In addition to motor proteins, there are many other types of proteins that regulate the microtubule cytoskeleton, primarily by controlling microtubule dynamics. We have been interested in discovering new microtubule regulatory proteins and then understanding their cell biological functions and dissecting their mechanisms through in vitro assays and structural approaches. Augmin and patronin are under most investigation in the lab right now.
Mitosis is a particularly interesting phase of the cell cycle to examine microtubules, since regulators of microtubule dynamics and molecular motors must act in concert to create a specific microtubule structure- the mitotic spindle. We have been interested in identifying and studying critical microtubule-associated proteins that are needed to build the mitotic spindle through RNAi screens and then follow-up cell biological and biochemical studies. Click on the images below for more information.