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Cell and Molecular Biology

The clash of macromolecular titans: replication-transcription conflicts in bacteria

In every growing cell, the DNA replication and transcription machineries are routinely in conflict with each other. Replication-transcription conflicts have various negative outcomes, including slowing of DNA replication forks, and breaks in the DNA. Survival, despite the existence of conflicts, depends on essential conflict resolution factors that all organisms harbor. In this seminar, I will highlight some of the new insights we have gained regarding the multi-faceted effects of these encounters on key parameters of cellular function.

Nef-mediated enhancement of cellular activation and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication in primary T cells is dependent on association with p21-activated kinase 2

Olivieri KC, Mukerji J, Gabuzda D.  2011.  Nef-mediated enhancement of cellular activation and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication in primary T cells is dependent on association with p21-activated kinase 2. 8(1):64.

Proteomic analysis of HIV-1 Nef cellular binding partners reveals a role for exocyst complex proteins in mediating enhancement of intercellular nanotube formation

Mukerji J, Olivieri KC, Misra V, Agopian KA, Gabuzda D.  2012.  Proteomic analysis of HIV-1 Nef cellular binding partners reveals a role for exocyst complex proteins in mediating enhancement of intercellular nanotube formation. 9(1):33.

Epigenetic regulation of centromeres in early development: Fluorescence based technologies for long term, high spatio- temporal resolution

Centromeres are fundamental to eukaryotic cell division, required for establishing kinetochores tofacilitate faithful microtubule based chromosome segregation. The histone-H3 variant CENtromere-Protein-A (CENP-A) is thought to provide centromere identity and as such must be retained through each cell cycle. DNA replication halves the number of CENP-A containing nucleosomes at centromeres and work in various model systems has shown that new molecules are incorporated outside of S-phaseby a unique mechanism.

Synchronizing in Seattle: Entrainment of networked brain circadian clocks

Last year, we celebrated the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology awarded for the discoveries of the molecular basis of daily rhythms in cells. These circadian (~24 h) rhythms are common across phyla and cell types. In vertebrates, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) synchronizes circadian rhythms in behavior and physiology to the external light cycle, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are unclear.

Nonlinearity and local heterogeneity in plant development

Biological systems can be quite complex for intuitive interpretations. This is especially true in developmental biology, where robust patterns are established and maintained dynamically in ever-changing and inhomogeneous multicellular environments. Despite the discovery of many key regulatory modules in growth, morphogenesis and fate specification, we still understand little on how such modules are precisely executed, particularly when small initial differences may induce sharp segregation of developmental decisions.

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