Dr Louise Cramer


Personal Profile

Name: Louise Cramer Email: l.cramer@ucl.ac.uk
Title: Dr Tel: 0044 20 7679 7260
Department: MRC/UCL Lab for Molecular Cell Bio Fax:
Position: Senior Research Fellow Address: , , ,
Research Domain: Basic Life Sciences Web Page:  


Research Description

The Cramer lab studies cytoskeleton mechanisms in cell polarity and cell migration. Cell migration is essential for life; required throughout embryo development, and for tissue repair and immunity in both the embryo and the adult. It also contributes to several important diseases, including inflammatory diseases, mental retardation and the spread of cancer. Determining molecular mechanisms controlling cell migration thus promises to provide effective therapeutic strategies for treating disease. The Cramer lab studies how migrating cells reach new territory and how they polarize to activate motility, focusing on activity of actin filament and myosin II proteins that drive these processes. We recently discovered a new mechanism of cell migration – where motility is initiated from the cell rear instead of the cell front. We also recently identified a new process where actin filament disassembly drives cell rear retraction.


Research Activities

Cytoskeleton Mechanisms in Cell Polarity and Cell Migration

Education Description

Dr. Louise Cramer is Cell Biology Tutor for the Cell Biology Stream of the MRes Biosciences masters programme (for division of Biosciences, faculty of Life Sciences). Louise is also developing a new MSc in Molecular Cell Biology (for division of MRC-Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, faculty of Life Sciences). She also teaches on several second and third year undergraduate modules within the faculty of Life Science and hosts undergraduate project and masters students at the MRC-LMCB. She also organizes and teaches part of the taught element of the MRC-LMCB PhD 4-year programme. Louise is chair of the equipment committee and responsible for teaching on the graduate programme committee (division of MRC-LMCB) and on the teaching committee for MRes Biosciences (division of Biosciences).

UCL Collaborators

External Collaborators



    • Cramer LP (2013). Mechanism of cell rear retraction in migrating cells. CURRENT OPINION IN CELL BIOLOGY, 25(5), 591 - 599. doi:10.1016/j.ceb.2013.05.001


    • Nightingale TD, Cutler DF, Cramer LP (2012). Actin coats and rings promote regulated exocytosis.. Trends Cell Biol, 22(6), 329 - 337. doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2012.03.003
    • Kalaji R, Wheeler AP, Erasmus JC, Lee SY, Endres RG, Cramer LP, Braga VM (2012). ROCK1 and ROCK2 regulate epithelial polarisation and geometric cell shape.. Biol Cell, 104(8), 435 - 451. doi:10.1111/boc.201100093


    • Mseka T, Cramer LP (2011). Actin depolymerization-based force retracts the cell rear in polarizing and migrating cells.. Curr Biol, 21(24), 2085 - 2091. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.11.006
    • Nightingale TD, White IJ, Doyle EL, Turmaine M, Harrison-Lavoie KJ, Webb KF, Cramer LP, Cutler DF (2011). Actomyosin II contractility expels von Willebrand factor from Weibel-Palade bodies during exocytosis.. J Cell Biol, 194(4), 613 - 629. doi:10.1083/jcb.201011119


    • Cramer LP (2010). Forming the cell rear first: breaking cell symmetry to trigger directed cell migration.. Nat Cell Biol, 12(7), 628 - 632. doi:10.1038/ncb0710-628


    • Mseka T, Coughlin M, Cramer LP (2009). Graded actin filament polarity is the organization of oriented actomyosin II filament bundles required for fibroblast polarization.. Cell Motil Cytoskeleton, 66(9), 743 - 753. doi:10.1002/cm.20403


    • Cramer L (2008). Organelle transport: dynamic actin tracks for myosin motors.. Curr Biol, 18(22), R1066 - R1068. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.09.048
    • Anderson TW, Vaughan AN, Cramer LP (2008). Retrograde flow and myosin II activity within the leading cell edge deliver F-actin to the lamella to seed the formation of graded polarity actomyosin II filament bundles in migrating fibroblasts.. Mol Biol Cell, 19(11), 5006 - 5018. doi:10.1091/mbc.E08-01-0034


