Megan C. King PhD

Assistant Professor of Cell Biology

Research Interests

Microtubules; Nucleus; Nuclear envelope; DNA repair; Cellular mechanics; Telomere biology

Current Projects

  1. Identification and characterization of proteins that contribute to the interface between the nucleus and cytoskeleton
  2. Investigating the connection between DNA damage and association of damaged chromatin with the nuclear periphery and nuclear envelope bridging complexes
  3. Establishing in vitro assays to assess the temporal and physical aspects of formation of nuclear-cytoskeletal interfaces using advanced microscopy and force spectroscopy techniques

Research Summary

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.


Selected Publications

  • Megan C. King, Theodore G. Drivas, and Günter Blobel. A network of nuclear envelope membrane proteins linking centromeres to microtubules. Cell. 134, 427-38 (2008).
  • C. Patrick Lusk, Günter Blobel, and Megan C. King. Highway to the inner nuclear membrane: rules for the road. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 8, 414-420 (2007).
  • Megan C. King*, C. Patrick Lusk*, and Günter Blobel. Karyopherin-mediated import of integral inner nuclear membrane proteins. Nature. 442, 1003-7 (2006).
  • Megan C. King, Graça Raposo, and Mark A. Lemmon. Inhibition of nuclear import and cell cycle progression by mutated forms of the dynamin-like GTPase MxB. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 101, 8957-62 (2004).

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