Ruysch lecture - 25 June

Date: Tuesday, 25 June 2019, 17.00-18.00 h
Lecture Hall 2, Amsterdam UMC location AMC

Anna Akhmanova, Dept. of Cell Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University

The Akhmanova lab studies cellular dynamics in cell polarization, differentiation, vertebrate development and human disease. They are interested in understanding, at a systems level, how different aspects of cell architecture are coordinated. Anna Akhmanova is a recipient of VIDI, VICI, and ERC Synergy grants and based on her pioneering research was awarded the Spinoza Prize in 2018.


Regulation of microtubule dynamics: seeing proteins and drugs in action

Tight control of microtubule dynamics is essential for many cellular processes, including cell division, migration and morphogenesis. Using in vitro reconstitution experiments, we explored the detailed mechanisms of such regulation by proteins that interact with the plus ends of cytoplasmic and centriolar microtubules. Furthermore, we used assays with fluorescent analogues of microtubule-stabilizing and destabilizing agents to directly visualize their effects on microtubule polymerization. We found that a single molecule of a microtubule-depolymerizing drug bound to the microtubule tip was sufficient to trigger a catastrophe, whereas microtubule rescue and stabilization required local accumulation of multiple drug molecules. Our results illustrate the diversity and complexity of mechanisms controlling microtubule growth and organization.


Host: Stephan Huveneers, Medical Biochemistry