    • Rampaul A, Parkin IP, Cramer LP (2007). Damaging and protective properties of inorganic components of sunscreens applied to cultured human skin cells. JOURNAL OF PHOTOCHEMISTRY AND PHOTOBIOLOGY A-CHEMISTRY, 191(2-3), 138 - 148. doi:10.1016/j.jphotochem.2007.04.014
    • Mseka T, Bamburg JR, Cramer LP (2007). ADF/cofilin family proteins control formation of oriented actin-filament bundles in the cell body to trigger fibroblast polarization. JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE, 120(24), 4332 - 4344. doi:10.1242/jcs.017640


    • Zhang JK, Betson M, Erasmus J, Zeikos K, Bailly M, Cramer LP, Braga VMM (2005). Actin at cell-cell junctions is composed of two dynamic and functional populations. JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE, 118(23), 5549 - 5562. doi:10.1242/jcs.02639


    • Rosenblatt J, Cramer LP, Baum B, McGee KM (2004). Myosin II-dependent cortical movement is required for centrosome separation and positioning during mitotic spindle assembly. CELL, 117(3), 361 - 372. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(04)00341-1


    • Dawe HR, Minamide LS, Bamburg JR, Cramer LP (2003). ADF/Cofilin controls cell polarity during fibroblast migration. CURRENT BIOLOGY, 13(3), 252 - 257. doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(03)00040-X


    • Cramer LP, Briggs LJ, Dawe HR (2002). Use of fluorescently labelled deoxyribonuclease I to spatially measure G-actin levels in migrating and non-migrating cells. CELL MOTILITY AND THE CYTOSKELETON, 51(1), 27 - 38. doi:10.1002/cm.10013
    • Cramer LP (2002). Ena/Vasp: solving a cell motility paradox.. Curr Biol, 12(12), R417 - R419.


    • Rosenblatt J, Raff MC, Cramer LP (2001). An epithelial cell destined for apoptosis signals its neighbors to extrude it by an actin- and myosin-dependent mechanism. CURRENT BIOLOGY, 11(23), 1847 - 1857. doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(01)00587-5


    • Cramer LP (2000). Myosin VI: roles for a minus end-directed actin motor in cells.. J Cell Biol, 150(6), F121 - F126.


    • Cramer LP (1999). Organization and polarity of actin filament networks in cells: implications for the mechanism of myosin-based cell motility.. Biochem Soc Symp, 65, 173 - 205.
    • Cramer LP (1999). Role of actin-filament disassembly in lamellipodium protrusion in motile cells revealed using the drug jasplakinolide.. Curr Biol, 9(19), 1095 - 1105.


    • Cramer LP, Siebert M, Mitchison TJ (1997). Identification of novel graded polarity actin filament bundles in locomoting heart fibroblasts: implications for the generation of motile force.. J Cell Biol, 136(6), 1287 - 1305.
    • Cramer LP, Mitchison TJ (1997). Investigation of the mechanism of retraction of the cell margin and rearward flow of nodules during mitotic cell rounding.. Mol Biol Cell, 8(1), 109 - 119.
    • Cramer LP (1997). Molecular mechanism of actin-dependent retrograde flow in lamellipodia of motile cells.. Frontiers in bioscience : a journal and virtual library., 2, - .


    • Mitchison TJ, Cramer LP (1996). Actin-based cell motility and cell locomotion.. Cell, 84(3), 371 - 379.


    • Cramer LP, Mitchison TJ (1995). Myosin is involved in postmitotic cell spreading.. J Cell Biol, 131(1), 179 - 189.


    • Cramer LP, Mitchison TJ, Theriot JA (1994). Actin-dependent motile forces and cell motility.. Curr Opin Cell Biol, 6(1), 82 - 86.


    • Cramer L, Mitchison TJ (1993). Moving and stationary actin filaments are involved in spreading of postmitotic PtK2 cells.. J Cell Biol, 122(4), 833 - 843.


    • Cramer LP, Cutler DF (1992). Sorting between exocytic pathways in PC12 cells. In Magee AI, Wileman T (Ed.), Protein targeting: a practical approach (pp. 200 - 221). : IRL press at Oxford University Press.


    • Cutler DF, Cramer LP (1990). Sorting during transport to the surface of PC12 cells: divergence of synaptic vesicle and secretory granule proteins.. J Cell Biol, 110(3), 721 - 730.