Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Jennifer L. Ross

Subject Categories



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