Eukaryotic cells have evolved complex and extremely precise chromosome segregation mechanisms which ensure that genetic information is passed on correctly from one generation to the next. In order to understand how the cell moves chromosomes during mitosis, our group is studying the structure, function, and regulation of the kinetochore, a complex multi-protein assembly that connects chromosomes to dynamic microtubules. In a reductional biochemical approach we aim to study and assemble functional kinetochores from their constituent parts in vitro. In addition, we use yeast genetics to manipulate and engineer simple chromosome segregation systems in vivo.
- Schleiffer, A., Maier, M., Litos, G., Lampert, F., Hornung, P., Mechtler, K., Westermann, S. (2012). CENP-T proteins are conserved centromere receptors of the Ndc80 complex. Nat Cell Biol. 14(6):604-13 (abstract)
- Zimniak, T., Fitz, V., Zhou, H., Lampert, F., Opravil, S., Mechtler, K., Stolt-Bergner, P., Westermann, S. (2012). Spatiotemporal regulation of Ipl1/Aurora activity by direct Cdk1 phosphorylation. Curr Biol. 22(9):787-93 (abstract)
- Lampert, F., Hornung, P., Westermann, S. (2010). The Dam1 complex confers microtubule plus end-tracking activity to the Ndc80 kinetochore complex. J Cell Biol. 189(4):641-9 (abstract)
- Kiermaier, E., Woehrer, S., Peng, Y., Mechtler, K., Westermann, S. (2009). A Dam1-based artificial kinetochore is sufficient to promote chromosome segregation in budding yeast. Nat Cell Biol. 11(9):1109-15 (abstract)
- Westermann, S., Wang, HW., Avila-Sakar, A., Drubin, DG., Nogales, E., Barnes, G. (2006). The Dam1 kinetochore ring complex moves processively on depolymerizing microtubule ends. Nature. 440(7083):565-9 (abstract)