UCL Division of Biosciences


CDB Seminar - Prof Daniel A. Starr, UC Davis

02 November 2023, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Photo of Professor Dan Starr

Title: Moving nuclei and regulating molecular crowding of the cytoplasm from the nuclear envelope

This event is free.

Event Information

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Michael Wright – Cell and Developmental Biology

Talk abstract: Nuclear positioning is central to many processes including pronuclear migration, muscle and neuronal differentiation, and cellular migration. My lab studies the mechanisms of how nuclei interact with the cytoskeleton to migrate to and anchor at specific subcellular locations as a part of development and disease. We primarily focus on LINC complexes, which are made of SUN proteins at the inner nuclear membrane and KASH proteins in the outer nuclear membrane. LINC complexes bridge the nuclear envelope to link the nucleoskeleton to the cytoskeleton. In addition, we study LINC-independent mechanisms for nuclear anchorage and for nuclear migrations through constricted spaces in the context of a developing animal. Most recently, we have initiated new projects to measure the biophysical properties of the cytoplasm in vivo and found that LINC complexes are necessary to maintain macromolecular crowding of the cytoplasm.

Suggested references:

H. Hao, S. Kalra, L. E. Jameson, L. A. Guerrero, N. E. Cain, J. Bolivar and D. A. Starr. 2021. The Nesprin-1/-2 ortholog ANC-1 regulates organelle positioning in C. elegans independently from its KASH or actin-binding domains. eLife. 1-30 PMCID: PMC8139857.

D. A. Starr. 2019. A network of nuclear envelope proteins and cytoskeletal force generators mediates movements of and within nuclei throughout C. elegans development. An Invited Review in Experimental Biology and Medicine. 244: 1323-1332. PMCID: PMC6880151

Zoom link: https://ucl.zoom.us/j/96010089049

Host: Professor Barbara Conradt

About the Speaker

Prof Daniel A Starr

Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at UC Davis

There are many examples throughout development where nuclei or other organelles migrate to a new position in the cell. We are recently examining a nuclear migration event where the nucleus must deform to squeeze through a narrow opening. Once the nucleus has migrated to the correct location, there are mechanisms to anchor the nucleus there. Defects in nuclear positioning can lead to developmental defects and diseases such as Lisencephaly and Muscular Dystrophy. However, very little is known about the mechanisms of nuclear positioning. We are using the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism to study how nuclei and other organelles are positioned within a cell. We use imaging, genetic, biochemical, and molecular approaches to study this basic problem in cell biology.

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