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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

Jennifer L. Ross

Subject Categories

Biophysics

Abstract

Microtubules, as an essential part of the cytoskeleton, require proper function as well as correct spatial and temporal localization. In order to achieve correct organization, microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) regulate microtubule dynamics. Katanin, a known microtubule-severing enzyme from the AAA family of proteins, plays a role in regulating microtubules, but the mechanisms of microtubule control and the mechanism of severing activity remain to be elucidated.

In the following studies I examine mechanisms of katanin-based regulation of microtubule dynamics using a single molecule biophysics approach. I use this simplified in vitro approach to change specific parameters to investigate how katanin targets microtubules with defects, how free tubulin regulates katanin severing activity, and how katanin and tau regulate dynamic microtubules. This work provides us with new insights as to how katanin targets both stable and dynamic microtubules as well as how katanin is regulated by other cellular components.

Included in

Biophysics Commons

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