Cell cycle regulation and mitosis
Eukaryotic cells have developed sophisticated regulatory mechanisms to control proliferation, to coordinate the duplication of the genome and other cellular components, and to mediate the highly complex task of segregating these components equally into the daughter cells during cell division. In the case of the genome, replicated chromosomes need to condense to transportable packages, be segregated equally with high precision by the mitotic spindle and then decondense in a timely manner to re-establish interphase morphology and function in the daughter cells. The process is associated with the highly dynamic reshaping of the membrane compartments. We apply biochemical reconstitution and live cell microscopy approaches combined with proteomics techniques to understand the underlying mechanisms and regulatory signalling pathways that coordinate such a complex process and thus ensure genome stability.
The ubiquitin-dependent chaperone Cdc48/p97 in cellular regulation
Central to regulation of cell cycle progression and many other cellular processes is the ubiquitin system. Within this system, the large Cdc48/p97 AAA+-type ATPase with its extensive network of cofactors has emerged as a central new element with relevance to cancer and aging. Cdc48/p97 helps to recognize and decode the ubiquitin signal and then integrates it with downstream effectors in various cellular processes. We are interested in understanding this new layer of regulation on the molecular and cellular level in vertebrate cells. We thus hope to reveal how this system helps to maintain cellular homeostasis and how it coordinates cell proliferation and division.
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