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Tim Mitchison and Carsten Janke in Biocev

Cytoskeletal Brew presents a DOUBLE seminar - on May 13, Tim Mitchison and Carsten Janke will visit Prague to present their groundbreaking research. The Brew will be held in BIOCEV and starts at 4:00 p.m. There will be beer and food at the seminar.
When May 13, 2024
from 04:00 PM to 06:00 PM
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WHEN: May 13, 2024 at 4 p.m. 
WHERE: Main lecture hall in Biocev

Tim Mitchison (Harvard Medical School)  discovered that microtubules are dynamic and thus established microtubule research field as we know it today.  and

Carsten Janke ( Institut Curie) is one of the leading scientists in the field, describing how microtubule systems are regulated by the tubulin code.

Diversifying cytoskeletal functions with the tubulin code

Microtubules are highly versatile cytoskeletal fibres that fulfil essential functions in every eukaryotic cell. Despite this functional diversity, microtubules and their basic building blocks - the tubulin proteins - are highly conserved throughout evolution. One of the key questions  in biology is thus how microtubules can adapt to different functions. I will present how a mechanism called the Tubulin Code contributes to the functional diversification of the microtubule cytoskeleton. 

Tubulin is expressed from different genes (isotypes) and abundantly posttranslationally modified. While this molecular diversity does in most cases only subtly change the behaviour of the microtubule cytoskeleton at the molecular level, it appears that it has strong impacts at the organism and lifetime scale. 

Our lab uses mouse models in which single or multiple tubulin-modifying enzymes are knocked out to determine their physiological functions. We demonstrated that alterations in the tubulin modification glutamylation causes neurodegeneration with defects in axonal cargo transport. Changes in glutamylation can also lead to male infertility and retina degeneration. When we abolished another modification, glycylation, we observed male subfertility in mice with sperm swimming along abnormal trajectories. These finding strongly underpin the role of the tubulin code for organism homeostasis. Our current  focus is to determine the molecular mechanisms underlying those physiological functions,  which we do in a combination of in-vitro reconstitution and cell-biology experiments.




Published: May 07, 2024 12:20 PM

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