B4: Chromosome transport along microtubules in the crowded cytoplasm and across actin filament networks

Lead PI: Peter Lénárt
Collaborating PIs: Timo Betz, Helmut Grubmüller, Stefan Klumpp, Sarah Köster, Melina Schuh
Overarching research question:

We perform experiments in large intact cells (oocytes) to understand biophysical principles of cytoskeletal organization in vivo. Therefore, we combine quantitative live-cell imaging assays with molecular (e.g. inhibitors) and physical (e.g. micromanipulation) perturbations. Interestingly, in oocyte meiosis chromosomes are transported initially by a contractile actin ‘fishnet’ and then by attachment to microtubules. In this project, we dissect the interplay between the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton, and analyze in detail how the two cytoskeletal systems mediate transport through the crowded cytoplasmic environment of an intact cell.

Core field: cell biology

PhD training objectives: molecular biology (mRNA synthesis, protein purification and labeling); microinjection of oocytes; automated quantitative live cell microscopy; advanced image analysis; data analysis (e.g., chromosome trajectories); modeling.