Abstract: Series 102, Lecture 2

The Harvey Lectures Series 102 (2006—2007)

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Lecture #2: Thursday, November 9, 2006 — Time and Location

Basal Bodies and Cilia: From Motility to Cell Division to Obesity

Susan K Dutcher, PhD

Susan K Dutcher, PhD

Professor of Genetics Department of Genetics

Washington University School of Medicine

St Louis, Missouri

Dr Dutcher's Website

Microtubule organizing centers are characterized by structures termed centrioles first described in 1887. In these studies, the centriole was a darkly staining dot at the center of each mitotic aster. It was the remarkable fidelity combined with the timing of centriole replication that led Boveri to propose a role for centrioles in cell division and chromosome segregation. Centrioles can interconvert to basal bodies, which play roles in ciliary assembly. My laboratory investigates the role of centrioles/basal bodies in Chlamydomonas in ciliary assembly and cell division. We have identified critically important roles for two new tubulin family members (δ and ε) in basal body function. A straightforward computational approach has helped to elucidate additional ciliary and basal body genes. In particular, a gene responsible for Bardet Biedl Syndrome (BBS), which results in obesity, renal disease, and retinal degeneration, was identified. The role of several basal body proteins will be discussed.