical and genetic tools in this organism.