Professor, Centre for promotion of international education and research
Laboratory of Yeast and fungal microtubule dynamics , Department of Molecular Biosciences, Kyushu University Faculity of Agriculture
Laboratory overview / research outline
Microtubules are dynamic structures assembled from heterodimer subunits of alpha and beta tubulin proteins, which have important roles in eukaryotic cell division and intracellular transport. Using GTP as an energy source the microtubules switch between phases of growth and rapid shrinkage in the process of dynamic instability, which is important for microtubule function in vivo. Therefore, drugs which bind tubulin and disrupt microtubule dynamics have been useful in treating cancer and as fungicides. Purified tubulin in vitro also self assembles to form dynamic microtubules. My previous work has shown that the dynamics of microtubules assembled from a purified yeast tubulin are different to those of mammalian tubulins, and we are trying to understand how these differences arise from the limited amino acid changes in tubulin proteins from different species. Yeast cells have many advantages for studying microtubules in vivo and through the development of methods for purification of the yeast tubulin it is also possible to use biochemical and structural methods in vitro. I use a mixture of cell and molecular methods, together with biochemical and microscope-based assays for in vitro analysis of microtubule dynamics.
Dynamics of tubulin from filamentous fungus.
Although many species of filamentous fungi cause disease in animals and plants, and despite tubulin being used as a fungicide target, relatively little is known about tubulin from filamentous fungus. In part this is due to the technical problems of purification of the native tubulin from filamentous fungi. In this project we are exploring alternative expression and purification methods to study filamentous fungal tubulin and the action of fungicides in vitro.
After working in universities and research institutes in the UK, I moved to Kyushu University, Japan to teach international and Japanese students studying biochemistry and molecular biology in English taught courses.
- Von Loeffelholz,O, Venables, NA, Drummond, DR, Katsuki, M, Cross, R and Moores, CA (2017) Nature Communications 8:1-13 “Nucleotide and Mal3-dependent changes in fission yeast microtubules suggest a structural plasticity view of dynamics.”
- Drummond, DR and Cross, RA (2000) Curr Biol 10: 766-775. "Dynamics of interphase microtubules in Schizosaccharomyces pombe."
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Faculty of Agriculture
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